Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Quilters, Busy as Elves

We know what many of you were doing over the last few weeks, because we have quilts and blocks to prove it! So many have responded to our Give Warmth Back flood project, it's amazing! Thank you!

When we began in mid December, we headed to Athlone, where the Athlone Flood Relief Centre graciously opened their arms to our first batch of 30 donated quilts. Helen McCaul (on right) of the centre reported more than 150 distressed families with 52 still displaced. Terri and I were happy to pass on the generous quilters' quilts. It is always awarding when non-quilters see and develop the appreciation for quilts. They will find good homes, we are sure.

In the coming weeks, we are enroute to Bandon, Co. Cork, where we have been connected to the Flood Relief Centre established there. Thanks to several quilting readers and colleagues in the Cork area we have connections and meetings planned for this trip well worth traveling. We anticipate the same amount of quilts or more, for the Bandon area was hit especially hard by flood waters.

Later in January we head to Galway/Clare area. So, stayed tuned!

In California, Golfinlizzy was a true winner for us when she bid and won the beautiful Dolly Dress Quilt from Elizabeth. The winning money of $400 will be donated to a family affected by the flood. We will be posting more on that soon! Thanks so much Liz and Elizabeth!

We wish you a very good new year! May you have lots of sewing!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Twilight Press

It's 3:34 a.m. and someone wants to know when the next issue is due out. Priorities, people. Lucky for this emailer, I'm at my desk and can give her an answer (in just two weeks..North America, a little longer).

While my sleep-deprived designer works his magic, I await the results, ready for a thumbs up or a thumbs down for each and every special, lovely page. There's pagination, high resolution, optimisation and a whole bunch of other techy jargon flying to and fro.
But don't worry, I gots your emails and I gots answers!

Meanwhile, drafts go and new drafts come. We think, have we caught it all? Are our facts correct? Are the photos right? Are the page layouts correct? Don't get me started on the text... Do writers ever stop editing? I can edit and rewrite and rewrite for days. When does one stop? Not soon enough, cries our designer.

Around midnight, Ginger from the U.S. was looking for a calendar and boy, she thought it was late for me then!

Answering emails at dark o'clock in the morning makes me look pretty darn dedicated.

Wait a minute, I am dedicated!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dash over to Dolly Dresses, Now!

You have to get over to Elizabeth Scott's Late Bloomer !! She has done an adorable quilt with tiny dolly dresses (fab fabrics from the greatest Holly Holderman!), and guess what? She's auctioning it off for the Irish Quilting Flood Quilts Relief Action!

Some people are just too kind. A complete daisy chain, I'd say. First there is Holly Holderman who kickstarted with her adorable dolly dresses panel and there there's Elizabeth who did amazing creating and embellishing (including her signature scallops!) and there's Darla Padilla of Wildflower Quilting who did the purtiest quilting and now there's name after name of kind people who are bidding. Bidding with dollars that will transfer to euros and will go to help an Irish family (ies) still in the cold following the floods.

Elizabeth has begun the bidding and will keep the auction open til Monday Dec 21st, so feel free to share in the Season of Sharing. Don't forget to oogle all over the tiny cute dresses

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Cover Is Worth A Couple Pictures

We had another great day in the office. We are working ahead (yes!) and while choosing a future cover, we were stumped. Do we pick A or B? B or A? or C?
A? B? or C?

Choices, people! We have choices! I love it when that happens. One day I'm going to blog, or even print, the covers that weren't. Some shots and covers are so incredible, you nearly want to create a whole other issue just so a cover won't go to waste. But I won't. For fear my family'll leave me!

And then...Easons, our Irish distributor (who I was just complaining about...shame on me!) sent a lovely bottle of wine to the office for the Christmas spirit. A year in biz and yes! we are finally feeling the love!

Talking about the love... Did you know Quiltposium has 225,000 registered readers? It is a lovely ezine and best of all, I'm a contributor! Check us out on pages 74-76! Not sure why half of page 76 is empty. Waste of space! And I could have written for days...

Now, I'm feeling very cheeky--what's this red wine doing in the office?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Laughing and Dancing

Last week I was reminded of a good tip. It's the simple things in life that are important and yet, they slip our mind!

