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.



  1. Such a wonderful project to have shared with each other. You both added so much of yourselves - kudos Penny and Nikki!

  2. Beautiful job Both of you. Such a lovely way to remember a special day

    1. Thank you, Carol! Bet you have some great photos of Kilmakader too! Can't wait until next year!

  3. What a beautiful quilt and a wonderful story. It will mean a great deal to both of you for years to come. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you, Tony! It was a joy to create...and took me a bit out of my comfort zone too! I'm so incredibly proud of our work!

  4. Beautiful quilt. I love that both you and Nikki worked independently, and how well the blocks mesh - great minds do think alike. The quilting is amazing! No matter how you do in Birmingham - you are both winners!

    1. Thank you, Deb. We feel incredibly proud!

  5. Great job ladies, from all the beautiful hand-dyed fabrics to the finished quilt. Love the label and back too. It's a Best of Show for sure! Thanks for sharing...

  6. Thank you, Sue! I'm so glad that I got to take you to Kilmakader Church too!

  7. Bonding thru quilts is a wonderful experience any person could have and the development of everlasting friendship is the best

    1. That it is! Nikki and I had the most meaningful conversation that day about friendship....and how precious a good friend is....and now to have that moment created in a quilt....warms both of our hearts.

  8. it will be the Belle of the Ball in Birmingham!