December Welcome

The birds are feasting on the holly and ivy berries …

…the white Christmas rose(Hellebore) is coming into flower …

…and the red berried Skimmia is looking very festive. 

Christmas is coming!

Our next meeting on Saturday 3rd December is in St Dorothea`s Church, Gilnahirk, 2-4 Gortland Park BT5 7NU. The car park behind the church is accessed through the gate in the hedge in Gortland Park.  [Don’t worry it’s not a matter of crawling through and will be obvious when you see it].

Refreshments: The meeting will begin, as usual, with refreshments, so please remember to bring your mug.

Refreshments: The meeting will begin, as usual, with refreshments, so please remember to bring your mug.

Competition: The Christmas competition is A Handmade Christmas Card and voting slips can be bought to support this year`s charity, which is The N.I. Children`s Hospice. ( There will be no ballot in December )

For the Secret Santa please wrap up a fat quarter of fabric ( doesn’t have to be Christmas fabric).

Charity Sales Table: There will also be a Charity Sales Table (cash only please). One of our members has donated books, fabric and accessories, so if anyone has any textile-related items that they would like to donate for rehoming please bring them along. ( I would request that any unsold items are taken home again)

Looking forward to the New Year and our meeting on 7th January 2023 is back in the Parochial Hall, Ulster Folk Museum, Cultra.  In the morning members will be demonstrating various techniques and, in the afternoon, there will be a `sewical` in the Parochial Hall when everyone is invited to come along and work on their own projects and socialise.

Curve Exhibition in May: The entry form and guidelines for `A Walk in The Park`, our exhibition in the Curve Gallery, Bangor Carnegie Library from 4th-30th May 2023 is available on the website. Remember the size is 20″x40″ portrait orientation.

Details of Gaye Grant`s workshop are also now available.

I would like to advise everyone that there will, now, not be a guild meeting on 6th May 2023 – Coronation Day.

If I don’ `t see you in December, may I take this opportunity to wish you a Happy Christmas and a Joyous New Year.


Important Information re: December Meeting 3rd 2022

NB We are NOT at the Folk & Transport Museum in December

December Meeting – extract from the Chair’s November Letter

Our meeting on 3rd December will be in St Dorothea`s Church, Gilnahirk, 2-4 Gortland Park, BT5 7NU.


From the Knock Road, drive up the Gilnahirk Road, past the shops, past St Patrick and Our Lady`s School, past Gilnahirk Primary School to the mini roundabout. 

Take the second right into Gortland Park. 

The first opening on the left is a small car park, but the second opening on the left is a large car park.  

The entrance to the hall is down the hill.

Christmas competition. Bring a handmade Christmas card`.

Secret Santa please wrap up a fat quarter of any fabric ( i.e. it does not have to be Christmas fabric).

Hands Across The Border Also, please consider making an exhibit for our May 2023 exhibition `A Walk in the Park` size 20″ x 40″, portrait orientation     ( still plenty of time for thinking!!)

Chair’s November Welcome

Hello Everyone 

I have been busy planting up pots. Pink cyclamen for winter and tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and iris for spring.  [Artwork is from Elena Oleniuc].

When the rain stops and the wind eases, I plan to tie in the climbing roses.

Next Meeting 

Moving indoors, our next meeting in the Folk Museum is Saturday 5th November with our own Esme Edwards giving a morning talk and an afternoon workshop (fully booked).

**** Still in the Folk & Transport Museum but different hall –  The Royal Irish Constabulary Hall. ****

We will be meeting in the RIC hall which is on the first floor of the RIC police station in the village area.


Walk past the ticket kiosk and continue up the hill past the red post box and the residential area.

Turn right up the steps and pass the tea room, the cinema and the rectory into the village area where you will be facing the RIC police station.

The stairs are a bit narrow and curving but there is a lift.

To the right of the RIC Station is the printers shop and next right is an archway. The lift entrance is in the archway  ( I didn`t know it was there either!).

Alternative route to avoid the steps.

Walk past the ticket kiosk and continue up the hill to the sweet shop at the corner of Tea Lane. 

Turn right and walk along Tea Lane, at the end turn left and continue up the hill to the village area.

On reaching our destination we will be able to relax and enjoy seeing Esme`s delightful work.

December Meeting

The meeting on 3rd December will be in St Dorothea`s Church, Gilnahirk, 2-4 Gortland Park, BT5 7NU.