Like having a good laugh. Don't take yourself too seriously.

It makes me think of our trip to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham. As usual, it was all work and little play. And then, one evening Terri and I dropped our child off at the minders (aka DH at the hotel pub) and scurried away to meet Laura and Rebecca for an evening of Dancing with the Stars.

Now, in all honestly, I thought I was going to a filming of professionals and wayward stars doing a battle of the dances.

In reality, it was some nifty kids teaching the audience to dance. I don't think we gals could've run out of the place faster than if all the fabric in Birmingham was free. However, we're not that rude. We stayed. At. Our. Table.

It was not long though, giggling like school girls, our true personas emerged and the real judging began.

Fortunately for us, the student dancers were having such a fun time, I don't think they noticed the new crew of judges.

It Helps to Be Resourceful

For an upcoming issue, we are doing a fantastic feature. Something to which we can all relate. Well maybe we can relate to one or two items. Or four or five. Or maybe, nine or ten?

The article is 50 Biggest Mistakes Quilters Make.

Once the content was researched and written, we needed visuals. Like, who has a really bad pieced or quilted quilt? I want to see mistakes! I want to see obvious oh-ohs! I want to cringe!

Finally, we found one yesterday and I was delighted to hand it over to our photographer. Pretty chuffed that we could fulfill the imagery requirements.

And then, I realised. It did, afterall, come straight from my own personal stack!
ah hem.

What are your mistakes? I dare you to send photos!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Have you heard?
We are going to make a difference!
What's happening? Rain, rain and more rain. Levys breaking and homes evacuating on a daily basis. Cork City still shut down. Sallins in dire need. Athone still suffers, Galway areas still suffering. A once in 800 year storm of floods!

What's the response? Quilters around the world are busy making and donating quilts and quilt blocks.

Interesting: We are working to find an Irish organisation with collection points around Ireland. If you know of organisations that might help facilitate this process, please email me.

Definite: Even if we have to hit the waters in our dingy boat, we make sure every donated quilt reaches a victim in need, we will!

Donate: Sent quilts, blocks, backing, wadding to Irish Quilting, Flood Quilt Relief Action, Berowra Djouce, Roundwood County Wicklow Ireland

Questions: Call +353 1 281 2028

Artwork: courtesy of Rachel over at P.S. I Quilt. She's great!

Thanks a million!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Keeping Busy

In the fastlane of business, there has been a resounding message that appears with every sentence, comment and marketeer I encounter lately. Use the internet and use it wisely. Once you give birth to online, nuture it. And I think what that means is once you begin an internet relationship, keep it up!

So we are here. I remember when we were redoing our website; I was speaking to Mark Lipinski about his blog and blogging. Don't do it. Those were his words. Don't do it, honey! Once you start, you gotta keep it up. And boy did he know what he was talking about!

Oh, so much to share! But first, Issue 6 is out and the website should be updated in the next 24 hours! Christmas is here at Irish Quilting!

Issue 6 really brings in the yuletide. We worked hard on the issue, even creating Christmas early. At homebase we are fortunate to have a good quilting friend who is the craft and creator of all things warm and festive. Her cheerful husband was a good sport coming home to Santa, bells and boughs of holly in July.

Our templates are back to bother us! Have I ever shared that I despise templates? Well, for the time being anyway. Each production, we agonise over the templates. The large foldouts found in many quilting magazines cost a good 25% of the overall print cost, so until we can fully fund that, we provide them in smaller size--to be enlarged. This is not the problem, except that there was an oversight with templates in Issue 6, in the Twas the Night pattern--a few were missing. So pass the word. We are sorry! We have all the templates, in actual size and reduced size on the website.

Issue 2 and Issue 1 are on the cutting room floor. Ohhh! Wait til you see Issue 1 cover. It is a dandy. That is even too little an adjective to describe its immense beauty.

We've a new panel for Volume II, and already we met last weekend. We gather quilters of different strengths and interests and ask them to review the magazine. This year we are including a guest panel member who brings a new perspective, not necessarily a quilting eye. So that was good. Read all about it in Issue 1.

