Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Modern Quilter's Of Ireland Exhibit

Last Thursday was the official launch of our Modern Quilter's of Ireland exhibit!  This is our first exhibit, so it was very exciting for all of us.  Personally, it was the first time any of my quilts was shown publicly, which I found to be quite surreal. 

Modern Quilter's Of Ireland (well...those who came on the day).

It was really a wonderful day.  About 15 of the Modern Quilters took the day to travel to Dublin.  Some of us had met before, but many of us had not.  We only knew each other through blogs, email and Instagram.  It was so wonderful actually putting a face and real life personality with my online friends!
Tomomi's stunning wall hanging

At the exhibit opening, both Paula and I had the opportunity to say a few words.  I wrote mine out, so I still have a copy of what I said...or what I intended to say as I never really remember these sort of things accurately. I'll paste it below with a smattering of photos from the day in no particular order.  Many of you significantly contributed to these ideas/words via the blog or Instagram.  I thank you so very much for the inspiration and quotes included below. 

Paula's tryptic

Sarah Flynn and I started the Modern Quilters of Ireland in 2012.  At that time, I think we had met once over tea in a Bewley's hotel, but we already knew each other through and through just because we shared a common core.   Superficially, we are completely different: She's Irish, I'm not.  She live s in Cork, I live in Galway.  She's married, I'm not.  She had two - now three - children and I have fur babies.  But we shared a love of quilting, which meant we were one in the same.  

Ruth's bee quilt

We sew because we love to create.  We love the color and texture of fabric, the warmth of the finished quilt, and the pride or sense of accomplishment in a finished project.  We love the meditation in the process of sewing with time by yourself, concentrating, expanding your horizons.  

Fiona and her giant plus quilt

Somehow sewing attracts people who love to share, to teach, to gather and support one another.  It's much the same as what I saw with my mother and her gardening friends, or with my partner and his motorbiking buddies.  You find a common interest, and somehow you are immediately part of a community who watches out for one another.

My own Startazing bee quilt.

Our mission in starting the guild was to create that community.  We wanted to support and encourage the growth of modern quilting, but we had to somehow do that from different parts of the country.  With the Internet, the concept of community has fewer geographical limitations.  We could share an online community regardless of physical location.  

Claire's scrappy wall hanging.

Through blogs and social media, we quickly found a group of over 100 like minded individuals in Ireland, which still shocks me as I was sure there were only 3 of us into modern quilting when the guild launched.  

My bee quilt...over hanging the tea station!

In the words of Helen, "Our quilting community is just that: a community in the best 'old fashioned' sense of the word; people who support you through the tricky times, celebrate the good times alongside you and extend the hand of friendship to all newcomers." We cheer on successes like Fiona's quilt that was published in a magazine, the birth of Erin's beautiful children and Geraldine's newly remodelled kitchen.  We invited ourselves over to Anna's new house for a retreat, and we will celebrate a certain someone's 40th birthday next week!   

Partial Exhibit Overview

We support one another through difficulties.  It may be simply listening to one another complain, checking in on each other when someone goes quiet and (of course) sewing quilts for each other when we don't know what else to do.  We simply support and encourage one another because we are makers.  It's a friendship bound through creativity.

Sarah's quilt for her daughter.

I asked everyone on Instagram last night what the quilting community means to them.  I think this was my favorite response: "A place where I am accepted and wanted because of my creativity. It doesn't matter how old or young I am, how pretty or plain I am, how fat or slim I am.  My (online) quilting community includes me because I share my joy of creating with them and they share their joy and creativity with me."

Ana's EPP stars.

With this group, we are understood and accepted.  So many of us do not tell people that we quilt.  It's what your granny does, or for American pioneers.  Within our community we are free to ask questions, show our failures, ask for help, teach one another.  We inspire and encourage, serve as unconditional support, laugh together and distract one another in times of personal struggles.  

