‘My Happy Memories Quilt’ by Julie Uprichard, Maghaberry WI

Posted December 1, 2022 by WI Staff in Local Areas

I have recently finished an English Pieced patchwork quilt. It’s a very old, traditional design and method of working a patchwork quilt. I love quilting and think I enjoy collecting fabric even more. My intention is to use it all, and I do my best, having made numerous quilts, bags and other items over the years.

My problem is, I really hate throwing my leftover scraps out and constantly make scrap hexagon (hexie) throws which I use myself, or have given to various friends and family.


On this occasion I decided to do a full size bed quilt, using this most traditional of patterns and fabrics, regardless of whether they went together or ‘matched’.  My only concession was that I had to buy some neutral creams for the pathways between my hexie flower blocks. For a couple of years, on and off, between other projects, I hand sewed these blocks together until I had 67 full flower blocks and filler blocks for the sides.


Once I eventually had sewn everything together, I realised that due to shoulder issues that I’d be unable to take on hand quilting such a large quilt, which had been my original intention. Therefore, I took it to a long arm quilter in Buncrana, Co. Donegal who did a fabulous job on it before getting it back to add piping and a binding to finish it off.


In my craft room – applying piping to the quilt before binding.


So, what makes this my Happy Memories quilt? 

Looking at these pictures you may just see a quilt. What do I see?  I see places I have been to buy my fabric, including local craft shops, especially The Cotton Shed at the Birches in Portadown. There, Lynda, who owned the shop, became a good friend, allowing me to share my love of craft, especially embroidery and crochet in her workshops. I loved attending other classes there also where I learnt new skills from others.


Me outside a craft shop in New Zealand which catered to all my crafting needs.


I also purchased from craft fairs and Quilt shops in Belfast, Dublin, Wales, England, Canada and New Zealand in this quilt alone. Shops and fairs where I found like-minded people, who loved their craft, and don’t find the idea of cutting perfectly good fabric into tiny pieces, before sewing it back together again ridiculous.


I see shops with rose bushes leading to their door, how could anyone resist?! I see Maori aboriginal design and culture expressed in fabric. I see colour and vibrancy, and my husband walking up and down streets waiting for me to eventually find my way out again. I see the beautiful countryside of Donegal driving to collect my quilt.


This is a quilt shop on South Island, New Zealand. 


I think of my friends. Those with whom I’ve attended craft fairs, craft weekends and workshops. The shops my friend Karen in Ontario, Canada has researched to amaze and tempt me with when we visit. The craic and the fun, and the sharing and showing what we’ve each bought or made at the end of the day.

I see people I’ve sat beside at workshops, and especially at Mazetown Women Together group sewing my hexies together. Enjoying the laughter and the stories, and of course the obligatory cup of tea as we work and chat.

The quilt on a spare bed in my home.


I see the people I’ve made quilts for when I see the fabrics I sew together, fabric I have used in baby quilts, birthday gifts, quilts for Special birthdays and occasions.

Others see a quilt, I see all of the above and I remember.

Therefore, once finished, I wanted to name my quilt, and its name was obvious:

‘Happy Memories’!


(Written by Julie Uprichard, Maghaberry WI.)


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