The London Bead Co., London, UK

As an embroiderer, it’s often difficult to find shops that stock more exciting thread than just the standard DMC/Anchor floss ranges. It can even be difficult to find places that stock embroidery-suitable fabrics that are more exciting than 14 count Aida in white. This is why it’s always so exciting to find a place like The London Bead Co., which while formally being a shop for all things small and shiny, has one of the most beautiful thread collections I’ve ever seen. I think only Old World Designs comes close!

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Bernina Shop, Zürich

One of the nice things about being in Switzerland, as well as the beautiful scenery, perfect trains and wonderful cheese, is the number of Bernina stores dotted about the place. Some of them are in surprising places, it often feels like you’ll see one in every small village, but they are usually excellent haberdasheries as well as sewing machine technology wonderlands.

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Kew Gardens and Orchids

When I heard there was going to be a special exhibition on orchids at Kew Gardens, I knew this was an exhibition I would happily make an effort to see. For those of you not familiar with Kew, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site home to over 50 000 plants and has one of the most diverse plant collections in the world. For the embroiderers, it is a beautiful botanical garden situated nearby Hampton Court palace if you want to sneak some stitching!

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Swiss Tour I – Ballenberg

I’ve blogged before about how a country’s textile history often shaped its social and cultural history, as well as infrastructure and landscape, and Switzerland is no exception to that. While perhaps most famous for the St. Gallen embroideries and lace (and you can see some fantastic examples of that at the local textile museum), Switzerland also has a rich history of silk and cotton production and even passementerie, particularly in the Basel region.

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