Galloping towards Saturday Sept 2nd

We’ve had a  somewhat wet summer here in Northern Ireland, fortunately we can always find  plenty to do as we are gallop towards our first 2017 – 18 Guild meeting on Saturday 2nd September.

August is Craft Month and  we have been enjoying many exhibitions, workshops and talks all over Northern Ireland – too many wonderful projects to mention and there’s still a wee bit of time in the month to catch something else.

alkisti_hou

Days of blue skies and fluffy clouds and sunshine. as evidenced thanks to an Instagram photo from @alkisti_hou, have been punctuated with rain, as of  just  now,  at the time of writing, the rain is pouring down, or ‘bucketing’ as we call it.

Luckily there is no shortage of things to do, including   the odd excursion to one of the many establishments serving  refreshments. Such as   “The Dark Horse” near the Cathedral Quarter and the tenth establishment to receive one of the special Game of Throne’s doors.

Tourism Ireland Unveils the Last Door. The Dark Horse, Belfast

Not that everyone in Northern Ireland is  “Game of Thrones” mad, though it may appear that way and if you follow on, you will see why it is being mentioned in connection with the first Guild meeting of our season.

It is impossible to live in Northern Ireland and not be aware of  GoT and it is so exciting to see the many visitors coming to here to visit  GoT film locations  and we hope  enjoy our hospitality.

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The Dark Hedges, Ballymoney.  18th Century Avenue of Beech Trees. Aka Kingsway in Game of Thrones.
What are the Game of Throne doors?

One of the most iconic scenes and most visited site is the Dark Hedges, aka Kingsway to GoT fans. Locals have always known and loved this avenue. The beech trees are 300 years old,  so  no surprise to hear that some were felled during fierce storms.  A sad demise for such proud trees, and a dilemma of what to do with them. Someone came up with the idea of using the fallen trees to carve out scenes from each of the GoT series.   Ten in total.  

The intricately carved door depicting scenes from the final dramatic moments of Series 6. Location : The Dark Horse.

These, such as the one above, have been placed in different locations throughout Northern Ireland. In April 2017 Tourism NI launched a “Journey of Doors passport” –  visit the 10 Game of Thrones Doors across Northern Ireland and collect a unique stamp at each of the locations.

Why all this talk of GoT? During the summer  some of our members have been  engaged, under Valerie Wilson’s direction, in embroidering the Game of Thrones tapestry now hanging in the Ulster Museum.

Jayne McClenaghan is the link between GoT  and our forthcoming programme, about which, we are very excited; a varied and interesting series of talks and workshops.

Indeed our 2017 – 18 season kicks off on Saturday 2nd September, with the aforementioned, Jayne  who with others,  has spent some of her summer embroidering the GoT tapestries.    [Seamless, if long winded link?]

Jayne’s talk is entitled ‘Improving lives through craft’, intriguing? Find out more about her at her blog  One Day At a Time.  This gives you a glimpse into her life: in addition to working part time as a nurse, embroidering GoT, and teaching patchwork and quilting, she volunteers at the National Trust property Mount Stewart .  Where she finds the time for all her activities is a puzzle. Jayne certainly proves the truth of the old adage: “if you want something done give it to a busy person”. Lucille-Ball-Quote

The committee has been working hard to make the programme current, varied and related to NIPG interests and activities. There will be a mixture of talks, short afternoon workshops, and all day workshops. Also a few Friday workshops which proved so popular last year.

We apologise for the delay in posting our forthcoming programme. In addition to confirming speakers, venues have to be confirmed. Though we are indeed fortunate to have our base in the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, at times they need the space we use for events they are organising.  We will be posting our programme very soon so keep your eyes peeled and enjoy the last few weeks of summer.

Happy Sewing

NB Header photo shows a few of the quilts seen in situ on the beds in various cottages in the Folk and Transport Museum at Cultra. 

 

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Hands Across the Border Exhibition, “Aurora” 2017, comes to the North of Ireland

Island Arts Centre

Yes, we are getting very excited about the Hands Across the Border exhibition coming to the beautiful setting of the Island Arts Centre, Lisburn.

Capture

 

 

It had a successful showing in Dublin, where it was exhibited in the Custom House Quay, IFSC, Dublin Northside, hosted by  the Eastern Branch of the Irish Patchwork Society.

Eastern Branch have kindly posted 58 photos of the Opening Night, at which  Leo Enright, the well-known RTÉ broadcaster, news reporter, and scientist,  officiated. The photos may be found on their Facebook Page  and give a glimpse of what you can expect to find in the exhibition.

Now all 63 quilts will be at the Island Arts Centre,  where you will be able to view them from  the 1st June until 1st July.

 Opening times of the Island Arts Centre, Lisburn  are:
Monday – Friday: 9.30 am – 10 pm
Saturday: 9.30 am – 5 pm
Sunday: closed

 

Enchanted Aurora Anne Frenc

Enchanted Aurora by Anne French

Link to Jayne Mcclenaghan’s Blog: “Busy times for the NI Patchwork Guild”

Jayne has posted a great summary of what’s been happening with NIPG, so here’s a link to her blog. You might want to see what she’s up to in Mount Stewart. Would love to know how she finds the time  to do all that she does?

