[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.
Members crafted tree decorations from felt, beads and fabric to create a stunning display. Santa Brian patiently wrapped them all and then redistributed them to the NIPG members.
Mince pies were consumed and everyone was encouraged to sing a particular version of Jingle Bells. The one depicted here is similar to that which we sang, but if anyone would like to send in the actual words we could put them up here.
A delightful display of glass ornaments was the first thing you saw when entering the hall.
This was accompanied by an intriguing talk from Anne Marie Nelson and her partner about glass making. A great variety of questions were put to them. All in all, very interesting indeed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
On 26th June, I received an email from the Guild asking for volunteers to hand embroider a “very important piece – fabulous fabric – specially made” at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, that had to be finished by 10 July 2017, with the unveiling of the project on 17 July.
I liked the sound of it! So I signed up for it. What a surprise – it was a huge tapestry specially woven for the latest series of The Game of Thrones!
And it was gorgeous! And very, very bloodthirsty!
We were all sworn to secrecy. And we kept our word. Not a single leak! My husband became more and more curious as the days went on. I didn’t tell him what I had been doing, until the Mail and the Sun broke the news on-line the night before the media launch.
It was fascinating work.
The tapestry had been specially woven and our job was to highlight various parts of it, generally hair and clothing, with the blood, crowns, sword hilts etc being highlighted in metallic thread (a nightmare to sew!) to make them stand out even more from the background.
I was very proud of my “hair embroidery”, and even more proud of embellishing the zombies’ clothing to make it look even more decayed. Not often one is asked to do that!
There were four of us from the Guild and others from the other Craft Guilds, around 30 volunteers in all. We worked well together, with quiet conversations going on all round. The constant supply of Tunnocks Tea Cakes greatly helped!
The tapestry came to us in 6 panels, as they came off the looms. Each panel represented one series, with an illustration of each episode woven into it. The last panel was very late indeed, arriving on 13th July. With the media-launch scheduled for 17th, we were working as fast as we could. It also meant that I didn’t get to embellish the ‘decaying flesh’ I had been asked to do, and for which there was a specific colour of thread!
Each panel – about 35 feet long – was laid out on a long run of work tables, and a number of us worked on each panel simultaneously. As well as the embroidery and embellishing, we needed to sew Velcro to the back of the tapestry so that it could be hung. Once I got into a rhythm with this, I reckoned to herringbone Velcro at a rate of 5 feet per hour. Others were faster!
The gallery we were working in was closed to the public “for routine maintenance”. I did rather wonder what visitors to the Museum made of the groups of ladies coming and going to carry out the “Maintenance”!
We were given a preview of the tapestry in the Ulster Museum immediately after the media launch. My word, it was impressive! And the really interesting thing is – it is a work in progress. Each episode of the current series will be woven and sent to the Museum for embellishing and hanging along with the rest of the tapestry. Our incoming Treasurer, Jayne McClenaghan was lucky enough to work on the first episode.
I have really enjoyed the experience. It was exciting, interesting and varied work. I met new people, which is always good, and in short, I had a ball! I’m looking forward to working on it some more. My friends and my younger relatives are so impressed!
Yes, we are getting very excited about the Hands Across the Border exhibition coming to the beautiful setting of the Island Arts Centre, Lisburn.
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
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…
Quilters 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 really 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
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 email@example.com
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.
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…
All Quilters welcome. Our membership encompasses the lone quilter to local groups, with our Mariner’s Compass logo representing the span of our membership. Each and everyone has a place in the Quilter's Guild of Ireland. Join us..