22 May, 2010

Workshop for the public at Galway City Museum

As part of the Western Branch Exhibition in the Galway City Museum Toni Foley, Mary McDonnell and Anne Marie Horan gave two workshops to members of the public on Saturday 22nd May.
It was decided to teach the basic building blocks of a four-patch and a half-square triangle. By adding a border everyone went away with a 14"square piece.
All pieces were pre-cut and it wasn't long before everyone was sewing 1/4 inch seams. The photo shows the finished pieces of Maire, Marie, Pauline and Angela.
The workshop stimulated a lot of interest in the participants and also in visitors to the exhibition who were walking through the Gallery.
Thanks to Breandan and all the Museum staff for their help and here's hoping the Western Branch gets some new members in September!
Ann-Marie Horan

15 May, 2010

Castle Quilters Roscommon: Workshop with Mogs McDonnell

Today Mogs McDonnell travelled to Roscommon to give a stained glass-window workshop to the Castle Quilters in Roscommon. A great day was had by everyone involved and as you can see from the photo a lot was achieved in the class. Mogs also teaches a wide range of patchwork and quilting skills to all levels from her beautiful stone-built studio 'Bolg na Talun' near Headford, Co. Galway.

14 May, 2010

"Quilts 1700 - 2010" Exhibition at the V&A Museum, London

If you get a chance to see this exhibition at the V&A Museuem in London before it finishes on 4th July, I highly recommend you go. The exhibition is divided into 5 'rooms':
  • The Domestic Landscape
  • Private Thoughts - Political Debates
  • Virtue and Virtuosity
  • Making a Living
  • Meeting the Past

It is well laid out with a good mix of historical and contemporary work.

I hired the i-touch audio visual guide available at the door and was very impressed with how it increased my enjoyment of the exhibition. It had photos of a selection of the quilts which allowed you to zoom in and see the stitching, which wasn't always possible to do in reality because some items were displayed on beds and you couldn't get close because of barriers. It also included some interviews with the contemporary makers which gave a great insight into their inspirations and methods of working.

I was particularly struck by the video accompanying a quilt made by men in Wandsworth prison which was commissioned by the V&A for the exhibition. I was surprised by how vulnerable these men seemed and their obvious enjoyment in sewing the quilt contradicted my own preconceived expectation that the prisoners would be tough, uninterested and unwilling to express their feelings.

There were plenty of other colourful, imaginative and beautifully constructed quilts all of which I will savour at leisure as I bought the accompanying book to take home!

The V&A is a wonderful museum with so much to see. There are fantastic giftshops, bookshops and tearooms. There is a giftshop immediately as you exit the exhibition, with lots of specially created patchwork fabrics, gifts, books and sewing notions inspired by the exhibition. Resist if you can!

For more information visit www.vam.ac.uk and www.vandashop.com for the quilting fabrics.

(Ester Kiely)

11 May, 2010

"Down the Road" an exhibition by Cork Textiles Network

Any of you travelling to Cork in June? Check out this exhibition which opens on 3rd June and runs until the 17th June at St. Fin Barre's Cathedral in Cork. For more information on the work of Cork Textiles Network see www.corktextiles.com

08 May, 2010

May: Western Challenge Trophy presented to Johanna Tyrell

"Hearts for Ella" by Johanna Tyrell wins the Western Trophy Challenge.

Miriam Gogarty (Executive Chair of IPS), Johanna Tyrell (Western Trophy Challenge winner) and Veronika Feldmann (Chair of Western Branch of IPS).

Miriam Gogarty was invited as this year's judge for the Western Trophy Challenge at 'The West's Awake' exhibition in the Galway City Museum.

Miriam complimented everyone on the work displayed and the overall presentation of the exhibition. She also gave a special mention to a number of quilts in the exhibition, which she admired for a variety of reasons.

However, one quilt stood out for it's workmanship, choice of colours and the warmth of the sentiment inspiring its creation. With great pleasure Miriam and Veronika presented the award to Johanna Tyrell for her beautiful quilt 'Hearts for Ella'.

Congratulations Johanna from all your friends in the Western Branch!

May: Show & Tell

Celtic quilt by Monica Lannon.

'Lara's Quilt' was made by Brenda Maloney for our littlest member Lara Feldmann!

Margaret Cunnane finished the 'Jacob's Ladder' quilt, which she started at Linda McMulkin's workshop.

