Seasons in the Park Exhibition Opening

Big thank you to everybody who submitted the quilts, put together the display and came to the opening with their family and friends!


Eastern Branch’s exhibition is held every two years and is a wonderful opportunity for all the members to showcase their talent. We value the variety of techniques and interpretations of the theme and are really proud to present this sample of our work to the world. The venue, a large stone-walled room in Phoenix Park visitor centre, provided the perfect background for the beautiful textile textures and so the quilts are shown to their best advantage. Two exhibition tables host the postcards from the Vote Centenary Challenge and some bits and pieces that relate to patchwork.


The exhibition opening was very well attended, it was particularly lovely to see our members bring their family along to look at all the wonderful quilts and have a scone while they are at it, too. Everybody could have a chat, examine the intricacies of technique and discuss their inspiration for the work.


The exhibition was opened by Margaret McGuirk, Head guide at the OPW, who welcomed the IPS, told us about the various events in the Phoenix park and complemented the exhibitors on way they interpreted the Park and its wildlife. It was a real treat to have her with us on the day. She said the Visitor Centre has already had a lot of great feedback from the people who saw the exhibition.

The exhibition is open till the 13th of February (Wednesday to Sunday), so if you missed the opening you still have a lot of time to visit and, please, share the news.

There are some pictures from the opening on the Gallery page, but the close-ups of the quilts are coming later.

Introduction to Patchwork Workshop with Mary Hunter

We are happy to welcome this year’s beginners and congratulate them on their first steps in patchwork adventures. We can all remember how mysterious and intimidating it can feel in the beginning, but our new members were in the expert hands of Mary Hunter, who helped them to put together their first squares and add a border around them.

Next to come is a workshop on half- and quarter-square triangles with Helen O’Donoghue, and that means they’ll already be able to put together most traditional quilt blocks!


Knitting and Stitching Show 2018


As most of you are undoubtedly aware, the Knitting and Stitching Show is on this weekend at RDS. Irish Patchwork Society has a beautiful stand showcasing a variety of quilts and bags made by members from all over the country, as well the special exhibit of the Centenary postcards. Thank you to everybody who volunteered their time to put together the display and invigilate it during the four days of the show! There are a few glimpses of the display at our Gallery page, but there’s definitely much more to be seen and appreciated in person.


If you are going the RDS this weekend make sure to visit other exhibitors’ stands to get inspired and chat to other fans of threads and fabrics. There are a lot new creative ideas and impressions to bring home with you, not just new supplies!

October 2018 Meeting


Our meeting this month was held is a different venue, a spacious old church hall, which looked very welcoming with the sun shining through the high latticed windows. Being quite old, the venue was not without its drawbacks, but they didn’t take away from the occasion. We had the opportunity to chat over a cup of tea with home-made muffins, browse the library books and get stocked with fabric from the Sew’s wonderful selection. The workshop ladies were kept very busy with people signing up to a whole range of upcoming workshops.


The Show-and-Tell featured a lot of beautiful results from previous workshops. Sue Mulvihill showed a top for the wallhanging she started at the One-Block Wonder workshop, working with a very unusual fabric, which yielded a really brilliant result. The result of her participation in the Quilt Embellishment workshop with Tracy Watson is a beautiful sample book. Sandra Butler completed a lovely baby quilt in pinks after Gaye Grant’s Pickwick quilt workshop, and two pieces of redwork embroidery from the other workshop with Gaye. Laura Cleary made a jigsaw puzzle quilt with cute dinosaur fabrics in Moya Gerarty’s workshop. It’s great to see our members enjoy the workshop and put the new skills they get into practice to create some beautiful stuff!


Another highlight of the meeting was the heirloom quilt brought by Hazel McCullogh. It was a large bed quilt with basket blocks made by her grandmother back in 1920s or 1930s – a well-preserved and treasuredpiece of workmanship created in the times before plastic rulers and rotary cutters, stitched and quilted on a foot machine!


Other beautiful creations of our members included: Anna’s bright and cheerful Dresden Plate quilt for her mother, Michelle’s selection of baby and lap quilts (she never brings just one!), Vera Walsh’s Attic Window wallhanging made with a stunning Japanese lady panel, Ann Kehoe’s Advent Calendar, early as it’s off to Germany. Mary Ash made a fun quilt with clowns and bright scrappy blocks, Margaret Wynne figured out a way to bring together several pieces of Australian fabrics in different colourways by making disappearing four patch blocks with a neutral background. Gwenda made a gorgeous (and capacious) bag – for fabric shopping, of course, as well as a jelly roll quilt in nice warm tones. Rita Whelan showed us another of her Funky Chicken wallhangings – for a kid’s room this time – and an equally endearing Owl and Pussy Cat one, for another child. She also made a bag with bright batik squares. 