Terri our creative director is busy in design mode. We are working with a famous Irish potter of goregous designs, to create a stunning quilt! How exciting is that?

Our circle of Irish designers have grown tremendously since this time last year. We are excited to bring some really fresh and innovative designs from all parts of Ireland. Brought by popular request, we are featuring more lifestyle of us and what we do here in Ireland.

This moment, our lands are being hit by wet storms everywhere. In the south and the west, there are many families evacuated from their homes due to the flooding.

Stay tuned as we hope to roll our some quilting remedy to these folks soon.
Details to come

Sew for now,

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Bithday Time!

We are here at the Dublin RDS, our last day of the birthday celebration!
Issue 6 rolled off the press on Thursday and anyone who can't come to our party this weekend will be seeing the magazine first thing this next week. If you're a suscriber, it'll be on its way in this week's mail. If you're not a subscriber, what are you waiting for? Sign up!

The show started Thursday and it has been great. Yesterday the rain appeared, so I hope our last day still brings a crowd! The stands are great. There are a good few businesses that are not on the craft page per say, but folks, I spoke to the organisers as well as the ladies from the Craft Council of Ireland, and this show will only improve year to year! They together have exciting plans to bring in some wonderful crafting for the future RDS Knitting and Stitching Shows. So that is very good news. All in all, it is a great buzz.

We've been on the map a year now! Wow! What a journey. A few quilters and I started this magazine in our minds as a dream. There's been a few moments of awe over the weekend, just thinking back to the work, sweat and tears (oh yes! there's been tears!). But one year in our back pocket and this show brings our work to light. Or rather, talking to the people here does. The ladies(and men!) have much to say, very much positive about the magazine. And, anything critical, well, we want to hear it! Like the show, we will only improve from here on. We are ready and onward on Vol II!

Also on our stand is the fabulous Nikki Foley from County Kerry. She is a great designer who has teamed up with us for all of Volume II with a great celtic creation (all her creation, our promotion!) in her Celtic Designs. They are the Signs of the Year in true Celtic history. She's done blocks in wonderful dyed fabrics and is selling the kits--so you can dye you're own blocks! Don't forget to use each issue in Volume II to find the pattern. I don't think I captured her on the camera yet, but today's bound to be the best day.

We've had birthday cake every day at 1-2. I think our stand neighbor thought we had serious sweet tooths, but now he knows we are just bonkers for a celebration! Each cake each day reveals a different mag cover from Volume 1. We have balloons and at 4pm we giveaway a big birthday present along with the goodies going to ever re-newal and new subscriber with €20+ purchases. Fat quarters and thread, food for the quilter's soul.

Today will be the party. We even have face painting. I would ordinarily preface it with kids' face painting, but hey our paints work on anyone. We'll keep the camera out for this one. As a mom, on the Halloween weekend, it was the best I could do to include my daughters--they arrive from the babysitter in time to see the afternoon antics at the show.

PEOPLE, it's all about the kids, if we don't feed them cake and paint their faces silly, who else is going to carry on the wonky blocks of our quilting world??

Happy Birthday,

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Make a Wish

Hello all,

I know the first thing you all want to know is...where exactly is Issue 6? Well, let me tell you.

Our team is working like little elves polishing our Christmas issue. A little sparkle here, a little tinsel there. On top of the festive season, we are sprinkling in a birthday. Who's birthday? Yours and ours. Our subscribers turn one year this month, alongside us, Irish Quilting!

So on 29, 30, 31 October and 1 November, at the Dublin RDS for the Knitting and Stitching Show, we are having a birthday party. It's been exactly one year since our debut at last year's show and doesn't everyone like a party? We're talking cake, presents, balloons and so much more!

Come celebrate! Collect your birthday present (patchworker's dream!), enjoy some cake and renew your subscripton for a low €20 and don't forget to buy your 2010 calendar for a mere tener!!

Anyone who can't attend, well, we'll miss you. But your personal copy of Issue 6 will be posted out 2 November, no fail. Ring us, wishing you and us a happy birthday and we'll extend the low celebration €20 subscription price for you...during November only.

