Wednesday 20 May 2015

Deans court vintage textile fair.......... This is a yearly event not to be missed!

 I long for the countryside.  That's where I get my calm and tranquility -
 from being able to come and find a spot of green!

 Emilia Clarke

The textile fair at Deans Court in Wimborne, Dorset is an annual event and not to be missed if you are a lover of all things vintage and especially stitching.  It is a textile fair in the main but also people do have other objects on their stalls as well .  The setting is really beautiful as well and unless you new that Deans Court
was behind the trees you would not be able to see it.  It is still a personal home but does have events there and I believe you can hire it for weddings as well.  Any couple wishing to marry could not go far wrong as the setting for photographs is outstanding.  With a stream running through and willow trees and a beautiful stone bridge ... quiet a backdrop.

Yesterday they had a huge marquee set up in the grounds filled with delicious fabrics and goodies on beautifully presented stalls..... It was like walking into wonderland!

The sun was shinning and they had table on the vast lawn by the river with waiters taking orders for drinks and cakes.  The marquee was set out beautifully with paper pom poms hanging from the fabric draped ceiling inside.  The first people I saw was Liz and Jack of
The Washerwoman fame!  Liz always has some beautiful French fabrics and yes I found some to bring home with me.  But what also caught my eye was the skirt that Liz was wearing that she had bought in a vintage sale for herself.  There was embroidery and applique and it was colourful and bright and she looked lovely in it and she let me take photos for you all to see.  Liz had such a beautiful stall set up with fabrics, books, shoes, buttons, ribbons, embroidery stamps .... everything us vintage lovers adore!  I will show you pictures of her beautiful skirt at the end....

Next to The Washerwoman was Sue from Vintage to Victorian and as always Sue has the most eclectic stall.  There were beautiful eiderdowns, Welsh blankets, monograms, embroidery threads, buttons, pieces of old quilts and so much more to tempt people with.  I did succumb to more embroidery threads, a girl doesn't want to run out!! and I bought a beautiful monogram as well ( all in the show and tell tomorrow)  By now the marquee had started to get busy and Sue had people waiting to get into look so we said goodbye and I went off very happy with my bag of goodies!

Like ducks in a row I found the lovely Donna Flower and her lovely mum was helping her today so we all had a little catch up... Yes I know I saw Donna on Saturday but still!!  Anyway as always this lady does not disappoint and I had been asked by Donna if there was anything
I would like and she would have her look in her stock and bring it to the fair.  So as promised she had sourced some lovely ribbons for me and in addition to that a kilner jar full of darling little embroidery threads ( as I said a girl does not want to run out!)  so just as I thought I had got all that I needed I saw a little French curtain pelmet that is simply beautiful.... Yes I did, need you ask!

So happily with my purchases I went along my merry wander as there were lots more stalls to see.  None of which I had seen before so it really was a wonderful walk of discovery for me.

I found a lovely stall by the name of Paice at Home and there was some beautiful china and glass wear on display.  A tiny blue and white china set caught my eye ... No I didn't ( my dresser would have broken under the strain)  but I am sure that someone with an eye for beautiful china would have snapped it up and taken it home.  I believe it used to be for children to play with ( I know!) but there was not a chip or crack on it.......

Then I found this amazing stall all with very beautiful and colourful
textiles and shoes called Treasures from the silk road.  The embroidery on all the items ( even the shoes) was outstanding.  As an artist the colours just jumped out to me along with the ornate embroidery ..... 

Then I came across this lovely lady Carole Wilson who had such a wonderful display of vintage dresses! Oh My! they were gorgeous.  I know a lady who would have been floating on air at this stall ( Sally!)  Not only that but she had
lots of silk appliqued flowers to stitch on to whatever you wanted, lace, shawls, table linens and all sorts of wonderful textiles.  I just stood there and stared at the beauty.
You can not see the beading detail on these photos as it was just impossible to capture it but I did take a close up of one of the dresses.  Look at the sheer bead work in lines like pearls.... so beautiful.

Blue Zinnia Vintage was the next stall and there was lots of fabric and haberdashery items on display.  I managed to pick up two original, still in its packaging Lingerie ribbon ... a very happy purchase, plus another ribbon in still with the original paper around it and this was a beautiful blue colour, along with a lovely piece of embroidered cotton  ribbon....

