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`

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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

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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

February 2020 Meeting – Words from your Chair, Anne Hardcastle

Next Meeting: Our next meeting is Saturday 1st February, when we welcome Ruth Brown ( Stone Creek Textiles) to give her talk ‘Turn  Around when possible`  .

Her workshops are a bit different and involve making notebooks and sketchbooks. 

Saturday half -day workshop with Ruth Brown is making a hardback A6 notebook (front row in photo below) and the Sunday full-day workshop is the A5 Coptic Stitched Sketch book (back row in photo below).

Workshop Requirements: The only requirement for the February workshop is a cutting mat – at least A4 and preferably bigger.
Ruth brings all the other materials and tools that are needed.

Materials Fee: £3 for the half-day Saturday workshop & £6 for the full-day Sunday workshop.

Coptic and A6 Notebooks from Ruth Brown

In Her Own Words – Ruth Brown from Stone Creek Textiles

It’s been a long road from there to here… I spent many years working in various jobs, mainly in IT before I was dragged along to an art materials exhibition by a friend and saw someone demonstrating silk painting. The colours she was using were amazing – rich vibrant colour on a shimmering fabric.
So I started my textile work with silk painting, then added batik and shibori to various dyeing methods, including procion dyeing and indigo. I use a number of different screen printing techniques including the wonderful breakdown screen printing.

For many years I’ve produced cyanotypes on fabric, a photographic process from 1843 which gives beautiful prussian blue and white images. This was the subject of my first book revised and re-printed in 2016, and is still a firm favourite.

Books by Ruth Brown

I also use digital images and design methods in my work. Since I spent 20 years working with IT I’m very comfortable with combining digital techniques and textiles and this formed the subject of my second book, Digital Imagery on Fabric.
More recently I’ve become hooked on making books. I went on a one day workshop with a brilliant binder called Glenn Malkin – we took a pile of paper, some board, a length of thread, a piece of book cloth and some very basic tools and created a proper hard back book! I was thoroughly hooked and have studied with Glenn and other binders ever since.

Glenn Malkin in his bindery, East Yorkshire

Through Glenn I discovered the Grange a beautiful centre that specialises in book related skills – book binding, Letterpress and marbling. I am investigating various book forms, with multi-needle coptic binding a current favourite, and enjoy converting my own fabrics into book cloth to use on the books I make.
I’ve been teaching textile workshops for many years now and thoroughly enjoy passing on my knowledge and experience to my students. I get such a ‘buzz’ from seeing what they achieve. Now I’m teaching them to make books as well …

Forthcoming Quilt Fayre: I would like to thank everyone who has volunteered to lend a hand at the Quilt Fayre in the Stormont Hotel in March. I am now reassured that there will be enough helpers to make it feasible for the Guild to have a ( free) stand at the event. 

Display item for Quilt Fayre: The sign-up clipboards will be available again in February  because I’m hoping that there has been time to look, that perhaps more folk will have found a small ( about 12″ square or A4 Christmas Carol )item for the display. 

If you have and they would be much appreciated, these will need to be brought to the March meeting. Please, please put your name on the back.

Help in March: Help on the exhibit receiving table would be appreciated as we will also have the Charity table in March. 

Charity Table in March: Yes this is happening in March Items for the Charity table please bring patchwork/sewing items-preferably priced- that you would like to re-home. Donors are asked to take home any unsold items.  

The year is starting to become busy!! 

Looking forward to seeing you in February.

Best wishes


NIPG Meetings: If you are interested in attending a meeting go to the information available on the website here About Us & Visitor Information

Rosie James – November Speaker and Workshops. 2-3 November

We are thrilled to have Rosie James as our Speaker on Saturday 2nd November. She is also doing a workshop for those fortunate enough to attend.

Rosie James is a Textile Artist living and working in Kent. She has a BA Hons Textiles degree from Surrey Institute of Art and Design and an MA in Textiles from Goldsmith College London.

Here’s a link to the AXIS Artists Directory, where Rosie has a comprehensive listing of her work.

Rosie started making dyed and screen printed fabrics, scarves, ties, cushions etc, but once she discovered that she could use the sewing machine to draw with, she found herself doing less print and began creating larger and more one off pieces.
Her first stitched drawing was of a group of friends at a beach hut party in Kent. This piece won the Bentliff Museum and Art Gallery prize in 2008 and spurred her on to do more.

City Streets

She uses crowds and large gatherings as her first point of reference. She says she is
‘looking for the detail in the ordinary but also the commonality within the group’.

One of her favorite artists is Pieter Breughel the elder whose paintings depicted large groups of people with details of everyday life.

Photographs are used to still movement and to reveal details; these photographs are then used to create drawings and then sewn onto fabric using a sewing machine.


