Monday 19 March 2018

An unexpected quilt exhibition

The library in our nearest town is a great resource. Of course it is full of books (what is a library without books?!), audio books, and a few videos. The staff is extremely friendly and very knowledgeable. It has a reading corner for children and a newspaper reading table for adults. There are study tables for students, and computers to use, too.

Then there are the activities, reading aloud sessions for the small ones, poetry readings for adults, and occasional musical performances (in a library, I know - shhh)! A great resource I have been using for more than 10 years now, is the "multi purpose room", a room that can be booked (for free) for groups to meet. We meet there as a group of quilters once a week, to sew, discuss, advise and inspire on everything quilt-making. I show techniques, solve issues, discuss use of colour and materials. We stretch and baste quilts together on our shared frame or on the tables (basting is so much quicker and easier as a shared task!) and we sometimes make a group quilt for charity. And of course, we have a cup of coffee/tea and put the world to rights!

Double Wedding Ring quilt ready for basting

Group quilt for charity

Another part of our library is the exhibition space. Every two weeks the display changes. From photographs by the local photographers club, to paintings by a local artist or art group, to school art work, and yes, even quilts! The space is so popular that the slots are booked a year in advance... We have used the space a few times to display our quilts, I have posted about one of those exhibitions before.

A couple of weeks ago I was approached by one of the librarians with the (hesitant) question whether I was able to display a few quilts for the very next exhibition slot which was a few days away. The planned exhibition was not going to take place and the staff and visitors would be looking at bare walls for two weeks... Well of course!
I intended to show quilts from the group again, but it turned out too short a time frame to get that together. So I literally grabbed what quilts I could find at home and had a solo exhibition!

Of course, being in the library, related books were also on display:

Having my work all hung together made me realise how varied my work is! From muted or dark, to bright; from traditional to "modern"; pieced or appliqué, hand quilted or machine quilted; made years ago or finished recently, it was all there. Even the Beach Huts tote was included.

Black Jewel Box (centre)
And hanging in this space I have taken the opportunity to photograph some of my makes. It made me determined once again to add more posts to My Quilts page, too...

Some are already to be found there, like the Black Jewel Box above and Urban Jungle below:

Urban Jungle
Others are pictured on My Quilts page, but are still awaiting a blog post:

Beach Huts mini
Yet others have never been seen on the blog before (as far as I can remember):

If Pablo Could Sew
Most of my quilts are my own design, but this one was made when pattern testing for Allison Campbell who blogs at Campbell's Soup Diary (by the way, she just released a new pattern):

Tiptoe through the Tulips mini - pattern tested for Alison Campbell

This quilt I called "Weave" was finished about a year ago.

And also included were these two I made as part of the City & Guilds course:
This wall hanging "Vestibule" usually has pride of place on the chimney breast,


... and this is my king size Feathered Star bed quilt. Which reminds me that I haven't made a feathered star in quite a while, I'm itching to make another variation...
Feathered Star
While we were hanging the exhibition (me handing up the quilts while the librarian stood on some steps - health and safety prevents me to do something so hazardous!)  I took the opportunity to book another exhibition for next year, which should see some new work from our group - fittingly called the Library Quilters.

I hope to have some new work ready for that, so I better get sewing, of course!


Sunday 4 March 2018

Snow days

As you probably know, I live in Ireland. Which means mild, wet winters and cool, wet summers.
To be more specific, I live quite high up in the south of Ireland. A bit less mild and wetter than the very west or the south coast in winter, and a bit cooler and wetter in summer. We have some snow most winters. But not really like we have had the last few days.

This time, the whole country got snow. So much snow that a red weather alert was called for the whole country. Schools closed, universities closed. Libraries closed, shops closed. Before that the shops ran out of bread and milk. Fortunately, being at risk of bad weather most winters, we always have the freezer well stocked up.
We are now four days since the bad weather started, and the red alert has become amber. It has started thawing slowly (and it snows again). The traffic is still limited to farmers, mostly on tractors.

But it is still pretty out in the garden. 

We are comfortable, warm and dry, and we have plenty of food, though milk is running a bit low.
The best thing: I have been sewing. If it continues this way, I may have a finish before the snow is forgotten! Fortunately I obtained fabric before the snow stopped postal deliveries, and it is perfect for the sashing of my log cabin quilt.

So now the top is sewn together, and I am stitching up the backing, using up some coloured leftovers from the front to make it big enough.

A silver lining indeed...