The Guild had a demonstration and display at the Create a thon in the Ulster Museum in April. Yet again we discovered how many ladies can’t/ won’t sew, majority being under 40 years old.The display demonstrated the variations in patchwork as well as the process. Examples from the past up to modern day. There were many…

via Busy time for Northern Ireland Patchwork Guild — one day at a time

Michele Hill’s Beatrix Potter quilt is now on display in Hill Top, Cumbria. 

This blog  posting comes from C&T Publishing who published, Michele Hill's beautiful book entitled:  'Stitching with Beatrix Potter'.  Posted by Deirdre Quirk on March 23, 2017.

Deirdre Quirk writes:

Planning a visit to Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s farmhouse, today a historic home and museum in Cumbria? Well, now when you tour the lovingly preserved home, you’ll get to see a beautiful quilt created by none other than Michele Hill, author of Stitching with Beatrix Potter! Michele tells us the whole story below:

Because of my love of the designs of William Morris, and then my William Morris in Appliqué books, in 2012 I was invited by Helen Bertram of Whitecroft Tours in the UK to accompany tours in Britain. Helen and I escorted six sold-out William Morris tours from 2012 to 2016, and it was through this association that I discovered that Helen had been a Chairman of the Beatrix Potter Society. Our mutual love of Beatrix Potter resulted in many conversations, and Helen finally persuaded me to write the book Stitching with Beatrix Potter. While I was doing my research, Helen suggested (well she actually told me I had to!!) do a version of the quilt on Beatrix Potter’s bed at Hill Top. So I emailed the National Trust to get photos and permission, but I did not hear back for quite some time. I started to worry about time and my book schedule, so after a bit of my own online research I found a photo of a simple green and pink patchwork quilt on the bed at Hill Top.

Above: 1863 wedding quilt from Hill Top.

Imagine my surprise when I finally heard back from the National Trust and the photos were of an entirely different quilt … the 1863 wedding quilt. So my task was a lot more daunting—and I only had a photo and no measurements! Not much is known about the quilt except that it belonged to Beatrix Potter’s parents, Helen Leech and Rupert Potter. It is thought that Beatrix’s mother, Helen, might have stitched this very special quilt with friends for the occasion of her marriage to Rupert in 1863. The original quilt is very fragile and is rarely seen, so I felt very blessed to have been given permission from the National Trust to reproduce it. I didn’t actually see the quilt in person until after I had completed mine, so it was a very special moment when I finally did. The quilt is made from velvets, silks, and cottons and is hand appliquéd, hand pieced, and hand embroidered.

The above photo is of me finally seeing the original last year in September. Helen put on a special Beatrix Potter tour in the UK to launch the book and that story is on my blog here.

After I finished the book, my version of the quilt was left simply sitting on a shelf. It was not something I felt I would use in my own home, and it seemed such a waste to have it stored in my wardrobe, so one evening in November 2016 I emailed Liz Hunter MacFarlane, the House & Collections Manager of the National Trust South Lakes, which manages Hill Top. The response I received from Liz was overwhelming—I did not really think they would be interested, let alone want to put it on display! Liz’s response to my email was as follows: “How can we possibly thank you for such a wonderful gift—you are so, so talented, and we are so fortunate to have the opportunity to share your work with our visitors.

“The National Trust’s strategy requires us to create experiences that ‘move, teach and inspire.’ Having this wonderful quilt will quite literally move our visitors in a way that photographs and books cannot. It can teach them that we should preserve and celebrate traditional crafts and craftspeople, and it will inspire them to help us preserve more of our heritage for future generations to enjoy.”

You can imagine how my heart burst reading that!

Although I sent the email in November, the quilt wasn’t posted to the UK until February 2017. When I made my reproduction version of the quilt I did not include the appliquéd 1863 wedding date and initials of Helen Leech and Rupert Potter as I felt this wasn’t appropriate for a wider audience. So before I sent the quilt to the UK I decided to hand appliqué the letters and date to replicate the original quilt.

I have not yet been back to the UK to see the quilt, but I am hoping to receive photos soon! I feel incredibly honored to have a piece of my work displayed at Hill Top, where it will be seen for many generations to come. I made sure I stitched a label on the back of the quilt explaining how it came about too!

(I forgot to photograph my label but the photo above is of the label that is on the bag that I made for the quilt!)

About Michele Hill

Michele Hill ImageI was introduced to the wonderful world of quilting in the late 1980’s when I was looking for a diversion from my role of motherhood and part-time nursing – the rest as they say is history! This hobby has led me to amazing opportunities that I never expected and it is through my love of applique and William Morris that most of this has come about.

