Crafting Live Belfast. Titanic Exhibition Centre. Thurs 26th April to Sat 28th April

Crafting Live Belfast 

The Northern Ireland Patchwork Guild will be present at the Crafting Live Show in the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Our stand shall be displaying work produced by our members on the theme ‘Dive into your Stash!’

Our Chair, Paula Ellis came up with the theme, which has been enthusiastically embraced by our members. ‘It’s going to be the best small exhibition ever.’

Please come along and introduce yourselves. We would love to chat with you and answer any questions.

Previous Exhibition Stand 


The show itself is open from Thursday 26 April until Saturday 28 April, and is open 10am-5pm on Thursday and Friday, and 10am-4pm on Saturday. Your entrance ticket gets you in all 3 days of the show if you feel like making a weekend of it.



Over the duration of the show Crafting Live are promoting a vast range of exhibitors stocking stamps, dies, decoupage, fabric, wool, ribbon, beads and much more. You can stock up on all of your craft essentials, as well as finding inspiration from brand new products, whilst meeting your favourite TV crafters. There are also refreshment options and areas to have a much needed sit down after all that shopping!

If you visit the Crafting Live Website, Crafting Live are promising that  every advance ticket purchased is eligible for a FREE GIFT* worth £15 – just collect yours at the show. Plus every guest will get a £5 voucher** to spend with our sponsors Create & Craft.

Visit the Crafting Live website for more information



Saturday Meeting 3rd March & Sunday 4th March

This was the weekend which had to be cancelled.

Unfortunately, after much effort, Janet McCallum was  unable to make the journey across. Janet was determined to be here, and really did her very best, but between changing airports and examining all the options, she was  forced to submit to the inclement weather from Siberia which has disrupted British and Irish travel so badly.  [The Beast from the East].

Though many parts of the North have little or no snow, other parts are snowbound.  Therefore, the decision was made to cancel the entire weekend.

It was a weekend to stay indoors, keep warm and providing your electric hadn’t given up, you could sew, sew, sew.

Belated Happy St David’s Day to all our Welsh friends. Photo taken on the 1st March 2018.

Leaving you with this text message received yesterday from a quilter who lives just outside Dublin. In case anyone doesn’t know – all Dublin flights have been cancelled until tomorrow. She says:

Good morning, sitting here snug and warm indoors. More snow last night on top of a foot from Tuesday night. So, I’m forced to sew, sew, sew. We have a full tank of oil, plenty of fuel for the fire and lots of food. Plus candles should the power go and wool applique projects if candle light permits.



Ladies, we’ll be in touch about rescheduling Janet etc. Meanwhile take the Kildare Quilter’s advice – and snuggle down with your favourite project.

Happy Quilting.


Paula says: Dive Into Your Stash

This post applies only to Northern Ireland Patchwork Guild Members  

We have been invited to take part in this year’s Crafting Live exhibition in the Titanic Exhibition Hall.

Paula, our Chair invites you to submit a small piece which will be used to decorate the NIPG space and wonders if you have a stash of fabric? If so, please ‘Dive Into Your Stash’.

There may be quilters  unaware of  the occupational hazard, which afflicts many quilters – a compulsion to accumulate fabric, referred to as a ‘stash’.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary the definition of stash is:

1. A store or supply of something, typically one that is kept hidden or secret.

2. Store (something) safely and secretly in a specified place.

A quilter’s stash begins with the purchase of fabric for the first project and quickly grows.  There are many substantiated reports of a quilter’s stash multiplying overnight.

The acquisition of fabric is justified as being essentially a  quilter’s palette or a ‘creative resource centre’  A quilter’s stash is actually a place to go for inspiration and ideas when planning the quilting for a project.  A highly organised stash may look like this:

Whichever way you’ve organised it or indeed not organised it, Paula invites you to:






Completed pieces should be brought to the April Meeting on Saturday 7th April.

