February workshop

For those who are attending the afternoon workshop in February, find the list of requirements below.

For members who would like to join us for the workshop (and who haven’t already done so) please send us a message so we can add you to the list.

Hand Appliqué – afternoon workshop (Sandra Jansen)

We will be working on a block of your choice similar to these:

I will bring patterns and instructions. I will be showing different techniques used in the making of appliqué blocks. We will make a start on the blocks, but they will probably not be finished in the afternoon. However, you should have enough skill to finish them in your own time.

If you rather come and work on your own appliqué project, you’re welcome, and I am happy to help and advise where needed.


Fabrics: Good quality cotton quilting fabrics (lesser quality may fray too easily)

For a Baltimore style block:

  • One square background fabric minimum 14” x 14”, or a FQ
  • Small pieces (5” minimum) or FQs in greens, pinks, reds, maybe some accent yellow or purple (for traditional Baltimore colouring), or in colours of your choice.
  • A FQ in green for stems (I will also bring some to share, but you may prefer your own green)
  • A piece 6” x 6” minimum for the vase (if making the vase block)

For the Hawaiian style block:

  • One square background fabric 14” x 14” minimum, or a FQ
  • One appliqué fabric same size as the background piece

AND for all blocks (Don’t buy anything if you don’t have it. Most things can be shared, and I will bring a selection of items needed for us to use on the day!):

  • Sewing threads in colours close to your appliqué fabrics. The colours don’t have to match exactly. If you need to choose, take a slightly darker rather than a lighter thread. Often a light, medium or dark neutral will be okay. The finer your thread the easier to make (almost) invisible stitches. Polyester, cotton, silk sewing threads can all be used.
  • Tacking thread, white if you have it. Any slightly stronger thread will do. I will be bringing for those who don’t have any.
  • Pencil, also (if you have it) white/light pencil if using dark appliqué fabric.
  • Sharp sewing needles: The thinner the needle, the easier to make small stitches. But you will want to be able to thread it! Bring a needle threader if you want.
  • Pins
  • Scissors for fabric AND scissors for paper, also small (embroidery) scissors that cuts well at the tip (only if you have it)
  • Thimble (if you want to use it)
  • Reading (sewing) glasses. If you need to use glasses, I won’t be able to bring those…
  • Iron and (small) ironing surface (can be shared)

May Mystery Requirements

This makes a 24 in piece – it would be a great centre medallion for a larger quilt or a big cushion or a side of a tote bag, or add some borders to make a wall quilt…

There are 6 fabrics in this mystery. Apart from fabric 1, which is a square that doesn’t get cut up any more, it is not really suited to directional fabrics. Checks or fabrics that can be rotated are fine. Fabric 4 sets the tone for this mystery – a strong colour is good here, can be print, batik, solid colour.


Fabric Cutting needed (all in inches) colour suggestions
Background 4 of [6 ½” x 3 ½”]
4 of [9 ½” x 3 ½”]
1 of [8” square]
1 of [9” square]

if you have yardage (42” wide) you’ll need just less than 12” to cut all this. It’s more than a single fat quarter, unless your fat quarters are generous.

can be dark or light,

good contrast with fabrics 4 and 5

not suitable for very directional prints

fabric 1 1 of [6 ½” square] great for a fussy cut (will not be chopped up any more), any colour
fabric 2 1 of [7 ½” square] good contrast with 1 and 3, can be dark or light
fabric 3 4 of [3 ½” square]
1 of [9” square]
good contrast with 2 and 4
fabric 4 4 of [6 ½” x 3 ½”]
1 of [8” square]
2 of [4” square]

this is easy from a fat quarter’s worth of fabric.

a strong colour – apart from the background, this is the fabric that appears the most in this mystery.
fabric 5 1 of [7 ½” square]
2 of [4” square]
a fabric that zings against 4

I used yardage and had everything cut out in 30 minutes. You can cut ahead of the workshop if you want, but my total sewing time was 1h 40 min (including one bit of un-sewing!) – so there will be plenty of time to cut at the workshop.

  • Rulers: there will be some cutting and trimming on the day, so bring your favourite rulers. You will need to have a ruler that can square up and trim units. Marsha McCloskey’s Precision Trimmer is great – if you don’t have it, don’t worry – just bring your usual ruler(s). Bring at least one ruler that has a 45 degree line on it and can be used to trim a unit.
  • Rotary cutter and mat.
  • Bring a pencil or white chalk pen for marking.
  • There will be pressing as we go along – bring an iron and mat, or plan to share with someone.
  • Pins if you are a stickler for accuracy
  • Sewing machine and extension lead.
  • thread, scissors … your usual sewing kit.

