Santa Claus is coming. Tá Daidí na Nollag ag teacht.

Upcycling wood and door handles

The season is almost upon us and as with all organised  quilters, your projects are probably almost finished, having begun them in July?

No!? Me neither!

Not our fault. It was the weather… or something.  In Ireland, we can blame the weather for everything. This year, for the most part,  we enjoyed an unusually great summer. Obviously when it’s sunny here, it’s criminal to be sitting indoors, never mind working on Christmas projects.

Us being in the mouth of Nollaig, was just thinking the other day, that  while we have been posting regularly to our Facebook (FB) page, you may not have seen them. [Spotted you screwing up your face and screaming that you hate Facebook!]. No arguments from us, it’s certainly not for everyone,  and we’re not about to tell you that you should join. However, just because you don’t ‘do’ FB, isn’t a reason to miss out on some of our postings.

So, here are a few links which we have shared to our Facebook page.

Starting with this posting:


We had great fun on our Athlone Sew In weekend. There was plenty to talk about – rugby, football, GAA, and we did talk about quilting too! In particular about inspirational quilters from Ireland and one of those was Irene MacWilliam whom we follow on FB Irene MacWilliam

Here is her latest posting:
“Margaret McCrory and I are having an exhibition of our work in Cregagh Library for most of December. On Monday 3 December between 3.00 and 4.30 pm we will be present for a meet the artists afternoon. Please come, refreshments provided.”

NB Cregagh Library is in the Greater Belfast area.

[Refreshments only apply to the opening on Mon 3rd Dec].

46997542_1979568965442296_9027365698153742336_nMore news from the Athlone Schoolhouse Quilters’.   Winner of the Viewers’ Choice award was ‘Shakespeare in the Park’, pieced by Maureen Feary, quilted by Frances Flanagan.

As those of us who attended the exhibition can confirm, amongst a great exhibition of quilts, it was indeed stunning. Congratulations Maureen and Frances.

[By the way Frances does all her quilting on a domestic sewing machine and custom quilts each piece. Many of the quilts in the exhibition were custom quilted beautifully by her.]

We’ll be posting more photos of this exhibition at a later date.



This quilt, reflecting the emotional trauma of a tsunami and its consequences was posted originally by the International Quilt Association. It  is entitled  “Over the Waves” by Setsuko Matsushima of Shiga, Japan. Winner of the Founders Award, sponsored by International Quilt Festival.

Artist’s Statement: “A huge tsunami hit in March of 2011 in Japan. I made this quilt to pray for the people who sacrificed [their lives]. I hope that all people receive this light as a ray of hope from a lighthouse.”



This came via Dublin Embroiderers’ Association, originally posted by the Embroiderers’ Guild of Victoria.

This stunning quilt is the work of quilt artist Deb Hyde (pictured in the photo).

Deb creates her pieces using thousands of one inch squares of fabric, painstakingly placed, stitched together and finally quilted.

Hundreds of hours goes into the creation of each quilt. She takes her inspiration from photographs or her own life-drawing sketches.

Here are some of the videos we’ve shared.

Spoonful of Sugar  – Folded hexagon ornament 

Folded Christma

Instructions – click here. 

Click above for the written instructions.

Athlone Sew In – and before you ask, yes, we all had a great time. More about that in our next blog, with photos; suffice to say that on the Sunday morning Neesa McMahon, from Schoolhouse Quilters,  gave us a demonstration and individual instructions on how to make these gorgeous little ornaments. Yes, you can view the video, which is excellent, but nothing beats a patient instructor. Neesa was indeed patient and literally held all our hands as we all needed a wee bit of help. Huge thanks to Neesa.

Easy Charm Pack Baby Quilt On YouTube

The following story accompanied this pattern:

“An American Quilter was visiting her son and daughter-in-law this week, and they were talking about gigabytes and terabytes.

She told them she had no idea what they were talking about.

The daughter-in-law says,

“Mom, you know when you have the small fabric packs, the charm squares, that’s like a gigabyte. A whole bolt of fabric would be a terabyte.”

The American Quilter was delighted and said “Okay. Now you’re speaking my language.”

Folded Fabric Ornaments on YouTube


One one one

News article from the BBC – click here

[hopefully everyone will be able to play it.]

A professor of surgery says students have spent so much time in front of screens and so little time using their hands that they have lost the dexterity for stitching or sewing up patients.

Roger Kneebone, professor of surgical education at Imperial College, London, says young people have so little experience of craft skills that they struggle with anything practical.

“It is a concern of mine and my scientific colleagues that whereas in the past you could make the assumption that students would leave school able to do certain practical things – cutting things out, making things – that is no longer the case,” says Prof Kneebone.

Tristram Hunt, director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, will be speaking alongside Prof Kneebone.

“Creativity is not just for artists. Subjects like design and technology, music, art and drama are vitally important for children to develop imagination and resourcefulness, resilience, problem-solving, team-working and technical skills,” says Mr Hunt

Auntie C  has given us  quite  a few of these links, which are freely available on YouTube. Thanks to her for this and the following pincushion ornament.  There’s no shortage of adorable ornaments to make before we get caught up in the madness that is Christmas!


This link takes you to the gorgeous blog with the Jolly Jabber Pinwheel Pincushion Ornament 

Congratulations if you have read all the way to the end.

QGI Members, if you have anything that you would like to share on your website, let us know. [Always being cognisant of copyright, of course]. Email

Just in case, we’re tied up finishing off our Christmas  things, wishing you all, each and every one  A very happy and healthy Christmas. Shona Nollaig Duit

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