Wednesday 5 September 2012

Learning to Quilt in Ireland

Calling Irish Quilters!  Calling Irish Quilters!

Where did you learn to quilt?  Do you have a teacher or shop that is close to your heart?  Or maybe you teach classes yourself?  If so, would you please email us at mqgireland (at) gmail (dot) com with your recommendation.   Please include the name of the teacher, their contact information and even photos of what you made as well as a little 3-5 sentence review of why you think they are great.  We can then make a new directory on our blog to help those new to quilting find a place nearby to learn. 

Thank you!

Sunday 22 July 2012

Mini Quilt Swap

Did you send off your mini quilt to Atlanta?  Did you get one in return?  There are such gorgeous quilts floating their way back and forth across the Atlantic.  I want to be sure we can all see each and every one of them.

If you have a blog, please link up your posts when you write about the mini quilt you sent to Atlanta or the mini quilt you received in the post.  If you do not have a blog, please just email photos with the names of the creator to me (fluffysheepquilting at gmail dot com) and I'll add them onto this post.  This way we all get to join in the fun!

Thanks so much!

Wednesday 9 May 2012

It's here....the Modern Irish Bee!!

Thanks everyone for your suggestions on the names for our Bee! Eva and Cindy and I had a little chat about the suggestions and we decided that we liked the "Modern Irish Bee"  - simple and classic.  I did a little button if you are taking part and want one for your blog:

Modern Irish Bee

We had 2 people suggest this name, so we will take the first suggestion who was Judith! Congratulations Judith, will you email me your address details and I will pass them to Eva at Pippablue for your prize to be sent out. Thanks again to Pippablue for sponsoring the contest!

So, I have been working away behind the scenes and I have set up the necessary structures for our new Bee! Woohoo, I'm very excited!!

We are now ready to launch it, starting with the first month in July, and we will be running it through Flickr. We have 12 people who wanted to take part right away, so watch out for your invitation to the Flickr Bee group in your Flickrmail or email today. If you are not a Flickr member, you will need to set up a free account over there to take part.

Over in the Flickr group I have 2 posts set up, one of which you need to read straight away -the "How Its All Going to Work" thread......which does exactly what it says on the tin! This is the basic guide to how the Bee works.  The second thread is about what you need to do when it's your month as Queen Bee and is there for a reference when it comes to your month.

Please please feel free to start threads with any questions you have, for general chat etc. We want the Bee to be about having fun and increasing the social interaction in our little community. So jump in and enjoy :-)

I will take the first month (July) to get us kicked off and so that if its your first time in a Bee, you know what to expect.

I hope you all enjoy it! I can't wait. I'm thinking what I'm going to do for my blocks and what fabric I will use........I'm eyeing my Echo FQ bundle and thinking it might be time to cut into it....but I'm not sure yet :-))


P.S. Agnes and Eleanor, I don't have email addresses for either of you, could you email me at with your details please so I can set you up!

Tuesday 24 April 2012

Much A-Do

We have a whole lot going on in our guild, so I wanted to remind you of a few things....

Scrap swap deadline of 30 April is quickly approaching!  If you are going to put your scraps in the post, do so today or tomorrow so Cindy receives them by the 30th.  We have received several packages of  GORGEOUS scraps already, so be sure you join in to expand your stash a bit further.  What's more is the lovely Erin has contributed an Amy Butler FQ as fun surprise giveaway for those participating.

Bee naming contest deadline of 27 April is closing in fast!  Just click here and leave your entry in the comments section.   Pippablue has generously donated 4 FQs and batting for the winning entry, so toss your suggestions in today!

Last but not least, be sure you sign up for the Mini-Quilt Swap with the Atlanta MQG.  You can register here before 13 May.

Thursday 19 April 2012

A Contest! Name our quilting bee

Are you looking for the sign ups for the mini-quilt swap with the Atlanta MQG?  Just go here....

We are absolutely thrilled with the incredible response to our MQG of Ireland quilting bee.  But saying "MQG of Ireland Quilting Bee" when we talk about our bee is just painful.  We need a great name.  A fun name.  An inspiring name.  

Will you suggest one or two?  

For the winning name(s) we have a fabulous giveaway from Pippablue in Galway.  If you have not visited their shop or blog before, I suggest you do so as quickly as possible.  They have a gorgeous array of quilting fabrics, yarns, embellishments, books, personalised baby blankets, etc.  Get.On.Over.There.  But what are they offering to our contest winner? 

