Bavarian textiles – a tale of two Margaretes

There will always be textiles wherever I go as not only are they important and many of the places I visit have them on display as part of the social history of the location but also I do sometimes seek them out 😉

However this holiday I had some very pleasant surprises on the textile front as I found some when I wasn’t even looking for them 🙂

The first nice surprise was this beautiful sampler which had been done by Margarete the lady who ran the hotel we stayed in Germany. She was in her 70s and the hotel has been in her family for over 100 years.

Bavaria 2014 Langenau sampler

I couldn’t help thinking that she must have had a pretty hard life, she was on duty about 15 hours a day when we were there and I hope that at some points they got to close the hotel and have a holiday themselves.

I like to imagine that she stitched this in her free time and it gave her pleasure and helped her relax, it is a beautifully stitched piece and she was obviously proud of it as it was hung in the bar area.

Then we had our unexpected trip to the Steiff Teddy Bear Museum  which was an optional trip on the holiday which the kids really wanted to go to. It was really good with a little interactive piece at the start that told you the history of the company followed by a room with lots of toys that you could touch (and sit on) then displays of the toys throughout the ages.

Bavaria 2014 Steiff sewing room

The company was started by Margarete Steiff who was a keen seamstress, she had polio as a child and never married but sewed children’s clothes then made her first toy, an elephant (by accident it was meant to be a pincushion but it got played with!).

She then went on to make teddies and all manner of other creatures. The above photo shows a reproduction of the sewing room that starts the interactive part.

One of the most interesting parts for me as I have been making toys recently (both knitted and have started a couple of fabric ones) was the workroom at the end where as well as staff working demonstrating the toys being made they had lots of patterns hung up and old photos showing the factory workers. There is a concise history of the Steiff business at this link if you are interested.

Bavaria 2014 Steiff patterns 1

Bavaria 2014 Steiff patterns 2

Bavaria 2014 Steiff machinists

Bavaria 2014 Steiff toymakers

Then when we went to Rothenburg we came across this shop selling hand embroidered textiles.

Bavaria 2014 Rotenburg embroidery shop

They employ over 500 home workers to do the embroidery so I had to go and support the local economy and all those lovely ladies didn’t I? The kids were very patient while I chose from hundreds of gorgeous things.

I bought these beautiful lavender filled whitework pillows for display in my kitchen and an embroidered runner for the Xmas table. As I reminded Jake I do only have 4 (he seemed to think that was too many last year – no idea why?). This one will go very nicely with my holly decorated dinner set).

Bavarian needlework -whitework 1

Bavarian needlework -whitework

Bavarian needlework -xmas cloth

Rothenburg is also famous for its Christmas shops (which I honestly didn’t know when I booked the trip kids) and so spent ages in the Christmas Village in the Kathe Wolfahrt shop which was amazing! No photos allowed inside but this is from their website and it actually looks like this.

Christmas shop Rothenburg

I bought 2 beautiful lace ornaments for the tree and a little heart that hangs in my kitchen.

Bavarian needlework -xmas ornies

Bavarian needlework - heart

A wonderful array of textile goodness to add to a lovely holiday – very happy.

More pictures to come of the town of Rothenburg, it is still raining here in Yorkshire so no alternative but to spend the day in crafting – how sad 😉

Thanks for visiting.

Probably the best castle in the world….

Hello again

As you know we are big fans of castles, we have been lucky enough to camp in the grounds of lots of them and have visited many different types from derelict piles of stones to beautiful Victorian rebuilds (Castle Coch and Cardiff Castle).

But I think this is my favourite so far. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited (and I have been very lucky to go to some amazing places).

Not only the castle itself but the location is stunning. These are the views from Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, built by King Ludwig in the 1880s.

Bavaria 2014 Neuschwanstein 7

The yellow castle you can see is his father’s castle and these are pictures of the one he built.

Bavaria 2014 Neuschwanstein 6

Bavaria 2014 Neuschwanstein 5

Bavaria 2014 Neuschwanstein 4

 

Bavaria 2014 Neuschwanstein 3

Bavaria 2014 Neuschwanstein 2

Sadly he only got to live in the castle for a short while before he died. The inside is amazing as well – wonderful wall paintings of Wagner’s operas and goldwork that you wouldn’t believe on all the furnishings.

No photos allowed of the inside as expected but thanks to the miracle of Google images I did find these to show you of the bedroom, great hall and king’s chamber.

Castle interiors

Neuschwanstein_Castle_Singers_Hall-600x450

Neuschwanstein-Castle-interior-600x413

And there are some amazing shots taken by helicopter, look at this one of the castle in Winter – fairytale or what? I now have a mousemat with one of these photos to remind me of the beauty whilst at work.

neuschwanstein_castle_germany_winter-600x450

Will show you some more of the trip later – meanwhile am still enjoying living in my beautiful Marsden as well until I can afford a castle like that, look at this for a gorgeous sunset, picture from the local group Facebook page.

Marsden Sunset pic from FB

Thanks for visiting.