There's so much more to our celebration, we hope you can make it.

15 days and counting,

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sew Create It in Person

One of my favourite things to do at quilt festivals is to meet our internet friends in person! Jane Weston from Sew Create It was a blogging friend before the life of our magazine. She is an inspiration everyone should know about!
She and her daughter Rebecca came by the stand. Here I am with Jane!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

FOQ Birmingham Sightings

I began this post wanting to tell you minute by minute recounts of the last two days of at the Festival of Quilts. Minutes ago, and at the request of my tired husband, I’ve revised my post from a babbling ramble to a list of who’s who highlights. (in my book everyone who takes interest in the magazine presents a highlight, so if I missed mentioning you, drop us an email and tell us your FOQ details!

Margaret and Helen--our friends at Mission Hall Quilts. We are blessed with our friendship and the knowledge and business experience that they share. They do an incredible job of promoting quilting in Ireland.

Chris Hammacott—author of Wild and Woolen in Wales, our Vol I, Issue 5. Wonderful to meet in face after an online working relationship.

Jackie Preston—an up and coming professional quilter from North Dublin. A mom of four (under 14yo), part-time nurse and long arm quilter. How does she do it all? Go Jackie!

Manuela and Emma from Rowan and FreeSpirit—the ones to know when you want delicious fabrics

Ferret—this lady is soooo talented. Earlier in the year, we contacted this great designer named Ferret hoping for fab feature. She sailed by our booth, in her infamous energy, leaving her most recent book, she’s promised she’ll be back!

Miriam and Mary—travelling from Dublin, two quilters who know what’s what and who’s who of Irish quilting. Miriam is a self-professed workshop junkie who does extraordinary work with postcards and ATCs. Mary is our Irish representative in the European Quilt Association (EQA); she does incredible work pulling together many exhibitions.

Last year I spoke to the EQA of the magazine-to- be, so I’m delighted this year she’s giving a copy of Issue 5 to every EQA member! Future issues will now be full of European events from all over!

Geraldine and Marion—the nicest two sisters ever. Bernadette hails from Co. Clare and Marion from Co. Donegal.

Yvonnne—From Belfast, Yvonne of Quilters’ Quest was strolling the festival.

Beryl and Robyn—more longarm quilters. We’re all on stands so it is a wonder we see each other; so last night’s class of wine was wonderfully enjoyed in their company. The big news is Robyn’s quilt one second prize in Traditional, Overall. It is stunning to see this masterpiece in person and very obvious why it won.

(PS. Both these ladies are world class longarm quilters. I’ll let you in on a secret: in the October issue there is going to be a longarm service giveaway AND these ladies are signed up to do the quilting, along with other greats! So get your pushed aside quilt top ready and who knows? You may get your quilt quilted by a winner!)

Laura and Rebecca—these gals are keeping us laughing and in sweet disposition. If you’re looking for us, look for pretty Rebecca and Laura and they’ll show you where we are.

Kass and Ruth—designers extraordinaire from County Waterford. We work with many of Kass and Ruth’s designs, so it was great to see them playing among the stands taking in inspiration for future creations. Can’t wait to see!

Mary and Veronica—our own panel member and her daughter did the day journey on Thursday.
Brenda Wroe—our first day brought a real surprise visitor, Brenda was the judge for the RDS Craft Competition. Both she and Terri were excited to meet one another as it was Terri’s quilt that Brenda ruled the number one place for that competition a few weeks back.

Stitch Witch—our favourite witch! Lynette is so talented! She is our stand mate across the way. So it was especially great that we are featuring her fabulous shamrock pattern in our now on sale 2010 calendar!

Bridget—another quilter from Co. Waterford. She and her friend brightened our first hour on our first day.

Debra and Erika, Down Under—a wonderful publication, led by these two very capable gals. We were excited to meet and share editor woes and greats. It is the start of a long and fun friendship.

Day 3 is only beginning here in Birmingham, stay tuned!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Catch Up

Issue 5. Have you seen it?
It's boootiful!

Don't worry the website will be updated very soon! If you don't receive your own subscription copy, shame on you! You could be looking at Issue 5 now!