From the Knock Road, drive up the Gilnahirk Road, past the shops, past St Patrick and Our Lady`s School, past Gilnahirk Primary School to the mini roundabout. 

Take the second right into Gortland Park. 

The first opening on the left is a small car park, but the second opening on the left is a large car park.  

The entrance to the hall is down the hill.

For this meeting the Christmas competition will be `a Christmas card` and for the Secret Santa please wrap up a fat quarter of any fabric ( i.e. it does not have to be Christmas fabric).

Also, please consider making an exhibit for our May 2023 exhibition `A Walk in the Park` size 20″ x 40″, portrait orientation     ( still plenty of time for thinking!!)

Textiles Exhibition in Whitehead

Lastly, thanks to Janette McKie for alerting us to a  Textiles Exhibition enitled ‘Joy of Colour’, in Whitehead, featuring Hilde van Schaardenburg from Holland and Sandra Weir from Cookstown. The Opening Night takes place on Sat 5th November from 18:00.  Check this link for more information:

Wow! that was a lot of directions…..

Looking forward to seeing everyone on the 5th November in the RIC Hall.

Best wishes



I`m running a bit late this month, what with September being the second Saturday!!  Suddenly October is almost upon us and another meeting in person, we could get used to this!

The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness has come.  The birds are feasting on the holly, rowan and elderberries and the Michaelmas Daisies and Autumn Crocus are flowering.  Time to move indoors.

Our speaker on 1st October 2022 is Loretta O`Brien Patchwork and Quilting Loretta O’Brien Home Page

Patchwork and Quilting Loretta O’Brien …

Loretta has been involved in P&Q for over 40 years and teaches and exhibits worldwide, most recently at the European Patchwork Meeting. She is a great raconteur and will be bringing lots of quilts. Not to be missed.

Librarians` Request.

Please look out any borrowed books and return them ASAP.  Wanda and Margaret do have a little list and they plan to make sure that none of them will be missed! Thank you.

Annual Charity.

The charity for the year will be Northern Ireland Childrens Hospice.  Ballot prize will resume in October.

Hands Across the Border 2023.

This year it is the turn of NIPG to launch/host this exhibition. It will be in May 2023 at the Curve Gallery, Bangor.

Title: `A Walk in The Park`.  Size: 20″ x 40″, portrait orientation.

Full guidelines and entry forms will be on the website shortly, but this is advance information to give food for thought.

Looking Ahead

On 5th November Esme Edwards will give a talk and postcard workshop which is fully booked.

On 3rd December the challenge is to make a Christmas card, and for Secret Santa please wrap up a fat quarter of fabric.

On 7th January 2023 members will demonstrate techniques followed by an afternoon sewical of any project you fancy.

Looking forward to seeing you on the 1st October

Best wishes


September Welcome from Anne Hardcastle

I`m sitting in the garden on this sunny bank holiday watching honey bees, bumble bees and butterflies feeding on verbena bonariensis thinking of the forthcoming year for the patchwork Guild.

We are excited to be returning to the Folk Museum, Cultra, and the first meeting will be Saturday 10th September 2022.

Our opening meeting will be in the Parochial Hall, Ulster Folk Museum.

 Members are invited to arrive from 10.15am when refreshments will be available ( please remember to bring your own mug).

There will be an opportunity to pay the annual membership of £25.00, and sign up for workshops ( both the treasurer and membership secretary will be on holiday so we ask for your patience.)

The aforementioned Workshop will be on Saturday November 5th with Esme Edwards.. We have admired her postcards which she shared with us on our Virtual Show and Tells. Naturally we begged her for a workshop. Workshop is £10.00. 

Perhaps peruse the library, while catching up with old friends and meeting new members.

If you had a quilt in the successful HATB exhibition, you may collect them on the 10th September. 

 The highlight of the morning will be when two of our members Heather and Tracy Tsang  talk about their work.

Looking forward to seeing you all again.

P.S. Now that we are meeting face to face again,  it is imperative that more members volunteer to help with the running of the Guild, either as a committee member or by `lending a hand` at Saturday meetings. ( I know of a quilting group that has closed through lack of volunteers willing to help).  

Consider that the current Committee and Chair have been helping since 2019, and will need to be replaced at some point. It would be best if volunteers could step forward and `learn the ropes` before the current committee retires. I am prepared to Chair until June 2023, but after that…..

