April 27, 2015

Mooshie Stitch Monday: Visiting the Mountmellick Embroidery Museum and Buying Supplies!

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to travel to Ireland to see one of my best friends get married. I have been planning this trip for over a year - so back when I was researching different whitework techniques and found out about Mountmellick embroidery - I knew I wanted to visit the town while in Ireland - especially when I found out there was an embroidery museum!

Because of a few last minute itinerary changes - the only day we could get to Mountmellick was on the very last day we were in Ireland - which meant getting there all the way from Northern Ireland. My sister-in-law Anne was with me on the trip and thanks to her awesome driving, we made the 5 hour drive all the way down to Mountmellick with an hour to spare before the museum closed!!

We arrived at the museum and one of the ladies who works there, Orla, was kind enough to open the exhibit and show us the amazing embroidery.

mountmellick embroidery
Sign outside the Embroidery Museum
It was pretty amazing seeing these embroideries in person for how old they are.

I mean, a quilt embroidered back in the 1870s??? An embroidered dress and cape dating back to the 1890s?? Wow.

There were pillow shams, doilies, tablecloths, etc. All beautiful and looked at though they were stitched just last week!

I feel bad - but have no photos to show you of the beautiful work on display.

There were signs asking for "no photography please", so I wanted to respect their wishes. Although, we did snap one quick photo of a part of a wedding dress on display...

mountmellick embroidery
Photo courtesy of my SIL Anne 
Side Note: The photo above was only taken because it was a dress on display that was not behind glass and was recently stitched. That is the only reason we took a photo of it. All of the original old embroideries were behind glass and had the signs for "no photos please. Just to be clear.

Here is a photo of the embroidery museum from their website - to give you an idea of what it looked like inside.

Photo Credit: from the Museum Website

mountmellick embroidery
One more photo sneaked inside the exhibit
It was lovely speaking with Orla about the history and the pieces on display. She explained they are trying to keep the embroidery alive by teaching all the children in town the technique.

They offer classes and workshops on Mountmellick embroidery throughout the year too at the museum. She says the museum averages about 300 visitors a year.

But the best part was that they sold supplies! It was hard not to buy everything, but I managed to get quite a few things! Cotton thread, needles, satin jean fabric.

mountmellick embroidery

I was even able to buy the book I wanted by Yvette Stanton. There are many projects in it that I want to work on and I will most likely be posting about here! (If you have this book also, let me know! Maybe we can coordinate and work on the same project together?!?)

I also purchased some embroidery patterns that are some of the original Mountmellick designs.

mountmellick embroidery
Original pattern designs!
So - I will begin my first "real" Mountmellick embroidery project with this little kit I purchased there. It includes some history, fabric, thread, needle, stitch instructions, and a little paper frame for the finished project.

mountmellick embroidery
Mountmellick Embroidery Kit
mountmellick embroidery
Mountmellick Embroidery Kit
Sorry for the lack of actual embroidery photos this time, but next post I hope to show you my stitching progress on the kit above!

Check out the Mountmellick Embroidery Museum's website for more information on the history of Mountmellick embroidery and here for more on the Quaker Heritage.

Want to purchase embroidery supplies directly from the Museum? Here is a link to their online shop!!

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