Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Jump for Joy

These fabric oulines of my son doing what he loves (jumping around!) are applied to a dip-dyed background. These formed a vertical banner for the EQA exhibition 'Celebrations' at the Festival of Quilts in Bermingham in August 2009. This exhibition will be at the Knitting and Stitching show at the RDS in November and will later move to Wales. The piece is entitled 'Jump for Joy' and is inspired by my eight year old son's ability to celebrate the 'everyday'.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Working with soluble fabric is great fun. Using a variety of threads and old lace creates lovely textures and mixtures of colours. The bowls can be used for trinkets and although they look delicate they hold their shape nicely.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Love Letters

This is a photo of a wall-hanging I made some time ago. It was inspired by the fragile nature of a long-distance relationship where letters play an important role. The wall-hanging was chosen by Galway based florist Richard Haslam as a backdrop for a valentine's day floral arrangement in his book 'Flowers' ( The wonderful photography for the book is by David Lloyd (

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Beginner's Patchwork Classes

This course of 5 x 2.5hr classes takes place in the Claregalway area of County Galway. You will use basic techniques to make a selection of patchwork 'blocks' (eg. piecing over papers, applique, log-cabin & strip-piecing). The final class provides an overview of putting the blocks together, quilting and binding a quilt. The class is relaxed and no previous patchworking experience is necessary (a previous knowledge of basic sewing skills and machine sewing are a definite advantage).

Letters Home

When I was growing up I loved writing and receiving letters. Receiving letters from penpals in France, Germany, Italy, Canada and India was great fun. On leaving home family and friends were great to keep in touch by post. While making this wall-hanging 'Letters Home' I recalled all those envelopes and created one for each of the 15 addresses I have lived at. Plain cotton calico was dyed using onion skins, tea, coffee and red wine to achieve the look of faded papers. Free-machine embroidery captures the memories in hand-written letters. 5 miniature 'memory quilts' sit in the envelopes to capture moments in time. Red child-hood shoes, a bicycle in the Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking region), a funfair, an old sewing machine bought at a second-hand market and the front-door of 'home sweet home'. This quilt is often exhibited to show people how a wall-hanging can be made to celebrate everyday memories.

Creative Journalling

I've always loved diaries, but mine always bored me! When I became interested in creative textiles and first saw student sketchbooks I started to keep a notebook by my side almost all the time. A good friend introduced me to the idea of 'altered books' and we started a 'collaborative journal' together when I moved from Dublin to Galway. The notebook travelled by post back and forth allowing us to share ideas with eachother. I loved to see the postman coming with a fat envelope containing those notebooks bursting with new ideas from my pal in Dublin. Now I keep a visual journal going all the time and it provides me with ideas for my work in textiles. I've also given workshops to all age-groups on creative journalling and people love doing them.

Craft in the classroom with Ballinamore N.S.

I've been involved in the 'Craft in the Classroom' project with the Crafts Council of Ireland. I was paired with Scoil Bhrid Naofa, Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim to work with 5/6th class girls. We collaborated to make a 3d textile art installation for their classroom window entitled "Precious Treasures". I was very impressed with the girls' enthusiasm for the project and their ability to work together to problem-solve and decide on the details of their final piece. I learned how to take a back seat and let the children make the project their own