This is our autumn issue and is topped off with Terri's fantastic Halloweeeen! quilt seen on the cover. In Ireland it is tradition to set fireworks at Halloween, so we have our friendly black witch amid the fireworks. It pops! So much so, Terri and her quilt won second place in the large Tinahely Show over August bank holiday.

Calling All Winners!
This win came right after Friday's unveiling of RDS Craft Competition Traditional Patchwork First Place awarded to who? You guessed it, Terri McNeill! She is on fire! Hot! Hot! Hot! She also was awarded the IPS prize money. (Thank you IPS for supporting your quilters!)
Ann Fleeton and her work scooped first prize for Contempory division. The RDS show in Dublin--check it out. Beautiful crafts.

The Buzz
We're busy as usual. But the real fun is about to unleash. Next week, Terri and I are hopping on a jet plane, while our gear boards the Dublin ferry with 2000 Irish Quilting 2010 Calendars (with 12 patterns!), alongside many copies of present and past issues (all but issue 1). Where are we going, you ask?
Birmingham! Festival of Quilts! We are very excited. Our kind friends at Mission Hall Quilts will be opening their stand so we can be there with them. This is the largest quilt show in Europe. It will be hard work and long days, but I wouldn't miss it. Stop by and say hello if you're in town!

What's Coming
With summer coming to an end, it seems there is so much to do and it will only increase. But I find it exciting! Terri and I are working with dozens of designers and hope to bring some really great patterns to life in the next year.
As for articles and content gathering--where do we start? We have done several longarm features, we're turning the tables and will be featuring a hand quilting article. Very good!

Most of our competitions will be finishing in September so be sure to go here and see what you might be interested in.

Got the Traveling Bug?
Stay tuned to Irish Quilting--we're working with Sew Many Places and can't wait to take you with us!

Where would you like to travel?
I'd love to know!
See you in Birmingham!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Go On, Ask Me

Well, hello!

If you asked me 10 years ago if I'd be founding, publishing and managing a magazine, I would have said,
"Yeah, I can do that."

If you asked me 10 years ago if I'd be founding, publishing and managing a magazine in Ireland, I would have said,
"How cool!"

If you asked me 10 years ago if I'd be founding, publishing and managing a magazine with 17,000 circulation in 15 countries, I would have said,
"GET OUTA HERE! Really?"

Now, do you know how I feel? Crazy but exhilarated!

There is so much going on in this office--wait til you read all about it. Here we share some hightlights. The focus is to post regularily, so I'm just giving you a bite-size taste of what's to come:

  • Issue 5 BOO-tiful! is arriving in office TODAY! with lots of Halloween and Autumn projects!
  • WH Smith, Here We Come. UK peeps get ready!
  • Sew Many Places Comes to Ireland and we've got our dance card ready
  • EQS Partners With IQ to bring gadgets, gadgets, gadgets to our pages
  • RDS Craft Competition Unviels Winners on Friday
  • 2010 Calendar Hits the Printing Press
  • IQ office Celebrates Christmas in July
  • Panel Garden Challenge OFF the Charts! Have you voted?
  • Win a Trip to Donegal and Don Your Best Dress

Anything there tickle your fancy?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Because You Care

Issue 4 is nearly on the newstands and because you care enough to find us on the web, I'd like to treat you to a preview:

Patterns We worked really hard to give you loads of projects. This issue has 13+ patterns! We are focusing on providing more advance patterns and more advance patterns take more space, but we think we can provide a good cross section. There's been a couple readers sending photos of completed IQ projects, and I'm dying to see more. Send them in!

Giveaways I don't care if you think you are never lucky in giveaways or games, I urge you to enter our many competitions and giveaways! This issue is packed with them, and a couple merely require your name and address sent via snail mail, telephonic wires, or email. Heck, I'd gladly enter your name if it came in gliding through our office on a paper airplane.

Tutorials step-by-step photo-illustrated techniques. Sounds clinical and boring, but it will make your quilting more fun! Trust me!

Specials Sew Shapely--several topics on how to sew and piece in curves! Easy level and more difficult. Somthing for everyone.

