Yesterday, I visited Gawthorpe Hall in Lancashire with Mr Quiltification. While he enjoyed the Hall itself (and took this fantastic photo), I met up with my mum and disappeared to the stable block for a look at some treasures from the Rachel Kay Shuttleworth textile collection. Rachel Kay Shuttleworth lived at the hall and was herself a talented needlewoman. She started to amass a collection of textiles which now numbers over 30,000 items, and is second only in the UK to the Victoria and Albert Museum's collection. On display were a range of accessories through the ages - shoes, hats, parasols, bags, fans, gloves etc. Many of the items were exquisitely embroidered and as a lover of period drama, it was a real privilege to see these beautiful antique items in the flesh.
And there was an extra special treat for me. My mum works as a volunteer with the collection and she had told the curator about my love of tatting. Waiting for me to delve into was a big box of antique tatting including several items tatted by the famous early 20th century tatter Lady Katherine Hoare. There was also a tatted tablecloth and several older pieces with no chains and all the little rings tied together rather than joined as we do now. It was fascinating, and I've been invited back to draw diagrams of those pieces that particularly caught my eye. I can't wait.