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

ReFound Makes: Sue Gifford's hand-painted homewares

ReFound Makes: Sue Gifford's hand-painted homewares


Cork artist Sue Gifford uses nature as one of her main inspirations for creating beautiful, hand-painted interior items. She gives Patchwork Quill readers a tantalising glimpse into the creative process that allows her to create these stunning pieces. She is one of ReFound's newist stockists and her delicate designs on silk off-cut cushions are an elegant complement to the store's ethos.

"Originally trained in Printed Textiles, I have a very real love of pattern, colour, detail, and texture.

There are many things that interest me and that I take inspiration from - fashion, old and antique textiles / costumes, nature; pretty much everything!

Images from my scrapbook:

The repetition found in nature is amazing.  Each element repeated over and again, but each time it remains individual.  The basis of my thoughts behind the Falling Leaf design.


I think the colours used in this fashion ad are just beautiful - this may well have been the starting point for the aubergine and gold silk cushion.


Below are a couple of old and antique tablecloths and napkins; I love the texture and weave.  I use these as the base cloth of some of the cushions, as well as off cuts and remnants of all types of silks/damasks.


After washing out and prep of the fabric I then iron it out ready for painting.


Then I apply the smallest of beads to accentuate the tiny feathers and to add flecks of colour and highlights, and to give an extra dimension.


I enjoy using the symbol of the bird and include it in many things, be it murals and even this papier mache bowl which I made and again, hand-painted.


You can view more of my work on my tumblr blog:



I find the level of craftmanship and attention to detail in Sue's work every bit as spellbinding as the intricate and beautiful pieces of art she creates. Please check out her work and do let me know what you thought of this post and of Sue's work.

PQ Q&A: Author, illustrator and designer Helena Duggan

PQ Q&A: Author, illustrator and designer Helena Duggan

What’s On This Week 4th – 10th November