26 February, 2013

1913 Tapestry Project

Angela, our guest speaker from the 1913 Tapestry Project, explained the origins and history of the Lockout at our last branch meeting, and then told the story through slides depicting the various scenes that have been designed for the ‘tapestry’. To learn more about the project, you can visit their website or view the video below.

Techniques being used by other groups include appliqué and embroidery to translate a conceptual sketch into a tapestry panel.  It was great to see shots of the various groups in action and of the fruits of their labour. The choice of fabrics needs to reflect the colours of the times and it was interesting that the designers/artists added women to some of the scenes. 

 After her presentation Angela unfolded ‘our’ panel. It is of a public meeting, with a podium and crowd gathered in front.

Angela also provided us with a paper pattern with samples of suggested colours and fabrics. Best of all we also got a bag of suitable scraps.

At our last meeting Ann Fahy had kindly donated a box of fabric pieces and scraps. A lot of them were plain colours and having grouped them in similar coloured bundles many of them were snapped up. This left some of the duller bundles which of course may be perfect for the muted colours needed for the 1913 panel. The Panel will be brought to next month’s meeting and a rota organised with members for completion. We need to hand it over in July and members agreed to work into June to complete the project. There was great excitement in the room at being part of recording history. Over the years the members of the Western Branch have worked on many different group projects so I look forward to the co-operation to come.    

Thanks to Angela for taking the time to travel down to us and we look forward to the work.

21 February, 2013

Terri McNeill Tessellations Workshop

Those of you lucky enough to have been at a Terri workshop before know what a good teacher she is. So on Friday night I was a good student and cut all my pieces in preparation and anticipation. It was a good move.                                           

On Saturday afternoon 12 of us gathered for the workshop and there was a great spirit of camaraderie and co-operation in the room. “Need that ironed? Here let me while you get the next one done....” You know the sort of thing. For some of the participants who hadn’t done an IPS workshop before it was an eye opener about how relaxing and positive an experience it was. No doubt some of that was due to Terri’s presence, but also I think it was because we knew we had Sunday to continue the work with less rush.           

Saturday afternoon was taken up with laying out and SHUFFLING fabrics around in preparation for sewing. If you were stuck there was always someone to look at your choices with a fresh eye and say “Why not move that one there to there?” With Terri ever vigilant in case of any impending disasters, we sewed one block to see how it goes together and left ready for action on Sunday.             

On Sunday we continued making the blocks. There was a bit of head scratching as we wondered if we were putting the right fabrics in the right places. It certainly helped to have clear contrasts between adjoining fabrics. Veronicas contrasting red and white really stood out, Mogs’ batiks were very subtle and ‘boggy’.             No matter what the choices however, it took plenty of concentration. Once again it was amazing how different  the same pattern looked depending on your choice of fabrics. As the afternoon wore on, row after row was completed with little whoops of ‘Row 1 done....row 2...row 3....etc’. As the photos show, there was great variety in the finished projects. We look forward to completed tops (not necessary quilts) at the next meeting or maybe May. Personally I did express out loud the thought that I might use mine for the Hospital Quilt drive. The response of a person who shall remain un-named ‘Are ye mad?’ caused me to reconsider. There is a lot of thought and effort involved in the tessellating of the blocks. So I have reconsidered and am delighted to say I have an appreciative home waiting for my completed tessellations quilt.                 

Thanks to all who attended the workshop and thanks Terri for a very enjoyable workshop.
PS: did I mention the gingerbread? ....I didn’t mention the gingerbread made by Mary from Susan’s recipe?....OK.. ... Quilters do not live on fabric alone,...there has to be cake. We’ll see about posting the recipe in the food section...hopefully it won’t lead to too many fat quarters among the membership!

Anne Marie Horan         

11 February, 2013

January Meeting

The quilters in the West are an intrepid gang, they turned out in great numbers for our January meeting.  In past years the inclemency of the weather has put people off travelling from the outer reaches of the region but this year things were much milder. 