Any queries – send an email to corkips@gmail.com – Frances

May Meeting Preview

When: May 12, 2018 10am to 1pm
Where: Sacred Heart Church, Western Road, Cork
Who: Main Speaker Ann O Rafferty with an overview of her work and how she got started. Ann has exhibited her quilts, many featuring marvellous appliqué, within Ireland at national exhibitions and as part of Hands Across the Border.
Shop: The Sewing Shed

Light lunch will be served since there is an afternoon workshop with Nikki Foley, ‘Rag Dolls‘ requirement detailed below:

Image result for the sewing shed rag doll

1/2 yard calico for doll’s body
2 fat quarters for clothing
Scrap fabric for the apron
A ball of wool in a colour that you would like to use for your doll’s hair
Acrylic paint for doll’s shoes and a small soft paintbrush, I will have some with me if you can’t get it.
Ribbon, lace and trims to embellish your rag doll
Normal sewing kit, machine andthreads.

February 2018 Meeting

Join us for our February meeting, Sacred Heart Hall, Western Road, Cork.

Date: 10 February, 2018
Time: 10am – 1pm
Speaker: Joke Buursma
Shop: Patchwork Plus

Date: 11 February, 2018
Time: 10am – 4pm (bring a lunch)
Workshop: Intermediate Applique
Tutor: Joke Buursma
10 places available – book at the January meeting if you haven’t already done so!

Choose from two different quilts about ‘tree canopy’. Both quilts are each 18 inch square.

Tree Canopy 1: This is an abstract idea of a tree canopy. The background is pieced, and on top of it treas are appliqued. One should be able to piece fairly quickly the background, and then fuse/ applique the trees on top of it.

Tree Canopy 2: This is a more realistic impression of a tree canopy. The foliage is made of a large number of pieces of fabric, no  bondaweb, the trees are fused on top of the foliage. If one is familiar with free-motion quilting, then you do just that. If one is not familiar with free-motion quilting, then some netting fabric will be needed, and then it can be quilted using the ‘normal’ foot


An Interview with Ruth Bourke, Part 1


At our June 11th meeting, we’ve invited Ruth Bourke to give a talk on modern quilting and to run a workshop after the meeting entitled “Traditional Blocks Made Modern.”

Ruth lives in Limerick and is a member of the Mid-Western Branch of the Irish Patchwork Society.  She serves on the committee of the branch as the Editorial Representative.


Ruth has been sewing since 2012, and was inspired to begin by her basset hound, Ben.  He loved chewing on a baby blanket of hers, and when repairs were getting impossible, she wanted to make her own quilt.   Now joined by her dogs Wilbur and Charly, they guard her stash and keep her company while she sews.

First Quilt-1
Ruth’s first quilt

Ruth is also a published designer!  She published “Storybook” in the September/October 2014 issue of Make Modern Magazine.  Also published is “Lost in London” in the May/June 2015 issue of Make Modern Magazine.

Storybook quilt images-1
“Storybook” Quilt available on Ruth’s website and in Make Modern Magazine

Lost in London-7091
Lost in London, available on Ruth’s website and in Make Modern Magazine.

Ruth has a fantastic blog entitled “Charly and Ben’s Crafty Corner” and can be found at http://benandcharlyscorner.blogspot.ie.   The archive goes all the way back to January of 2013 and is a treasure trove of posts.  You’ll find a page of tutorials Ruth has written about half square triangles, making an envelope backed cushion, finishing an embroidery hoop and exploring the Dutch Rose/Swoon block, just to name a few.  You’ll also find posts on designing quilts using Microsoft Word, Touchdraw and Inkscape.

Dutch Rose/Swoon Block

Ruth also has a pattern shop where you can purchase the instructions on how to make her quilts “Lost In London,” a fat quarter friendly project, “Not Boxed In,” which uses small scraps, and Storybook, which utilises precuts.  You’ll also find a patchwork drawstring bag pattern and “So Frosty Giant Block Quilt” which are free!

“Not Boxed In” available on Ruth’s website.

I had the opportunity to get to know Ruth a little better by asking her some questions.

What about the Modern aesthetic speaks to you?

I think overall the thing that draws me to modern quilts is the fun use of colour and space.  I like a bit of asymmetry.  I like to have my eye move around the quilt and be challenged in wondering how the quilter put it all together.  I love Jen Kingwell’s designs especially her My Small World that caused Quiltmania’s magazine to sell out.  Something like that with lots of design elements and fun way of putting it all together really makes me stop and take notice!

What is your favourite quilting notion?

I use my seam ripper more than I should but my favourite tool that makes quilting so much easier for me is my design wall – not sure you could call it a notion!  We have 2 dogs who have no sense of personal space and will walk right through blocks laid out on the floor, or jump on and roll over my blocks arranged on the spare bed, so I had to go vertical and keep my stuff off of the floor.