Yum!  Theses gorgeous 4 fat quarters of polka dot poplin AND a 36x90 inch piece of batting.  The name ideas are coming to you now, aren't they?  What's more is that Pippablue is offering a 10% discount on batting orders for MQG Ireland members.  This batting normally retails at €12/yard and is 90 inches in width.  Just ring Pippablue blue when placing the order so they know to add the discount: +353 91 566972.  Order yours quickly!

So, to enter your name suggestion, just leave a comment below.  We'll ask Eva and Ger of Pippablue to choose a winner by next Friday, 27th of April.

Good luck!

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Mini-Quilt Swap with the Atlanta MQG


We have the fabulous opportunity to participate in a mini-quilt swap with the Atlanta Modern Quilt Guild.  This is a great chance for Irish modern quilters to hop on the international scene and show off our creativity. Jump on board!

To learn more about the Atlanta Modern Quilt Guild, you can view their brand new website that has TONS of information on their activities.  Go on...have a peek....we'll wait for you to come back.

Right.  Are you all excited to sign up?  Well head (back?) over to the Atlanta MQG website and complete the registration form.  Be sure to have a look at the rules and guidelines below before registering:

  • Mini-quilts should be between 12" x 12" and 18" x 18".  While participants are encouraged to give input on their favorite colors and design elements, the mini-quilt design is up to the maker.
  • Please add a label to the back of your quilt so the recipient will remember who made the quilt.
  • The swap is open to the Irish MQG and paid members of the Atlanta MQG.  In the event of a membership size disparity, swap participants from the larger guild may be assigned a partner in their own guild.
  • Sign-up will be open until May 13. Partners will be assigned and notified the week of May 14th.
  • Mini-quilts are due to partners by July 15 (so plan on mailing in early July).  For Atlanta members, not finishing and sending your project on time will impact your ability to participate in future swaps with the group.
  • Each member that signs up for the swap will be responsible for shipping charges to their recipient. This is NEW for the Atlanta guild - in previous swaps we've consolidated shipping, but since the Irish MQG doesn't meet in person, this is not an option with this swap. When shipping to Ireland, you will need to need to fill out a customs form at the post office, which takes less than 5 minutes. Shipping estimates for a mini-quilt are $16.95 for an International Priority Flat Rate envelope, as long as the package weighs less than 4 pounds. Shipping costs will vary depending on the size of your project.

Tuesday 17 April 2012

Member Profile: Meet Geraldine

Before we wrap up our member introductions, I'd like to present to you Geraldine of Sophie Belle Designs.  Geraldine, tell us more about yourself...

Stars and Stripes: One of Geraldine's favorites.  She says "...probably a bit too ambitious for someone quilting since January '12, but I have enormous patients when I'm quilting, seems to leave me as soon as I leave my sewing room!" 
The basics
Name: Geraldine Conway          
Hometown: Carrantample, Co. Sligo
Current Home: Lucan, Co. Dublin. Live in a great spot which is far too close to the shops!
Flickr name: SophieBelleDesigns
Family: A husband and two children, a boy of 12 and a girl (Sophie) 7
Pets: A cat called Lennie

Love Birds: One of Geraldine's favorites.

The details
What is your day job? Stay at home Mum who gets to sew while the kids are in school. I also spend a lot of time working with my little girl Sophie who has special needs.

What is your current dream job? Pretty happy with my current set up!

What did you want to be as a child? Can’t remember...

What is your favourite time waster? Internet or 4od.

What are you working on now? A baby boy quilt, a gaming pad sleeve and a draught excluder & customised apron

What do you want to be working on right now? I’m designing some cushions with sketches on them, so just working through the overall look I’m aiming for and practising sketching with my sewing machine.

Do you have other hobbies beyond quilting? I paint and draw too & enjoy photography

Do you play sports?  Which ones? None

What is your strongest positive personality trait? Optimism

What is your greatest fear (nothing morbid or spooky…in a lighter sense)? My sewing machine dying

Is there anything in your past that would shock us (that you’re willing to share)? Ha, next..

What started you quilting? My Mum always sewed and quilted so I just followed her lead.

Geraldine's creative space!

A Quick-fire Round….What is your Favourite
place to holiday: Florence or New York
movie: The Station Agent or The Guard
food: Boxty
book: It would be like asking whose my favourite child! Impossible task.
band/song: Again too many to narrow it down.
colour: Blue
saying: ‘it could be worse’
fabric line or designer: Don’t have one, I just like what I see.
sewing tool: Probably my quilting gloves, couldn’t quilt without them.

completed sewing project: My boys stars and stripes quilt
quick finish sewing project: Cushions or iPhone covers

The quilts
I made this quilt for my boy Jack a few years ago. I started out determined to make a cushion for his bed and it ended up as a quilt. I went about it completely the wrong way and made many mistakes but I still love it!

