Thursday, June 30, 2011

I'm Back!

Did you miss me, my friends? I suspect not! I've been off on a little break with my family - and it was really lovely to catch up with them. We visited my parents and caught up with my siblings and gorgeous niece and nephew and while I was there I even got to visit a very special person - my friend's brand new baby boy. He was so adorable! While I was there I talked to N about the quilt she wants me to make for him and I think that the Kaleidoscope quilt might just work out perfectly!

I am a little behind on this quiltalong having been away but catching up as quickly as I can. When I got back today I got out my cutter and got to it and ended up with this little pile of triangles:


I now need to cut my white solid (well, I need to go buy some first!) and play around on my design wall/bed/floor to get it working and flowing. Then its time to crank up the machine for Linksome chain piecing and hopefully by next week I'll have caught up with the group!



The surprise of the week was our visit to Johnstown Castle in Co. Wexford which is home to an Agricultural Museum and Famine Exhibition. I was not terribly excited about going to this museum but thought it might be fun for the kids. Much to my total surprise, it was really really interesting and we all really enjoyed it - the kids adored the old farm equipment! A lot of the exhibitions were social history centred and there was a lovely exhibit of old country furniture upstairs - including some replica quilts. But the star of the show for me was this unfinished Famine Quilt which was part of the Famine Exhibition.



Isn't it amazing? Its paper pieced and as you can see, the newspapers date back to 1847.



I can't believe the tiny stitches, the tiny hexagons, and how much time and work this must have taken! I also just love the colours and how this pattern was put together. And all by hand...



It was made by a lady called Mary Stedmond who lived in Co. Wexford and its quite amazing to think that something this beautiful came out of such a terrible period in Irish history. Seeing as how I was blown away by it, I thought some of you might be interested to see it!

14 comments:

Elizabeth D. said...

Oh my gosh, that castle is just breathtaking!! I love your Kaleidoscope fabrics, it's going to be a super fun, happy kind of quilt. Thanks for sharing the historic hexagon quilt, too, it's just lovely :)

Karen said...

The hexagon quilt is amazing! Love your fabric choice for your next project. And thank-you for sharing a bit of your family outing with us.

Lynne said...

Wow! The castle is gorgeous and, like you, I am totally blown away by the quilt!

Jennifer at Ellison Lane Quilts said...

So glad you had such a lovely time. That is amazing castle and such a fabulous quilt! Wow!

The Sunflower Patch said...

Awesome castle, and that quilt is simply amazing! Also love the fun fabrics you have picked for your next quilt.
Love your new header too!

laurawilson25 said...

What a beautiful quilt! I would never have the patience to hand sew all of that. Thanks for sharing.

Jessica said...

So cool! Thanks for sharing! And I missed you :o)

susan said...

Welcome back! Now get sewing. (HeeHee!)

Dawn said...

Lovely castle...wish I could visit too... and that quilt is amazing
Hugs Dawn x x x

Kelly said...

The historic quilt is lovely. I love to see the fabrics in old quilts, very interesting. I did not realize that Ireland had such a long tradition of quilting, but you know that should not surprise you- us Americans think we corner the market on most things!

Flying Blind... said...

The Famine quilt is staggering! Your kaleidoscope will look very cute!

Nice to see you, to see you nice xx

Jessica said...

You were missed! That castle is stunning, and that quilt?? Oh my word! Thanks for sharing!! Love love your kaleidoscope fabrics, can't wait to see more, welcome back!!

Bree said...

LOVE the fabrics you've chosen for your Kaleidoscope! That's going to be absolutely adorable when you get it finished.

SewHappyGeek said...

The pic of the kids is adorable. And that quilt top. How lovely is that? And how heartbreaking it never got made into a quilt. It's amazing they kept it and in such good condition! I love that they used newspaper, and today we have junk post to cut up into hexies!
Thanks for sharing, and glad you had a lovely holiday!