See you soon

Anne Hardcastle 

Congratulations Irene MacWilliam

RSPB NI Artist of the Year

[NB This is a long post, get a cuppa and enjoy the read]

May be an image of 1 person
“So excited, I was told on Saturday that my piece had won the RSPBNI Artist of the Year, adult section. I can not believe it. It is the first time I have entered a textile piece into an open competition. They wrote
“Myself and my fellow judges were wowed by your striking use of colour and multimodal textiles. Importantly, we feel you addressed the brief very well by illustrating a nature-rich and climate-safe world and emphasising the urgency of saving it.”

Your artwork will be on display in Banana Block Belfast at Portview Trade Centre throughout September, and also at the TEDxStormont Countdown event in November.
#irenemacwilliam #macwilliam #wallhanging #climatechange
No photo description available.
Will There be Daisies, Poppies and Apples when I Grow UP
43 x 53 cms

HATB Exhibition /Quilt Fayre/Membership/1st 2021-22 Meeting

September Welcome from our Chair, Anne Hardcastle

Hands Across the Border

Hi Everyone,

Firstly, congratulations to Irene MacWilliam, delighted for you. Another gem from Irene with her thought provoking piece, with such a poignant title.

September is fast approaching and with it lots of Patchwork treats...

The Hands Across the Border (HATB) exhibition `Hanging Together Again` will be on display from Monday 30th August 2021 to Saturday 4th September 2021 at the An Tain Arts Centre in Dundalk.

Open Tuesday- Saturday 10.00 -13.00 and 13.30 – 16.00. 

From the An Táin Website. Image selected is by NIPG member, Brenda Richardson.

I was pleasantly surprised at how fast ( less than 1 hour) I got to the Carrickdale Hotel ( close to Dundalk) for the quilt handover on a recent very, very, wet Wednesday. The Carrickdale has a delightful, airy, café in the garden side of the hotel, ideal for a pit stop en-route- the scones came with fresh cream and strawberries.

Quilt Fayre

Next we have the Quilt Fayre at the Stormont hotel. Thursday September 2nd to Saturday 4th. Open 10.00 to 5.00pm, and you can view the NIPG display. has a display. [Perhaps you remember the `My Favourite Carol` Christmas challenge?] Many thanks to those who were able to volunteer for stand duty.

Why not go along for a chance of retail therapy ?

Go to the website for lots more information.

First 2021 – 22 Meeting via Zoom with Kathy Ross

The first zoom [not yet able to meet in person 😦 ] talk of the new season is on Wednesday 8th September at 7.00pm. Kathy Ross is a local textile artist who works with fabric, fleece and embroidery to produce beautiful landscapes and animal portraits. The Zoom is being held on the Wednesday to avoid clashing with the Quilt Fayre, and to give any new members, joining at the Fayre, an early insight to the new season.

From Kathy’s website where you’ll find lots more gorgeous images.


Thinking of the new season is the time to re-new memberships ( or become a new member).The new membership form is on the website, and for this year only, the membership fee is reduced to £10.00.  It is important that we keep up to date with our membership records. Details of how to pay and who to contact are on the form.

Looking Ahead

At the moment I cannot confirm the arrangements for the 2021-2022 season, but we have speakers and activities in the pipeline and I can only hope that the country will continue to `open up` so that we can meet in person.
I look forward to seeing you at some of the events above.
In the meantime enjoy the return to sunny weather.

Anne Hardcastle

May be a cartoon of 1 person and text that says "Brake Fabric"
See you at the Quilt Fayre ….

“As far as we know, Quilt Fayre will be the only knit and stitch event on the island of Ireland this year – we are very excited about what we have planned for next week, and all of our traders have spent a lot of time and effort getting ready. We are unique in Ireland as Quilt Fayre has been organised by knitters and stitchers for fellow knitters and stitchers – and our ambition has always been to organise an event that we personally would like to attend. ” From the Quilt Fayre Facebook page

June Welcome from your Chair, Anne

Hi folks. 

June is on the horizon with the prospect of visits to parks and gardens full of summer colour.

Our next zoom meeting, on 5th June 2021, is the AGM and Show and Tell.

The AGM will be as concise as possible, but I would like to appeal for new committee members to fill the posts of Exhibitions and Programme Secretary.

