Thursday, 11 December 2014

RDS National Craft Awards - changes for 2015

The RDS National Craft Awards rewards and showcases excellence in Irish Craft. Last year a major independent evaluation of these awards was undertaken by consultant Marie Brennan and as a result there will be a number of changes implemented in 2015.
The RDS National Craft Awards has two components; a competition and an exhibition. Open to a wide variety of craft disciplines, the competition provides an open platform for Irish craftspeople to have their work assessed by a professional judging panel of Irish and international craft experts. The prize-winning and a number of high quality entries are chosen for exhibition at the RDS during the Dublin Horse Show. The opening night of the exhibition sees annual prizes awarded to the most outstanding works of that year. The prize-winners are also displayed at the National Craft and Design Fair in December.
The independent evaluation reviewed the entire awards process and its recommendations will be implemented in 2015. The RDS National Craft Awards will now be a two stream competition where the work of emerging and established makers will be judged separately. To be eligible to enter the Emerging Maker Awards entrants must be able to show that they are either:
  • Students studying craft in third level institutions
  • Have within the last five years set up a craft business.
  • Those who are new to a craft discipline within the last five years, either studying via an apprenticeship or life-long learners on an informal course.

All other entrants whether professional or amateur must enter the Established Maker strand of the Awards. An Award of Excellence of €5000 will be awarded in both the Emerging and Established Maker strands.
The evaluation also recommended that categories be reduced from twenty to thirteen, which are as follows:
1.      Constructed Textiles (woven, knitted, crocheted, felted textiles and lace)
2.      Embellished Textiles (embroidery, patchwork, quilting, batik, printed textiles)
3.      Basketry
4.      Jewellery & Silversmithing
5.      Metalwork
6.      Furniture
7.      Carving
8.      Leatherwork
9.      Musical Instruments
10.  Ceramics
11.  Glass
12.  Paper and Calligraphy
13.  Woodturning

Other changes include:
·         An extension for online entries into June
·         A restriction to one entry per person
·         A removal of the first round of judging to create a fully open competition where all entries will be examined by the judging panel.
Changes in RDS structures (we now have a Communications Manager and Director) mean that there is now greater ability to help with promoting RDS Foundation activities; meaning a stronger emphasis on media coverage in the future for both the competition and exhibition.
We believe that these changes will help to create a fairer, clearer, open and more streamlined competition and exhibition with a higher profile and a clear set of objectives in line with the RDS Arts goal which is: to provide a platform that supports the transition from student to emerging artist; encouraging the pursuit of a career in visual art, craft or music.
The call for online entries for the 2015 RDS National Craft Awards will be launched in March 2015. Please keep an eye on our website and social media pages for more information and to access the online application form from mid-March.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Party Night

A sneak preview of prizes for our IPS party Friday night and for those of you who are enjoying " I'm a celebrity get me out of here " you will have an opportunity to find a star and receive and extra prize !

Don't forget to bring a fat quarter with you tomorrow night so you can play "FAT QUARTER BINGO"

Monday, 1 December 2014

December Christmas Meeting reminder

The Christmas meeting takes place Friday 5th December at 7.30.

Entry fee €10 (members). 

We hope to have a fun-filled social evening with gifts and food. Please remember to bring your Christmas challenge piece (Christmas stocking or wine bottle gift bag). 

We will always be playing Fat Quarter Bingo. Don't forget to bring a fat quarter with you on the night, so you can join in the fun!

Also don't forget to return your library books. 

Members are also asked to bring some food (sweet or savoury) to the part table. 

Looking forward to seeing you all there.

Eastern Branch Workshops

Below is a list of up-coming classes from the Eastern Branch (Dublin). If anyone in the Mid-West branch wants to wants to come just contact the Eastern Branch workshop co-ordinators (Kirsty and Mary Canning) on their site on the eastern branch.  

Maybe you might like to make a group visit or a weekend away as they often have classes on a Saturday and following Sunday. 

