Quilts, Crystal, Irish Music & Much More

June 15, 2012

I just returned from a delightful trip to Ireland.

Jim West of Sew Many Places planned the first International Quilt Festival of Ireland  in Galway and asked me if I would deliver the keynote address, teach some classes and lead a tour group before and after the festival.

First and foremost, the Irish people are wonderful, friendly and very hospitable. Secondly, I had the best group of people on my tour. We all felt like sisters by the time it was all over.

We toured Dublin the first day and saw the book of Kells and stayed at the spectacular Four Seasons Hotel. The second day we visited St. Kevin’s Monastic Settlement, founded in the 6th century and then went on to the village of Avoca where we went to the woolen mill and saw the weaving take place.

The next day we went on to Galway and stopped in at a Whiskey distillery and watched the process of Whiskey being made and then prepared for the opening of the festival. What an evening! Jim surprised me by awarding me with the festival’s Lifetime achievement award and gave me a beautifully cut and hand engraved crystal bowl from Celtic Crystal Ltd.

We were lavishly entertained that evening with music by Trad on the Prom, the foremost irish music group in Ireland. It was fabulous.

We had our share of tea, too -- one day at the old cathedral in Trinity College and another at Ashford Castle.

After the Festival itself, one of the highlights was actually visiting the Celtic Crystal Company. While there I was able to meet the man who made my beautiful bowl. It was a thrill to meet such a craftsman.

If you can imagine, these are just the highlights of the trip.  We had such a wonderful time together!

Happy Quilting!