We received copies of the lovely calendar put together by Mna le Cheile, the Inis Oirr Quilters Group. It is a lovely piece of work combining quilts and the marvellous Inis Oirr scenery. If you'd like to know more about the group check out their blog mnalecheile.blogspot.ie.  We still have copies of the calendar for sale at €10 so make contact if you'd like to buy one. And don't forget tickets for the "Let the Flowers Bloom" Quilt at €5 a book.

We were also lucky enough to have not one, but two local shops at our meeting to supply threads, perle cotton, precuts, rulers and rotary blades.  
Fluffy Sheep Quilting

Seams Sew Simple
 Textile artist and long time IPS member Ann Fahy donated a box of fabrics to the branch and on foot of that we invited members to bring in any unloved fat quarters to donate them for sale for the charity Lily Mae. One quilters 'yeuch' is another one's 'yum'! We still have fabrics left but so far have €130 in donations. Thank you to Ann and to all the members for their support.

Today Veronika Feldman demonstrated a really quick pinwheel which would make a lovely child's quilt. (photo?) Thanks Veronika. Thanks too to Toni Foley, branch treasurer, who stepped out from behind her table to demonstrate beautiful fabric flower brooches. This involved circles of fabric (using your favourite wine glass as a template), and dental floss (stronger than thread for pulling in the circles of fabric). Who knew household items could be so handy for our craft?

As usual there were lovely items in the Show and Tell. 
Mari showed a finished UFO with lovely hand quilting, Kathy Fallon had a stunning quilt with log cabins and maple leaves, the pattern for which she went to great lengths to procure as it was well out of print. The magazine in question sent her a copy of the pattern.  Linda showed a really fresh table runner in blue and white with a complicated looking shape. Sewing a mitred corner is straightforward on an 'outside' corner but much more complicated on an'inside' corner. 

Anybody got any tips on how to do it? Lynn had a simple but effective cot quilt from a single piece of children's border print with a plain border print around it. Lynn said the machine quilting was very manageable on such a small piece and encouraged members to give it a go. Anne Marie showed a square in a square quilt which all began with a  charm pack of yellow squares won in the raffle at the IPS meeting in April last. Mary Madden showed us a quilt made block by block from a series that ran in the Farmers Journal, a lovely folky quilt. Susan very proudly showed a spider's web block but even more impressively a handy ruler caddy made from a coat hanger and some hooks.

In the afternoon we got busy putting together our charity quilt.

What's coming up:
The Tessellations Workshop for February with Terri McNeill is fully booked and we all picked up our requirements today.  We look forward to hearing Gaye Grant sharing her wisdom on 'A quilt from start to finish...how I do it'.  In March we will have a sewing bee for the hospital quilts and Adeleine Jordan will share some of her work and show how to make a quick book cover. In April Paula Rafferty will be bringing her Fashio snas Frontieres Pieces and giving a workshop on Double sided log cabin using jelly rolls. Have you booked yet?

Angela Keane of the 1913 Lockout Committee will be with us next month to explain about how we can be part of the Tapestry Project.  Other groups have already stitched their pieces but we will get going in February. See www.1913.committee.ie for details.

04 February, 2013

December Branch Meeting

As always, the December Western Branch meeting was a hit!  Everyone came in high spirits, with something to share at show and tell and a delicious treat for the Christmas party!  Thank you, Roisin, for supplying us with fabrics from The Quilt Shop in Tuam.

To kick off the festivities, people brought in a Christmas ornament for a lucky dip.  Just place yours on the tree and (after a little mix and match) you'll receive one in return.  What luck!

We also played our annual game of Fabric Bingo, each one of us frantically marking block names off from our hopeful list of 25 names as Anne Marie called them out.  We were lucky enough to have two tied winners!

Attention teachers within the Western (or near areas!) Branch of the IPS:  Would you like to join in a Train the Trainers session?  If so, we would like to hear from you.  Please contact Anne Marie at ainemnio(at)hotmail(dot)com.

We finished off the meeting with a festive Christmas party filled with great company and treat after treat!

Again, please keep working on your children's quilts for donation to the hospital this May!

Once again, thank you Ester, for capturing our meeting in photos for all to see!