Saturday, July 24, 2010

'Random Shuffle' An exhibition by GroundWorks Studios

Here are some photos of the window display of work by GroundWorks Studios in Abbeygate Street. The work will remain on exhibition until 8th August and may move to another venue after that. For more information on the studios visit and

Friday, July 23, 2010

'Random Shuffle' An exhibition by members of GroundWorks Studios

"Random Shuffle" is an exhibition of work by members of GroundWorks Studios and was opened by Galway Arts Officer, James Harold on Friday 23rd July and will run until August 8th in Abbeygate Street, Galway (next to Subway).

GroundWorks Studios is based in Mervue Business Park and provides facilities for ceramics and textile artists in a collective environment. This is the group's second exhibition and provides a showcase of recent work by the artists at a Galway city centre venue, to coincide with Galway Arts Festival and Galway Racing Festival.

Fantastic workshop with "Sampler Culture Clash"

I was delighted to be invited to participate in the "Sampler Culture Clash" workshop at the "Golden Thread Gallery" in Belfast on the 22nd of July. The workshop coincided with the exhibition "Changing Art and Minds" by the "Support for Women" project at the Leitrim Design House.

Artists David Littler and Yusra Warsama led participants through a process of interpreting their responses to the work on exhibition and translating these written words into cross-stitch samplers.

The cross-stitch patterns were also made into a tape which feeds into a piano player machine to create music.

Words also came together to form 'poems' which were recorded to create a soundtrack to accompany the exhibition when it moves to the Leitrim Design House for the opening on 19th August at 5.30pm. You are welcome to attend!

For more information about "Sampler Culture Clash" see
For more information about the "Support for Women" exhibition "Changing Art and Minds" see

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Changing Art & Minds: Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast

'Changing Art & Minds' is an exhibition at the Golden Thread Gallery which runs from 22nd to 31st July 2010. It is an exploration of the creative journey of the Supports for Women project. Supports for Women is a creative learning experiment for women living in Leitrim and the project was set up to encourage women to share their personal stories by using the arts, crafts, creative journaling and conflict resolution tools.
By using a multi-disciplinary approach, the project took the participants on a year long journey of self-discovery and personal growth while also challenging the old negative beliefs that have been inherited in the border county as a result of the conflict. 'Changing Art & Minds' showcases the work created during the year and hopefully changes minds through the arts in the process.
The exhibition includes work in textiles, glass, painting and drawing and mixed media made by the women during workshops with Jewellery designer Erika Marks, visual artists Laura Gallagher and Mari Aymone d'Jeribi, glass artist Louise Rice and textile artist Brigitta Varadi.
I was delighted to be involved in this project at the Leitrim Design House helping participants rediscover their creativity through visual journalling along with Therese Hackett who provided support to the group with conflict resolution.
If you are in Belfast in July be sure to check out the Golden Thread Gallery for this exhibition which also connects with August Craft Month with workshops and other activities.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

'Jigs and Reels' A quilt finished!

The photo shows the finished quilt top before layering, quilting, binding and washing.

The quilt was finished in time for a fabulous 21st party in July.
I brought the quilt to Frances Conroy in Maam to have it quilted with an all-over swirly love-heart pattern in pink. Frances did a fantastic job and had the quilt ready in time for me to complete it by adding a candy-stripe binding.
As with most of my quilts, I machine-washed it and cool tumble-dried it. As I use cotton wadding I like the slight crinkly shrinking that happens when a quilt is washed. I think it helps to give it a warm, soft, cosy look. Also it comforts me to know that the quilt can now stand up to normal everyday usage and be thrown in a washing machine (at a 30 degree wash) as often as necessary.
I hope to take a good photo of the finished quilt soon and show it here. So watch this space.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

'Jigs and Reels' a quilt in progress

It always amazes me how secondary patterns start to form when patchwork blocks are put together edge-to-edge.
Sometimes it is difficult to visualise in advance how a quilt will look . The pattern for this quilt came from the book "Clever Quarters Too" but the quilt photographed in the book is totally different in dark red, green and cream.
As with every project I learn a lot as I work my way through it.
For example, I hadn't really paid attention to the fact that each block is made up of 21 pieces within a 9in square! With 30 blocks required for the quilt that's a lot of small pieces to sew together (630 to be exact!). With a pieced border as well, it brings the total number of pieces in the quilt to 806!! This seems a little daunting!
The challenge would have been obvious had I read the pattern through before I started (lesson no. 1!). However, in a way I'm glad I just jumped right in, as it meant I just got on with it. By approaching it like a production line, it came together fairly quickly! And it wasn't as complicated as it looks! Honest!

Monday, July 19, 2010

'Jigs and Reels' a quilt in progress

Discussions about this quilt started some time ago. My niece's 21st in July required a special gift and so I made a trip to Maeve Meaney at the Limerick Quilt Centre with my sister and sister-in-law to select some fabrics. We had a warm welcome from Maeve who put the kettle on as we arrived! Then my sister and sister-in-law set to work on selecting some special fabrics. As my niece is studying traditional music and dance at the University of Limerick, a music theme was going to show up in the quilt somewhere. With all the family history of knitting, sewing, lace-making and embroidery through the generations, a sewing theme became an obvious choice as well. The light and dark turquoise floral prints brought back fond memories of my mother's sense of style. And the old-fashioned floral/stripe fabric was so pretty we couldn't resist. The block-pattern and overall quilt design was chosen from the book "Clever Quarters Too" by Susan Teegarden Dissmore.
Cutting of the fabric started in May and here is the first block ready for assembly. More photos to follow

Friday, July 9, 2010

A taste of World Culture at Leitrim Design House

Leitrim Design House will host a World Culture Day on July 11th. This is a family event with lots to see and do. For more information see

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Galway Now and Limerick Now feature

I'm delighted to be featured in the 'artist profile' page by Lynda Cookson in the July/August edition of Galway Now and Limerick Now magazines. It's nice that Lynda decided to title the feature "Aunt Gobnait's Parcels from America" in honour of the aunt who provided me with the inspiration to travel and to sew.