Friday, December 31, 2010

News In Killarney

Yesterday we had a great time in Killarney, County Kerry. We had a photoshoot and as usual, Terri and I pop in on the locals, find the craic and hear the news of our quilters around the country.

Nikki Foley, who teaches patchwork and owns The Sewing Shed in Keel (twenty minutes from Killarney) arrived to meet us and catch us up. If you can't get to Ireland, visit her at Patchwork Promises too!

Her first point of mission was to let me know that a few days ago she had seen a bunch of our magazines at a newsagent in the town centre. Every editor needs a good spy! E&M, our Irish distributor does a fairly good job of keep us here and there, so I was pleased to hear this.

Soon I realised that I had no few spare copies with us. Shame on me! I don't know, it must have been all the presents crowding my sleigh from the week before? I usually have a stash in my vehicle! So off we went to the newsagent.

Though I wanted to purchase IQ, I quickly found other quilt magazines of interest--this shop indeed had a large variety. Jackpot...until I saw no IQ. We are at the end of this issue and new one is due out, so I'm not entirely surprised they vanished from the shelf. However, I still continue to do what every small business owner should do--you seek out the man in charge and query as a customer, so, well, they know Irish Quilting is in demand! I approached the counter.

The man before me wore the "I'm the owner" look. (And he was.) As I purchased my other magazines, I asked, "Do you carry Irish Quilting?" He look around, asked me to repeat the question, thumbed through my purchases, and then looked me right in the eye, and said "Nah, I don't think it exists." Now, shame on him!

I gave him a grin, slid my business card across the counter and said,"Oh, but it does. I'm the publisher." He turned as red as Rudolf's nose and began stumbling for words. Nikki piped in that she had seen the magazine in his shop previously. The man was tripping over himself to apologise.

I said to him, "don't worry, I've been told worse at the counter before." Really? No, not true. But this poor man needed a little saving face. (We do have a list of retailers who stock IQ. Once, I was told by a young (lazy?) clerk that they don't stock it--when in fact I knew they did.) Mr. Owner came around the counter and soon we were chatting away.

One thing's for sure now, Killarney knows who we are!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy Holidays

Greetings from Irish Quilting!
(This picture taken in Blessington, County Wicklow. Brrrrr!)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas Kay!

In our recent post for Tallanstown County Louth, there was a giveaway of Jo Badley's Charmed Beginnnings. Kay has been through Tallanstown and we thank her for commenting! Kay, please send us your contact details and we'll post your book asap. Charmed Beginnings fo 2011! Email me at

Happy Holidays to all!

Friday, December 3, 2010


Janome Competition Entry is 31 December 2010. Send in your entry form this month and your block will be due in our office 31 January 2010.
Get your entry from on this page in Janome UK website.

Also, did read about Copyright Infringement in our recent issue? Interesting! There was one typo! Teaching techniques--techniques created by others--is legal.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Janome Jackpot

These days there is a repeating sigh in our office.

"Oh, but I can't win!"

Yes, we are sitting here drooling and dreaming. Janome is giving away two sewing machines and ten other prizes to our readers. All you have to do is make a 10 1/2" block. Janome asks that you provide two styles of stitches, and we ask that you include a floral element--as we hope to make a charity quilt with the entries.

Trust me, you want to win! The top prize is a Janome Horizon Memory Craft MC7700QCP. We have made several projects in the office using the same machine and it is a dream!
Download the entry form. Send the form to Janome by December 31. Send your block in by 31 January. Everybody has an orphan block that can quickly be transformed into a winning entry!

Both of our last two issues promote this competition. In September, we talked about great ways to improve your stitching; where to find good resources and whatnot. In November, I wrote about a stitching class I attended, where I brought the Horizon MC--it was my first spin using the machine, and well, I'm in love.

Unfortunately, employees can't win, so sighs us. But you can!

Enter today or let me know a good reason why you're not entering!

Monday, November 1, 2010

M for Market ...

and Margaritas!

Second place to Market mania is the abundance of Mexican food in Houston. I am in heaven here. Give me quilts, enchiladas, tostadas, quac and margaritas any day!

Meanwhile, the appetite for Irish Quilting in this international festival is in alive and healthy.

Before I lose myself filling you in on the International Quilt Festival here in Houston, we should be sure to report on the phenominal show back home: Knitting and Stitching in the Dublin RDS this past Thursday, Friday and weekend. This is the first year that the shows collided.

We love our Dublin show because we get to visit with our readers and hear the latest and greatest quilt news of Ireland. Thursday and Friday had record breaking crowds with whom we enjoyed our third anniversary with birthday present giveaways. All subscriber received presents with each renewal.