We are looking forward to seeing some of the bags our members made, as well as some of their quilts at the IPS stand at the Knitting and Stitching Show in November. The Centenary postcards are also going to be exhibited there. The Saturday after the show, 17thof November will be our Open Day – please come, bring your work and have a chat to the visitors to showcase all the beautiful stuff going on in the Eastern branch.


Our guest this month was textile artist Cliodhna Quinlan, who told us about her work reinterpreting fairy tales and taking inspiration from nature, photographs, old maps, tiles and all sort of sources to create highly original and symbolic art pieces that combine theuse of machine and hand embroidery, felting, painting and drawing. 

Our next meeting is going to take place at the end of November and it will be all about festive fun - watch out for details! So, make sure you come and bring a big smile, the Christmas challenge (Christmas décor without using the colours red and green) and your favourite tea mug!

Please visit our Gallery page for more photos from the meeting.

Free Motion Quilting Workshop


Some members of the Eastern branch were lucky today to enjoy a great workshop with Tomomi McElwee.

Tomomi is well-known in the IPS for her brilliant quilts with stunning free motion quilting, so the places on the list were filled very fast as soon as the workshop was announced. Those who did get in, had a very intense day of work, but also one full of fun. They know they still need a lot of practice, but they are no longer afraid of the letters “FMQ”! The quilts Tomomi brought with her were a great source of inspiration to everybody.

We are definitely going to see a lot of free motion quilting in the Show-and-Tell at our branch meetings.

Please visit the Gallery page for more photos and check out Tomomi’s work on her blog.

AGM-2018 in Limerick


A group of Eastern branch members spend a lovely day yesterday at the IPS AGM in Limerick. In addition to the necessary organisational matters that were discussed at the meeting itself, the day was packed full with quilting inspiration, shopping, talking, prizes, fun and laughter, not to mention a tasty lunch!


Those who availed of the free bus to Limerick could start the talking and laughing part at 7.30 am, or could take a nap to arrive to the venue ready for the day. The Mid Western branch put on a great display of their quilts; the shops were enticing with their displays of fabrics, tools and patterns; friends and acquaintances were waving hello - the usual hustle an bustle of a meeting was in full swing. It was great to see all the “Star” challenge pieces arrive, ranging from traditional patchwork blocks to a celebrity portrait. The different interpretations made for a hard choice.


The meeting went very smoothly, everybody acknowledged the hard work the current Executive Committee put into the administrative matters of the IPS and thanked the outgoing chairperson Ruth Burke for her commitment.

A pleasant part of the meeting was the announcement of the visitor’s choice vote winners at the National Exhibition “Making Waves”. The first prize and a trophy was won by Ethelda Ellis, the second prize by Tomomi McElwee and the third by Olena Pugachova. Congratulations!


The meeting was followed by a very nice lunch, more talking and shopping, and then we came back to enjoy a very interesting talk by the guest speaker Catherine Lawes, who told us about her life journey between England and New Zealand and the artistic journey that was inspired by it. The breathtaking photos of New Zealand landscapes and their interpretations in fabric were very inspiring, and her quilted coats made every woman’s heart skip a beat. You can see her work on her website.


The day finished with more prizes, as Olena Pugachova from the Eastern Branch received the James Lawlor perpetual trophy for her entry to the “Star” challenge, and the raffle took place. There were a lot of great prizes raffled, some members of the Eastern branch were lucky to get lovely additions to their stash or other nice things. Loaded with our purchases, prizes and plenty of emotions, we were ready to set back home.

It was a very enjoyable day and we would recommend everybody to visit next year’s AGM that will take place in Galway on the 15th-16th of July.

You can see more photos from the day on our Gallery page.

Visit to St Mary's Hospital

Eastern branch members with St Mary’s hospital staff

Eastern branch members with St Mary’s hospital staff

As mentioned before, many of our members did their summer homework by making beautiful fiddle cushions and quilts for dementia/ Alzheimer’s patients. Last week our chairperson Carol Scott accompanied by Sheryl Cullen and Olena Pugachova brought the cushions and quilts to St Mary’s hospital in Phoenix Park. Catherine Lawlor from the Activity Department welcomed us and introduced us to some of the Nursing Unit residents gathered in the activity room for their morning cuppa. They were really delighted to see the cushions and use them.

