Monday, December 13, 2010

Vision Quest

I've just finished my quilt for the upcoming Hands Across the Border Exhibition. The theme for the exhibition was "Dream-catcher". The exhibition will be on Jan-April in the Armagh County Museum, and in September it will be on display in the Phoenix Park Visitors Centre.

For this quilt I used all hand-dyed cotton fabrics. On the purple fabric, I used 2 thermofax screens of a dreamcatcher and Indian imagery. I used discharge paste and thickened dyes on the fabric.

The right-hand side of the quilt (pink fabric) was machine quilted with more Indian symbols (2 circular patterns). Once the quilt was finished I thought the quilt was lacking something, so decided to roller gold acrylic paint on the circles. I've wanted to add paint to a quilted piece for ages - the Kemshall's use this technique a lot and it looks fabulous!

Quilt had to be handed up at last Friday's guild meeting, so I was frantically trying to get everything finished in the last few days. Label got sewed on Friday evening, the night before that I was putting the hanging sleeve on... Whewwhh.....

Now I have to get cracking on a quilt for the National Exhibition 2011...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tribal Fever

Finished another quilt top 2 weeks ago. This one was made from a Jelly Roll, and the pattern was from the book "Jelly Roll Quilts" by Pam Lintott, pattern was "Pandora's Box". Think the top was made over a weekend and then it was put away for about a year! But seeing as I'm on my UFO-busting streak at the moment - I got it out and finally finished it.

This photo shows the back of the quilt. The backing was a dark brown fabric which I've had in my stash for a good while. I used the left-over scraps from the jelly roll to make the strip in the middle and around the label. I always seem to forget to sew on the label, so this time I sewed it on before I had the binding finished.

I may have overdone the quilting just a little bit, I planed on quilting it in a fairly large squiggle pattern, but found myself doing a fairly small squiggle quilting pattern instead (couldnt help myself!). Even ran out of thread half-way through quilting it and had to go to the Limerick Quilt Centre for an emgergency purchase of light pink thread.

Christmas Wall-hanging Partridge in a Pear Tree

I seem to be making a very early start on my Christmas decorations this year! This wall-hanging was started in November last year, but for some reason I got tired of it and put it away. I've been trying to finish off some of my UFO's lately so decided to get this quilt out again and finally finish it. Turns out that after putting it away for nearly a year, it only took me 3 evenings to complete it!

Got the quilt pattern in a Canadian quilting magazine and thought it was very cute - the little hanging pears and 1 partidge really set it off.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Finally finished my paper lamination piece from the Sarah Welsby masterclass Festival of Quilts. The paper used were newspaper cuttings about Nama and the property crash in Ireland. Also used a few colour photocopies of Monopoly money. The piece was free machine quilted with little houses to continue the property theme.

Update on 6/10/10: Just found out that the quilt won the "Reduce, Reuse and Recycle" Challenge at the Irish Patchwork Society AGM last Saturday.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Gloria Loughman Workshop

Spent last Wednesday down in Tralee at a 1-day workshop with Gloria Loughman. Workshop was called "Playing on the Surface". Gloria said the workshop was usually a 2 or 5 day workshop so we had plenty of work to fit in for 1 day.
Didnt get anything finished - had a load of strips - work in progress, but now know how the process works.

Gloria was a great tutor, picked up plenty of tips from her. She had a large number of quilts and samples with her, and didnt mind people photographing and examining them which was very nice of her.

I already had her first book "Luminous Landscapes" but she had patterns & books for sale on the day, so picked up a copy of her 2nd book "Quilted Symphony" (which she autographed). Havent finished reading the book yet, but it's well laid out and goes through the process of how she makes her quilts in small sections.

Friday, September 3, 2010

National Exhibition

Went to Cork yesterday to attend the opening of the Irish Patchwork Society's National Exhibition.

I entered my Graffiti Graz quilt in the show, so here's a photo of it in situ.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

EQA Square

The EQA exhibition this year at the Festival of Quilts had nine different colour 12 inch squares from the EU countries. Ireland got the colour blue.
The photo shows the Irish entry - my square is on the middle row on the left.

Paper Lamination Workshop

I took a 3-day "Paper Lamination" Masterclass at the Festival of Quilts with Sarah Welsby.
We were in the Virtual Studio for the 1st two days which was interesting as the show was being put up around us - plenty of hammering and drilling noises taking place.
I was a bit like a zombie for the 1st day which was caused by lack of sleep (hadnt slept for about 24hrs by the time I got there).

Really enjoyed the workshop - I already had the Committed to Cloth Paper Lamination book but think that you had to see the process to really understand how it worked.

In the workshop we made of paper lamination samples and Sarah also showed us how the paper laminations could be used as a screen which I think will prove to be very useful.

Monday, August 16, 2010


I think I lost my sewing "mojo" over the summer, so the only sewing I've done is to make a few cushions and bags.
I promised my mother some cushions for the sitting room - so finally got around to it after about a year (eeek!).