Outside the IQ stand in Dublin, our patchwork shops were all in attendance in their own booths. Another record broken. Well done, and I hope all the shopkeepers and customers had a great show!

Subs manager Kevin covered the IQ stand Saturday and Sunday as I flew onward to Houston.

Houston greeted me with sunshine and soaring temperatures to last into the week.

One of my first customer stops was Robert Kaufman fabrics where the Cuddle fabrics were warming up the visitors. This fabric, much like plush-the textiles used for stuffed animals, is back with a splash and the Shannon line from RK makes this cuddle fabric adorable and a must feel. Watch for a feature Cuddle quilt coming soon in Irish Quilting!

I continued on to meet new and old friends in the Market.

A recent sponsor, Gutterman Thread is always a friendly booth. Ted recently organised the giveaway of 100 spools with in-home cabinet for the summer issue of IQ. Before long, Ted and I were conspiring on the next giveway. Who wouldn't want Gutterman threads? Free?

The highlight of my Houston trip is going to have to be a taping with Jodie Davis of Quilt Out Loud. Yes! A taping...soon to feature Jodi and Yours Truly. She is an absolute dote and we enjoyed our chat. Hope you enjoy it too. I'll alert the internet once it is broadcast. (Did you know Jodi is from Ireland? Her family is from County Clare--you may read her tale of Irish relations in IQ yet!)

One fun future read will be that of our own Irish lassie, Marianne Byrne Goarin--founder, author and artist of Cinnamon Patch, a design line and quilt goodness using felt wool. This morning, Marianne sat with me and shared her tale of an Irish childhood, family life in France, and crafty roadshows in America and throughout Europe, that is sure to interest our readers everywhere. (Funny enough, with children in the same primary school, Marianne's sister and I serve together on the parents' association. Much to our surprise, Marianne and I find our worlds are closer than ever.) Watch for her delightful felt patchwork and her 'Irish Abroad' feature in an upcoming IQ!

There was so much to see and do at market, there is never enough time.

Before leaving, I popped over to Kona Bay. I'm intriqued as KB's Douglas is an ever present face on the Internet. He has a real handle on the information feed--a man in the know. I was delighted to meet him in person. As if he was reading my mind, he immediately rattled off his opinion of past postings on my blog. Goes to prove, you never knows who's watching, or reading for that matter.
Anyhoo, what is important to know is our very own Nikki Foley is designing for Kona Bay! So I was poking and peeking around to see if her designs have surfaced. Not yet. But be sure to watch this space; IQ has yet to showcase an asian quilt feature, and Nikki's designs might be the unveiling yet!

Well this gal has to begin conjuring ways to expand my suitcase. I always go home with more than when I arrived!

ps., malfunction with the photography--come back soon for visuals!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hats Off to All The Tidy Towns

I know. I know.
Most visitors to Ireland think all our towns are tidy. And, well, they are.

But once a year, there is one town that takes the cake. This fabulous tradition is laden with spirit and pride. The winner of Tidy Towns 2010 is Tallanstown in County Louth. Congratulations!

Here in the office, our creative wheels are spinning in forward motion. What about a quilt that commemorates all the effort and work that went into make Tallanstown the best tidiest little town of Ireland? We're thinking. We're thinking. Keep tuned for a Tidy Towns quilt!

"The national Tidy Towns competition is an annual competition organised by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government with the support of the main sponsor SuperValu and many other agencies.

The competition involves participating areas being rated on all aspects of their local environment and prizes awarded to the best under many different categories. The overall winner is "Ireland's Tidiest Town".
" For more information visit the Tidy Town website.

I'd like to end this post with a giveaway bonanza. The first person to comment who has been to Tallanstown (honour system, people!) will receive a full year's subscription to Irish Quilting (€29.95/$52.99). And the first person to comment who LIVES within 5 miles of Tallanstown will recieve Jo Baddeley's Charmed Beginnings patchwork guide book.

And don't forget to tell us a little something about Tallanstown in your comment!

Hooray for Tallanstown! We're coming your way!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Peace and Colour

Rainbows were invented in Ireland.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Creative Constellation in Cork

My satellite navigator is a true testament to the continuing improvement of Irish roads. My journey began after 10am and according to the GPS, I would be at the Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) viewing the Irish Patchwork Society (IPS) National Exhibition’s Q for Quilts in time for the lunchtime tea.

With future issues’ content weighing on me and endless accounting numbers to be crunched, I stole out of the office like a kid mitching school. I began another adventure greeted with sunny skies and the usual threat of precipitation. But on this day, I found the rain playing a friendly game of pee-a-boo along the southbound lane of the M8.