Here is what Catherine wrote about the cushions for the hospital newsletter:


“Activity cushions and quilts provide a wonderful source of visual, tactile and sensory stimulation to people with dementia who are experiencing an ongoing decrease in their brain function due to their illness. Because simple repetitive movements and sensory stimulation becomes more important as the disease progresses, these cushions and quilts can be very comforting for the person with dementia keeping them occupied and engaged as they explore the different textures and shapes. They help to stimulate curiosity, memories and awareness, providing a sense of purpose and of ‘doing something’ which has a calming and soothing therapeutic effect on the client whilst also keeping knees warm and cosy.”


Catherine asked us to extend the their thanks to all those who made the quilts and cushions and said they will be happy to get even more.

September 2018 Meeting

It was lovely to have a meeting after the summer break, to see a lot of familiar faces and to welcome some new members. There was a lot of news to catch up on over a cup of tea with lovely homebaked goodies that some ladies brought along — thank you so much for that! A lot of our members had been busy during the summer working on new quilts they brought to the Show and Tell, our summer challenge and the Postcard challenge.


Our summer challenge was making fidget quilts or cushions for dementia/Alzheimer’s patients, and it proved so popular we are hoping to turn it into an ongoing project. The cushions and quilts were displayed in the hall for the time of the meeting and everybody could admire the unique designs and get inspired to make some of their own. It was a very colourful display. An arrangement was made to donate this first batch to St Mary’s Hospital in Phoenix park.


The Postcard challenge, which called for textile postcards commemorating the centenary of women’s suffrage in Ireland, had a good response as well. It is amazing how much can be expressed in such a small format, and how many different ideas people had in response to the theme, Miriam Hennigan, for one, made no less than three postcards! We hope more postcards will still be submitted from the Eastern branch as well as other branches, to be exhibited at the IPS stand at the Knitting and Stitching show in November. If you want to submit a card, there is a tutorial on how to make one here on the website.

Miriam Gogarty shared her experience of visiting the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham this August and even showed us some of the lovely fabrics she brought home.


The Show and Tell was inspiring as always, and very busy, so to mention just a few: Sheryl Cullen brought a jigsaw puzzle cushion cover from the Moya Geraghty’s workshop, Deidre Ryan made everybody smile with her cute panda wallhanging and Mary Ash awed us with her exquisite Baltimore Album quilt in reds and greens. One of our new members, Catherine Honlon, didn’t come empty-handed, either, she brought a stunning Dresden plate quilt and a lovely baby quilt. Rita Whelan showed us a beautiful summer wallhanging with flowers and funky chicken, Sarah Nix made a lovely little bag with hexagon flowers, as well as a cushion and some postcards, and Mary Maguire made another beautiful baby quilt for Henry Bear in an array of white and yellow fabrics and lace, bright and summerly.


Gabrielle Grant form the Fennel Shed shop didn’t only keep us supplied this month, but also gave a highly entertaining and inspirational talk about her life-long relationship with fabric and all the different phases it has gone through to this day :)) The work she showed and the stories she told were really enjoyed by the audience. She also taught a workshop on redwork embroidery in the afternoon and another one on her “Pickwick quilt” pattern the next day, both of which went very well – we are looking forward to seeing the results in the coming months.

The Eastern branch exhibition “Seasons in the Park” is to be held in the Phoenix park Visitor center in February, and we would encourage all our members to take part, no matter what their level or preferred technique is – the required size is 20” by 30” (portrait) and it can include patchwork, applique, embroidery or any other technique as long as it has two layers of fabric with batting in-between and quilted. It’s going to be a beautiful show!

As usual, you can see more photos of the meeting on our gallery page.

June 2018 Meeting

On a gloriously sunny day in June, we had our final branch meeting before our summer break.

It was lovely to welcome Ruth Bourke as chair of the Executive. We appreciate her words of encouragement and thanks to us as a branch.

Moya Geraghty from Patchwork Plus paid a visit with her fabulous fabrics, and range of notions. As a result I know many of us are now well stocked up for the summer break. Her workshops that followed, certainly did not disappoint either. Her 'Jigsaw' cushion cover class, had great results. Not to mention the "Circles within Circles" workshop on the Sunday!  Photos from these workshops are on our Facebook and gallery page, and they are well worth looking at!

Our very popular visiting speaker was a local artist, John Nolan. He gave a painting demonstration, and spoke to us on the use of color, which we all really enjoyed.

Show and tell gave us yet another opportunity to finish the year on a positive note. What a treat there was in store! It was lovely to see such range of brilliant, fun, beautiful and colorful quilts completed by our members. Photos of these are on our Facebook and gallery page also.

Our branch challenge for the summer break is Fiddle/Fidget quilt or cushion.... watch this space!