We have a full programme of events and speakers lined up for 2021-2022 ( regulations permitting ), so the new Programme secretary would be planning for 2022-2023. If you would like to chat about the roles, do send contact me. If you need my details, email Please don’t worry about being ‘pressganged’ on to the committee at the AGM, that won’t happen. We want genuine volunteers, not conscripts.

AGM Show and Tell  send three photos of recent quilts to the Guild’s email. Preferably medium size. We want to show your quilt off to it’s best and with Zoom, holding even a small project up to the camera doesn’t do it justice. You’ll be invited to come and talk about your piece. A program of ‘Show and Tell’ will the drawn up before the Saturday meeting. Please get your photos in before Wednesday 2nd June.

Hands Across the Border – Title: Hanging Together Again
It is time to think about the handing in of the `Hands Across the Border` quilts.  Don`t panic! The deadline is not until Thursday 1st July 2021.The entry form is available on the NIPG website. However, for those unable to print, I have enough hard copies of the entry form for 30 quilts.

The form asks for name, address, phone and e-mail of the maker; name and insurance value of the quilt plus `Artist`s Statement` i.e. a description of the quilt and details such as what was the inspiration, fabrics, techniques or story behind the quilt ( 6 lines available to fill in ). 

Please ensure that ;

  1. The quilt has a 4inch (10cm ) hanging sleeve with sufficient fullness to accommodate a hanging rod.
  2. There is a label on the back bottom edge with the name of the quilt, name of the quilter and postal address, telephone number and e-mail address.
  3. The quilt has its own fabric bag labelled with the name of the quilt, name of the maker and name of the guild i.e. NIPG.

  Please see NIPG website for the full `Rules and Conditions`.

Quilts need to be delivered to me Anne Hardcastle, I am more than happy to collect your quilt if you cannot get it to me. Please keep to the deadline July 1st, as late entries cannot be accepted due to cataloguing and photographing by Irish Patchwork Society ( a condition of entry ).

I would really, really like to know how many quilts to expect, so if you have started ( I`ve actually cut fabric! ), or are thinking about it, or have already finished ( well done! ), let me know. Thank you

Anne James would like to encourage everyone to remember the Facebook page, if you find any interesting `stuff` or images.

Zooming with Langley Quilters in Vancouver
The committee has arranged a fact finding zoom with Langley Quilters, Vancouver, more details in June.

Looking forward to seeing everyone on 5th June. Please look out for your invitation, the zoom will open at 10.00 , with the AGM at 10.30 followed by the Show and Tell.

Enjoy the sunshine and carry on quilting.

Best wishes

Anne Hardcastle

Happy Easter April 2021 from Anne H.

Spring has truly sprung!

The sunshine brought out a dozen small tortoiseshell butterflies to feed on my heather,  while several dozen ladybirds basked in it`s warmth.  I don`t know where the latter were hibernating but, perhaps, that`s why I don`t see greenfly nowadays, if only the blackbirds were more effective at eating slugs!!  Enough of my nature ramblings…

This is an early reminder of our next zoom talk on Saturday 10th April 2021 (i.e. not Easter Saturday).  We will be welcoming Joanna O`Neill  to give her talk:

Bitesized `working small ( and much less scary), art quilts and embroidery on a friendly scale`

Inline image

The zoom will be open from 10.00 with the talk starting at 10.30. 

The programme for the rest of the year is:
1st May.  Julia Gahagan will give a talk.

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5th June. AGM with Show and Tell   – (more details later, but the aim is to show images of your quilts, like last time via Powerpoint. So keep taking the photos).    I hope all is going well with the planning of your Hands Across the Border Quilt   (Click on the link for details)

Theme is: “Hanging Together Again..”

Members, please look out for your zoom invitation nearer the 10th April. 

[If anyone says they’re not getting our emails, ask them to email us at

I hope that the sun shines so that everyone can  enjoy a Happy Easter.

Best wishes

Inline image

February 2021 “Hands Across The Border” from Anne Hardcastle


Spring is coming…..I counted three yellow and four crocus flowers in my garden yesterday and today there are more than a dozen.

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 Spring makes me think of planning journeys and on Saturday 6th February we will welcome Greta Fitchett with her talk `Traveller’s Tales`, delivered via Zoom.

“TRAVELLERS TALES : Come along on a journey to places such as Venice, Hong Kong, Morocco, Turkey and Spain, as well as local UK travel – places that have inspired quilts, wallhangings and themed Journal Quilts.”

