On April 8th, we met for our yearly AGM.
We started with announcements. These included:
- The South Eastern Branch is having an Exhibition in the City Centre Library, Waterford from April 10th through the 22nd.
- The River of Dreams 2017 in the Limerick School of Art and Design is from the 23rd of June to the 30th of June, 10:00 – 17:00
- Deborah O’Hare will be visiting the Eastern Branch the 28th and 29th of May. Class information is available on the Eastern Branch’s website.
After announcements, we then commenced with our AGM.
We started with the Chair’s Report. This is the abridged version:
On behalf of the committee, I’d like to extend another warm welcome to our members, visitors, shop.
It’s been a fantastic year for the Southern Branch of the IPS. We’ve increased our membership to 74 members, and average 40 members attending the monthly meetings. As of Friday, we have 198 likes on Facebook (when someone likes a page, the activity of the page is seen in their timeline). When we post on Facebook, we also average about 400 people seeing that post through page likes and post shares. Since the creation of the website just a year and a half ago, we’ve also had (as of Friday) 7,063 individual visitors to the website. These visitors have been viewing our pages 20,444 times. We also established a presence on YouTube and have 140 subscribers and over 8,300 views! Having a strong web presence is now essential to having a successful organization now.
Now, to recap the year:
In May I had the pleasure of being elected Chair at the handover meeting. At that meeting, we decided to use two focus words to guide the committee in programming. These words were “Education” and “Community” The committee put forth a Cathy Davis’s quilt, Rainbow Rings for consideration to represent Ireland in the Festival of Quilts Diversity Exhibition. I’m proud to say that Cathy’s quilt was selected to represent the country. Our meeting was education focused, with a binding demonstration and quilting with rulers demonstration.
In June, we had the pleasure to host Ruth Bourke for a Tradtional Blocks Made Modern workshop, and talk on the modern quilting movement. Ruth’s talk was exceptional and everyone enjoyed participating in the workshop. We debuted the summer challenge theme, Revolutionary, to be interpreted as members were inspired. We also began our second Block of the Month series. We also hosted a brainstorming session at this meeting, giving members an opportunity to weigh in on what kind of programming they’d like to have and participate in.
Though we had a break off from our meetings over the summer, the members of the Southern Branch were quite active. Several members participated in the National Exhibition, Evolution in Limerick. We continued the Block of the Month series, and members worked hard on their Revolutionary entries.
In September we began our monthly meetings again. Maeve gave us a Christmas demonstration, Tracy Wardle was the winner of the Summer Challenge, and the Executive Chair, Kelly Fogarty joined us at our meeting.
In October, it was our annual open meeting. We had three demonstrations going on during the extended social time, and John O’Donnell gave us an excellent presentation. In order to make things easier for our librarians, we had our used book sale at this meeting, earning over €60 and making the lifting a little easier for the librarians. After this meeting we had our first Open Sew Afternoon, with about 15 members participating.
I also had the opportunity to represent the branch at the National AGM in October. On Friday, Assumpta and I attended the outreach meeting for Branch leadership and was able to contribute to the discussion about the website. They gave Cork much praise in regards to our efforts on the website.
The Southern Branch was then selected to organize the 2017 National AGM in Cork. The committee has taken steps to organize this, from selecting the site, The Kingsley and the instructor, Janice Gunner.
The committee organized quite a busy November meeting. We invited the Mid-Western IPS Branch from Limerick to join us, as well as inviting two shops to exhibit at the meeting, Lismore Quilts and Sew Crafty Fabrics. After the meeting, we had an open sew afternoon and treated the Mid-Western Branch members to lunch.
In December, had our usual Christmas festivities. Ann hosted the Table Quiz and did a fantastic job coming up with challenging questions. We then had our Christmas challenge, a Mug Rug. Patricia O’Brien was decided the winner and the members who wanted to, swapped their Mug Rugs. We had two Blocks of the Month, and Moya gave us a talk on Christmas and Patchwork projects.
In January, we had a fantastic demonstration on the importance of labelling your quilts. Tomomi McElwee was our guest speaker, giving a history of her quilting journey. After the meeting, Tomomi presented her challenging Patchwork Bag workshop.
In February, we met and hosted another swap, a pincushion swap. Emer Fahy also gave us a detailed talk on Color Theory. February was also the deadline for Nine Patches from members.
These nine patches were then used to make a quilt for the Community Exhibition held in the Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh. This quilt was given in thanks to the Sirius for hosting the exhibition from the 2nd of March to the 26th of March. We had the opening for the exhibition on the 2nd of March with Seamus McGrath in attendance.
At our March meeting We invited Ruth Bourke, now Chair of the Executive committee to the branch for another talk. This time it was about trends in online quilting. Following the meeting, Ruth led a workshop about making a ticker tape quilt.
Which brings us to today. Quite a successful year.
On a personal note, I’d like to thank you for your organization. When I first arrived here 3 years ago, I found it was quite an isolating experience. My boys were young, and I hadn’t really found my people. I hated being away from my family and friends. It was a chance trip to Dingle, and a trip to the Sewing Shed on the way that helped me find out about the branch. When I arrived, Tracy made a point of being very welcome to me because of that, when a month or two later volunteers were asked to step forward to help Tracy out, I volunteered. Because of that, I found my place here and Ireland and grew to love it here. I’d like to thank every one of you for that. In particular, I’d like to thank the ladies I’ve had the pleasure of serving on this committee with.
The minutes of the previous AGM were then read and accepted.
Ann gave us her Treasurer’s report, letting members know that the Branch has healthy finances.
Joanna gave us her Executive Representative Report.
One motion was put forth and approved. The motion was to take any monies earned yearly by the library and reinvest it in buying new books. Volunteers stepped forward to come up with a suggestion for books to buy for this year.
Finally, we requested members to step forward to join the new committee, as Ann, Erin and Susan had to step down this year. Many thanks to Mary, Áine and Frances for stepping forward. We’re meeting on the 29th for a handover meeting if there are any other members interested in stepping forward.
Once the AGM was completed, we had a fantastic Show and Tell:
Many thanks to members for showing off all of their fantastic work.
Our next meeting is happening the 13th of May. See you then!