There are many things to like about County Cork, the least of which is the fantastic accent. Its stereotypical “singsong” dialect goes hand in hand with the gregarious and friendly personality of Corkoians. Bigger still is the unassuming metropolitan zeal of Cork City. Surrounded by Irish countryside, urban Cork is a full bloom of its own sitting among the many flowers of in Ireland. Cork City has liveliness like no other Irish city. Its collective talent and enthusiasm creates the renowned cultural Cork. So it was a real treat to learn that the Cork branch of the IPS was hosting this year’s National Exhibition.

In a sprawling estate, the CIT, comprising state-of-the-art buildings, is a spectacular venue for showing quilts. The buildings’ angles and arches are an inspiring heyday for quilters. Well lit and airy, the atmosphere served quilts of varied size and shape better than any exhibition I have attended.

I kindly borrowed and give full credit for this above photo to Peter Cook. As for some quilt photos from these shows, don't miss them in our next October issue of Irish Quilting.

The Q for Quilts theme, interpreted by some but nonrestrictive for all, was cleverly present in some quilts. Northern Ireland quilter Irene MacWilliam, who expertly pushes the construction and meaning of quilts, tailored her black and white series for this theme. Visually and otherwise, her Q Play did not disappoint. Linda McCulkin of County Galway gave us Flying in the Queue, whimsical quilts in queue awaiting completion. Cannot every quilter relate?

Other quilts needed no theme for existence and were equally welcomed among the hangings. It didn’t take an expert eye to know that quilters of all levels were showing and yet, their presentation harmoniously appeared as one family: cousins in different sizes, types, levels and methods. I was very impressed with the organizers’ work.
At the exhibit, I was greeted by, double the talent, Kitty Whelan and Ursula Dale seen above.
Inside Scoop: Ursula's Ballyhooly Quilt appears in our next issue. See it in October!

Individual triumphant was clear with many of the quilts. One could see a sentimental purpose and/or need for creation as defined by each quilter. My favourites varied and, honestly, are hard to explain except to say they captured my eye and my interest.

Particularly of note would be Paula O’Rafferty’s submissions from the Limerick Prison, both appliqué wonders: a quilt from a male prisoner and one from a women’s group. The pieces were spectacular and intrinsically Irish. As an editor, these quilts beckon my attention and beg me to beg for more. I look forward to learning more and sharing this “quilt success within the walls” with Irish Quilting readers.

In true Cork fashion, there was more. Perfectly timed in sync, the Four Winds Textile Groups were exhibiting at the neighboring Bishopstown Library. The small, but impressive, collection displayed in the second floor of the library. For a literary junkie like myself, there is nothing better than wading through shelvings of knowledge and pleasure which ultimately leads to a room laden with textile showings!

Displayed beautifully, respectfully presented and identified, these patchwork exhibitions are inspiring to all.

Today, I am proud to be a quilter.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Awash in Ireland

We are always scouting for photography potential for our quilts in Ireland. And since you're reading this blog, thus aware of Irish Quilting, then you are of course aware of Ireland, and then, well you already know that Ireland has miles and miles of photography potential.

We are a small business wishing to make a big impact. The wheels are always turning and we are always trying. Our home life is fully immersed in Irish Quilting and its quilts and photos and patterns and so on and so on. This includes the miles and miles of Ireland.

Last weekend I found myself, as usual, juggling Irish Quilting and family life. First Daughter had a birthday party to attend and second daughter, naturally, was put out of joint she was not invited. I told second daughter I would take her somewhere special. Between the packing of the quilts and the camera gear, she caught on quickly and groans began erupting. What 6yo wouldn't want to traverse Ireland in search of the perfect shot for a nine-patch quilted wonder?

Before my mouth could inform my brain, there were promises of chocolate milk and donuts--this being my olive branch I pull out every couple of months.

Early morning, one child and sunny skies--this I could manage. I set up the GPS. I keyed in New Grange, home of visual"mythical Ireland". Time arrival is 11:02. The journey was 52 minutes, plus some once you added the donut stop. More protests.

Mommy, where is this "New" place? Does it have "New" donuts?

Oh, the joys of when kids learn to read and tell time.

Does that mean we are driving until 11 o'clock nightime?

Could we please get out of the driveway without a meltdown?

Mommy, I'm starving!

As we headed down our Wicklow mountain to lower Dublin, the skies turned. The skies became ghastly dark and without warning, began pouring--no, dumping--rain water. On the M50, cars were pulling over; there was no wiper that could wipe quick enough. Rain. Rained out.