Looking further into the future. Deborah [NIPG President] and I had a Zoom talk with representatives from the Irish Patchwork Society (IPS) about `Hands Across the Border` 2021.  

The `Hands Across the Border` exhibitions, a joint venture by NIPG and IPS [Irish Patchwork Society] are held every other year and 2021 will celebrate 30 years of our association. It was sparked off all those years ago by making use of funding for  cross-border initiatives at that time. It is the turn of IPS to host the opening in the year that they are also celebrating their 40years.

So here is a synopsis of the essential details- full rules and entry form will be available here on the NIPG website

TITLE;  ` Hanging Together Again`  

SIZE;  30inches wide 40inches long ( all quilts are to be the same size) 

DEADLINE for submission:- 1st July 2021 (no late entries as they need to be photographed for the catalogue.)

OPEN ONLY to NI Patchwork Guild members [& Irish Patchwork Society].

NOT ACCEPTED :- glass fronted / framed / mounted quilts / quilts made from kits / workshop samples.

ACCEPTED:– Original work only. The work should have been completed within the last 2 years.

The work should NOT have been previously exhibited.

Quilts are not for sale during the exhibition and only available for collection at the end, which is anticipated to be up to one year after the opening.

By entering a quilt you agree to have it photographed for publicity purposes and the exhibition catalogue.  

For more details about labelling, hanging sleeve and packaging please see HERE

I would encourage everyone to think about making a quilt for `HATB`.  Examples from the 2019 and 2017 exhibitions are available to view on NIPG website. 

It would be really great to have a good showing from NIPG in recognition of 30 years.

The title` Hanging Together Again¬ gives plenty of scope for the imagination.

 My challenge now is to find a NI gallery for the exhibition some time after August 2021!!

Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday 6th February some time after 10.00.

Meanwhile, stay safe and carry on quilting

Anne Hardcastle

Here are a few images from the 2009 Hands Across the Border, opened in Dublin by then President Mary McAleese.

March 7th 2020 Meeting. Bits and bobs for you from Anne Hardcastle

[STOP PRESS Information for those travelling to the venue...

The country bound lanes of the Sydenham bypass from Dee Street to George Best City Airport will be closed from 11pm Friday 6th  March to 4.30 am Monday 9th March].

Hello Everyone

March Meeting and Sunday Workshop

March will be a busy month for the guild. Beginning with our regular Saturday meeting on 7th March, when we will welcome Janet McCallum to tell us `How I got here`. 

There is no workshop on Saturday, however, on Sunday Janet`s workshop  will help us to `Loosen Up`, by using some of our fabric stashes to make innovative pieced blocks.  Spaces are available and I suspect that everyone already has the requirements at home.


Loosen Up: A quick and easy way to use up your scraps and produce a striking individual quilt. A quick piecing, machine sewn, scrap quilt technique suitable for all level and ideal for using up leftover strips and sample squares. Can also be made with purpose bought fabric.In a day, you should be able to produce enough blocks for a cushion cover or cot quilt. A relaxed method with no templates, no measuring and hardly any rules!

Janet is a member of By Design , a group of twelve leading textile artists from the south of England, brought together to form an impressive exhibition group. All the members are well known artists in their own right, working individually to create their own pieces of quilt art.

Charity Table
  In March there will be a charity table when members are invited to bring along items of patchwork and sewing interest( preferably priced) that they would like to re-home. Proceeds will go to our charity of the year, Air Ambulance, Northern Ireland.  Donors are asked to take home again any unsold items.

Quilt Fayre
March is the month of the Quilt Fayre in Stormont hotel on 26th, 27th and 28th.  Anna Campbell has generously volunteered to receive items for our mini exhibition, ( A4 size or not bigger than about 12 inches square)  please do remember to put your name on the back.
  I will be giving out complementary tickets to those who have volunteered for stand duty – I’ve got a little list – so please don’t go home without your free pass. Do tell all your friends about Quilt Fayre, there are over 24 traders. many from Ireland, the list is on Quilt Fayre website- I will definitely be visiting Kaleidoscope.

April Meeting
Looking forward to April we will welcome Angela Daymond for a weekend of Kantha work.  Spaces are still available on her workshop.

Looking forward to seeing you in March
Anne Hardcastle