A reminder from the Eastern Branch Workshops Co-ordinator

There are a number of exciting and challenging workshops taking place in the New Year. Now is the time to book to secure a place. Please see their Calendar page for more detailed information.
10th January 2015 - Alice White - Quilt As You Go
Alice is a well know member of the society and a very experienced teacher. Kirsty is taking names to go on the waiting list. Please contact Kirsty Whaley at
24th January 2015 - Rosaleen Dwyer - Table Runner
Rosaleen will be giving her workshop from 1pm to 4pm (Cost €30). Rosaleen writes for the Farmers Journal. You can read about Rosaleen’s work at and visit her on Facebook at Please contact Mary Canning at
14th February 2015 - Terri McNeill - Stained Glass Window
We all know Terri as a much admired member and teacher in the Branch and love her stained glass windows. There are still a few places available. Please contact Kirsty Whaley at
28th February 2015 - Bernadette Kelly - Scrappy Quilts
Bernadette will hold her workshop from 1pm to 4pm (Cost €30). Many of you will have seen Bernadette’s amazing Scrappy Quilts demonstrated at various meetings. You will be sorry if you miss this class! You will be shown how to use up your tiny scraps and I mean tiny lol ! Please contact Mary Canning at to sign up fast.
14th March 2015 - Mary O Reilly - Curved Piecing
Mary will be giving her class from 10 pm - 4 pm (Cost €30). She is a well know member of the Branch and of the Society and her class on Curved Piecing will be both challenging and instructive conducted in Mary’s inimitable style. Please contact Kirsty Whaley at to grab a place.
29th March 2015 - Barbara Weeks
We are privileged to have Barbara visiting us for two days Barbara is a Internationally acclaimed Quilter who teaches and exhibits world wide. You can read more about her at Barbara will be giving a workshop following the Branch Meeting on Saturday from 1 pm - 4 pm. (Cost to be announced). Please contact Mary Canning at to register for this class.
Sunday 30th March - Barbara Weeks 1-day Workshop
Barbara will hold a workshop on Mosaics from10 am to 4 pm. (Cost to be announced) You can see examples of her own mosaic work at Get your name down quick as the places for this course will fly out the door. Please contact Kirsty Whaley at

Thursday, 20 November 2014

New Beginnings Art Exhibition

Western Branch members Ester Kiely and Colette O'Donnell are amongst a group of artists who will holding an art exhibition at Cruthu Studios, Claregalway, Co. Galway.

The exhibition runs from Sunday 23rd November to Saturday 6th December. 

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Athlone Schoolhouse Quilters Exhibition

The Athlone Schoolhouse Quilters are holding a quilt exhibition to mark their 20th Anniversary. 
The exhibition opening will be on Friday 21st Nov. at 7.30pm. Venue: St. Mary's National School, Fair Green, Athlone. 

Venue also open Saturday 22nd Nov. 11-5pm.  Sunday 23rd Nov. 11-4pm. 

All welcome - admission free.

Friday, 24 October 2014

October Branch Meeting

Our October meeting at the Baptist Church was a really enjoyable one. We were as usual, updated with all the most recent and relevant information on forthcoming local, national events, matters regarding our constitution and the upcoming AGM.  
Suzanne Pass had three items to display. A beautiful multi-coloured large patchwork bag, her Halloween panel that she machined quilted and her “Do Not Touch” piece for entry at the AGM. This was of a rose she photographed while on holiday in Dingle, Co. Kerry and then transferred it to a beautiful eye-catching pink material with exact mitred corners. It was quite a talking point for many of the attendees.  We wished her well for the AGM.

Ruth Bourke is a very modest person who produces a prolific amount of excellent patch work. Her lap quilt was a beautiful multi-coloured piece of work and the quilt that she made for her Mum was just as exquisite. It was made from a “Layered Cake” bundle of floral, rustic, black and cream materials with exact and precision sewing.  However, the most striking feature was her use of a panel incorporated into the back of the quilt which she acquired from The Limerick Quilt Centre. It is aspects of quilts like these that make the rest of us open our minds to the use of such panels that we would otherwise not consider buying.  
Five cushions were displayed by Tracy Watson. Again, Tracy is a member who imparts her knowledge and her expertise in a very helpful and friendly manner. This approach helps in no small way to make our nights/meetings the enjoyable events they are.
The obvious friendship between Áine Bennis and Isabel Cagney was very apparent as they proudly displayed their wares. Áine held her beautiful animal nine patch quilt and bag aloft for all to see.  Her combination of red, cream and green materials were well chosen for the quilt and cleverly incorporated the letters of her name into some of the squares. Isabel I believe, could see her name in lights as a famous model someday as she proudly displayed her lovely pink and grey apron.