Rain is so intrinsic to Ireland, I've always wanted that perfect photograph of rain pelting down outside a quilt-adorned cottage--or anything for that matter. One day I will meet that photographer who will capture the ultimate Irish rain shot. Do you know him or her?

Typically unprepared for rain, we dashed in and back out of the bakery. A now-soggy second daughter happily clutched glazed donuts and a chocolate milk, her own slice of heaven. Yet, I dripped with defeat. While some rainbursts are momentary, these swollen skies were low and thick. They were going to stick around.

I had gone in search of the ultimate Irish scenery, was foiled by the Irish rain and was returning home awash in American comfort food. Go figure.

My daughter, now belly content and with a milk mustache and sticky fingers, immediately sensed the change in our driving direction, as I headed for our dry home.

"What about the "New" place? Will we miss it?"

Luckily for us, New Grange can wait for a sunny day. Afterall, it is as old as the stoneage.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Final Word from Designer, Part III

Just out of chance, Nikki Foley, designer, colleague and friend, met me as I was on way to Gail's booth to beg and plead my way into her forgiveness. In times like this, everyone can use a little friendly support.

Plus, Nikki knew Gail and she was certain Gail would understand and work with us as we unravel and re-attribute this design.

It was a brisk and busy Saturday at the FOQ, and we soon found the Lawthers happily greeting visitors. Gail was busy signing copies of her new book, Glimpses of New Zealand, as I introduced myself to Chris. There was no indication that he had seen my email or known of the caper, so the next best explanation was to simply open and display the stolen Starry Night to the designer herself. "Oh, dear," she said. And yet, her smile did not entirely fade. Indeed, Gail was familiar with copyright infringement.

(I am too, but when you see the offense fully glossy in a magazine that YOU YOURSELF promote, it takes on a whole new--scary--meaning.)

Before FOQ, the submitting designer had insisted she was innocent as she had not owned or seen the book. Having now the original book in my hand, I knew this designer was incorrect in her recollection. Red stripe fabric and more were too select and exact to be by chance. The fact that the second designer stood by her byline would only infurate any original designer, so as I spoke with Gail, I focused on publication steps that would resolve and re-attribute the design for her. In the most gracious style she said the four words that would put an end to my nightmare:
"Just print a retraction."

I vowed to do more than that. This mistake had to put out there. Own it. Use it. What better way than to use it as a prime example? What Not To Do. There will be an article that provides guidelines and more for copyright compliance in the next issue. In fact, Gail went on to share with us even more odd and blatant copyright problems she's encountered and several of the resolutions.

One thing is certain when dealing with copyright: If you are unsure if you have created something which displays more likeness of an inspiration than might be allowed, ask for permission. Imitation is the best flattery, but if you intend to promote or benefit from such creation, you must have permission of the original designer.

What began two weeks ago as a nightmare is now business as usual as we write to inform and educate quilters of the ins and outs of credible designing.

Tell us what you think.
What copyright catastrophes have you been involved in?
How do you protect your designs?
Do you worry you might "copy" your inspirations?

You may be wondering about the submitting designer? Once we were able to show her Gail's book, she agreed it must be her recollection that is not right. She is heartfelt that she would not wish to copy someone's design and sell it off as hers (all fees relating to design were void). As a supporter of the magazine, she also was equally concerned for the legal predicament created with such design. Though she does not own Gail's book, it is assumed it must have been passed around at a quilting group session.

Finally, our copyright tip: Use your quilt's label to include your source of inspiration. The correct notation, had it read "Made By Mary X. Inspired by Gail Lawther's Crib Triptych", well, there is no doubt, it would have spared us this misery.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wake Up and Deal, Part II

Throughout setup and the first day of Festival of Quilts (FOQ), the Starry Night clouded my mind. With every sale of the magazine, with each page that was flipped, my heart missed a beat.

Although I try to live in the moment, my mind was whirring on how to clear up this mess. I've always been a believer of actions following a wrongdoing are as important, if not more important, than the initial problem. Own it. Manage it. Handle with care and consideration for those injured. In this case, the injured are Gail Lawther and our readers.

Our magazine is the first quilting magazine which publishes a variety of Irish designer patterns. While copyright infringement is a well known concern among workshops and quilt shows, it is our experience that quilters publishing patterns in Ireland are less experienced in this area. As a precaution, Terri and I query all our designers and their inspirations, with patterns requiring a signed affidavit of authenticity and original drawings whenever possible. Several times we have sought out permission from designers who have inspired our pattern makers and where that inspiration appears in true likeness.

