Saturday, 26 May 2012

Fantastic Saturday!

What a fabulous day!  Sunshine, heat, family time and quilts.

Look, look, look - pure blue skies!

Our first stop this morning, after a two hour drive, was an orienteering competition in the very north west of Northern Ireland at Magilligan Point.  The men in my life competed in their class while I had a beautiful morning stroll among the sand dunes in the HEAT, proper glorious sun drenched heat with a gorgeous breeze that just kept it all bearable.

Next stop was one of the oldest original thatched cottages left in Ireland, Hezlett House near Castlerock.  It is now owned by the National Trust and we took advantage of our membership to pop in today and have a picnic lunch in their small orchard garden.  It was pretty, quiet and peaceful.  The staff were fantastic answering the questions of my inquisitive 10 year old, letting him feed their chickens and taking a really keen interest in him.  And, best of all, totally unexpectedly today was the day that the local quilting group was holding an "Airing of the Quilts" event around the gardens.  

We had our little picnic among the quilts and daisies - it was so lovely!  Talk about being in my element!

Prepare for pic fest.  (Please note that none of todays quilts are mine, they were all stitched by members of the Sew'n'Sews Quilting group from Castlerock.)

There were so many quilts, hanging on trees in the orchard garden, strewn across tree stumps, draped over rocking chairs and old bicycles, spread out on the lawn and pinned on two washing lines.  All very different, but all beautiful and stitched by those who love what they are doing.

Among my favourites were these two antique quilts (probably not stitched by the Sew'n'Sews themselves):

I love this red one and the zig zag quilting was so beautifully stitched - I'm just sorry I didn't have the real camera with me to get a better pic of it.

This quilt was so faded and the fabrics had disintegrated massively in parts but somehow that was so much a part of its charm.  It felt like a real privilege to be able to see it so close up.  You can see more of that fabulous zigzag quilting on the photo below.

Oh it was such a lovely coincidence to turn up at the Quilt Airing today and to meet some of the lovely ladies from the Sew'n'Sews group who were lunching in the garden.  If you happened to be local to Castlerock, Northern Ireland, they are looking for new folks to join them and I know they meet in the Christ Church Hall in Castlerock to stitch and chat and drink tea!  I'm sure they'd love to hear from you, and although they had no online contact details I am sure you could contact them via Hezlett House, National Trust property where some of their members are also volunteer gardeners.

By the way, if you didn't know (as I didn't until the ladies told me) it is apparently an old American custom to air the quilts before storing them away for the summer.

After this little quilt indulgence we headed off to visit Mussenden Temple and then my men took to the sea for a little swim around the rock pools.  

Looks like my little one may inherit dad's knees!

Something for everyone in our day out today!  

Doesn't the warmth and sunshine just make you feel gooooooood!


  1. Your day sounds perfect. You can't beat a NI beach on a hot day! Those quilts are just beautiful. Di x

  2. What an amazing day! And that close up where we can see the hand stitching, it's fabulous, thanks.

  3. looks like you all had a fab day Sarah

  4. Oh that looks like a great day out!! The quilts are fab! X

  5. What a great day out! The scenery is beautiful :-)

  6. What gorgeous quilts and what synchronicity that you should be there to see it :)

  7. Looks like you had the perfect day! Arn't those quilts gorgeous

  8. What a lovely day! And a real treasure getting to see those amazing quilts! What a beautiful setting for a mini exhibition!! Glad you all had a lovely day out. Jxo


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