National Exhibition Opening and Raffle


Hi All 

Don't forget to visit our National Exhibition at the Chocolate Factory, King's Inn Street, Dublin 1.  Open from July 2nd to July 14th (official opening July 7th at 2pm). Opening hours every day are 10 am to 4 pm. 

There will be a raffle held on Saturday July 14th and the prize is this beautiful quilt donated by Joanna Harrington from the Southern Branch. Tickets are €3 for 1 and €5 for 2 and can be purchased at the Exhibition.  

Look forward to seeing you all there!

Irish Patchwork Society - Executive Committee


May 2018 Meeting

We had a very busy meeting this month; with the weather finally warm and everyone’s thoughts set on summer, fun and holidays, we still had to get down to AGM business before turning to the more relaxed parts of the programme.

Eilish Masterson, Secretary of the Executive was collecting quilts for the Making Waves National Exhibition, which will take place at the Chocolate Factory, 26 King’s Inn Street, Dublin from 2nd to 14th of July, with the official opening on the 5th of July.


Helen and Miriam reminded us of the branch summer challenge, which is making fiddle quilts/cushions for Alzheimers and dementia patients, and gave us some tips, the most important being: everything used on these quilts has to be tightly secured, triple stitched and double-checked to make sure no elements will come off during handling.


Our special guest this month was John O’Donnell from Singer Sewing Centre in Waterford. He usually comes to our May meetings to service some machines, but this time he also gave us an informative (and entertaining) talk about machine maintenance and answered a lot of questions from the audience about cleaning and oiling the machines, transporting them, choosing threads, bobbins and needles, etc.


Our Show and Tell was quality over quantity this time, with a trace of nostalgia. It started with a striking quilt, incorporating a beautiful vintage floral fabric, made by Hazel McCullagh for her sister. Angela Archbold followed with a story of how she turned a panel bought at her very first branch meeting into a pair of wonderful wallhangings. Daphne Duncan demonstrated a bright disappearing nine-patch quilt and shared tips on sourcing fabric from IKEA duvet sets. Cynthia Keegan awed everybody with her exquisite creation incorporating treasured pieces of textiles from women of the past and the present, including embroidered handkerchiefs and crocheted doilies. Finally, Mary Maguire showed a lovely baby quilt she made for Henry Bear, with multicoloured butterflies and butterfly backing to match.

Maeve Meany from Limerick Quilt Center brought a large selection of fabrics and notions to keep us well-stocked for our summer projects.

Those who stayed for the afternoon watched an inspiring demonstration on book-binding by Sidella O’Brien. Sidella showed us how to do basic Japanese bookbinding, and also brought her books made with various other bookbinding styles. She uses not only paper and card, but also fabrics and even quilted pieces for some of her book covers. Great motivation to try a new craft during summer, I’m certainly making myself a bespoke photo album!

For more photos from the meeting please visit our gallery page.

Postcard Tutorial


Here at the Eastern branch we are organising ourselves for the postcard challenge. The theme as you know is to mark the centenary of women in Ireland getting the vote. To help with the technical side of the challenge we asked our member Miriam Gogarty to demonstrate her process of creating fabric postcards. We hope other branches will use this tutorial to hold their own challenge or just to start getting ready for Christmas, creating truly bespoke cards for their nearest and dearest. Miriam prefers her cards 4'' by 6'', but the 4 3/4'' by 7 3/4'' size will also be accepted for the challenge.


  • Pelmet vilene: 2 pieces per card measuring 6” x 4”
  • Bondaweb: 2 pieces per card measuring 6” x 4”
  • Front of card background fabric: 1 piece 6” x 4”
  • Back of card fabric: 1 piece of white or cream fabric 6” x 4”
  • You will also need a little more Bondaweb and different fabrics to suit the theme of your postcard.
  • Usual sewing items: threads, rulers, scissors, machine.

Step 1:

Using Bondaweb fuse white fabric to pelmet vilene and either write or stitch “POST CARD” across the top back and a line down the centre.


Step 2:


Fuse the background fabric to the second piece of pelmet vilene and use this for the front of your postcard. Back the pieces of fabric for your chosen image with Bondaweb, cut out the shapes, arrange them on the background and fuse them down.


Step 3:

Stitch down the appliqué using a straight stitch, satin stitch, blanket stitch or a decorative stitch on your machine, add details.


Step 4:

When the appliqué or other work has been finished on the front of the postcard, layer the front and back together making sure the edges line up. Use a satin stitch or other suitable stitch on your machine around the edge to secure and finish the card.


This is what the back of the finished card looks like:


by Miriam Gogarty

March Meeting


We had a very busy and inspirational meeting this month, as always. The lovely miniatures submitted to the Easter challenge helped turn our minds from March snowfalls to April showers — a huge thank you to all the participants and big round of applause to the winner, Sarah Nix.