And yet, we find ourselves in such a predicament.

Along with rehearsing a confession, my brain has already begun composing an article on copyright guidelines to lead our next issue's retraction of Starry Night. Again, put it out there and own it. Hopefully readers will come away with more understanding and knowledge. My greatest fear is loss of credibility. Right now, my guess is to stay real and humble. If good comes of a copyright article, then so be it.

Back to Gail. Something told me she didn't need a copyright article to know the score.

The timing of this messup couldn't have been better. I thumbed through my FOQ catalog until I saw her name. Lawther, Gail. For the first time I was glad my email and phone attempts were unsuccessful. Up close and personal is my preference. One can never be 100% sure of the tone of emails and phone calls.

Next, I purchased her Stained Glass Patchwork Projects for Christmas, the real McCoy of Starry Night from a rival magazine's booth, who coincidently shared the same publisher as Gail's book. Ouch! More pain inflicted.

With the real McCoy in one hand and the imitation in the other, I walked the two isles to Gail's booth.

Monday, August 23, 2010

An Editor's Worst Nightmare, Part I

As I opened the email last week, every publisher's worst nightmare unfolded before me. Exactly one day after release of our beautiful Volume 2 Issue 4, my body went still and my heart fell to the floor as I read the email.
"Dear Sherry,
Just thought you should know, the Starry Night pattern in your latest issue is a Gail Lawther pattern and is, in fact, on the cover of her Christmas book."

The emailer is a supportative quilt shop owner and knowledgeable patchwork teacher in the West of Ireland, so there was very little doubt in my mind that she was anything but correct. Our Starry Night designer purportedly used her own designs, with the help of her daughter to draw the Starry Night. However, as quick as a click, Google proved differently.

Again, I was struck as a frightening stillness run through me . Every stitch, line, and even colour, with its exact likeness, screamed out at me from the cover of Gail Lawther's Stained Patchwork Projects for Christmas published in 2002.

My first reaction was to call Gail. No number on hand. I emailed a frantic message knowing her husband Chris mans their emails quite regularily and thoroughly. We have worked with Gail in the past with one of her patterns appearing in Volume 1, alas with her rightful name and credit. And last summer we consulted her on Celtic knotting when we found ourselves at loose ends over proper knot drawings. Now, I had to confess we plagurised her design and it was in print 20,000 times over.

Contrary to norm, our email went unanswered. Gail and Chris could very well be enroute to FOQ. We also had our own departure in mere hours. This was one knot in my stomach that would travel with me.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Festival of Quilts

Live from Birmingham!
We are having a wonderful time here at the Festival of Quilts. The quilts are breathtaking (unbelieveable), the isles are packed (as usual) and the stands have grown (bigger show!)

Everyone is in great form. Really, this year is a wonderful experience. Whether you are a vendor or a visitor, there is a vibe of fun and friendliness in the air. Yesterday the rain pounded from the skies as quilters and visitors took in the sights and wares of FOQ. Today it remains damp, but spirits are soaring!

Our latest issue, debut last week, is, well, nearly sold out!! We have a great Christmas bonus--flip the magazine and there are five Christmas patterns, reading inward from the back cover where Kass Mansfield's spectacular Santa's Sleigh appears.

As always it is so lovely to see and meet with all the quilters. We are so grateful for the chance to meet in person and chat with our readers. This year has been especially sweet with many readers sharing how much they love IQ. We work so hard and we will continue to do so, so it is vitally important to hear the feedback. Good and bad!

The booth itself is fun with lots happening. Our readers' postacards are a charming decoration, with many readers loving to see their very own "exhibition" at FOQ. Mabel Long (seen here) was one reader delighted to see her quilt work hanging in FOQ, albeit in the IQ booth!

Before we left for the show, magazines were channeled to our distributors, so be sure to ask your local shop owner if he/she can order them. Happy/sad to report our office will be void of this great issue!

I must run back to the booth! Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Birmingham FOQ or Bust!

As we pack up our office for Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, we're bending our ears for the busy hum of next issue's arrival! Magazines will be sent to subscribers this week to arrive in time to keep you busy on your journey to the show.

FESTIVAL OF QUILTS Tickets Winner is Julie Jardine. Congratulations Julie!, an email will follow with ticket retrieval info.

Thanks everyone for playing along!
While at Birmingham...
Please be sure to come by our booth at B26. Say hello and stay for the fun:

Drop off your fabric postcard--there's still time to win the 100 spools of coloured thread and cabinet from Gutermann!! See competition in June magazine or email me for more details.

