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

GÈ•termann 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!