Our guest speaker.
A symphony of colour is my only way to describe the quilts that Ann O’Rafferty displayed on the night. Her work, from her very first quilt, which she displayed with slight reservation, to her beautiful Baltimore Quilt brought to my mind the book “American Quilt Classics” by Patricia Cox. A quotation from same says “A collection of quilts such as these is a personal thing, it reflects, various aspects of its collector, and among them her interests”. Ann’s collection displayed all of the above. Many of our members nation-wide, have in their possession wonderful collections of quilts, which hopefully will be documented in the on-going archival procedure now taking place. The Midwestern Branch were very impressed with Ann’s overall presentation and would encourage other branches to avail of her as a guest speaker as she held us spell-bound throughout the night.
“Seams Sew Simple” was our shop on the night. The committee would like to thank Lynn for a wonderful assortment of materials and patchwork accessories to help our members with their projects.

At Villiers School we appeared from the fog,
To a workshop on Applique the “old fashioned way”,
With instructions, materials and sharp scissors to boot,
We marched to the class-room our teacher to salute.

After meeting and greeting we all took our seats,
Tried not to look anxious as we shuffled our feet,
We hoped we brought everything required for the day,
Reassured by our neighbour not to worry that way.

We all know intricate applique designs,
Ann told us not to worry this piece was not so inclined,
Our pattern was transferred to freezer paper you see,
She told us to dissect it but not A, B and C.

We transferred our design to our material of choice,
And with skilful tuition she made it easy and nice,
Ann glided amongst us to guide us with ease,
Our problems sometimes unusual were solved like a breeze.

This workshop by Ann was appreciated by all
And some to applique were definitely called,
And with child-like enthusiasm we left her that day,
Our quilts and our cushions we will someday display.

Alice Quaid  P.R.O.  Mid West Branch

International Rep and DCoI Rep Applications

Mary Hunter (DCoI Rep) and Loretta O'Brien (International Rep) will have served 5 years on the Executive Committee next year. To ensure an uninterrupted continuation of these representative positions, the IPS are now looking for people who would be interested in volunteering to fill these vacancies.

Applications are invited from members who would like to be considered for the posts below:

International Rep (Job description):
Rep. will represent the IPS at the European Quilt Association (EQA) AGM in Birmingham.
Liaise with the other countries in the EQA.
Write a regular report for the newsletter.
Help to promote quilting throughout Europe........(any decisions should go through the Executive Committee)
The Rep. will have the responsibility of organising occasional invited exhibitions, and the annual EQA stand at the Festival of Quilts.
Languages not a necessity.
Some computer skills required.
People skills required and have ability to work with a team.
Applicants should have over 3 years membership of the IPS and should have served on an IPS committee to gain experience and knowledge needed for the post.

Design and Crafts Council (DCoI) Rep (job description):

Attend the AGM and other meetings of the Design & Crafts Council
Attend the AGM and other meetings of GANS
Liaise with the DCoI regarding grants and education
Keep IPS members informed of activities of the Design & Crafts Council by an occasional article in the newsletter.

Friday, 10 October 2014

September Meeting

Our September meeting was the first one after our summer break, so there was lots of chatting and catching up with friends on the night. Members were obviously very busy on the night, as we had lots and lots of show and tell.

Roisin McManus brought her shop "The Quilt Shop Tuam" on the night.

There was so much show and tell, that there was no time for the planned demo's.

Show and tell:

Here's Alison Bingham with her quilt

Chairperson Cecilia O'Doherty with her Christmas quilt.

Cecilia showing this lovely quilt made by her daughter.

Claire Lynch showing a baby quilt.

Ger Larkin's daughter showing a cushion that she has made.