Learn more about how to enter and win the Janome Horizon Memory Craft sewing machine (worth €2000!!). See competition in August magazine or visit Booth B26 for more details.

No Gimmicks, Just One Great Price: £20 Year's Subscription (6 mags!), postage included -- no matter where you live! Great show prices for individual magazines too. (£20 Show Sale Price only available during FOQ)

Demos include Janome Horizon Memory Craft sewing machine, Christmas card, fabric postcards, Accuquilt Cutter and much more!

Enjoy the new August issue packed with patterns and entertainment, including:
Nicholas Mosse Pottery Inspired Crazy for Tulips by Terri McNeill. Kits for purchase!
Quilting Beauties! Five methods on show by quilters all around Ireland
Effie Galletly, also showing at FOQ!
Who swept the awards at Irish 2010 RDS National Craft Competition? Read about our star quilter!
and finally, Christmas comes early with a simple flip of the mag! Our present to you: more patterns!

I hope to see you in Birmingham next week!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

IQ Creates With Youth

Jack was creative from his head to his toes. Saturday at the Gorey Community Craft Event Jack created his whale of a postcard. He was one of many youth who came to create and embellish fabric postcards. Organised by Roisin, there was fun for all!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Cork Quilter Sweeps Nat'l Competition

Yesterday Cork quilter Mary Palmer took home five medals at the RDS National Crafts Competition! And get this,

She won the overall prize award. The California Medal, worth €7,000 was awarded to her over hundreds of artists and crafters across Ireland. Here she is with her winning quilt and a winning cup.

Hooray for Mary!! and Hooray for quilting in Ireland.

See her quilts and the many award categories in next issue. Coming in days

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Stars and Stripes of Ireland

Every month or so, in Dublin there is a large group of ladies who come together to talk about burritos, sunshine, and Nestle Toll House chocolate chips.

These items are atop most topical lists for American fondness amid an Irish lifestyle. I'm not entirely sure how much they are missed, as much as it is nice to chat about common pinings.

Later this Autumn, I will have the opportunity to speak to this group, the American Women's Club of Dublin (AWCD) about quilts, and well, our quilt magazine. As many know, Americans have a longstanding history of traditional quilts, so I look forward to this mixture of sharing and perspective. Below is on left, Margaret (living 10 years in Ireland), at centre, Eileen (living six years in Ireland and me, also a six year veteran to Irish life. All three of us are victims of Celtic love--marrying an Irish lad.

As a member of the Irish Patchwork Society, I am familiar with Marguerite, a dedicated quilter. What I didn't know, was she is American! We are bi-club members. She has held the helm of the quilting groups in AWCD, and understandably time marches on. She has done an incredible Stars and geese-Stripes flag in patchwork, seen with her below. It is fantastic!

We expect a resurgence of patchwork and quilting in the AWCD, and IQ hopes to help lead the way!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Gȕtermann Wishes You Were Here

Good News: The August issue is nearly here and is packed full with specials.

Bad News: The August issue is so packed full, we had to remove excess content! There will be no reminder to send in your textile postcards!! So I'm leaving it up to you clever ones online to spread the word:

Who wants to win a Gutermann In-Home Cabinet with 100 spools of coloured thread? Besides me?
All you have to do is send us a postcard, created by yourself and you could win!
They are addictive. Imagine creating a quilt and finishing within the hour? That's it! Again. Imagine:itty bitty quilts flying through the postal zones.

Deadline is 20 August. Our postman is on standby!

Get stitchin'!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pouring Rain and Quilters in Derry!

Today Terri and I headed to Derry in Northern Ireland. Yes, cue the music: Sherry and Terri on the way to Derry! Just as bad as going to Kerry! And we've done that too!
Things I learned:

1. Derry is closer than I thought -- only took us 3 hours from Dublin!
2. Derry is a beautiful and, walled, city -- surrounded by a wall! Yikes, shows my shallow knowledge of Irish history. You can really imagine the olden days!
3. Derry official symbol is an Oak Leaf, Derry meaning a place of Oak Trees

So, now you know, watch for the Derry fabric (oak leaves) in Mission Hall Quilts! We were visiting and researching MHQ for a future issue. How adorable! Recently relocated to the Craft Village in Derry. MHQ is wonderful!

And the staff is just as great! This is Brigene and Anne.

Stay tuned for MHQ feature in a future issue. (p.s. the ladies are giving away the quilt kit held here in and with their feature!)

The road trip was somewhat uneventful --beyond MHQ--for Terri and me. Usually we find ourselves circling a roundabout 12 times, asking farmers for photo opps or hiking the fields in heels. Terri is recovering from being ill and I'm digging out Issue 4 (coming soon!) content, so low key worked today.

