Monday, 10 October 2016


The IPS takes part in challenges set by the European quilt Association (EQA) and they are usually small scale mini quilts and always really very interesting to look at.  I posted about past exhibits Crossroads and Movement and this year we were fortunate to have Distance exhibited with the IPS National Evolution in Limerick, so  I got to spend quite a bit of time with the quilts.

Some were beautiful.

Some were a little sad like this one about emigration by Cynthia Keegan and the next one about growing older and apart from loved ones.

 All were very interesting and fun to look at!

There were 20 quilts from Latvia and Ireland and 19 from Austria so if you want to see more I uploaded all the photos to the Midwest branch photo page on Flickr!  I just love these little pieces and thank you to the IPS International reps Loretta O'Brien & Paula Rafferty for sharing them with us.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

IPS exhibition Evolution and a very busy weekend!

I got to meet my quilt idol!!!  You might remember this post where I shared my enthusiasm for Ethelda Ellis's work after a visit to her exhibition in Mountmellick Library this summer.  Well I got to sit beside her at lunch at the Irish Patchwork Society's AGM!

I did tell her I love her work and visited her exhibition - I didn't do the selfie thing so no photo!  And it gets better!    As I found myself sitting beside Ethelda Ellis, opposite sat my online quilty friends Tomomi McElwee @ Slaney Handcraft and Lena @Quilt Art!  Tomomi I know for a few years now and it was wonderful to meet Lena in person as I am also a huge fan of her gorgeous work.

Lena handed me her camera to take this photo of her being awarded the prize for excellence!

In fact not only did Lena win the viewers choice at our Evolution exhibition, she won the award for excellence for the same piece.  She is on a roll as she also won her category in the Bloggers Quilt Festival too!  Congratulations Lena, well deserved, every bit of it!

Lena's beautiful quilt Fallen by the Wayside
Detail of Archaeopteryx
There were quite a few of us I know from the Modern Quilters Group in the IPS too and I got to catch up with Maya Toscani and Cynthia Keegan that I am in a bee with for 2 years now - first time meeting in person!  And I won a prize in the raffle of some really lovely Christmas fabric from Sew Crafty Fabrics - thank you ladies!

I am still catching up with myself after the AGM and the talk by Quilt Artist Dorothy Russell (click here for the link to her website to see her intricate panel work).  So I though I would share some of my favourite quilts from Evolution, the IPS National exhibition that was hosted by our branch in Limerick in the summer. 
Four Winds textile Group
Tomomi McElwee
Irene MacWilliam
Erin Case
Cecilia O'Doherty - A Brief History
Imelda O'Grady
Maya Toscani
Phyllis Murphy
Maureen Kennedy
Louise Mullane
My Quilt on the Human family tree - the Hominidae (you are here!)  Needs a good steaming - pesky fold lines!
Me in front of my quilt Same but Different
Mum had to have a photo too!

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

WIP Wednesday!

So the design wall is still decidedly frosty this week!  I'm getting there with my Snowflake Shimmer that I've been making for Yvonne's free Quilt-A-Long. 

For some reason I didn't expect it to be as big as it is (the bottom row won't fit on the design wall it's that big!)  I have the bottom half pieced and hope to get the remaining rows finished tonight but haven't decided yet how to quilt it. 

Yvonne gave us a nice template to trace with a lovely swirly texture as a result.  Those diamonds though are calling out to me for some reason so we will see, after it's basted.  I'm thinking of a pieced backing with some Christmas fabrics I haven't yet used though I do have a bolt of Ikea Britten Nummer on hand so may just use that instead.  Decisions, decisions!

Speaking of which, our Modern Irish Bee round robin is still going strong.  It's getting close to finished now but the backlog we had at the start is now back with me again and I have 3 of these beauties waiting for the next round.  Hopefully I'll have Erin's teal and pink one done at the end of next week for Mary!

Remember this bear quilt I thought I'd make with a feature panel rather than bear paw blocks? (free quilt a long over at Sew Fresh Quilts)

Well I popped out to the Limerick Quilt Centre on Saturday morning for some blues and browns and came away with greys and blacks!

Karen kindly let me have a rummage through some new bolts just arrived in and my original plan went right out the window when I saw these fabrics (Heartwood by Makower).  Proving to Gordon that blue and brown are a classic colour combo has been trumped by the desire to  make him a manly quilt with a grey and black bear against a background of trees! 

I did manage to pick up this gorgeous feature print from the range for myself at the same time.  So pretty, I think this needs to be made into cushions - I would love to be able to afford this fabric for curtins!

On the way out the door, I succumbed to this new Moda range with matching panel!  It's the bear that did it for me and I am considering using some of this for the back of Gordon's bear quilt but suspect it might just be too nice to have on the rear!  Time will tell!

Linking up to Quilting Jet Girl and Let's Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts!

Monday, 26 September 2016

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Mini Quilt

This little guy just found its way back to me last month at our branch meeting.  I made this to submit to the Irish Patchwork Society's challenge for a mini quilt (12" square) on the theme of the Winter Garden.  It surprised me how happy I was to have this little feisty Robin back so I thought I'd enter him just in time for the Blogger's Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative side for the mini category.

He is made with a zig-zag stitch and moving the fabric sideways free motion from left to right instead of straight through the machine.  Using 2 threads it gives a denser stitch and is a really fun way to build a picture.

The background is a swirly free motion pattern, in my head I imagine this as wind and it reminds me of the nursery rhyme that says The North Wind doth blow and we shall have snow and what will the Robin do then, poor thing.  He sits in the barn and keeps himself warm and hides his head under his wing, poor thing!

My little guy is sat on a branch as we have a tubby Robin who visits our garden and sits on the fence or on the low tree branches annoying Charly our Jack Russell.   You have to admire that cheeky spirit!

Linking up to Amy's Creative Side.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Thankful Thursday - One Hour Basket Swap

So this arrived in the post!  Isn't it gorgeous?  This is Joanne's (@mojoret4 on IG) take on the One Hour Basket free pattern by @kelbysews. 
The hand stitching in this just blows me away!
And a few extras too - a needle book and pin cushion.
Thanks a million Joanne and Modern Quilters Ireland for another fantastic swap! Follow the link to see more amazing versions of this brilliant free pattern or check out #mqisummerswap on IG!

Now what to put into it?  My dog fabric collection methinks.  Definitely one for storing my favourites!

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

WIP Wednesday - the Frosty One!

I am slowly tackling that finished flimsy pile, one by one I'm making a dent!  This past weekend I basted my Penny Sampler quilt (design by Rachel Hauser @Stitched in Color) so I could get to some hand quilting with my new perle cottons. 
This has been a finished flimsy for over a year as I think I was afraid to quilt it.  Not really knowing how I wanted to tackle it, I only knew I wanted to do some hand quilting.  Looking back over the notes Rachel gave us I remembered she hand tied hers rather than stitch in the ditch and added some big stitch outline quilting on the star.  
 I want to add a bit more hand quilting than that but figured get it basted and tied first and see what springs to mind.  So I spent a few hours last Saturday watching the Jungle Book singing along with Louis and Balou and got her spray basted, hand tied and trimmed to size! 
I'm stuck on a binding colour.  G thinks dark grey to frame it and balance all the pastel but I am considering something lighter as the fabric pick for this quilt was inspired by a frosty Christmas feeling.  Any suggestions?  Binding it before hand quilting is recommended by Rachel and it will feel nicely finished even though I can be adding to it a bit at a time watching movies!
I am making progress on my QAL's too, this week, working on Yvonne's Snowflake Shimmer design.   I've added in more diamonds to my version with Yvonne's blessing and given myself a little bit more work to do but I am having real fun with this one, chain piecing my way through the square in a square blocks. 
When I made my Halloween quilt a few years ago and it had 16 square in a squares I thought I never wanted to see another one again.  This time around I have about 40 and am loving pressing them open.  Maybe its the colours I'm working with.  So frosty, but in a different way to the Penny Sampler above.  The weather is definitely changing and it's nearly time to light the fire and nestle in as the trees change to gold and red and burnt orange- my favourite time of the year!

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