25 November, 2010

Christmas is coming!

(Wall-hanging by Margaret Cunnane)

Our December meeting (Saturday 11th December) is always a relaxed and fun affair as we all wind down (or gear up!) for the Christmas holidays!

After the usual meeting and sharing of news, we will have a game of 'Fat Quarter Bingo'. If you haven't played this before, don't worry all will be explained on the day. To join in bring along a 'fat quarter' (for those of you new to quilting, that's just a square of fabric approx 20 x 22inches). The winner of the game will win the pot of 'fat quarters' to take home!

We will also have a 'Christmas Challenge'. For this all you have to do is bring along a Christmas themed item that you have made with fabric (decorations, place-mats, wall-hanging or anything). Viewers will vote for their favourite and the viewer's choice will win a small Christmas gift.

Afterwards we will have a buffet lunch. The committee will organise the food, so all you have to do is show up and be in party mood!

Schoolhouse Quilters Exhibition opens Fri 26th November

The Schoolhouse Quilters exhibition takes place at Our Lady's Bower Secondary School, Retreat Road, Athlone and the official opening is on Friday 26th November from 7 to 8.30pm with the Mayor of Athlone, Sheila Buckley Byrne. The exhibition will also be open for viewing on Saturday, 27th November from 11-5pm and on Sunday, 28th November from 11-4pm.

15 November, 2010

November: "Stack and Whack" workshop with Mogs McDonnell

After our November meeting Mogs McDonnell taught a ‘whack and stack’ workshop which at least 15 members attended.

We all watched in trepidation as Mogs showed us how to draw up the template that we would use as our pattern. She gave us some good advice on how to make up our template so that we wouldn’t end up with very small pieces of fabric that might be hard to work with, and we used a simple numbering system on the fabric pieces which corresponded with the numbers on the template.

We were able to choose for ourselves whether to divide our fabric into 4,6, or 8 pieces (or more if you were working with larger pieces of fabric). The amount of finished squares would depend on the number of pieces that you divided the fabric into e.g. 4 pieces = 4 squares, 6 pieces = 6 squares and so on.
As we were able to design our own template, our finished pieces were all individual and unique.

What initially looked like a very complicated procedure actually turned out to be quite a simple one, once you got into the swing of it. The pieces were very easy to assemble and the finished squares were very quick to make up and could be used to make a variety of things from placemats to wall hangings, lap quilts to full size quilts.

This was a fabulous workshop that was suitable for all levels and I for one will definitely be using this technique again.

Thanks Mogs for teaching such a great workshop I thoroughly enjoyed it and I’m sure that everyone else that attended did too.

Workshop review by Jackie O’Toole (see below for photos showing the variety of blocks made at the workshop)

November: Guest Speaker, Mogs McDonnell

Mogs McDonnell has been a member of the IPS since around 1995. She first began making quilts from a book of patterns and then attended classes with Helen Hardesty, a teacher Mogs admires greatly. Mogs later decided to study for her degree in Art and Design, specialising in Textiles at GMIT. Mogs now teaches a variety of workshops at her lovely stone-built studio "Bolg na Talun", Lisheenageeha, Headford. Mogs is registered with the Crafts Council of Ireland (see www.ccoi.ie for more information)

These two quilts were hand screen-printed from original designs by Mogs based on an old mill in Tuam.

This quilt is entitled 'Lady of the Lake' with an impression of Mogs in the middle.

This quilt is an original design by Mogs and started at a 'Solstice Arts' community day for cultural integration at Campbell's Tavern in Cloughanover (near Headford). Members of the local community, the gospel choir and various ethnic groups living in Galway were invited to create a print of their hand and inscribe it with their own hand-written message. Mogs then created the yin & yang central panel representing earth, wind, fire and water, surrounded by symbols of the sun, moon and stars. The quilt took a couple of years to finish and was launched at a subsequent event at Campbell's where many who had a 'hand' in it returned to see the finished piece. An artist's book was also created to mark the event. Although the quilt later 'disappeared' for a little while from the tavern, a special poster appealing for news of the quilt was successful in reuniting the quilt with its creator! But the quilt will appear again at future community events.

November: Show and Tell

Veronika showed a tiny patchwork doll's quilt she made for her daughter.

This was the quilt Veronika submitted for the national "Links" exhibition. The quilt shows the links between Veronika and her grandmother, both of whom left their homes for different reasons. The quilt traces their journeys with lots of memories along the way.

Margaret shows a patchwork teacosy...if anyone has a pattern for similar Margaret would love to find it again!

This cupcake-themed quilt was made for Margaret's daughter's friend. Both girls share a love of baking and visiting each other's houses for baking sessions and tea! The back of the quilt is ideal for snuggling up as it's a soft fleecy blanket from Penney's put to good use!

This is one of Madeleine's cushions made from a wall-hanging that was 're-purposed'.

Madeleine also made this quilt which was ordered to include lots of red, orange and yellow.

Madeleine's next project was a wonderful quilt made with scraps of curtain fabric.

Joan showed a Christmas wall-hanging where the triangles act as pockets to hold your collection of Christmas cards.

Colette made this lovely Advent calendar where the characters are taken from the pockets and attached to the buttons on the Nativity scene in the countdown to Christmas.

Bernie showed this lovely Kimono quilt which made great use of her collection of Japanese fabrics. All the leftover scraps were used to create the centre panel.

November: Gathering bonnets for "Roses from the Heart" Project

In October Madeleine had asked if we could make a bonnet each to send to Australian artist Christina Henri for her installation "Roses from the Heart" to commemorate over 22,000 women who were shipped as convicts from Enland, Ireland, Scotland and Wales to Australia. At November's meeting a good number of bonnets were submitted and were modelled for a photograph! If you still have not made a bonnet, but would like to do so just click here www.christinahenri.com.au to download the pattern and bring your bonnet to December's meeting as Madeleine is still collecting them.

12 November, 2010

The Narrative Line: An exhibition of textiles at the National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny

The Narrative Line: An exhibition by contemporary textile artists Bernie Leahy and Alice Kettle. 29th October 2010 – 11th January 2011, National Craft Gallery, Castle Yard, Kilkenny.

“My storytelling with thread concerns longing, searching, questioning, and discovery. With the alchemy of stitch I can reconfigure, redraw and create a narrative line made up of the twisted threads running over and through and around each other.”
– Alice Kettle.

For more information see www.ccoi.ie

Requirements list for 'Stack and Whack' workshop with Mogs on Saturday 13th November

If you plan to stay after the meeting on Saturday 13th November for the workshop with Mogs McDonnell you will need to bring the following:

  • sewing machine
  • mat, ruler, rotary cutter
  • flathead pins, thread
  • Tracing paper 7in square
  • Fabric: 8 x 9in squares of different colours harmonizing, contrasting, big or small prints. Idea: Christmas fabrics would suit!
  • Fat quarters if yo've got lots - the remaining fabric could be stacked and whaked to make a quilt.

The workshop should be fun, hope you join in! Mogs

Postcard challenge for the National Exhibition in 2011

As part of the celebrations for the 30th Anniversary of the Irish Patchwork Society in 2011, the Executive Committee has decided to run a postcard exhibition in conjunction with the Special National Exhibition.

We hope to get National and International Postcard Entries for the Exhibition. For more informaion on this challenge see the National IPS blog www.irishpatchwork.blogspot.com. We have a link to this blog on the right hand column of our blog here so be sure to check in regularly to see the news!

Bernadette Falvey wins award at the Crafts Council of Ireland's 'Tread Softly' Exhibition

Congratulations to Western Branch member Bernadette Falvey who won a prize for her piece in 'Tread Softly', an exhibition by The Crafts Council of Ireland. The exhibition was launched at the Knitting and Stitching Show in the RDS in October. The exhibition will travel to the OPW Pheonix Park Visitor Centre from 2nd to 26th February, 2011 and to Cork Public Museum from 4th March to 30th April, 2011.
The theme for the exhibition was the WB Yeats poem 'He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven' . Bernie stated her idea as
'Heaven is all about love, love for God, God’s love for us, being with loved ones again and feeling loved. The hearts in my piece represent heaven and represent Yeat’s love for the woman of his dreams. The inspiration the poem gave me, was to create something of such a size that you would feel enveloped by love and drawn into it. The dim and dark cloths and night, light and half light inspired me to order the hearts from light to dark to show that love and heaven remain constant whatever the light. The line “tread softly…” conjured up the image of light footprints making their way across his heart and his dreams and the heavens. The poem speaks of the richness of the heavens’ cloths and the literal paucity of his worldly situation which inspired me to create something simple with a hint of gold and silver in the stitching and the stars ro represent the richness of the heavens and the richness of his love.'
Her quilt looked fabulous at the RDS and we are all very proud of her well-deserved win!

08 November, 2010

Northern Quilters' Guild exhibition at Galway City Museum

The following photographs were provided by Johanna Tyrell who visited the exhibition of quilts by the Northern Quilters' Guild at the Galway City Museum. The textile works were all inspired by the paintings of Cecile Maguire.

Guild members photographed the artist Cecile Maguire and made a quilt of his image to complement the exhibition.

This quilt celebrates the men who cut and hewed Connemara marble.

This quilt of the Claddagh quay was made by eight different quilters and it is believed it will be donated to the Museum.

The painting that inspired each piece was shown along with some comments by each quilt-maker.

And the quilt inspired by "Knitters in the Sun" - "I'll niver lern!" was Johanna's favourite piece in the exhibition.

In the middle of the quilt is a knitted Aran sweater, showing different stitch patterns. It is bound all around with cable stitch.