Rosie uses transparent fabrics and likes to use raised stitches and to leave loose threads, which reveals the process of sewing. Transparent cloth allows her to layer the drawings on top of each other, and to build up the crowd. She screen-prints buildings, windows, roofs and skylines in many of her pieces of work, these elements create a sense of atmosphere and build links between the people and their location and their belongings.

Her commissioned work hangs in Ordeal Hall, Salford and the Hilton Hotel at Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5.

The Ordsall Hall, Salford commission hangs in the 16th century Great Hall. It consists of screen-printed photographs of groups of people living in the Ordsall area in the 1930’s running alongside a printed Ordsall skyline. Below this there are stitched drawings of people from the local communities in the area surrounding the hall.

Ordsall Hall, Salford
Image result for stitch draw rosie james
£ 14.99 Published Oct 2018. Available at most bookshops such as Waterstones and Amazon.

She enjoys teaching and running workshops and has recently written a book entitled: “Stitch Draw” which showcases other Textile Artists work and includes Rosie’s vast knowledge. She takes you through in simple steps and techniques on how to draw with a sewing machine.

Rosie is also a member of the Art Textiles Made in Britain Group

Thanks to Janette McKie for the photos and information.

Letter from our Chair, Anne Hardcastle re our next meeting Sat 5th October with Tomoni McElwee.

Hi Folks,

Lovely weather for sewing!At our meeting on 5th October we will welcome Tomoni McElwee who began making patchwork quilts when she moved from Japan to Ireland in 1998.  [More information on Tomoni at ].

Illusion Table Runner Sunday Workshop

A consistent prize-winner at the Tinahealy Show, Tomoni will enhance her talk by bringing her quilts with her. 

Places are available on both her Saturday workshop for a small Japanese drawstring bag  and Sunday `illusion table runner`.

Contact Mary Walker for details: . 

Please consider having a go at the Christmas Challenge `My Favourite Christmas Carol`   – an A4 size piece is not too challenging.

Hope to see you soon


NB Check out the workshop requirements page

The Patchwork Bags look adorable and are a wonderful way of using up scraps.

Hands Across the Border 2019.Ruby Serendipity moves to St. Mary’s Cathedral, Kilkenny – 17th to 21st July 2019. 10.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. daily

After a successful stay in Flowerfield, Portstewart, the Hands Across the Border exhibition moved to Louth County Library, in Dundalk.

After spending time in Dundalk, the exhibition has now reached the Charter Room in Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Kilkenny, from 17th – 21st July.

Here are a few of the exquisite quilts which were seen in Flowerfield. Congratulations to the outgoing 2019 – 19 Committee for putting on an amazing exhibition and pulling everything together. It certainly doesn’t happen by magic, but through a lot of hard work. NIPG Committee: your turn to take it easy now.

To see more photos of the quilts, click HERE

There are still a few photos of the quilts missing – hoping to rectify that very soon.

Ruby Serendipity at Flowerfield, Portstewart

In honour of this year being our Ruby Anniversary, the NIPG chose the title ‘Ruby Serendipity’ for our biennial Hands Across the Border exhibition, which we share with the Irish Patchwork Society.

Why have a photo of Black Eyed Susans?

A learned friend spotted that we had referred to our Hands Across the Border exhibition as being bi-annual, that is twice per year.

The Gardeners among you will have been jumping up and down, because we should have said biennial – meaning once every two years.

Hence the photo of the Black Eyed Susans which is a biennial plant.

Everything is on track – lots of quilts were gathered up at our last Meeting for our, ready to be transported to the Flowerfield Arts Centre, Portstewart.

At the time of writing, even the weather is improving, though we can’t get too complacent, April is not renown for April Showers for nothing! Still nothing, but nothing will dampen our spirits with so many great events behind us and still more to come.

We’ve had a wonderful visit from Kaffe Fasset and Brandon Malby, with the talk in the Ulster Museum. Congratulations to all those from ‘out of town’ who made it – not easy to find your way there. We think Belfast is small, but when you need to find a specific building and more importantly find a parking space, things can get trickly. So really happy you made it and trust you enjoyed it.

The workshop held in Windmill Fabrics was great fun and well received by all those who attended – not least the ladies from Windmill Fabrics.

As if all that excitement wasn’t enough we’ve a few more great events to look forward to.

While we’re galloping towards Hands Across the Border, let’s not forget we still have two meetings and a Sunday workshop ahead of us.

  • Saturday 4th May – Usual Meeting – 10:00 for 10:30 at Cultra with Hazel Bruce
  • Saturday 4th May – afternoon – quick gallop up to Portstewart for the Opening of Hands Across the Border by Lady Mary Peters at 15:00.
  • Sunday 5th May Ruth Crothers ‘Shibori Dyeing’. This is a class much demanded by members, so hope you can all make it. Non-members are welcome too.
  • Saturday 1st June NIPG Annual General Meeting