But I DID forget to post about our trip last week--also to Northern Ireland. We went to Enniskillen for a photoshoot on a Jane Quinn design--at fabulous Irish Manor House. All credit to Jane, an ideal spot! On the way home, we detoured on a hunt for quilt art rumoured to be in a church in Coolhute? Drumeltan? Cornbeagh? Kill? Last count was seven churches (some villages have two and more!) when we finally found the holy grail quilt hangings.

By the time we arrived, several local folk had been alerted to watch and help the two "tourists" looking for fabric in a church!

So, sometimes it takes a village to raise quiltart. And us to report on it. Appearing soon in Irish Quilting!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Irish Quilting Named 2010 Top Exporter

We won!
This month we were chosen from more than 100 robust businesses in Ireland and awarded the 2010 Exporter Award.
The Wicklow County Enterprise Board promotes the development of enterprise in County Wicklow by focusing on the creation of enterprise awareness, encouraging new businesses to startup and supporting new businesses to grow. Our contribution is vast as a small enterprise in Ireland's economic development and its role in building a vibrant and successful indigenous business sector.

Equally important, Irish Quilting's entrepreneurial role promotes an optimistic and positive message for the future and puts quilting on the business roadmap of Ireland!

We attended an awards luncheon where Fergal Quinn (on right) presented awards. Mr. Quinn is a funny and astute business man who currently hosts Retail Therapy. He advises who to do business correctly. Wise man.

The award is wonderful; geesh, it adds more pressure!

Speaking of, off to finish content for Issue 4!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Panel Meeting in Connemara, Galway

Hello All!

(more photos to be uploaded today!)
Vol 2 Issue 3 has been out for a few weeks now. Last week, the gals and I headed to the West for a panel meeting. But it was much more than just a panel meeting.
First, we met with Frances Conroy (below), a longarm quilter who has her very own sewing cottage located down a remote road from the Quiet Man bridge in Connemara. Frances was working on a quilt for the magazine, so lots more to come about that!

Over in Westport, we visited Brenda at Clew Bay Studio, one of my favourites--though I never had been there before. Brenda had been one of our earliest supporters of the magazine and we so grateful for her. Her shop was lovely and we even met up with some American readers--the Crogan family, what a troupe. Fantastic visit!

We visited with Ann of Annie's Crafts in Ballymote. What an enthusiastic woman! It was lovely to see and meet her in person--she's gearing up for lots of patchwork classes and clearly has a good buzz among the quilters of Sligo!

Onward and up to tip of Sligo, we visited the Crafter's Basket, another of our clients, and more importantly, one of the best craft shops I've ever seen in Ireland. A real retail gem, Crafter's Basket is a beautiful shop on the coast of the Atlantic; Caron and Mary are the proprietors who clearly work very hard to keep their customers happy. This was the last stop for Terri and I. Thank goodness for Caron and Mary's patience--we arrived 3 hours late and with several calls of duress for time in the meanwhile. Mary leads the patchwork team in the fabric nook that covers everything from quilting to dressmaking. Caron is an expert sugar crafter and works hard at making their website When in the West, do visit Crafter's Basket!

Back to the panel meeting. Linda from "Rags from Linda" shop was wonderful and hospitable as we used her shop to host our panel meeting. Linda is in Oughterard outside Galway and has a lovely shop.

As this blog is truly behind the scenes, this issue, we thought we would share our findings from our meeting (some of us below). If you have a critique or specific feedback, please do forward it on!

Issues in the forefront:
Good cover. Clouds are not necessary bad--sunny skies kinda unrealistic of Ireland?
Chat with Pat--bring on more! Panel felt content was incomplete and want more. We are redesigning and feel extra room brought on would be spent well on this type of human interest. Will give Pat more room.
Advertisements--funny enough, we had lots of discussion on ads. which work, which don't. This was a bit of first for panel, but really informative. Clothwork Textiles a huge winner. Others did have much lesser appeal. We've decided to provide this critical information to our advertisers in an individual email--they would want to know what direction works, which don't. We've even decided to award the favourite advertisement 10% on next booking--so I feel this panel gives so much value to focus group efforts-something of value we can pass onto our clients.
Paris Chic--this pattern was a redo of designer original. Unfortunately designer was dismayed by changes in the redo--lesson learned--incorporate into contract--more communication to designer!
Where to Buy--ooops! missing intro text on Baby Farm, misleading reader to buy the exact fabric.
Materials list--readers love that the materials state which cuts are for what parts of quilt. invaluable
Photographs--seems our photos have a loose thread in some. More care to be spent so this does not repeat.
Features--museum clipart runs into photo-maybe set off, but great quilt photo, shame not to have pattern in print.