Please complete the following form.  (Unless advised otherwise, poles are not required.) Download the form from here craftinglive2018


From Trash to Treasure or Treasure from Trash with Pat Archibald

[Banner is ‘Overcrowded World by Irene MacWilliam]

New Year 2018 was heralded by  cold, wet weather, which unfortunately was reflected in the heat (or lack of) in our Hall.  The heating is out of our control, but the talk by Pat Archibald was hot and steamy bringing us in a journey around Ghana and illustrating how items which we casually discard can be made into objects of beauty.

Pat Archibald, a quilter of international repute, was co-owner of Scotland’s first dedicated patchwork and quilting shop, which she subsequently sold, has taught specialist textile classes to students from far and wide. She has had her wonderful work widely exhibited in the UK, Europe and in the USA, in addition to which she has travelled far and wide,  garnering ideas and discovering craft makers. Recently she led a textile holiday to Vietnam.  Her history into quilting is documented on her website. 

We were fascinated with Pat’s  travels in Ghana, she brought to life the craftspeople in different parts of the country, with a variety of skills. Weavers, dyers-of-fabric,  people who stamped blocks on fabric to make intricate patterns, glass bead makers, brass beads makers, and potters amongst others.

The photos which she generously shared showed a great many very happy smiling people, justifiable proud of their inspiring work in creating high quality items from virtually nothing.

Pat fullfilled her promise to transport us to “far flung places”.

She demonstrated how artists and craftworkers in underprivileged parts of the world combine their resourcefulness with what is available to them locally to produce fabulous textiles and artworks.



Hallow’een is almost here, but first our October Meeting

A word from Paula, our Chair about our next meeting on October 7th

Hi to all,

October meeting is fast approaching and I hope you all are looking forward to it.   I will be on holidays and will not be with you, but I have left you in the capable hand of Adrienne ,who will collect any of the syringe bags you have made for Judith Hollies charity

This should be a very interesting talk and half day workshop, not forgetting the half day workshop on the Sunday

Some of the workshops filled up very quickly so we will start a waiting list on a first come basis in case of cancellations

Please check out November workshops as I believe there are some spaces .

I’m  hoping you are all working on your Christmas tree ornaments as we will have a great display.

I will see you all again in November so enjoy next weekend    Paula

New section on workshop requirements has been added, especially for those who are fortunate to get on one of the workshops.

Visit us [Stand E20] at Crafting Live, Titanic Quarter, Belfast. Also, read the wee note from our Chair, Brenda.

17991730_1322907917774323_3698040205928583345_oQuilters can cope with weather warnings of snow and ice, we’d just stay home and quilt. Sun is still shining at the moment and happy days – only one day to go for the Crafting Live exhibition at the Titanic Quarter, Belfast.  STAND E20
NIPG will be there, Stand E20,  so proud and thankful to our members  who have worked Titanic 1really hard behind the scenes, liaising with the exhibition and  a hundred and one things required to participate in an exhibition like this.  Best bit is that they have quilts to decorate the stand, Stand E20. Visit to see what they have found, or keep an eye on the Facebook postings. 

Anne James posted in today’s FB:   Exciting times for us! We’re gearing up for this, and hope to see you all there. We’re on Stand E20 and will be delighted to chat to you all about all things patchwork. Do come and see us!  Stand E20

NIPG Stall

Brenda’s letter to us:

Hi Members                          24 April 2017 22:09

There are 2 workshops left for this quilting year, the usual Sunday workshop on 7 May and one on Friday 12 May. As the meetings are always so busy I thought you might like to see more details.
Sunday 7 May Folk Museum.
This is a bag workshop with Pauline Openneer from Donegal. Pauline is Dutch, who came to live in Ireland some time ago and used had a shop in Dunfanaghy for some years.
She will be making a large bag, photo below. The photo shows the bag in tweed however Pauline has told us that you can make the bag in what ever material you like cotton, linen or tweed.
If you are interested in either of these workshops please get in touch with Paula.
Do not wait until the next meeting email her  through the NIPG email
She will be able to give you all the details and requirements list.