Am heading to Birmingham tomorrow for the Festival of Quilts - will be doing a 3-day "Paper Lamination" Masterclass which should be really good. Only downside is that the flight is a 6am and I have to drive up Dublin during the night to get the flight.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Japanese Books

Ordered these books from a few weeks ago. My camera unfortunately decided to pack it in yesterday, so no photos until my new one arrives (hopefully I'll get it sometime this week!).

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Beaded & embroidered bag (another Japanese pattern)

The book is another Japanese one (part of the Heart Warming Life Series). I've had the book for a number of years and have made 1 other bag out of it, so decided to try out another one. All the patterns in the book have the addition of beading or embroidery (even for the hexagon bag on the cover).

Bag from Machine Made Patchwork Book 2

I'm supposed to be making a few larger quilts for entry to various shows etc. so of course I went off and made a few bags. Ooooops....

I made this one from Machine Made Patchworks 2 once I figured out the instructions (seeing as I don't speak Japanese!).

The bag is made from all my hand-dyed fabrics (there's a few screen-printed ones & a bit of dyed velvet in there too). I bought the pink handles from a bag handle supplier in Australia - wish I'd ordered a few more coloured ones from them.

Once I'd got the bug for looking at Japanese patchwork books (which I love, because they are so cute) I ordered a few more (5 in total) from Only ordered them last Thursday and got them on Monday. I'm still reading through them, but there's some projects in them that I'm definately going to make.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Some Views of Ennis

Sunny Days

This is what happens when you get out of your chair on a hot day - seat gets robbed in about 2 seconds flat!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Houston Station Graffiti

This is the 1 piece of stencil graffiti I spotted in Dublin yesterday. Didnt really get a chance to look around - was up for a committee meeting, so as soon as that was over I got the next train home to Ennis.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Disappearing Nine-Patch Block

I'm currently the editor for the Irish Patchwork Society Newsletter and have just fnished getting the summer edition ready for the printers. I had a few empty pages to fill over the past few days, so was racking my brains trying to come up with a pattern or tutorial I could include. Then I thought of the disappearing nine-patch block which I thought would be perfect to include as any level of quilters (even beginners) can make it.

I only meant to make 1 sample block to take step-by-step photos of, but got a little bit carried away and ended up making 8 blocks.
I used 3.5 inch squares for my blocks, so my top is big enough for a table runner - might make a few more blocks to lengthen it though.

Colour Connections

Finally got around to making the quilt top for the EQA "Colour Connections" Exhibition that will be shown at the Festival of Quilts. This year the member countries have to make a 15.7 x 15.7" (40x40cm) square piece. Each country got 1 colour and you were only allowed use up to 10% of another colour. Ireland and Austria got the colour blue, while the UK is Yellow. Only 9 quilts are chosen from each country, so I doubt if mine will get chosen as it was a last minute job (i.e. last night and this evening) but I just wanted to enter it. Just after sending off the entry form & photo to the Irish EQA rep.

The piece is made up of hand-dyed blue fabric (left over from my City & Guilds final assessment quilt), ribbon yarn, a blue sweet wrapper, blue felt balls, organza, blue net bags (from fruit & veg). Luckily I have an embellisher machine which really speeds up adding the layers.

Still have to attach a binding to the piece, but that won't take long. Might add a bit more stitching & beading when that's done.

The contemporary quilt group that I'm in (Genesis), decided that all 5 members would enter a piece in this competition so I really wanted to get this finished.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Galway Graffiti

I was in Galway last weekend to see the Western Branch "The Wests Awake" Patchwork Exhibition.
You dont see much stencil graffiti around, so the few bits I saw in Galway caught my eye.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Printed Bag

I made this bag about a month ago using a pattern from "Bend the Rules Sewing" book by Amy Karol. It's the 3rd time I've used this pattern as it's such a handy-sized bag.
I spent a day back in February with two friends printing and stamping on fabric (which was great fun!) and ended up with some lovely fabric at the end of the day. I used all hand-dyed fabrics for printing on, and decided I had to use up some of the printed fabric after spending all that time working on it.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Finally finished the final assessment piece in my City & Guilds Course - just after emailing the photo's off to my assessor. So hopefully, that's the C & G course done & dusted!!
The quilt is made with all hand-dyed fabrics and is basically a selection of wonky style log-cabin blocks.

Friday, April 30, 2010


Been on a bit of a bag-making spree lately.
I got a present of "Carry Me - 20 Boutique Bags to Sew" from a friend so had to make something from it. Made this bag from the book.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ineke Berlyn Workshop

I took Ineke Berlyn's workshop "Sheer Landscapes" at the weekend course, which I really enjoyed. Ended up with 2 finished pieces from the workshop.

Last weekend I went up to An Grianan for the bi-annual Irish Patchwork Society weekend.
The workshop involved working making a sheer landscape using organza, sheers, cotton fabrics etc. bonded to a sheer organza background. Ineke brought clear A4 display frames with her (available from stationary shops) which were a really good idea to frame textile pieces, especially sheer ones where they would be enhanced by the light passing through.

This photo shows the finished pieces from the workshops: