Monday, 19 March 2018

An unexpected quilt exhibition

The library in our nearest town is a great resource. Of course it is full of books (what is a library without books?!), audio books, and a few videos. The staff is extremely friendly and very knowledgeable. It has a reading corner for children and a newspaper reading table for adults. There are study tables for students, and computers to use, too.

Then there are the activities, reading aloud sessions for the small ones, poetry readings for adults, and occasional musical performances (in a library, I know - shhh)! A great resource I have been using for more than 10 years now, is the "multi purpose room", a room that can be booked (for free) for groups to meet. We meet there as a group of quilters once a week, to sew, discuss, advise and inspire on everything quilt-making. I show techniques, solve issues, discuss use of colour and materials. We stretch and baste quilts together on our shared frame or on the tables (basting is so much quicker and easier as a shared task!) and we sometimes make a group quilt for charity. And of course, we have a cup of coffee/tea and put the world to rights!

Double Wedding Ring quilt ready for basting

Group quilt for charity

Another part of our library is the exhibition space. Every two weeks the display changes. From photographs by the local photographers club, to paintings by a local artist or art group, to school art work, and yes, even quilts! The space is so popular that the slots are booked a year in advance... We have used the space a few times to display our quilts, I have posted about one of those exhibitions before.

A couple of weeks ago I was approached by one of the librarians with the (hesitant) question whether I was able to display a few quilts for the very next exhibition slot which was a few days away. The planned exhibition was not going to take place and the staff and visitors would be looking at bare walls for two weeks... Well of course!
I intended to show quilts from the group again, but it turned out too short a time frame to get that together. So I literally grabbed what quilts I could find at home and had a solo exhibition!

Of course, being in the library, related books were also on display:

Having my work all hung together made me realise how varied my work is! From muted or dark, to bright; from traditional to "modern"; pieced or appliqué, hand quilted or machine quilted; made years ago or finished recently, it was all there. Even the Beach Huts tote was included.

Black Jewel Box (centre)
And hanging in this space I have taken the opportunity to photograph some of my makes. It made me determined once again to add more posts to My Quilts page, too...

Some are already to be found there, like the Black Jewel Box above and Urban Jungle below:

Urban Jungle
Others are pictured on My Quilts page, but are still awaiting a blog post:

Beach Huts mini
Yet others have never been seen on the blog before (as far as I can remember):

If Pablo Could Sew
Most of my quilts are my own design, but this one was made when pattern testing for Allison Campbell who blogs at Campbell's Soup Diary (by the way, she just released a new pattern):

Tiptoe through the Tulips mini - pattern tested for Alison Campbell

This quilt I called "Weave" was finished about a year ago.

And also included were these two I made as part of the City & Guilds course:
This wall hanging "Vestibule" usually has pride of place on the chimney breast,


... and this is my king size Feathered Star bed quilt. Which reminds me that I haven't made a feathered star in quite a while, I'm itching to make another variation...
Feathered Star
While we were hanging the exhibition (me handing up the quilts while the librarian stood on some steps - health and safety prevents me to do something so hazardous!)  I took the opportunity to book another exhibition for next year, which should see some new work from our group - fittingly called the Library Quilters.

I hope to have some new work ready for that, so I better get sewing, of course!


Sunday, 4 March 2018

Snow days

As you probably know, I live in Ireland. Which means mild, wet winters and cool, wet summers.
To be more specific, I live quite high up in the south of Ireland. A bit less mild and wetter than the very west or the south coast in winter, and a bit cooler and wetter in summer. We have some snow most winters. But not really like we have had the last few days.

This time, the whole country got snow. So much snow that a red weather alert was called for the whole country. Schools closed, universities closed. Libraries closed, shops closed. Before that the shops ran out of bread and milk. Fortunately, being at risk of bad weather most winters, we always have the freezer well stocked up.
We are now four days since the bad weather started, and the red alert has become amber. It has started thawing slowly (and it snows again). The traffic is still limited to farmers, mostly on tractors.

But it is still pretty out in the garden. 

We are comfortable, warm and dry, and we have plenty of food, though milk is running a bit low.
The best thing: I have been sewing. If it continues this way, I may have a finish before the snow is forgotten! Fortunately I obtained fabric before the snow stopped postal deliveries, and it is perfect for the sashing of my log cabin quilt.

So now the top is sewn together, and I am stitching up the backing, using up some coloured leftovers from the front to make it big enough.

A silver lining indeed...


Friday, 23 February 2018

Finish-A-Long 2017 - last winners announced

Today is the day we are delighted to announce the winners for Q4 of the 2017 Finish-A-Long, thus bringing the 2017 Finish-A-Long to an official close.