Heart quilt.

Quilt made by Katherine.

A green quilt made by Katherine.

Here's a great quilt made by Liz Scallon which she said was a headwreck to make due to the planning involved in sewing the pieces together.

Marcella Maloney with this quilt she made for her husband out of some of her son's baby clothing.

This was a fantastic quilt made Kate Hennessy. 

Suzanne Pass showing a strippy quilt she made over the summer.

Imelda O'Grady showing a quilt she has recently made.

Monday, 8 September 2014

September Meeting

Hi all, 
The IPS September meeting will be held next Friday 12th September in the Baptist Church. 

Annual subscriptions are now due.

Any members doing the Ann O'Rafferty workshop in October will need to pay the balance in September. 

Looking forward to seeing you all again on Friday night.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

IPS National AGM 2014

The IPS AGM 2014 will be taking place on Saturday 18th October at the Red Cow Hotel, Naas Road, Dublin 22.

Motions for the AGM must be sent into the Executive Committee Secretary/Chairperson 6 weeks before the AGM (deadline 5th September).

Ann Fleeton is the guest speaker after lunch.She will be giving a talk on "Colour, Texture and Story-telling in Quilt-making".

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

June meeting

The June meeting was the Mid-West Branch's summer party so there was plenty of food and chat on the night.

Some of the fabulous show and tell at the meeting
Moya Geraghty (Patchwork Plus) was the guest speaker on the night. As always Moya brought loads of items for show and tell, she had some amazing quilts (her quilts are always really colourful and cheerful).

Here's Moya with one of her quilts done with black and white fabrics, and a few contrast colours which is really eye-catching.

We also had lots of show and tell from members as well:
Nora O'Connor was asked to bring in her amazing Baltimore Album quilt, there's a lot of work in this lovely quilt.

Ruth Bourke also showed some cushion that she made. Ruth tried out a variety of quilting techniques on the cushion for free-maching practice (spirals, matchstick quilting and free-motion). 

Ruth also showed this lovely Swoon block quilt made with rainbow coloured fabrics.

Suzanne Pass is on a roll making quilts. Here's her quilt which will be in the National Exhibition "Explorations". 

Suzanne also showed this cool 3-D mobile she made with hanging jellyfish.

Kathleen showed this teddy bear which she made for her grand-daughter.

 The Just Threads Group showed their group quilt which is going to be exhibited at the Festival of Quilts. The quilt was created using free online block patterns from Moda.

Grania Preston brought in a number of items for show and tell. Here's one of her quilts made using some Flea Market Fancy fabric by Denyse Schmidt. The quilt blocks were created from a book "Fast Quilts from Fat Quarters" by Barbara Chainey. We have this book in the Mid-West library.

Here's another quilt top by Grania, a log-cabin style quilt with lots of Lucie Summer "Summerville" fabric and solid-fabrics.

Tracy Watson showed this piece which I think she's going to enter into the EQA Seasonal Garden exhibition. The quilt is really eye-catching with the use of diamante sparkles.

May meeting

The May meeting was our AGM night. Most of the committee members still have a year to go on the committee, so the AGM went fairly fast this year.

The AGM challenge was create a piece based on a photo given to members. Kate O'Donoghue's piece was voted the winner on the night. Unfortunately I don't have any photo's of the challenge pieces, if anyone has photo's of these can they send them on to us.

Nora O'Connor was the guest speaker on the night. As most of us know, Nora makes the most fabulous and amazing quilt and creations, and is always so modest about all the great work she does.

Here's just a small sampling of some of Nora's show and tell on the night:

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Retrospective Exhibition - Octagon Quilters

The Octagon Quilters Westport will be holding an exhibition

Retrospective – New Work

in The Custom House Gallery Westport Quays

The Exhibition will be opened on Thursday 31st July at 7.30pm by 
Anne Marie Horan (Chairperson Western Branch of IPS)

 and will run until the 24th August 2014

No Entrance Fee .


