Lee & Bill Steenken with friend, Melanie Hanson
Family Heirloom Doilies
Fabric, 2 panels of 42 x 32 x 1 ; and 2 panels of 23 X 23 x 1, 2019
Concept and layout design by Lee Steenken. Family heirloom doilies, stored in drawers for over 50 years, contributed by Bill Steenken. Hand-sewn application on custom wall hangings constructed by Melanie Hanson.
The creator of most of these crocheted doilies was Louisa LaBetsch Steenken, grandmother of Bill Steenken. As an infant, Louisa was carried in a basket by her uncle as they immigrated into the United States from the Alsace-Lorraine region of France - probably in the 1870’s. She likely learned the art of crocheting in a convent-associated orphanage. She crocheted dozens of doilies, as well as dresser scarves, tablecloths, bedspreads, and “antimacassars”.