Well this quilt just ended up all wrong. The ‘white’ background of the polka dot was off white and it jarred against the white bands. That bugged me hugely and when I washed it the red colour ran and it all ended up a hot mess. Two lessons were learned though. The first: double check your fabric colours in the store, especially the whites. Second: wash all your colours to make them run proof beforehand. I washed all my red fabrics together after that and it took 16 colour catchers and 6 washes to make them run proof!!!!!

Thursday 12 April 2012

What is Modern Quilting? Part 3....

We asked each of you, our members, what Modern Quilting is to you.  Here's what you had to say...

To Sonya, modern quilting is an opportunity to indulge her love of fabulous fabrics while using the sewing skills her mother taught her to make really beautiful pieces.       

This lap quilt Sonya made for her daughter has pride of place in her sitting room.

Sonya is also making a quilt for her Grandad.  He is in a nursing home so this will be perfect to keep his warm & comfy. She is only cutting right now, but loves the fabrics!

Sonya is inspired by quilts she sees online in shops like Etsy.  This Little Boy Blue quilt, in particular, by mygorgeousquilts inspires Sonya.  She would like to do something similar for her son.


To Irina, modern quilting means no boundaries, freedom and embracing all kinds of techniques, textures and styles, including traditional.  The first thing she noticed with modern quilting was the variety of new fabrics, the brightness of colours, the highlight of solids as a main feature of a project.

She also started to know about the fabric collections and their designers, whereas in the past, you would never hear about the work behind a piece of fabric.

The Wonky Squares quilt is her most recent modern quilt.  A friend commissioned Irina to make a baby quilt for her new nephew and she wanted something very colourful and bright.

Irina loves this quilt because it is the first time she used solids and she loves the result they bring, so fresh and bright. She likes its simplicity, nothing really intricate and yet it stands out.

Irina's inspiration comes from all the modern quilters out in blogland. She keeps browsing through blogs and sees all these modern quilts.  She picks up on colour combinations from one, techniques from another, layouts from the next.  At the end she might not remember where it, but it's all in her head!  

Sunday 8 April 2012

What is modern quilting? Part 2....

We asked each of you, our members, what Modern Quilting is to you.  Here's what you had to say...

Modern Quilting to Tomomi is the arrangement of colors and fabrics. She made this sampler quilt in 2009 with Japanese-looking fabric with the idea of creating different looks from your standard old block.

Still, she has mixed feelings about this quilt.  Some blocks she is thrilled with, others (Tomomi thinks) could be improved with a bit more practice.  

Tomomi finds inspiration in a book called "Puzzle Quilts".  After reading it, she found herself thinking of quilting and creating differently.  
Photo from (obviously)

Karen, of My 4 Lil Girls, is creating 2 modern quilts right now!  Modern quilting, to Karen, is about simple, striking design. Although she has a stack of quilt books given to her by a lovely American friend, they are still a bit traditional in style (in a beautiful, nice way).  It's the very set patterns that make them traditional.  Modern quilting, however, just grabs her eye and makes her say "Wow!" when she sees them...kind of like the difference between viewing a Da Vinci and a flashy Picasso.

In particular, Karen is WOWed by these Red Pepper Quilt designs: Log Cabin or Paper Pieced Triangles.

Karen's  modern pinwheel quilt
Karen's first attempt at modern quilting is this pinwheel quilt using colors that are brighter than her usual palette. It was inspired by Sarah's Pinwheel Pips quilt.

Wednesday 4 April 2012

What is modern quilting? Part 1....

We asked each of you, our members, what Modern Quilting is to you.  Here's what you had to say...

For Judith, of Just Jude, the modernisation of quilting has been brought about by 2 things:

1. A flood of fresh modern fabrics & designers hitting the market. Applying modern fabrics to age old blocks & patterns completely changes the look of a quilt and breathes new life into time tested patterns.

2. A resurgence of interest in the traditional skills e.g. quilting, knitting, dressmaking becoming more popular among the younger generations. A new wave of creativity and ideas are coming through into quilting e.g. improv piecing, new blocks, working with solids etc., testing the boundaries of what you can and can’t do in quilting & sewing.

She loves this quilt because even though it was for her nephew, he is a stylish and trendy young man, and allowed her to go with daring Kaffe Fasset colourful prints. She mixed in some of her stash/basics with it (love mixing old and new) and the Kona Ash sashing/grout added the final modern touch. She also loves the colour brick pattern – it’s a great pattern for showing off lovely prints.

