The Quilter’s Guild of Ireland ‘Keep Well’ Project / Challenge 2021

https://www.dcci.ie/consumers/get-making/keep-well/

Design and Crafts Council of Ireland DCCI celebrated 50 years on 14th October 2021.

The “Keep Well” campaign was embraced by the DCCI focusing on  ‘Switching off and Being Creative’. The main thread was to ‘switch off, be creative, and to learn something new’.

In turn we, the Quilter’s Guild of Ireland enthusiastically took part in this Challenge. We encouraged our members to reach out to friends and family, to persuade them to join us in the Keep Well Campaign. The theme we used was ‘Home’. Our aim was to create a few quilts to raise money for Women’s Shelters, in particular with reference to Women’s mental health support.

Mary Palmer designed several blocks with varying degrees of difficulty, each to measure 10 inch square finished. These were published on our YouTube channel, with video demonstrations by Mary. You’ll find a link here: Quilter’s Guild of Ireland YouTube Channel

The response exceeded all our expectations. Blocks came from all over Ireland. Some were constructed by people who had never done any sewing. Others were done by our fellow quilters in other guilds. It was almost overwhelming. The generosity and spirit engendered was uplifting and emotional. So many people invested time and fabrics into the creation of these blocks. We felt a collective spirit throughout in the midst of the pandemic

Keep Well Campaign

The Keep Well campaign was an initiative from the Irish Government, launched on October 29th by An Taoiseach [Irish Prime Minister] at Government Buildings and focussed on five main themes:

  • Keeping active – keeping active and being outdoors, even during the winter, is important to help physical and mental health and wellbeing.
  • Staying connected – staying connected with people, addressing isolation, supporting volunteerism and initiatives that support person-to-person connection is important to our wellbeing.
  • Switching off and being creative – switching off and being creative or learning something new, getting back to nature and finding ways to relax can help our general wellbeing.
  • Eating well – by nourishing your body and mind we can develop a better connection between the food we eat and how we feel and positively impact our physical and mental wellbeing.
  • Managing your mood – equipping people with information on where to go if they need support e.g. HSE’s Your Mental Health website. This will also be linked with the local community helpline to ensure that people can access the support they need.

The QGI is running a project to support the new creative project launched by the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCI). The “Keep Well” campaign is part of the Irish Government’s Plan for Living with COVID-19, to promote individual and community resilience. 

We, in conjunction with the DCCI are focusing on the campaign’s strand ‘Switching off and Being Creative’. This programme encourages people at home to ‘switch off, be creative, and to learn something new’. 

Isn’t it just perfect? To switch off and be creative, we just have to sew little blocks.!

What

We’re asking our members to make at least one 10” block (10-1/2” square unfinished) on the theme of Home (Houses, Trees, and Paths & Gardens). We’re suggesting using Batiks as collectively they go well together. If you don’t have
any batiks, use what you have – we’re talking cotton, not polyester etc. Here are some examples of what is being asked of you. Includes a house and paths created from the pattern by Evelyn Brady.

Who

Involving and encouraging friends, family and neighbours to make a block is part of the project. If they don’t have a stash, would you by any chance, have a few wee pieces you could donate or even pre-cut for a beginner. It has been said of quilters that they hoard fabric…

[We are operating in Covid times, so please stay safe. When sharing fabric by post/ by hand, it might be an idea to advise the recipient to leave it for a day or two before opening. We can’t be too careful these days!]

Patterns

  • Printing re Foundation Piecing Warning. Some printers default to less than 100%. When printing foundation patterns make sure it is printing at 100%.
  • If you have already printed a small version, that’s fine, submit it. We’ll add a wee border to suit that quilt.
  • We love it when people take the time to point out the little errors which might creep in. .

Finished Your Block(s)?

When you’ve constructed your block(s), please contact us (theqgi@gmail.com) for instructions on where to send it (or ask a QGI member).

Prizes

Each block you send us, will be rewarded with a ticket for a special raffle honouring the Design and Crafts Council’s 50th anniversary being celebrated this year – 2021. There are 50 prizes ranging from €10 – €100 vouchers to be used in a selection of Patchwork shops on the island of Ireland.

And then…

With the blocks we receive from you (and your friends, family, and neighbours!), we’ll make quilts. These are being used to benefit charities relating to women’s mental health and women’s shelters for abuse victims.

We’d like to make 3 quilts at least, but if there are more blocks, we’ll make more quilts!

Zoom Sessions


To encourage you, we’ve been holding a series of zoom sessions, where Mary Palmer will walk you through the instructions, answer questions, have a chat and hopefully you’ll show us your blocks as we go along!

YouTube Videos

Mary Palmer has and is preparing step-by-step videos for anyone to follow. The first are aimed at the beginner, and get progressively more complex. Nothing you can’t handle.

The QGI YouTube channel can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeHW9PeRuyMKevqmFowElyw

Once we reach 100 subscribers we can make the URL address a bit more QGI friendly. You can subscribe which only means you will be notified when new videos are added, there’s no cost to join.

NB Videos 6a and 6b are exactly the same, they’ve just been taken from different camera angles.

Contact

Friends of QGI members are welcome, as well as members themselves. Contact theqgi@gmail.com for more information.