Stephanie of the Green Acres Quilts shop brought a beautiful selection of fabrics — her yummy fruit prints seemed to be particularly popular. The quilts, bags, cushion and bunting she showcased inspired everyone to make something great.



The show-and-tell was full of surprises. We were privileged to see a hand-sewn EPP quilt made by the 2017 class of the Rathdown School and donated to charity – well done everybody involved in making it. Jen showed us an intricately quilted landscape in rich colours, and Dearbhla followed with a quilt made with charity-shop artificial fur coats – very warm and made in time for the Beast from the East. The weather was evidently perfect for sewing, as some members used it to finish their long-waiting projects, like the exquisite stained-glass wallhanging. Julia Gahagan’s three workshops left a big impression, the evidence of which is sure to stay with us for a long time – several members showed the beautiful miniatures they made during the workshops and after it.


Mary Mc Dermott shared the great work she has done repairing a hand-sewn 1965 quilt from her friend’s family. The state of some pieces proved that the quilt was in dire need of some skillful attention, and Mary managed to restore it to its former glory, while keeping its unique charm.


Kathy Dranse stunned everybody with the wedding-ring quilt for her daughter, which she has just finished after four years of work – the precise piecing, intricate hand applique, gorgeous colours, stunning long-arm quilting – her daughter is about to receive a masterpiece to treasure.


Our new members showed the results of the beginner workshops that definitely filled their teachers’ hearts with pride. As usual, several members made lovely quilts for Henry Bear – Heart Children Ireland charity, a big thank you to them, their creations are sure to be loved and appreciated. Please visit our Gallery page to see all the beautiful creations shown at the meeting.



Our guest speaker Mary McAuliffe told us about the circumstances and the legacy of women in Ireland getting the vote, the centenary of which is commemorated in our Postcard Project. The members present got a historical background and visual inspiration to create their postcards. Miriam Gogarty will be giving a demo on the technical side of making a fabric postcard after the April meeting.


The afternoon session was an opportunity for members to work on their unfinished projects and for the committee to prepare the kits for the Centenary Postcard Project.

12th July 2017 - Call for Quilts - Scrap Happy- Eastern Branch IPS Exhibition

Eastern Branch Exhibition 2017 

"Scrap Happy" - IPS Eastern Branch 2017 Exhibition will take place between Monday 4th September 2017 until Monday 18th September 2017 at Axis Arts Centre & Community Resource Centre , Main Street, Ballymun Dublin 9. Times will be confirmed in August.

Call for items from IPS Eastern Branch members - we are now seeking for branch members to enter quilt items for this exhibition at the end of August. The theme of the branch exhibition is "Scrap Happy". Size - 16" (40cm) x 35" (90cm). It must be portrait shape, 3 layers, hanging sleeve and labelled.


Members are asked to submit quilts to IPS Eastern Branch Committee on Saturday (Morning) 26th August 2017 at St. Anthony's Parish Centre.

All information and exhibition entry forms will be emailed to all branch members. Please have your work labeled at the back & in a bag with your name & mobile. Your work will be available for collection at our Sept meeting. 

Please contact Carol Scott for more details -

DROP-OFF for the Southside is

Saturday 26th Aug 11-1pm sharp. The Coffee Shop, Marley Park, Rathfarnham. 

Northside is 

Tuesday 29th AUG 11-1pm sharp                       Tuesday 29th Aug 6-8pm sharp

Costa Coffee (beside Lidl)                                 Reception area

Westend Retail Park                                           Gresham Hotel

BLANCHARDSTOWN                                         DUBLIN

please check here for updates


Member's Name: *
Member's Name:
Exhibition Venue:
Exhibition Venue:
Name & give a description of your work.
Declaration: I give my consent for the above quilt/work to be exhibited at the above named venue/exhibition. I submit my work in a labelled bag. My work has a hanging sleeve & is labelled on the back. Please click or sign your consent(if printed).

4th July 2017 - Extended Date for Aurora - Hands Across the Border Exhibition 2017

"Aurora" - Joint Hands Across the Border Exhibition between IPS & North Ireland Patchwork Guild

Until 8th July 2017 at the Island Arts Centre, Lisburn.

It had a successful showing in Dublin, where it was exhibited in the Custom House Quay, hosted by the IPS Eastern Branch. Now all 63 quilts are at the Island Arts Centre,  where you will be able to view them.  Opening times of the Island Arts Centre, Lisburn  are: Monday – Friday: 9.30 am – 10 pm & Saturday: 9.30 am – 5 pm.