Sunday, June 3, 2012

International Quilt Festival of Ireland

The first annual International Quilt Festival of Ireland is only 4 days away. The campus of NUI Galway is being transformed as we speak into a specially laid-out "Quilters Village", redesigning classrooms, buildings and restaurants into a unique setting for this very special event. There will truly be something for the entire family! And with  the kids out of school (soon for the primary school kids), it's a brilliant way to kick the summer off.
Here's part of the letter from Jim West, managing director of the event, outlining some of what will be happening on June 8 through 10th.
"As you stroll around the village you will find Fat Quarter’s Chocolate Shop, the Wicked Thimble Pub, the Town Hall, our School House, the Round Robin Restaurant, a Craft Center, Celtic Tea Room a high-end restaurant called Stash.

We have even commissioned a theatrical set designer to create a fa├žade that replicates that of an old Irish village from the 1600’s. This area is known as our Quilter’s Square. As you walk around the village, you are sure to run into our very charming mayor of the Quilter’s Village, the town crier announcing activities and events taking place throughout the day, and even Molly Malone as she walks around pushing her cart and selling fat quarters!

We have also decided we didn’t want to have a very congested vendors area where people are bumping into each other because it is so crowded. Instead, we have invited 50 specially chosen companies who will be offering their goods and services to you. There will also be a special area in the village called our “Quilter’s Market,” with two dozen local craft vendors selling specialized craft items.

And we realized a quilt festival wouldn’t be a quilt festival without quilts! You will find fourteen uniquely designed quilt exhibits offering hundreds of beautifully designed quilts. You’ll enter each exhibit and all of your senses will be activated. These exhibits are more of an “experience” instead of an observation. We felt it was essential that we designed our exhibits with an outside of the box approach instead of just hanging quilts on racks and having people come into a room and view them. So with our exhibits, you will actually be part of a theatrical presentation- some of them include actors, a set, music and even different aromas! All of your senses will be activated and your soul will be touched as you stroll from exhibit to exhibit.

I am very proud to include an extraordinary line up of celebrity teachers from all over the world. All of these teachers, their class projects and the times of their classes are posted on the festival website, so be sure you secure your space if you want to enjoy a class with one of them. I believe most classes will be sold out before the actual festival weekend!

With our festival here in Ireland, we are introducing two very special elements that the international quilting community has never seen. The first is a complete hands-on crafts program, including of course, traditional Irish crafts, from lacemaking and painting to feltmaking and pottery. There’s even an overnight trip to the Aran Islands for a special knitting workshop! Second, we are offering a non-quilter’s activity program, so those who are not interested in the quilt classes can enjoy some very special activities, from fishing and golf to cycling and pub crawls."

For more information on this very special new festival, here's the link:

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