Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Moving URLS

Hello all!
Sorry to be delayed in this address change!
Come see us at our new website, where you'll find more than just my blog to keep you entertained.

Visit my blog now located here.
or here:

Looking forward to many more posts!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New Headquarters

We began as a home business more than three years ago and has gradually grown its business operations to suit the growing distribution of its premier niche product, Irish Quilting the largest craft magazine out of Ireland appearing in 15 countries worldwide. Now employing three fulltime staff members, two part timers and with remote sales representatives in three countries, we’re on the move!

Irish Quilting Ltd. opens headquarters operation in Enniscorthy, County Wexford, Ireland.

The craft market is going from strength to strength. As an entrepreneurs, we are finding and creating inroads to the mainstream industries such as Enterprise Ireland, Tourism Ireland and the many cultural agencies of Ireland, all of which have vast implication for Ireland’s economy, export and culture.

As tenants in the Enterprise Centre under John O'Connell (pictured above on right), there is synergy and an inherent drive to coordinate our productive efforts among businesses and the community here and abroad. The Enniscorthy Enterprise and Technology Centre is the home of business support and training for small and medium enterprises. The centre specialises in the support of start-up businesses and employee training in County Wexford. The Enterprise centre not only rents a space, but it is part of the structure that promotes and supports a business. The environment and facilities are created to help businesses extend their professional image to the community and clients.

We’re now found busy on Milehouse Road in the Centre. Myself, Linda, Mary, Dermot and Kevin thank everyone involved and responsible for the smooth transition and anticipate a worthy future with great anticipation and optimism.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Business Means Effort

This week I spent most of my time on the phone drumming up sales. Economy woes are strong as ever. Still, with a product of quality, our distribution and quality continues to grow as does the print run costs! The true source of our funding is advertising/branding, the part of life that goes hand in hand with the human psyche.

Like that, increasing creativity is a must with advertising / branding, no longer as traditional as we know it. Social internet continues to shape the path to the consumer and client. In fact, cold calls, well they don't have to be cold--my first port of call is the internet where I click, view and read all about the business or person I'm ringing.

We all know how hard times are. As individuals and in families, we feel the pinch of scarce jobs, high costs and tightened belts. The business owner feels it a both ends. For many of our clients, they have put a lot on the line and risk a lot to bring quilters the best products, quality and experiences. So when I see or hear of a new business, I am wow'd and I certainly applaud those attempting to break out of this of economy paralysis. (That's a grim description, but I feel it often captures our efforts as small businesses.)

This week I chatted with two trail blazers in quilting. As soon as I clicked on one website, my mind was taken to a soverign place. Mesmerise yourself at the Quilt Retreat. I am so moved by new ventures! There is a sense of excitement, bravery and hope. I loved chatting with the owner Chris, who offers quilter and writer retreats.

Then I spoke with David, the father of Naomi who is currently preparing to relocate her shop, Green Hill Patchwork and Quilting to larger premises. We have spoken with them numerous times, and on this day it was great to sit back and hear the uplifting progress this shop owner has achieved.

Knowing it takes extraordinary measures to achieve success in this ordinary world, I always offer my congratulations. Yet, for every oooh and ahhh of my own, there exists the doubt and fears naturally found in recessionary times. My admiration of these entrepreneurs is immense.

Even the best laid business plans are still a big risk. As customers and partners, we owe it to these risk takers to give them and their businesses a chance.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Greetings for Heart Day

We love to decorate for holidays. Show your love for Valentine's Day with a greeting banner.

All you need is:

Scraps 4" or larger; (try orphan blocks, we did!)
Contrast scraps for letters
fusible web
pinking shears
1. Simply cut the larger scraps into bunting flags. You can do this by cutting 4" wide strips. Cut strips vertically, at an angle to create flags. (In my home, we have 7 and 8 year olds helping, so in fairness, our cuts are very organic. You could be scientific and measure the correct angle of degrees of each cut for exact and consistent sizing.