The inspiration behind this quilt was her nephew, who is very modern and stylish, into the latest fashions, and not afraid to wear bright, bold colours. The deep aquas also match his bedroom colour scheme. He adores his quilt, and now he also has a cushion to match!


Anneliese, from Mail From the Cheeky Monkeys has just stared quilting, so she does not have many modern quilts of her own to share with us.  

She likes the MQG Ireland group and all the lovely quilts, miniquilts, pouches, mug rugs, cushions, etc she finds on on this blog, but most of all she loves the colors. They are so bright and lovely! Most of the prints used are  modern and fit perfectly. She likes to watch what is made out of these lovely fabrics and how they get together. 
The first books Anneliese got about quilting had boring colors or they had much to many dark colors, so she really enjoys having a look at the modern and fresh fabrics which are used.

In particular, Anneliese loves: 

Cindy's star blocks.  She can't wait how all these bright lovely colors come together (Stargazing Block 1)

The stained quilt along from Domestic Light and Magic, made by Lynz.

And she is proud of her gorgeous stash bee tree!

There are so many lovely quilts out there ....

Monday 2 April 2012

Scrap Swap Anyone?

We all love a good scrap swap, don't we?  It's a great way to mix up your stash at a very low cost to all participants.  Want to get involved?

The idea is this: Each person will take a fat quarter-worth of their scraps and put them into the post to me (Cindy) along with a self addressed, stamped return envelope.  I will mix them all up and re-distribute them to each participant so you get a fresh fat quarter-worth of scraps back in the post.  Don't worry, you will not get your scraps back...I'll keep track of who sent in what.  To play along, just leave a comment below so I know to expect your fabric in the post.

The rules:

  • Only modern, quilt shop quality fabric is to be entered.  100% cotton only, please.  
  • Fabric should have bright, lively, colorful prints or bold solids.
  • Scraps should be larger than 2 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches square.
  • Scraps must be received by Cindy no later than 30 April 2012.
  • To save on shipping, this swap is only open to those living on the island of Ireland.
  • Include a stamped, self addressed return envelope for those living in ROI.
  • Folks in NI, email me and we can work out return shipping via paypal or swap a FQ or something...
  • Open to MQG Ireland members only.  If you'd like to join, please head here and complete a registration form.
  • If you want to send in two FQ-worth of scraps and receive two in the post, feel free.
Now let's get swapping!

Wednesday 28 March 2012

An Irish Bee?

Are you interested in joining a new virtual quilting Bee?

Cindy and I have been talking about the possibility of setting up a Bee as part of our Guild activities so I though I would test the waters and see if anyone is interested.

If you are not familiar with the idea of a Bee, there is lots of information about how they work here. Basically, we need 12 participants, and each person is the "Queen Bee" for one month in the year. Each month, participants make approx 2 quilt blocks (sometimes more, sometimes less depending on the size of the blocks) for the Queen Bee for that month, using fabric she sends out in advance, and post it back to her.

Bees are a lot of fun - you get to work with a much wider range of fabrics than just your own stash, you get to work on blocks that you might not have come across yourself, and you get to make a quilt from blocks your Bee-mates have made which is a special quilt.  Plus you make new friends and have some chat when doing it!

For this Bee, the focus will be on Modern blocks - whether that be modern block design, or new interpretations of traditional blocks - using modern fabrics. So lots of exciting ideas to tap into! There is some commitment involved - you will need to be able to do your blocks each month for a whole year, so do think about whether you will be able to do this.

Here are some of the blocks I have made this year in my Bee:

So, are you interested? We need 12 participants, and in order to keep postage minimal we are hoping to keep the Bee to participants living in Ireland (north or south of the border!) Let us know :-)

Monday 26 March 2012

Member Profile: Meet Cindy

I feel a bit silly writing an introduction to my own post, so I'll just dive in...

The basics
Name: Cindy

Hometown: Doylestown, Pennsylvania.  We have two pretty cool "castles" that look like dripped sand and a great down town for shopping.

Current Home: Galway on the western coast of Ireland.  I love it. I love it. I love it. 

Family: I share my home with my partner, B.

Pets: The most spectacular, intelligent cat in the whole world, Clarkson.  

The details
What is your day job? Research scientist.

What is your current dream job? Owning a fabric shop.

What did you want to be as a child? A medical doctor was a thought...until I realized I'm very unsympathetic toward ill people. 

What is your favourite time waster? Blogs.  Blogs.  Flickr.  Blogs.

What are you working on now?  Trying to finish the stop of my Stargazing quilt.  I'm also working on an all solids quilt with my bee called Electronica.

What do you want to be working on right now? My Stargazing quilt. It is a distraction from the Community Quilt that I should be working on.

Do you have other hobbies beyond quilting?  I love getting a cup of coffee and walking around Galway on a Saturday morning.  We ride mopeds a lot too, which is just a great time.

Do you play sports?  Which ones?  Sadly no.  I really should. 

What is your strongest positive personality trait?  Honesty?  Maybe not everyone would see my honest comments as positive, but it seems to keep me on the straight and narrow.

What is your greatest fear (nothing morbid or spooky…in a lighter sense)? Loosing my sense of direction in life.

Is there anything in your past that would shock us (that you’re willing to share)? I wish.  I'm pretty square so I have nothing to share. 

What started you quilting?  I have always loved color and geometric patterns, but it was just the cover of a quilting book that really got my heart racing.  I started piecing that weekend and have not looked back since.

My first-ish quilt finish, given to my sister in law for Christmas.

Another first-ish quilt for my niece, Roisin, again given away at Christmas.

A Quick-fire Round….What is your Favourite
place to holiday: Italy or Pennsylvania to see my family.
movie: Fight Club.
food: Burger fries and a beer.
band/song: Right now it's the National, but it changes frequently.

Mod Logs.  My current most used quilt.
colour: Judging by the height of the pile in my stash, green.  Who knew?
fabric line: Don't really have one. I'm more of a scrappy girl.
sewing tool: My 6.5"x6.5" ruler.  Love it.
completed sewing project: Mod Logs as it's the one I'm around most and it always makes my day sunnier.
quick finish sewing project: The zipper pouch is new to my world and is just fantastic!

Thursday 22 March 2012

Member Profile: Meet JoJo

Please meet JoJo, author of To Be Sure, To Be Sure and maker of gorgeous quilts.  JoJo, please tell us a bit more about yourself....

The basics
Name: JoJo

Hometown: Dublin

Current Home: Dublin

Blog address:

Flickr name: I can’t remember (my computer remembers for me)!  I’m in the “Sew Irish” group though.

Family: Fab husband and the best little girl in the world

Pets: None!

The details
What is your day job? I run my own business.

What is your current dream job? I’m doing it!  Running your own business rocks!

What did you want to be as a child? A cameraman on RTÉ a child I thought that would be the best job ever.

What is your favourite time waster? Watching Missouri Star Quilt Company quilting videos on YouTube.

What are you working on now? I have 4 current works-in-progress (otherwise known as UFOs!) and have several more in planning.

What do you want to be working on right now? My UFOs, but quilting has to take second place to family and my business.

Do you have other hobbies beyond quilting? I work mostly, but I’ve started the “Couch to 5k” running programme, so hopefully I’ll be able to count running as a hobby soon.

What is your strongest positive personality trait? I appreciate detail.

What is your greatest fear (nothing morbid or spooky…in a lighter sense)? Slicing my pinky finger with the rotary cutter again… man, those things are sharp!

Is there anything in your past that would shock us (that you’re willing to share)? That I didn’t have a cutting mat when I started patchwork and quilting last December, so I used my kitchen chopping board.  Blunt rotary cutter much?!  I didn’t know myself when I got a proper mat!

What started you quilting? I’ve always liked craft and went to the Knitting and Stitching Show at the RDS.  Santa then brought me a Pfaff QE4 for Christmas and I’ve been sewing every day since.

A Quick-fire Round….What is your Favourite
place to holiday: France for culture and food.  America for shopping.

movie: The Man With Two Brains  (did I say culture above?!!)

food: My mother in law’s Sunday dinners

book: The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett

band/song: Duran Duran – Rio

colour: Purple.  Has anyone else noticed a complete dearth of purple quilting print fabric ranges though?  I’d love to make a purples quilt, but can’t find anything only marbles and blenders…

saying: Measure twice; cut once.

fabric designer: Anything modern, bright and cheerful.  I particularly like stripes and spots.  See my striped binding tutorial here .

sewing tool:  My sewing machine.  Adore it!

completed sewing project: My quilted quilter’s tote Blogged here .

quick finish sewing project: Probably a quilt made of 5” square charm packs.

project completed by you: My tumbler quilt and matching round cushion.  So incredibly proud of it.  
First quilt: My first quilt was my Mum’s 75th birthday present.  

Ugliest quilt: Not a quilt as such, but I really don’t like the hand I made for the International Quilt Festival of Ireland Céad Míle Fáilte display.  It was my first attempt at appliqué and the colour palette was restricted by the organisers to green and white.  My only green fabric was a holly print left over from Christmas!  The appliqué went ok for a first try though.  

Favourite quilt: My favourite quilt so far is my tumbler quilt using Indian Summer fabrics by Riley Blake.