Friday 12 May Orangefield Presbyterian Church

This workshop is being given by our own Valerie McKeown and is a Dragonfly Cushion.
The workshop is suitable for people with a basic knowledge of machine quilting and want to expand their skills to create colour and texture with thread.
 Using a line drawing of a Dragonfly students will learn how to create fusible pieces for the body, stabilise the fabric surface, and choose the right threads for thread sketching.

Volunteering at Mount Stewart with Jayne

This beautiful blog posting from Jayne McClenaghan, NIPG member just had to be shared.  A huge thank you to Jayne and all the other volunteers for the work you do to maintain this rich heritage and thank you for this glimpse into life with Smudge.

[Mount Stewart is a National Trust property in Northern Ireland, which, according to their website is:  “one of the most inspiring and unusual gardens in the National Trust’s ownership”.
The garden reflects a rich tapestry of design and great planting artistry that was the hallmark of Edith, Lady Londonderry. The mild climate of Strangford Lough allows astonishing levels of planting experimentation. The formal areas exude a strong Mediterranean feel and resemble an Italian villa landscape; the wooded areas support a range of plants from all corners of the world, ensuring something to see whatever the season.
Mount Stewart House
The house has now re-opened after our 3 year long restoration project.We’ve brought back the elegance and charm of the house when it was home of the 7th Marchioness Edith, Lady Londonderry and her family in the early 20th century and we look forward to welcoming you to enjoy in all its splendour]

Despite the fact I had made an agreement with myself that I would volunteer a few hours once a fortnight which has become three days a week, I am still managing to have my regular visits with Smudge. Can’t have her getting withdrawal symptoms. The weather has allowed a few picnic days so we can…

via Mountstewart- Visiting and Volunteering — one day at a time

Words from Brenda… on Create a Thon; Friday Workshop; Next Meeting on Sat 1st April and Crafting Live Exhibition Form

“Hello Members and Friends

Spring has really started over the last few days of lovely weather, lets hope it continues.

The April meeting is on the 1st April, All Fools Day, though we will not be celebrating the fools bit!

We meet as usual in the Parochial Hall at the Folk Museum, doors open 10.00 a.m. and meeting starts at 10.45 a.m.” 

Speaker at next meeting.

Our speaker, Gabrielle Grant whom we are very much looking forward to is from the Fennell Shed, Buncrana.

Gabrielle 1

Not only is she going to be with us on Saturday, but all day Sunday 2nd when she will be taking an all day workshop  on  Magic Tricks which sounds interesting. 

Gabrielle 2

Not sure what the ‘Magic Tricks’ will consist of, but I know that this is one of Gabrielle’s latest quilts. 

There may still be a couple of spaces, members contact Paula Ellis for information.


Create a Thon Organised by the BBC & Voluntary Arts

This takes place on Saturday 8 April in the Ulster Museum Stranmills Road from 11.00a.m to 4.00p.m. It  is a National event organised by the BBC and the Voluntary Arts celebrating Get Creative Weekend.  Should be a great day with lots of organisations taking part. There will be a Mad Hatters Drawing Party, music, poetry, The Big Sock, Kate Smeltzer with 10,000 origami doves, pottery, a chance to colour Butterflies and of course N. Ireland Patchwork Guild and much more

Eastside Arts in Belfast are holding taster music sessions and showcasing music and dance.

Big Telly Theatre Company will be hitting the streets of Coleraine, Portrush and Portstewart and asking the general public to get creative and tell their stories as part of their Trade Secrets project.

The next Friday Workshop  will be on  12 May 2017.

This will be held in Orangefield Presbyterian Church, Castlereagh Road.

The tutor is our own Valerie McKeown and she will show us how to make a Dragonfly cushion. 

Valerie's Cushion

This workshop is for those who already have basic machine quilting experience and who want to expand their skills to create colour and texture with thread. Using a line drawing of a dragonfly, you learn to create fusible pieces for the body, stabilise the fabric surface and choose the right threads for thread stitching. 

See Paula Ellis for more information and to book a place.