Friday, 4 July 2014

Crossroads Patchwork Exhibition

International Patchwork and Quilting Exhibition

Come and view work from 18 Countries.
European Quilt Association
 In conjunction with
 Irish Patchwork Society
Christ Church, United Presbyterian & Methodist,
51, O’Connell Street
8th  20th July 2014
Open daily from 10 am to 5.30 pm (Sunday 12.30 – 4.00)
Contact 087-2113532 for further details

Friday, 13 June 2014

DCCOI Textile Exhibition

(Guilds, Associations, Networks and Societies) 
at The Knitting & Stitching Show, RDS 30th October to 2nd November 2014.

THEME: Entwined Memories
Entwined Memories evokes a myriad of responses and inspiration for textile artists and designers. Work in this exhibition is to be made in response to memories, threads and stories of life; nostalgic tales, reminiscence, meditative, reflective, reliving, evocative, interwoven, rites of passage, social history and time.
Work can take the form of literal or abstract interpretation, functional and non-functional, wearable and non-wearable.
Pieces must be contemporary in design and can be in any textile media utilising slow and/or fast craft techniques, handcraft and digital technologies.

• Work will be selected on the basis of excellence in design and making, its fit within the overall exhibition and creative interpretation of the brief.
• Work must have been made within the last three years and not previously shown in The Knitting & Stitching Show.
• Successful applicants will have their work photographed and exhibited in The Knitting & Stitching Show. Work may also travel to other venues.

Application form available on

Thursday, 8 May 2014

April Meeting

Our guest speakers were the Spike Quilters who brought a fantastic array of quilts.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

RDS National Craft Awards 2014

Important dates for the Competition:
Deadline stage one: May 12 at 5.00pmEntrants will be notified: End of MayDelivery of entries for Second Round of Judging: June 19 & 20
Collection of unsuccessful entries: July 7, 8 & 9Competition Prize-giving: July 29
Exhibition open to the public: July, 30, 31 & August 1 (entry free of charge)
Exhibition opens during the Dublin Horse Show: August 6-10 *(entry fee applies)
RDS National Craft AwardsTravelling Exhibition: September to October
- See more at:
The deadline for entry to the RDS National Craft Awards 2014 is the 12th May at 5pm. 
The exhibition is open to all craft workers and designers in Ireland. There is a patchwork and quilting  category in this exhibition.

Important dates for the Competition:
Deadline stage one: May 12 at 5.00pm
Entrants will be notified: End of May
Delivery of entries for Second Round of Judging: June 19 & 20
Collection of unsuccessful entries: July 7, 8 & 9
Competition Prize-giving: July 29
Exhibition open to the public: July, 30, 31 & August 1 (entry free of charge)
Exhibition opens during the Dublin Horse Show: August 6-10 *(entry fee applies)
RDS National Craft AwardsTravelling Exhibition: September to October

There is an online application system, click here to enter.

Each year the winning and a number of highly commended entries from each category in the RDS National Craft Awards and the RDS Student Art Awards are exhibited at the RDS Concert Hall during the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show. The exhibition then travels to a number of selected venues across Ireland. The exhibitions help promote Ireland’s most promising and talented artists and designers to a wider audience.

In 2014 the exhibition will travel to Limerick as part of the Limerick City of Culture celebrations.  The RDS National Craft Awards Exhibition will travel to the Hunt Museum and the Student Art Awards Exhibition to the Bourn Vincent Gallery, University of Limerick (September - October 2014).

In 2014 both exhibitions will travel to Limerick as part of the Limerick City of Culture celebrations.  The RDS National Craft Awards Exhibition will travel to the Hunt Museum and the Student Art Awards Exhibition to the Bourn Vincent Gallery, University of Limerick (September - October 2014). If you are interested in hosting the RDS National Craft or Student Art Awards Travelling Exhibitions, please contact us. - See more at:
In 2014 both exhibitions will travel to Limerick as part of the Limerick City of Culture celebrations.  The RDS National Craft Awards Exhibition will travel to the Hunt Museum and the Student Art Awards Exhibition to the Bourn Vincent Gallery, University of Limerick (September - October 2014). If you are interested in hosting the RDS National Craft or Student Art Awards Travelling Exhibitions, please contact us. - See more at: