A few years ago, I was introduced to machine quilting. Let me say from the outset it wasn’t something I would have chosen for myself and I will always be indebted to my husband for purchasing the machine for me.
Quilting will always go hand in hand with the concept of encouragement. In fact, it is not the concept but the reality of encouragement. Firstly, my husband, getting the proper advice for the sewing machine; secondly the encouragement from two friends to book quilting rather than sewing classes; and finally finding the right location for those classes.
Four, two-hour classes and I had a lap quilt, having learnt how to cut with a rotary cutter, to thread, sew, change bobbins and importantly not to be afraid to make mistakes. Since then the most important tool I have is a Jemima. Jemima is a ripper so as this ripper has a name it just shows how often I use it!!!
I have begun to understand how friends have been so absorbed in occupations and hobbies fabric related. It is so tactile. From choosing the fabric, treads batting to the actual making of the quilt top each step is tactile.
However, I have digressed here from writing about quilting and encouragement. Every step along the way I have been encouraged. Roisin telling me get a piece of old fabric and sew. “Put the foot to the pedal and sew”.
Then there was the utter magic of those four quilting classes with three ladies whom I am telling you have the patience of Job. Honestly it amazes me when looking back how they survived me and kept their cool.
So, who were these angels? They inhabit Appletree Crafts in Newtownmountkennedy in County Wicklow. Their names? Marie, Sinead and Trina. Now neither their halos nor wings are visible but believe me they are quilting angels who constantly encourage. Their shop is a veritable Aladdin’s cave of fabric. So, if you are visiting the garden of Ireland drop in, even if quilting is not your thing. Or, on the web http://www.appletreecrafts.ie
I have continued to try new adventures in this my 60th year. I am writing this overlooking the Aughrim river on a sos beag (small break) from a Quilting Retreat. Yes, I am attending my first Quilting Retreat. It is an absolute blast. A retreat led by Trina, Sinead and Marie from Appletree Crafts and attended by ladies who have offered nothing but support to each other . The tips and generosity of spirit has been so special and uplifting.