March Meeting Recap

The Nine-Patch Community Quilt hanging at the Sirius Arts Centre

Greetings members!

On March 11th, we met for our general meeting.

We began the meeting with a few announcements.  These included:

  • The Southern Branch Exhibition, “Community” is running at the Sirius Arts centre in Cobh until the 26th of March.  Hours of the Sirius are Tuesday through Friday, 11 – 5; Saturday and Sunday 13 – 5; Closed Mondays.
  • Deadline for Hands Across the Border is the 31st of March.  Theme is “Aurora”.  The exhibition opening takes place on Tuesday 16th May and our guest speaker is Leo Enright.  Location is the IFSC Custom House Quay, Dublin
  • EQA Challenge, “Inspired by New York Beauty” is due the 30th to Paula Rafferty.
  • EQA Diversity quilt due on the 30th of April.
  • All entry forms are available under the downloads tab on the website.
  • OEQC, theme is “Illuminate.”  Deadline is 31st of May.  Information and entry form is in the Newsletter.
  • Next newsletter deadline is the 20th of April.

Next, we announced the swap for the month of April:  Needle Booklets!

You can find a great tutorial here for making one.

Then, we debuted the next Block of the Month, the Medallion Centre:


Next, our guest speaker, Ruth Bourke spoke about the trends in online quilting.

Highlights of her talk included hearing about the different swaps she has participated in, including the Economy block swap where she made this cushion cover from the blocks received.

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And this Big Bad Wolf Binding kit:  (You can find the free pattern here)

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And the large quilt she made from her mini quilt she designed for the Modern Quilt Guild Mini swap.

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Some quilts she has received by participating in these swaps include this mini, inspired by her dogs:

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and the mini received in the MQG Min quilt swap:

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Quilty highlights of the rest of the meeting:

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Our next meeting is April 8th and will be our Annual General Meeting (AGM).  More information about that upcoming!

March Letter from the Chair

Exhibition Opening with Cork County Mayor Seamus McGrath

Greetings members!

Have you had a chance to check out the Community Exhibition going on at the Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh?  The exhibition continues until the 26th of March.  The hours at the Sirius are Tuesday through Friday 11:00 – 17:00 and Saturday and Sunday 13:00 – 17:00.  Closed on Mondays.

The Sirius Arts Centre is holding a five week event, This Must Be the Place | The Great Island from the 22nd of February to the 26th of March.  This includes daily activities.  On the 8th of March, Ailbhe O’Callaghan is presenting a talk, “30,000 Years of Quilting, Where is it Going in Ireland.”  This talk begins at 13:oo on a first come, first served basis.  To see the full schedule of events, click on this link.

Don’t forget:

On Saturday, March 11 at 10:00am we’ll be meeting at the Sacred Heart Church on Western Road for our monthly meeting.

Limerick Quilt Centre will be our shop.

The Agenda for the meeting will include:

  • Welcome and announcements
  • Information about April’s AGM
  • Block of the Month
  • April Swap announcement
  • Guest Speaker: Ruth Bourke
  • Show and Tell
  • Social Time
  • Raffle
  • Demonstration



Directly after the meeting, we’ll be running the Ticker Tape Class with Ruth Bourke.  Ticker Tape is a technique using fabric scraps to make a larger picture.  We have open spots for the class, so if you’re interested, be sure to message

Remember if you are planning on staying over for the class, bring a lunch as one will not be provided. 

Tea and coffee is provided, other refreshments depend on your generosity.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns!

See you on Saturday!



June Meeting Recap


On June 11, the Southern Branch met for our final meeting before the Summer Break.  We started the meeting with some announcements.  These included

  • Many thanks to Moya of Patchwork Plus for bringing an amazing selection of fabrics, tools and notions.
  • Many thanks to Joanna for running the demonstration table.  We’re planning on continuing this on for the next year, providing members with opportunities to learn from in person demonstrations.
  • Congratulations to Cathy Davis for being selected to represent the Southern Branch for the Diversity in Europe Quilt Gallery.
  • Be sure to visit the “Blues” Exhibition going on at the Bishopstown Library.  The exhibition runs until the end of the month.
  • The Knitting and Stitching Show’s IPS gallery will be a bit different this year.  They’re planning on having a Modern, Art quilt, bag, traditional, branch, and young person’s gallery.  There will be one person in charge of curating each of the gallery.  If you’re interested in joining in the exhibition, you’ll need to send in a good quality photo for consideration.  When we get more information, we’re planning on offering an opportunity for providing photographs.  Start your brainstorming!
  • National AGM is October 1st, Ormond Hotel in Kilkenny.  Dorothy Russell is the speaker and instructor.  Find out more information about her at
  • Theme for the National AGM Challenge is “Witches and Castles”  Finished product should be no bigger than 15” x 15.”
  • We’re planning on creating a teacher page on our website as a resource.  Please email us at to be included.
  • River of Dreams Quilt Exhibition is happening at the Limerick School of Art and Design, June 24th-July 1.
  • Open European Quilt Championships October 20-23 in the Netherlands.  There is a special fibercard exhibition going on, and they’re asking people to send in fabric postcards on the theme of Twenty  Find out more information at our website!
  • Full list of exhibitions in the newest Newsletter.
  • Membership form going to be available in September.  Please print out and bring a completed form to the September meeting.  Email blast will be done.
  • Be sure to bring in any outstanding books back to the library in September.  We’re planning on going through the library over the summer!

