Hello! Welcome!

I'm Heather McGarrigle and this is my blog - a colourful celebration of culture, crafting and creativity in Northern Ireland and beyond.

A blanket fan...

A blanket fan...

A blanket fan...
Click on pic to see in more detail

Since I started this blog and started getting interested in making things, the number of people I've known for years who have 'come out' as crafters is staggering!

I don't mean they're ashamed of what they do; but I have all these friends and family members who have either had a 'dabbling' relationship with handmade crafts (like I have) and not really talked about it, or have been quietly working away and making beautiful things for years and I never knew! I mistakenly thought that making your own clothes, curtains and gifts stopped being a part of everyday life for people born after my grandparents' generation, but the skills are very much alive and well.

My auntie Liz emailed me this week to show me this fabulous patchwork blanket she knitted for a friend.

Just like that - ran up a blanket. Check out the little knitted flowers sewn on! It consists of 40 knitted squares sewn together and is backed with navy fleece.

She told me: "I just knit the 40 squares - (chunky wool 30 stitches ). This one is in garter stitch (all knit) - I stitched them together then backed with fleece." Her daughter, my cousin Joan, helped her with the blanket stitching around the sides but she's already working on one for another of her daughters and plans to do the edge stitching herself. Apparently Joan is a bit of a master crafter and has been for a while; a dab hand on the sewing machine and something of a blanket expert; Auntie Liz described what sound like beautiful baby blankets she has made - with the baby's name sewn on to building block designs! How lovely would it be to be able to make something like that for a new arrival? Inspiring! I wonder how many more friends and family members will come forward with their creations...

I got 99 problems but a stitch ain't one...

I got 99 problems but a stitch ain't one...

My Mela

My Mela