Tomomi's sampler

When Fiona and Sherrie presented our guild with the wonderful opportunity to exhibit our quilts, I started digging through the quilts on our beds, in my hot press, stacked up in the living room arm chair looking for a favorite or two to share with you all.  Two of my favorite quilts of all time are here.  It is only after they were shipped to Sherrie that I realized why I love them so much.  

Sarah's medallion

Yes, I love bright colors and repeating pattern, but these quits are quits made by this quilting community through quilting bees.  When I curl up on the couch to watch a movie, I look down and see a friend next to me.  I know their style of sewing, their favorite colors,  what fabric they have in their stash.  We created those quilts together, and I love that I have a bit of each of them in my home.

Ruth's triangle quilt.

I can't thank you all enough for what you do.  I'm privileged to be part of such a great community!

Liz's square in a square in a square.
Anna's own design.
Irina's bee quilt.


pennydog said...

Beautiful work! I recognised Ruth's bee quilt straight away. Tomomi is new to me though and her work is stunning so I will have to find out more about her.

pennydog said...

Beautiful work! I recognised Ruth's bee quilt straight away. Tomomi is new to me though and her work is stunning so I will have to find out more about her.

pennydog said...

Beautiful work! I recognised Ruth's bee quilt straight away. Tomomi is new to me though and her work is stunning so I will have to find out more about her.

magistra said...

It's a great speech and your guild has a lot to celebrate in a short time! The quilts that have been produced are lovely, and quirky, and unique, and colorful, and on and on. I'm sure your Showing will attract even more sewists who realize that they are attracted to the modern quilting style and they will find an accepting home, also. Your guild is doing wonderful work!

Sew of Course said...

Lovely post, thanks for showing some of the exhibition, it's gorgeous!

memmens said...

Thanks for sharing, it looks wonderful, well done to all of you. Is there a feedback process from patients/members of the public? I'd be interested to hear what other non-quilty people think.

memmens said...

Thanks for sharing, it looks wonderful, well done to all of you. Is there a feedback process from patients/members of the public? I'd be interested to hear what other non-quilty people think.

Penny Barnes said...

Thank you to you and your Modern group for taking part in National Quilt Week of Ireland!! We are so thrilled with the exhibit!!

Sophie Belle Designs said...

Great post Cindy. It was a lovely evening spent with friends x

Tina said...

Wow! Congratulations on the exhibition! The quilts are stunning!

helenjean@midgetgemquilts said...

I was only sorry I wasn't able to join with you. I haven't "met" anybody in the flesh, but do feel as if I "know" some if not all of you. It looks as if the launch went great, and it is nice to know I have played a very small part in some of those quilts and the quilting community. PS, can I come to Anna's too? Has she room for 100 of us ?.....

Tomomi McElwee said...

It's lovely to read your thought about MQI. One thing to say to you is thank you for starting such a great community. If you didn't, I don't know what I would be doing now. I still don't meet quilting people in real regularly and seeing them even on the web tells me I am not alone:) So thank you so much and hopefully I can meet you in real soon!

Missy Shay said...

What beautiful quilts!

Judith, Belfast said...

The exhibition looks amazing, as does everyone's work! Well done C on a great speech! Maybe I'll get myself organised for next year!! Jxo

Sarah said...

Brilliant speech Cindy. The exhibition looks amazing. Well done everybody!

Ruth said...

It was a great opening Cindy and I loved your speech - great to be able to share it here with everyone!

Linda Coleman said...

So sorry I wasn't able to be there but was away in new york. Great speech Cindy and fab quilts everyone.

Cheryl said...

Beautiful quilts, thanks for sharing the exhibit so we could see all of the wonderful quilting.

Leanne said...

I really enjoyed reading this post and your speech, and the exhibit looks fantastic!

Archie The Wonder Dog said...

Well said!!! (Eek, that was me!)

P.S. The quilts are stunning - bravo to all concerned!

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