May: Show & Tell

Lynn Naughton showed us a selection of the fabrics she dyed at last month's workshop with Nikki Foley.
Lynn decided to use these fabrics as a starting point for some experimental techniques she is learning from instructional videos at www.lindakemshall.com (Design Matters TV).
The fruit shapes were created by cutting a stencil from freezer paper and ironing it onto the fabric, bleach (or in this case toilet cleaner!) was applied to remove the dye, then the fruit was coloured in using Markal sticks (some info on how to use markal sticks can be found at www.embroiderersguild.com/stitch/projects/markal/index.html).
Lynn has created totally original fabric, with lovely shading, using these techniques and intends to continue her fruit theme to make a quilt/wall-hanging.

May: Show & Tell

Lynn also told us about some interesting tools for free-motion quilting that she has started to use as recommended by Leah Day (at www.daystyledesigns.com and www.freeemotionquilting.blogspot.com).

Supreme Slider costs approx $30 and sits on the bed of your machine. The bottom surface is non-slip and adheres to your machine-bed. The upper surface allows your work to glide freely as you machine-quilt. It has a hole to allow the needle to stitch as normal.

These quilter's gloves are made from a light breathable cotton yet they have rubber tipped fingers to allow you to grip the fabric for free-motion stitching. Some of us have used other gloves, gardening gloves or even footballer's gloves which can be a cheaper alternative, but they are sometimes a bit uncomfortable to wear. Lynn recommends these 'Machingers'.
These and other tools can be found at www.daystyledesigns.com.

05 May, 2010

Newspaper reports on exhibition at the Museum

A photograph and article appeared on page 8 of today's Galway Independent about the Western Branch exhibition "The West's Awake" at the Galway City Museum.
Rosalie Andrews, Veronika Feldmann and Joan Colleran display "Western Reflections" a heritage quilt which will be worked on throughout the month at the Museum and presented to the Museum for its permanent collection.

04 May, 2010

Exhibition: The West's Awake is opened by the Mayor of Galway

We are very excited to see our exhibition open at the Galway City Museum for the whole month of May. This is our second time exhibiting at this beautiful location, where all the staff make us very welcome and we always receive great feedback from visitors to the Museum. We are expecially grateful to Breandan and Mattie for the care and attention with which they have displayed our work.

The exhibition was opened officially today, Tuesday 4th May by the Mayor of Galway, Declan McDonnell. We were delighted that he was able to attend despite his busy schedule. Sandlin Poth made a beautiful cushion, inspired by the marble tiles of Galway City Cathedral which was presented to the Mayor. The quilt on display behind them in the photograph is "Prairie Flowers" by Marie McPhilips.

Toni Foley and her sister are photographed in front of the group quilt made by Western Branch members and quilted by Frances Conroy. This quilt will now be raffled amongst those who contributed a block.

Lynn Naughton, Marie McPhilips, Bridgie Dalton and Pat O'Rourke from Roscommon stand in front of Bridgie's hand appliqued quilt.

Sally Coyle, James Harald (Galway City Arts Officer) and Margaret Cunnane in front of "Autumn Flight" by Colette O'Donnell.

Anna, Veronika and Lara Feldmann with Rosalie Andrews in front of "Rhythm and Blue" by Vera Buckley.

More photos from the opening of The West's Awake

Aine Ui Dhomhnaill with her mother and Breandan O'Heaghaire of Galway City Museum in front of Aine's first exhibition piece.

Peter and Linda McMulkin in front of "The West's awake, morning, noon and night" by Rosalie Andrews. We wish Linda a speedy recovery to her ankle!

Mogs McDonnell shows her "Amish for Saoirse" quilt to a guest.
Ester Kiely in front of her "Family Ties" quilt which returned from its travels to the Heritage exhibition in Sitges, Spain and Canada.

Mari Moran and Sandlin Poth in front of "Jacob's Ladder" by Jackie O'Toole.

More photos of the opening of "The West's Awake"

Invited guests listen to the Mayor's speech.

Invited guests listen to the story about the Hungarian/Irish collaboration on the two "Let the Flowers Bloom" quilts.

Liz and Breege from Abbeyknockmoy ICA group meet the Mayor of Galway and admire the "Let the Flowers Bloom" quilts. Abbeyknockmoy are currently working on their first patchwork wall-hanging to commemorate the ICA centenary in 2010 (see http://www.esterkiely.blogspot.com/ for more information on this project).

Anna Feldmann and friends in front of the "Let the Flowers Bloom" quilt.

Aisling sings "The West's Awake" to mark the opening of the exhibition.