After visiting the Didsbury Festival which had a few precious hours of parade and fair fun until the heavens opened, the mother and my self decided to visit Quarry Bank Mill in Styal Cheshire.
I've been a member of the National Trust for a few years now and love pottering around all the beautiful properties and gardens, and Quarry Bank Mill has been high on my list for a while now. So mother in tow we wandered round all the old mill rooms, with demonstrations of cotton weaving on the still functioning looms.
We saw the amazing machine that spins the cotton onto hundreds of spools at any one time. And as I have enough trouble keeping the bobbin on my sewing machine tangle free, this piece of machinery was fascinating to me. Mum was more interested in asking the tour guide where he got his clogs from.
Then down to the engine room where the immense water wheel constantly turns powering the whole mill. This was like a giant hamster wheel which would have comfortably fit a couple of elephants.
After our tours and a cream tea in the cafe we headed to the gift shop where I always go to get my National Trust Passport stamped. I use this little book not only as a record of which properties I've visited but also as a mini diary of each visit, decorated with pressed flowers and doodles.
While in there I noticed the sales assistants folding fabric, and found out that after years of being held in storage the mill was finally selling the vinatage 1960's - 1970's fabrics off. I bought one of fabric bundles and found out that I was the first customer to buy any of these fabrics in over 30years.
I literally can't wait to start using it. I'm going to be making a range of retro inspired traditional toys, all made using vintage fabrics, and what better fabric to start this range off than locally produced cotton?
Enjoy the rest of the weekend, and the traditional British weather!
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