So, I used a flannel sheet strung between a wall fitting and a bookcase to arrange my pieces.  Small pieces would stick but whole blocks would have to be pinned to it but it did the trick.  My uncle saw me one day putting it back up after we had visitors leave (I sew at the kitchen table so when we have people over to dinner all my stuff gets moved to the spare box room!).

My uncle is brilliantly handy and decided we could do better than my flannel sheet so he made me a design wall from a thin sheet of chipboard on a frame.  I wrapped cotton wadding around it and stapled it in place and now have a 5ft wide by 7ft high wall to arrange pieces on.  Sometimes I’ll leave a project up there for a while and move a piece or two every time I walk past!  I take photographs to remind me as I often move them back again!

How do you squeeze in your sewing time during the day?

It’s really hard during the week to get much done.  I work full time and have to travel with work from time to time so most of my sewing gets done on Saturday and Sunday mornings.  I’m the only one early out of bed at the weekends.  Our Basset Hound is epileptic so gets his tablets at 8am and 8pm every day so I do the morning shift!  I usually get a good 3 hours to myself to sew and design quilts and quilt blocks before anyone else is up.  I usually take a break from the computer at weekends and try to keep up with social media, blogs and Instagram during the week, especially on Friday evenings after work – that’s my favourite time of the week to chill out and catch up on what’s been happening.

What made you start blogging?

When I made my first quilt after watching Jenny Doan on Craftsy, I didn’t know anyone else who was into Patchwork.  My aunt is a brilliant and can make any item of clothing for you but doesn’t quilt. I turned to the online community to learn and share with.  At first I’d put my name in for a swap and not get picked and thinking about it I figured it was because they had no idea who I was.  So I started joining groups and sharing on Flickr and eventually got brave and started writing and sharing on the blog.  Putting myself out there like that was a bit nerve wracking but I braved up and kept making and writing and have made some really good friends through the online quilting community.  Now the blog acts as resource for me as well as those who read it.  It’s a place I can record my attempts at quilt design and techniques and settings I’ve tried.  Every now and again when I’m trying to remember how to do something I look it up on the blog so it works as a sharing space for myself too!

Do you have a sewing group you regularly meet up with?

Yes we have a great group in Limerick that meets up on most Thursdays.  When we made a group quilt together for the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham we had to come up with a name so we called ourselves Just Threads!  It’s brilliant to have people you can brainstorm with and get opinions on ideas you may have.  Sometimes just explaining your idea to someone else answers a question for you that you had been stuck on.  They are a great supportive group and some nights the sewing might not be very productive but the social chat and advice is well worth the time!  I try not to miss our Thursday nights if I can.


Stay tuned for Part 2!  We’ll find out more about Ruth and the June workshop!

All photographs courtesy of Ruth Bourke

Arlene Shawcross Workshop, March 14

IMG_1104After our March 14th meeting, a workshop is being taught by Arlene Shawcross entitled “Stitch to Enrich”

Background of Ms. Shawcross

Ms. Shawcross has exhibited widely in Ireland and in the U.K.  She was awarded the Mairin O’Brien Flegg Memorial Award for contemporary embroidery from the RDS in 2011.  She is a member of the Cork Textile network, Society of Designer Craftsmen in the U.K., the Textile Society and the Irish Patchwork Society.

She states “I work mostly using the technique of free-machine embroidery often stitching onto a soluble background which is later dissolved away to create a lace-like effect, or I combine my stitching with my own hand-dyed silks and velvets.  I create individual wall pieces, garments and accessories.  I teach workshops in free-machine embroidery and related textile techniques and enjoy working to commission.”

Workshop Information

Cost is €15 – A bargain!

You’ll be using hand sewing to work on some practice pieces to learn new techniques to combine color and textures.  The workshop will happen after the general meeting.  The pictures included in the post are examples of what you’ll learn!  Come join us on March 14th!

What a Meeting!

Wasn’t that a great meeting we had today?

Our block of the month project was debuted, stay tuned to the blog for another post about it.

Here’s some of the photos from our amazing Show and Tell.  Aren’t these projects inspirational?!

IMG_4263 IMG_4267 IMG_4269 IMG_4270 IMG_4272 IMG_4275 IMG_4277 IMG_4279 IMG_4283 IMG_4286 IMG_4287 IMG_4290 IMG_4292

Don’t be shy about bringing your projects to share with the group, we love seeing everything!

Are you interested in learning more about hand sewing?  Arlene Shawcross will be presenting a workshop after our next meeting.  Stay tuned for another blog post with more details!  Cost is €15, first come first served.  There’s only about 7 spots left!