Features An insight into Frances Sawaya, our very own from County Cavan and Gail Lawther, sharing her celtic beginnings on the English side.

Behind the Scenes
Crisis. You name it, we have it. Doesn't everyone?

:::Lean on your laptop and hear the harddrive break inside

:::Power crash during photo upload...after photos deleted = no photos

:::Hard drive crash taking 3 patterns hostage (yet another computer)

:::Internet stoppage means unhappy campers

:::Increased postage for business customers

:::Missing postal packages (no quilts, thankfully!)

For every crisis, we are happy to report 2x the good times:

:::Entry into UK market...hooray for W.H.Smith customers!

:::Joann Fabrics pick up IQ magazine in 266+ stores...Even if we did have to promise not to reuse model naked lady from premier issue!

:::Discover former Ms. Ireland as top quilter

:::Learn that President of Ireland quilts!

:::Team up with Spain for Quilters' tours

:::Increase circulation to 15,000 with magazines in Ireland, US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Spain, Germany, South Africa.

Aren't you glad you visited us today?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Belfast Biz

Yesterday, today and tomorrow we've been in Belfast at the Stitch & Creative Craft Show. Itchin' to ask the organisers what craft is not creative?

If you look closely, you will only see Issue 2 on our table. YES! Another sold out issue. We no longer have Issue 3 in our own stock, but don't worry. You can still find in shops. Also, Issue 3 is still enroute to North America and Australia.

We are here on invitation from Mission Hall Quilts. They are a quilting shop from Derry in Northern Ireland. But really, they're so much more! You'll have to wait for June issue when we chat with Margeret Lee and others from MHQs. They're even treating our readers to a reproduction and pattern of an 1800s Irish quilt.

There was much buzz yesterday as the show opened and many visitors swarmed around. It is a wonderful feeling to see and talk to the people whom we work for. We work for the readers, and quilters in general, in case your wondering!

Today was a bit quieter and I had time to visit and chat with the people behind some of the busiest shops in Ireland. Yvonne from Quilter's Quest, Gaye from The Fennel Shed, Lynda from The Cotton Shed, Pauline from Pauline's Country Quilts and of course, the MHQ gang.

Over at MHQ stand headquarters, they keep it busy with demonstrations. Such a nifty time, I even sat in on a couple. Which was when I noted just how dedicated they are at Mission Hall Quilts:

Now that is what you call sewing around the clock!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Aftermath, Issue 3

After each issue is released, the panel, our designer and myself meet for an afternoon of review. Usually there is a good lunch on spread, new designs to oogle and of course, my favorite, plenty of criticism to absorb and mistakes to recognise.

Really it's not that bad. It's worse. If the one responsible (ME) can get beyond the embarrassment and self-loathing of mistakes highlighted and dissected by all, the lessons learned make it a better magazine. So I'm told.

There were many challenges in the making of Issue 3, but excuses aside. Unfortunately, we did have a few typos. We like to think they're planted for our readers' challenge of find what's wrong! Joking aside, we aim to have higher standards.

While typos were present in the magazine, no patterns were affected. Whew!

In other news on the island, Irish Quilting will be appearing at the Stitch and Creative Crafts show in Belfast this weekend, April 16-18th, courtesy of Mission Hall Quilts of Londonderry. Come see us!

Margaret Lee at MHQ is working with us as one of her patterns features in an upcoming issue of Irish Quilting. Her creation is a recreation of an antique quilt now on display at the Ulster American Folk Park.

Until then, there's plenty here to be done.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 4, 2009


For good measure, I leave below the posting that was last left on this blog. Oh, so many months ago. One year ago, the notion of Irish Quilting began. It is hard to believe we have come so far and yet we have so far to go. But we are loving every minute of it.

The website is up; visit, enjoy, and be patient. We are excited and posted it whilst knowing there might be a few hiccups here and there. Trust us, in that we are monitoring our email 'round the clock, so if you find an error or something you just can't live with for another day, let me know. I will do my very best to fix it.

Unless, of course, you are asking me to deliver world peace, pay off your mortgage, or potty train little suzy. Some things you just have to do on your own.