We advise using pinking sheers, if at all possible. The pinking edge eliminates frayed edges. (With straight blades, the raw edges will ravel. To avoid raveling, the bunting flags should be topstitched or twosided with seams--both increases workload.) I love pinking sheers for this reason. In fact, we have a rotary pinking blade and it is brillant!

Align your banner's flags according to fabric contrast. Light, dark, light order will be the best contrast.
2. Create letters for HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY, one letter for each flag.

Draw fat letters, reverse direction, on the glue side of fusible web. Again, our designwork here is very organic. For perfect typeset, consider drawing or using letter templates using mirrored type by tracing in reverse using a light box, or copier if available.

3. Follow manufacturer's directions for fusible web, and apply each letter to the center of flag.

4. Connect flags by sewing buttons.

5. Hang and celebrate!

Don't forget to bring in your own creativity. I made my own Valentines to give to my friends.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I was seeking an interview with a textiles designer when I first heard of the Dublin Horse Show at the Royal Dublin Society (RDS). This designer had difficulty fitting me into her schedule as she explained she was crazy busy trying to get ready for the upcoming Horse Show. Not being local to this event, I niavely, inquired, "oh, how interesting, that you show horses too!"

You can imagine my embarrassment when it was quickly revealed that the "Horse Show" is so much more than horses, jumps and hay. The Dublin Horse Show, indeeds caters for everyone with an exhibition of crafts and antiques, a diverse range of shopping among exhibitor booths.

Now, a good few years later, although sure to be a good showcase, the horse show is the lesser of the excitement for our crafts in Ireland. In conjunction to the Horse Show, each year the RDS holds their RDS National Crafts Competition. It is a juried showing and involves more than €28,000 is prize winnings.

In fact, in 2010, Cork-based quilter, Mary Palmer, scooped the overall show prize, as well as three other winning placements. The talent and beauty that is entered into this show is incredible.
In creative circles one almost always hears about the stellar crafts being created in County Cork. There are several textile groups that flourish in this area. Each year, I am delighted to see the latest textile entries from this talented bunch. It is my own personal reunion of unmeasured inspiration.

As I sat in our meeting yesterday, it was overwhelming to think of the immense talent and ambitition that filled the room. Most attendees were representatives of guilds and associations. Everyone from woodcutters to feltmakers, to lacemakers to goldsmiths. A tighter niche, though equally well represented, sub group makes up the working committee for the RDS National Crafts Competition. The purpose of our meeting was to open discussion for feedback and suggestions from the craft community as a whole. It was impressive. The RDS is to be commended for holding such a prestigious competition and the craft organisers around the table, hugely commended for the efforts put forth by all the entries and supporters.

Entries in photo format are to be in by 8 May. We await the many talented artists.

Are you one of them?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Proofreading Pays It Forward

We are currently looking for office staff. Since Lauren's gone to college, it's Dermot and myself holding down the fort. And it's busy.
We are always looking for sales staff for selling advertising.

Recently we hosted several advertisements for the openings on job sites.

What amazed me is the amount of responses filled with typos, spellings and poor writing. If I'm not mistaken, the number of poorly constructed responses is increasing. Why?

In my past life, I have been a substitute teacher and in my schooled life, I'm a technical writer. Both have a penchant for teaching others. So when I review responses to job postings, I am eager to alert the person to their mistakes. There was a time I would open every email and every CV. At minimal, I send a confirmation of receipt every time.

Now, if there is one wrong spelling, a lowercase that should be uppercase or a glaring typo, I simply delete the email. One button and it possibly changes the direction of someone's life. I feel some guilt.

As a result, my own emailing and texting has become sharpened. Friends or colleagues frequently get abbreviated, noncapitalised, unpuncutated responses, saving my time--but possibly increasing their time in deciphering my message.

Now, the time I save deleting poor responses, I pay that time forward by composing better responses in my own communication.

Oops! Time's up and there's still a heap of CVs to review.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Creative Potholes

Winter rains have made the texture of our country's roads a patchwork vision, but these weathered potholes take a toil on our vehicles.

Which is why I loved this snippet reporting from Paris earlier in 2011.

Kudos to the creative concerned citizens, like this 'yarn bomber' who knits to improve her surroundings.