Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Milwaukee Irish Fest

So excited to be heading out this week to Milwaukee for their annual Irish Fest celebration!  Looks like we'll have great weather again to enjoy some amazing music and  Irish dancers all while promoting our 2015 tour to Ireland. 

This year I'll be bringing along a few quilts to share with those who visit the Brack Tours booth.
First there's this quilt designed by Nikki Foley.  Cead Mile Failte means "One Hundred Thousand Welcomes".  I have to say, in my travels to Ireland, I've felt every single one of those welcomes.
and this "Anam Cara" wall hanging.
Anam Cara - means Soul Friend.
And I'm really excited about this quilt.  I created it in EQ7 using two blocks I just love.  One is called Garden Patch and the other is called Summer Winds.  I changed up the coloring on the blocks and shared that photo with Nikki and the first thing she said was "That looks like Summer on my mountain", so of course, that seemed like the perfect name.
Summer on the Mountain

This quilt will be a giveaway this weekend at the Irish Fest.  Some lucky attendee will get to take this quilt home with them! 
Beyond excited to see the Red Hot Chili Pipers too!



Friday, August 1, 2014

Whispers of the Past - A Quilt Between Friends

Last October, I had the chance to spend some time in Ireland with my friend, Nikki Foley.  Some of my most favorite moments of that trip were the opportunities we had to explore together.  We spent an entire day taking in the Slea Head Drive to Dingle, stopping a long the way to photograph some of the most amazing scenery I have ever seen. 

One of those stops was at the Kilmakader Church, the ruins of a Romanesque Church dated back to the twelve century.  Step inside with us, won't you....

It's absolutely impossible to enter the church and not feel the spiritual energy that surrounds the area. If you close your eyes and are quiet, you can hear the whispers of the past as the breeze blows from the sea. 
I feel so incredibly blessed that I got to share this experience with Nikki.  It was one of those moments in time that you just know, you'll never forget...forever etched in your mind and heart like the carvings in the archways inside the church. 
Well, as quilters, right then we decided the best thing we could do was to create a quilt to commemorate our experience.  We took extra photos and here are the two that ended up as our inspiration for the quilt we would make.
This is one of the gravestones in front of the church.
These carvings are in the archways inside the church
 We decided our quilt would have a center scene surrounded by blocks to represent the blocks in the archways within the church.   Nikki got to work and created her amazing hand dyed fabrics.

These colors are perfect!

Look at this amazing blue!
Imagine my squeal of delight when these showed up in my mailbox!
 We decided we needed 30 blocks to surround our center panel, so we each created 15 blocks... get this....without telling or showing each other what we were creating.  Talk about exciting the day her blocks arrived in the mail!  Then it was up to me to add the blocks and do the machine quilting and binding and I needed to get it done quickly...because we decided we would enter the quilt in Festival of Quilt show in Birmingham England!!

I've often said that when you add the "quilting" to a quilt, it brings it to life.  Never more have I felt that then when I quilted this piece.  I had to stop quilting several times to wipe away the tears as the emotions of that day at Kilmakader Church came to the surface once heart felt it in every stitch.

So are you on the edge of your seat to see this quilt?   I know I am and I made the quilt!  I already know what it looks like but Nikki and I are so excited to share it with all of you. 

Drumroll please...............................................

Whispers of the Past
I love it so much!  This pic doesn't really show the quilting so I will add a few pics that highlight what I did on this quilt!

Inside of quilt/headstones

Our outer blocks with quilting

Back of quilt


Two quilty girls....who made a quilt together...even though they live 3800 miles apart.