After the announcements, we introduced the summer challenge.  This years theme is:


What exactly does this mean?  Well, you could take what first sparked our inspiration for the theme, the 100th commemoration of the Easter Rising.  Or, you could take a more literal interpretation and work with circles or curved piecing.  Another idea would be to do something you’ve never done before in patchwork.  You’re welcome to interpret this in any way you choose, and we’re excited to see what you make.

This year’s prize is a sewing machine service to be performed by John O Donnell during our October open meeting.

Next, we debuted the first block of our Block of the Month, the Half Log Cabin:


We’ll be posting the step-by-step slideshow during the next week, so watch out for that!

Next was a jam packed Show and Tell.  Many quilts were collected for Quilts for Crumlin.  What an amazing display of work by our members:

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Finally, our invited speaker, Ruth Bourke gave us a fantastic presentation on Modern Quilting.  If you’d like to find out more about the Modern Quilters Ireland, you can check out the website here.


After our meeting and a bit of lunch, Ruth ran a fantastic workshop entitled “Traditional Blocks Made Modern.”

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Here’s the result of our work today:


If you missed your change to weigh in our brainstorming session today, feel free to send in suggestions on programming you’d like to see for next year to our email address,!

Our next meeting is September 10, 2016, see you then!


June Letter from the Chair



Greetings everyone!  I hope you’ve enjoyed the beautiful weather we’ve been having!  The boys and I have made multiple trips to the park, played in the backyard pool and while they nap to recover from the day, I’ve been busy working on sewing projects!  I should have a completed quilt to show at our Show and Tell this meeting.

I hope you’re ready for a jam packed meeting!  We’ve got a lot planned for the last meeting before the summer break.

On June 11, 2016 we’ll be meeting at the Sacred Heart Church on Western Road, starting at 10 am.  

Patchwork Plus is the shop for the meeting.

— At the meeting, we’ll be announcing the Summer Challenge!  We’ve decided on a prize and hope you find it as valuable as we do!

— We’ll also be holding a brainstorming session.  The committee is hoping you’ll be coming armed with ideas for the programming you’d like to see in the upcoming year.  We’ll be taking these ideas and incorporating them in our planning for the year over the summer.

— The first block of the Block of the Month will debut.  Photocopies of the instructions will be made available at the meeting, with the directions posted to the website 3 months later.

— Ruth Bourke will be our speaker for the meeting.  She’s planning on talking about the Modern Quilting movement.

— We will have our usual raffle.

— Don’t forget to bring something to Show and Tell!  We love seeing your work!

— There will also be Tea and Coffee, and any refreshments you are kind enough to bring.

— For the members who’ve signed up, don’t forget about our workshop, “Traditional Blocks Made Modern” after the meeting.  You should have received a supply list on what you need to bring and some cutting instructions if you wish to pre cut your fabrics.

— For any members who have outstanding library books, please be sure to bring them in!  We’re planning on going through the library this summer!

Hope to see you on Saturday!  Please email us if you have any comments or concerns!

Erin Case

May Letter from the Chair


Greetings everyone!  I hope May is finding you well.  On behalf of the new committee, I’d love to say we’re very excited about the upcoming year!  As I’m currently on holidays, Joanna will be taking over the duties of running our next meeting.

On May 14, 2016 we’ll be meeting at the Sacred Heart Church on Western Road, starting at 10 am.  

Kilbora Quilt Shoppe will be the shop for the meeting.  Anne Marie is planning on bringing a ton of deals for you to take advantage of as the shop has closed.

Anne Marie Hobbs will also be giving a talk.

Mary Palmer will be demonstrating binding, and there will be a hands on opportunity for members to try their hand at binding!

We will have our usual raffle.

Don’t forget to bring something to Show and Tell!  We love seeing your work!

Be sure to bring a quilt for consideration for the EQA Diversity exhibition at the Festival of Quilts.  Check out our blog for more information.  The committee will be deciding on the quilt to represent our branch on May 28th.  If you’re unable to attend the meeting, but would still like to put forth a quilt, please submit a good photograph to

There will also be Tea and Coffee, and any refreshments you are kind enough to bring.

The sign up sheet for our June workshop will be available as well.  There’s only 6 spots available for Ruth Bourke’s “Traditional Blocks Made Modern.”  Be sure to sign up before you miss out on this awesome class!  We’re running a blog series on Ruth, and her class.  Be sure to follow it!

Don’t forget about the deadline for the National Exhibition, May 31st!  Find the rules and entry form on our website.  Let’s make sure the Southern Branch is well represented!

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to email me at the branch’s email or via Facebook.  I’m always accessible!



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.

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“Storybook” Quilt available on Ruth’s website and in Make Modern Magazine
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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   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

Announcing our June Speaker and Workshop

For our meeting on June 11, we’re excited to announce Ruth Bourke as our speaker for the meeting.

Ruth is a member of the Mid-West Branch of the Irish Patchwork Society, and is a member of the Modern Quilt Guild and Modern Quilters Ireland.  You can find her personal blog here.

She’s planning on speaking to us about Modern Quilting during our June meeting.

Her workshop is entitled Traditional Blocks Made Modern.   We’ve currently set a class limit of 15 people, €35 per person.  We plan on running it 1 pm – 5 pm.  Please bring a lunch if you plan on doing both the meeting and the class.  You’ll need that fuel for all of the learning you’ll be doing!

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Ruth has created this awesome handout with more information about her class!

The sign up list will be available at our April meeting.  Be warned that sign ups are first come, first served, so if you want to sign up, please arrive to the April meeting promptly!