A raffle prize of airfares to Europe in 1997 resulted in a life-changing event. This is where I had my first William Morris ‘experience’ at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. When I came home to Adelaide I discovered that our Art Gallery of South Australia has one of the biggest collections of Morris furnishings outside of the UK – so I can see it whenever I like! In 2009 I retired from 35 years of nursing and took up a ‘new career’ – to keep the “genius of Morris alive”.

Opportunities to share my passion have resulted in two books, four ranges of fabrics and more recently sold out William Morris tours in the UK….who would have thought?!! I have been a proud member of the Quilters’ Guild of South Australia for over 20 years and have had the honour and thrill of winning awards at our shows, including Best of Show four times. In 2014 I received the highest accolade an Australian quilter can receive – The Rajah Award in recognition of services to Australia through quilting.

 

Letter from Brenda & link to Jayne McClenagh’s report on the Jennie Rayment Visit

First the letter from Brenda…

Hello Members and Friendscapture
It was lovely to see so many of you at the November meeting we had over 60 people to here Jennie Rayment.
Jennie is full of life and gave us a very informative and entertaining talk. I was particularly interested in her microwave dying and am definitely going to try it. I was able to attend both her workshops on Saturday afternoon and Sunday. On Saturday everyone went home with 2 cushion panels of different designs all we had to do at home was add the bindings and backs. On Sunday we were all were all able to complete a ‘Scrappy Zappy Do’ wall hanging perhaps you have already scene the photographs on facebook.
The competition for a new Guild Banner is still open. The idea of a new banner is to bring the Guild a bit more into the 21 century and have something to display at exhibitions etc. Please keep your entries coming and it would be helpful if you coloured them in. Lets have some more for the December meeting.
Just a couple of reminders;
The Christmas challenge is any article depicting ‘A Winters Tale’
We are still looking for contributions for the Christmas Hamper please bring them to the December meeting.
Secret Santa this has been a long tradition in the Guild when everyone brings a wrapped present to the value of about £7 these are then put in Santa’s Sack and you get to pick something. It should ideally be connected to sewing and something you would like to receive yourself.
That’s all for now see you in December.
Brenda

 

Now here’s a  link to an excellent report on Jennie Rayment’s visit to the NIPG by Jayne McClenaghan from her blog  “One day at a time” Jennie Rayment- Fabulous Folding Fanatic — one day at a time.  Lots of photos demonstrating how its done.

We were very fortunate to have Jennie at the NIPG such a treat to have he entertain us as she showed off her quilts which you can see to the let and below. I thoroughly enjoyed her afternoon workshop which was a change to machine sewing and piecing large pieces of fabric.It felt very therapeutic to…

Thank you Jayne, your post really gives a flavour of the day and Jennie’s infectious and fun personality. Gorgeous photos too.

 

Bits and Bobs

bits

Looking forward to the Stack ‘n Whack workshop being given by Ann Blachford on Friday 18th November.

Our next meeting is on Saturday 3rd  December.  Please get in touch if you’re interested in joining us for the first time.

 

imagesWe’ve joined Pinterest,  our name is  nipatchwork, you can find us at NI Patchwork. We have created  lots of boards already with suggestions for seasonal projects and recipes.  As we’re coming up to Christmas, we’re adding a section called ‘Notions: what I’d like for Christmas’.  Hope you can find us if you’re a Pinterest user. If not try it out. Any ideas on the best use of Pinterest would be very welcome. Not just welcome, but very welcome. 🙂

bits-and-bobsAlso, we’ve changed the menu somewhat. Home is still home, but we’ve added a section about ‘Hands Across the Border‘ and would love to hear how you’re getting on.

Another new section is ‘Current Projects’.

Find out what Brenda has chosen for her Charity this year.

Get the pattern for the Cuddly blanket, a project for the babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. This is a wonderful project instigated by our Chair, Brenda Richardson to give back to the Community.

Please get in touch if you have anything you’d like to add, suggest etc. Would love to hear from you.

 

 

 

Reaching Out

 image1
 Angela McCormick and Pat Pauley facilitated the making of the Belfast WAVE quilt.
 image2

 Instead of making one large quilt, they decided that a triptych worked much better. Each panel shows the thoughts and concerns from the women who took part.
Chair’s Charity
Each year the current Chair can nominate a Charity of their choice. At every meeting we have a Ballot, and the money is collected at the end of the season.

So, this year we were delighted to present a cheque for £650 to Elizabeth DIckson, Chair of the Board of Quaker Service to be given to the Quaker Cottage, a cross-community family day care centre in North and West Belfast.

Show and Tell, was the usual riot of colour and quilts! Sadly we weren’t able to take any photos, but if anyone would like to submit photos of recently finished quilts, we’d be delighted to post them here.

Folk Museum’s Craft and Skills Sunday.
On the Sunday, Jan Kirkwood and I demonstrated patchwork at the Folk and Transport Museum. We were busy all day and really enjoyed showing the visitors what we do.
Jan had brought a hand-operated Singer sewing machine with her, which proved very popular with children!