Crafting Live 

Titanic 1Many moons ago, we informed our members  about being offered a stall at the forthcoming  Crafting Live exhibition in the Titanic Exhibition Centre. That is now just around the corner.

The show itself is open from Thursday 27 April until Saturday 29 April, and is open 10am-5pm on Thursday and Friday, and 10am-4pm on Saturday. Your entrance ticket gets you in all 3 days of the show if you feel like making a weekend of it.

Over the duration of the show you can visit a vast range of exhibitors stocking stamps, dies, decoupage, fabric, ribbon and much more. You can stock up on all of your craft essentials, as well as finding inspiration from brand new products, whilst meeting your favourite TV crafters. There are also refreshment options and areas to have a much needed sit down after all that shopping!

We  want to decorate our stall with pieces made by our members,  to give visitors an idea of what the  Northern Ireland Patchwork Guild  is all about.

No theme, but obviously with our stall being  relatively small, ( 2 metres x 1 metre, and about 2 metres high, the item you submit should also be fairly small. Cushions, bags, small wall-hangings, quilts, bags, cushions, etc. it doesn’t have to be new, and may indeed have been exhibited before.


Please bring your chosen item  to the April Meeting, with the completed form, which you will find below.

For  information only, we’ve been allocated E20.

Titanic 2


Crafting Live Application

Colors Unfurled

This brightly coloured quilt can hardly fail to provoke a reaction. Attractive. Very bright. Fussy? Busy? Love it? Too much, perhaps?

Whatever your reaction,  it might change when you  read Maria Shell’s description of the quilt’s journey.  The thoughtfulness  involved in the construction.

Once you know exactly what it represents, it’s difficult not to see. When you learn about the meanings behind it, will you view it differently?



Maria Shell

While I am alone during the day in my studio, I almost always listen to National Public Radio. In the fall of 2009,  I was stitching on my long arm quilting machine and listening to the Democratic Party select Barrack Obama to be their candidate for the President of the United States of America, and my heart filled with joy.

I–like so many others–wanted to in some way celebrate this moment. I had just done a bang up job on cleaning my studio. I had abandoned many old projects that were never going to become quilts on their own. These half finished quilts were now officially what I call “bits”–potential filler for community quilts or kitchen sink quits.

I had an idea. What if I take all the star blocks I’d made over the years and used them to make a new version of the American flag? A version of…

View original post 676 more words

Brenda’s letter about Cultra and things

Members and Friends, 
I am afraid I am rather late with the follow up of last weeks meeting.
If you missed the meeting you missed a treat. Valerie Wilson gave a talk about the Museums textile collection accompanied by pictures. She them showed us a quilters dozen of the most extraordinary quilts from the Museum’s collection.
There was one made from shirt fabric and ties by some of the workers from the shirt factories in Londonderry and one made from pyjama material. There were contemporary designs, a beautiful wall hanging that had been made specially for the museum, a fabulous very old plain one coloured quilt that was hand quilted and corded.
The last quilt she showed us was a large quilt that had been hand appliqued with flowers that were stitched on with tiny blanket stitches and must have taken a very long time to make.
Lastly she showed a small suitcase that had been donated which contained hexagons that had been hand sewn into larger hexagons, you could still read some of the printing on the papers.
Hopefully you will have seen the pictures posted on facebook, including this one – sampler made by a former NIPG member.
I am sure you are all aware that Roma had a fall at the guild and had to go to hospital. Well she has a fractured pelvis and is on crutches. I spoke to her during the week and she sounded cheerful although she is in a lot of pain. I have sent her the guilds best wishes and hope we will see her at the April meeting.
There will be another Friday Workshop on the 12 May 2017 in Orangefield Presbyterian Church. The tutor this time will be Valerie McKeown who will show us how to make an appliqued dragonfly with free machined wings. (Photo shows Valerie delighted to win at the Clogher Valley show in 2014. Paula will have a picture and the requirements list at the April meeting.
My thanks to everyone who has made cuddlies for the Neo Natal unit at the Royal hospital.  To date we have 177 hopefully we could reach 200 by June when we will hand them over.
See you all in April