There was little packs of original needles and some dear small bone crochet hooks as well but I was happy with my three purchases so I said goodbye and walked on.

Next door to the above exhibitor was Deborah Simmins and she had some very tempting things on her stand including a beautiful large sampler.  It really was lovely.  I do
collect samplers for my hallway but this one was a little too large for me .... It was vintage heaven with lots of different and unusual things to look at and purchase....

Unfortunately ( only for photo purposes) the sun was on the sampler so you can not see it terribly well but believe me it really was a beauty.

Then as I moved on I met a very interesting Man called Martin and 
his stall was called Slow Loris.  He specialised in Oriental Tribal Textiles and vegetable dyed clothing.  There were quilts as well.  Martin was telling me all about Zhen Xian Bao. or to you and I 'needle thread pocket' ..... They unfold like a sort of wrap and inside they are exquisite.
 The little square like pockets unfold into a boxes.  This is where they kept there needles and threads, basically there sewing kits..... The most beautiful sewing kits you have ever seen believe me.  There is a book on the art of making them and there origins and history!..It is by Ruth Smith and Gina Corrigan but Martin has written the foreword in there.  Martin had some on his stall and the were stunning.  They were a lot of money but very beautiful.  I have bought the book and was talking to Martin for quiet some time.  I will be doing a blog on this subject because it is truly fascinating.

In the meantime though I have a photo to show you inside one of the wraps and Martin kindly opened up on of
the puzzle like pieces that then magically turned into a box!!  they call it twist and fold boxes.

As you can see these are really rare now and really rather special.  I would have loved one.  The thing is though I felt it was probably too fragile to use and to simply just have it in a drawer would be a waste..... ( look out for a blog on this next week)

It was time to say goodbye to Martin as I still had two more stalls to visit.  So I made my way to a really stunning display and that to had a vintage sampler on it .... I was really tempted.

stall belonged to Cher and Michael Todd and they deal in samplers, folk art, quilts, toys and naive paintings just to mention a few.  The stall really looked beautiful with a very old teddy bear sat in a china bowl and a toy cat curled up on a quilt.

There was a little rocking horse on top of some shelves and really beautiful vintage goodies every where you looked.  The stall was very busy with eager customers.....

My last stop was Samaya Lings beautiful display with a black beaded dress, some lovely pieces of vintage jewellery and some gorgeous hats as well.  It was a truly stunning display.  There was a black feather boa around the neck of the beaded dress and they had opened that part of the marquee and the sun shone through and made the beads look like tiny diamonds sparkling.... Again my friend Sally would have been in heaven.

This textile marquee was now in full flow of eager buyers and by now it was 12.30 and it was time for me to leave.  I had lots of stitching to get on with so I had to say goodbye.  I went around to those I knew and said my fond farewells and then I walked back to my car... passing over the stone bridge with the willow trees and ducks .... Past beautiful wild flower borders and to the green field that was the temporary car park.

Deans Court is a great textile event and I am so pleased that it is near enough for me to attend.  What a great way to spend a Wednesday morning!....

I will leave you now with the pictures of Liz's skirt as promised and then I am away to do so stitching and packing for my weekend away in Devon.... bliss..  

Tomorrow do not forget to come back and I will do a show and tell of the beautiful vintage goodies I purchased yesterday...... Happy Stitching!

Isn't that skirt amazing!  ... Thank you Liz for sharing xx


  1. Well written piece but you have a slightly blinkered eye as you mention mostly the same people in your two posts. It might have been a polite gesture to mention the people who actually organise the Fair who also had stands there.

    1. I am pleased you enjoyed the blog. I only wrote about the people I interacted with and who said yes to photo"s as I always ask. I am afraid as a visitor to the fair as many others are we are not party who organises them, unless they actually contact me I am afraid, This blog is a textile and stitchery blog with some of the fairs I visit , thrown in for interest.
      Not really to advertse peoples events unless they have asked.

  2. Hi Sarah, thank you for a lovely write-up and the pix of my skirt which I have pinned on my pinterest page. Have a fantastic weekend. xxx