I have created this blog to share my interest in all forms of stitching, quilting, sewing, knitting, medieval re-enactment and costume making – particularly my love of historical embroidery. I also love travelling,especially when it also involves any of my other interests.
As a keen seamstress I do have my fair share of needles for all purposes but have never really thought much about where they come from. At the Clent Hills camp site there was a brochure for the National Needle Museum in Redditch, just a short drive away, so I thought I would stop off and visit.
The museum was fascinating, it is housed in the original needle factory, dating from the late 1700s when the processes were driven by water. Redditch produced millions of needles, about 90% of the world’s production, and they were exported worldwide.
This meant that there were gorgeous displays made for national and international exhibitions. The companies also made surgical needles and fishing hooks.
There were also some great examples of how needles were used, from the textile group display of current craft on the first floor to examples of vintage craft.
It was fascinating to see the displays of needle packaging and needle cases over time.
If you are in the area it is well worth a visit. We are now back from Whitby where we had a lovely time as always and met some new people. I have bought lots of fab new jewellery for my latest outfits so will put together a post about the event when I can next access good internet.
I am about to leave Ellen’s now and go to my beloved Peak District for a few days. Normal UK weather has been resumed and it is forecast to be around 17 degrees and showers for the rest of the week!
Hope that you have a good week ahead, have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.
Hello from sunny, indeed this week, very sunny England! You may know that we have been experiencing a heatwave, with temperatures of up to 40 degrees. Of course that is just a normal Tuesday in July in Spain but is a bit hot for here where it is usually only around 24.
And I have been in a tent, which has been a little warm at times. Of course I was supposed to be sleeping in Katy the campervan but as it has been so hot have been using her as a day van and using the tent at night. I spent a few days at Jacky’s sorting her out before setting off on my adventures. This photo shows how she looks in full indoor evening mode.
I chose to stay at two campsites near a couple of motorways that I have travelled down many times before, without really thinking of what was either side of the road. We were always in a hurry to get somewhere, to an event, or visiting family. As I wanted a little bit of practise at motorway driving it was a good opportunity to just go an hour away and explore.
The first campsite was in the Clent Hills, just off the M5, within sight of Birmingham, one of the UK’s largest cities. It was a beautiful site and Katy was soon happily settled in, amongst the larger motorhomes and caravans. I used my brilliant camping kitchen outdoors and it all worked very well.
The site was created in honour of the founder of the Caravan and Camping Club, then called the Cycle Camping Club and there was an informative display about the site. I am so glad people fought for access to beautiful places to stay. I went on three lovely walks in the area, including up to the viewpoint at Four Stones where there were great views over Worcestershire.
The second site was an hour further North, the other side of Birmingham. The place is called Kingsbury Water Park and they are a series of old gravel pits that have been turned into water sports areas and a nature reserve. I stopped off on the way at the National Needle Museum in Redditch which will have a post of its own as it was fascinating.
This campsite was a lovely place to spend the very hot days, sitting in the shade by the ponds reading a book while watching the geese, swans and moorhens. The M42 motorway runs right through the middle of the area so I have passed it many times not realising anything so lovely was there. I managed to be very creative with getting shade thanks to using a throw and my magnetic hooks!
While there I finished the third of the cute little caravan embroideries that I started in lockdown in March 2020. They look very good along with the bunting that I made in Spain. The crocheted rainbow was a present from Ellen.
I then made my way to Ellen’s, going on the third motorway of the trip, the M1. I am very pleased that I have been able to be confident driving, it has been 3 months since I passed my test in which I have not driven at all. I have so enjoyed all the exploring in Katy, it really is a dream come true. We are now in Whitby for the Steampunk event so are going to have a splendid time involving many hats!
I hope that you have all been having a good time, my next campsite is in the Peak District and then I will be heading South to Staffordshire on the way back to Jacky’s. Whatever you are doing have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.