We are currently working the next issues, so you can see how valuable our meetings have become! Send in your feedback!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Shortlisted for Top Exporter

We've been selected as a semi finalist by the Wicklow County Enterprise Board for County Enterprise Awards in the Exporter division pitted against two other businesses, out of more than 100 nominations.

Thank you to all our readers near and far. It takes everyone!

When: Finals 15 June; Winners 5 July.

The Wicklow County Enterprise Board promotes the development of enterprise in County Wicklow by focusing on the creation of enterprise awareness, encouraging new businesses to start up and supporting existing businesses to grow. This award selection acknowledges Irish Quilting’s contribution as a small enterprise in Ireland’s economic development and its role in building a vibrant and successful indigenous business sector.

Equally importantly, Irish Quilting’s entrepreneurial role promotes an optimistic and positive message for the future and puts quilting on the business roadmap of Ireland.

In a stressed economy, interest in sustainable crafts soar. By the very nature of patchwork, quilting is a sustainable craft. Quilting is a growing energy in Ireland. With 20,000 magazines in circulation across 15 countries, Irish Quilting serves to promote this craft, showcases its quilters and connects worlds.

In each issue IQ presents focus (quilt) features beautifully photographed on location in Ireland. Introduction text focuses on the backdrop and location, identifying and providing a bird's eye view into Ireland. This is the Irish 'sell', our USP, to readers' abroad. However, each feature is ample full of resources (pattern, fabric, where to/ how to buy) for all quilting communities.

Isn't that exciting?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Testing on Cloud Nine

Just signing off this long, busy day. We have had a full office of testing, testing and testing. The next issue is nearly at the printers--and yes,it will be with readers very shortly. Hoo-ray!
As you know, I always try my hand at some of the projects. Oh yes, tried and tested. Here is my pride of today, below! Guttermann is sponsoring a quiltart postcard making project--details in your next read!

I call this Hair on Cloud Nine. It will be a congratulations card to my neice in Washington who is beginning beauty school in June. Another hoo-ray!

Tonight, I leave you with one thought of gratitude: Editors are not allowed to participate in the challenges. Lucky for you--'cause I'm hooked on these easy peasy postcards!


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Snow Bind and Bound

Today I sat watching the snow swirl round and round outside. A real blizzard unfolded before my eyes. Earlier I arrived in the office and found the Internet down. If I didn't know better, this day was bound to be wrapped tightly in a quilt and treated to hot cocoa.

I don't know about you, and contrary to that image, these are the days I'm most productive. The Internet is off. The elements urge you indoors. Nothing to do really, but work. Head down and bum up.

Rebecca would always say that. She did a lot of our longarming last year. This fall, she and her family moved home to Australia. 'Head down and bum up' was her way of saying she was a busy bee, tied to her longarm and creating a masterpiece. We miss her, head, bum and masterpieces!

While my head was down, and my bum planted firmly at my desk, I may not have created masterpieces, but there was work done. Between the weather and the winter holidays where most Irish companies, banks, offices--anyone who does not run their own business--close for 57 days in December and January, it can be challenging to conduct business to business. Which brings us back to head down, bum up. Writing, planning, preparing and a bit of house cleaning and my desk is rattling with efficiency. Kinda reminds me of 1993, before Internet flowed freely into our homes.

Every so often, I'd return to the window and ponder the forecast. My DH is a forecast groupie. He will schedule showers, meals, work and even a pint, around weather forecasts. He follows weather warnings as if his living is dependent on the earth's natural elements. Whereas, I'm zoned to follow whether my hair dresser works on Saturdays, when Moda debuts a new paisley line, or whether the substitute postman is on, delaying our mail delivery from 9am to 4pm. Priorities, I know.

So when there's a raging cold front for 11 days, it's kinda good to be married to a forecast groupie. He's kept me in tune, as much as I hate being held back, keeping me safe and sound indoors. Four canceled errands, a postponed interview in Cork, and 20 gorgeous donated quilts lying in wait, the snow and ice has severly stalled some plans of action.

And I haven't even mentioned the magazines. Vol II, Issue 1!

Oh, I hope the kind courier is lovingly draping and holding tight the several pallets of newborns as they cross the seas and struggle the frozen transition to destinations. The office here is atop a mountain and DH reported--ah, his weather vigil work pays off--the road leading down and beyond is a slippery slope with cars littered haphazardly in ditches and driveways.

We await the new issue with open warm arms! Drive safe everyone.