If you are low on inspiration or maybe your sewing mojo has been missing lately, we highly recommend you visit some of the finishes from the last quarter of the year.  There are a lot of beauties linked up ready to inspire you!

Thank you again to our generous sponsors. Without further ado, the winners - each picked by the random number generator - of the Q4 FAL prizes are:

The Q4 Winner of the 2 PDF patterns from Just Jude Designs goes to Kristin, she blogs at Gumdrops and made this really pretty colorful scrappy quilt:


The Q4 Winner of the $25 gift certificate from Sew Sisters Quilt Shop goes to Julie on Instagram (@julieschloemer) and she finished this stunning Criss Cross Applesauce quilt:

The Q4 Winner of the 2 PDF patterns from Charm About You goes to Swooze who blogs at Swooze's Quilts and Tall Tales and she finished this lovely quilt:


The Q4 Winner of the $50 gift certificate from Fat Quarter Shop goes to Crystal who blogs at Crystal's Creations and she made this really fun Halloween tote:


The Q4 Winner of a surprise package from Marci Girl Designs goes to Cathy who blogs at Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting and she finished this lovely scrappy quilt:


The Q4 Winner of the $25 gift certificate from Tartankiwi goes to Chiska who blogs at Muddy Spring and she finished this adorable little baby turtle quilt:


The Q4 Winner of the 3 PDF patterns from Blossom Heart Quilts goes to Mary who blogs at Mary Emmens and she finished this handy fold up pouch (along with a ton of other projects from Aneela Hoey's book):


The Q4 Winner of the $50 gift certificate from Mad About Patchwork goes to Anne who blogs at Said With Love and she finished this stunning quilt:


The Q4 Winner of the 3 PDF Patterns from During Quiet Time goes to Jenny who blogs at The Lilac Cat and she finished this bright and colorful quilt:


The Q4 Winner of your choice of 3 individual patterns from Happy Quilting goes to Kate who blogs at Katie Mae Quilts and she finished this awesome Minecraft quilt:


The Q4 Winner of the 2 PDF patterns from Cooking Up Quilts goes to Becky on Instagram (@thesparrowstitchery) and she finished this bright and cheery throw pillow:


The Q4 Winner of the 3 PDF patterns from Sew Sweetness goes to Lisa who blogs at Lisa in Port Hope and she finished this super cute little pouch:


The Q4 Winner of the $30 gift certificate from Knotted Thread goes to Kim who blogs at The Quilter at Osage Hill and she made this pretty four patch quilt:


The Q4 Winner of the Camp Bag Pattern Pack from The Littlest Thistle goes to Sheila who blogs at Chez Budsmam and she made this fun and pretty quilt:


The Q4 Winner of the $15 gift certificate from Green Fairy Quilts goes to Kirsten who blogs at Gemini Stitches and she crocheted this festive Christmas bunting:

The Q4 Winner of the 2 PDF patterns from Quilting Jet Girl goes to Nicole who blogs at Handwrought Quilts and she finished this simply stunning quilt:


The Q4 Winners (3) of a six month subscription each to Make Modern Magazine goes to

1. Beth on Instagram (@bhaferko) and she made this lovely quilted set for her son:

2. Beth who blogs at The Anonymous Blueberry Muffin Thief Sews and she embroidered this spooky bat wall hanging:

3. Katy on Instagram (@pudgypenguincrafts) and she finished this lovely Sew Together bag:


The Q4 Winner of the $30 gift certificate from Clover & Violet goes to Tracey who blogs at It's A T-Sweets Day and she finished this crochet Stardust Melodies Afghan:


The Q4 Winner of the $20 gift certificate from Sew Me A Song goes to Terry who blogs at On Going Projects and she finished this black swimsuit:


The Q4 Winner of the $40 gift certificate from Imagine Gnats goes to Mindy at Operation Domestic Goddess and she finished this adorable My Little Pony costume for her little one:


The Q4 Winner of the $25 gift certificate from Studio 39 Fabrics goes to Anja who blogs at Anja Quilts and she finished a mini letter A quilt:


Congratulations to all the winners!! And thank you for joining us in 2017, we truly hope the Finish-A-Long has helped you finish up those works in progress this last year.

A special thank you to our hosts this past year for all of their hard work and time.  A big thank you to the sponsors for 2017.  Last but not least thanks to those of you that have played along with us during this past year and previous years, the Finish-A-Long wouldn't be here if it weren't for all of you and your WIP's and finishes!

We hope that you are joining us in 2018, the first quarter is about half-way through so you still have plenty of time to finish up those projects.  If you missed the first quarter link up, please consider joining us in April when the second link up opens.

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