Quilt Fling

Quilting: Fabric Portraits with Paula Rafferty

From: £60.00

Sunday 12th  may 2024

10.00AM to 4.00PM

This workshop will teach you the principles for turning a photograph into a fabric portrait.

**Normal price £80 – reduced to £60 thanks to subsidy from the Quilters of Shambellie House for Quilt Fling **

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This workshop will teach you the principles for turning a photograph into a fabric portrait.
For this introductory workshop you will be working on an image that I have prepared in advance. I will guide you through the process of preparing your own image using several different computer programmes as well as working directly from the original image by hand.
During this workshop you will learn my process for turning a photograph into a fabric portrait using 4 /5 colours, depending on the chosen image. You will learn a method for tracing and fusing fabric using bondaweb that can be applied to many different projects. The finished portrait will be approximately A3 size (11.75 x 16.50 inches).

This workshop is not suitable for beginners, but is great for intermediate to experienced quilters.


Your Tutor

Your Tutor

Paula Rafferty

For further information visit:

Paula has been sewing since she was a small child, she was taught by her mum and started making clothes for her Sindy Doll.

Paula was born and grew up in Dundalk, Co. Louth before moving to study Fashion Design at Limerick School of Art and Design (LSAD) from 1987-1991 and after running her own business for a few years, specializing in stretch and sequined fabrics, she returned to college to train as an Art teacher  (1995-1996). After finishing college Paula worked with retirement groups, which taught her the value of lifelong learning. By accident Paula started working in Limerick Prison in 1998 and has been teaching there full time since. Paula has exhibited and presented lectures on Prison Art and Textiles many times here in Ireland and also in Mexico, Spain, Poland, The Netherlands, Scotland and Canada. 

Paula joined the Irish Patchwork Society in 2002 and has since made hundreds of quilts, both large and small. When asked Paula says that she makes two types of quilts: Art Quilts for exhibition and Therapy Quilts to keep her sane!

With her Art Quilts works in series, several at the same time, until she feels that she has exhausted the theme. Paula loves any messy techniques such as dyeing, printing, stamping, anything where she can get her hands dirty and revel in that childlike joy of playing with colour. Collage, fabric transfer and printing are other favoured techniques, anything that involves modern technology, what could be more fun than mixing ancient skills like hand embroidery with modern digitally printed images, right? 

Therapy Quilts are usually utilitarian in nature and composed of simple shapes like squares or strips, which are cut in large amounts and randomly sewn together. Paula finds the act of repetitive sewing calms and keeps her sane during wintertime or when going through emotional stress. Traditional patchwork and quilting techniques act as a gateway to our past and are an amazing meditative process and Paula adores the challenge of designing quilt blocks and patterns for students and groups. 

Paula exhibits her art quilts and teaches patchwork and quilted techniques internationally, both as a member of various international groups and as a solo artist. Paula’s work has been featured in many international patchwork and quilting magazines including; Quilting Arts, Quilt Modern, British Patchwork & Quilting and Patchwork Professional.

“Quilting has opened up the world to me, brought so many wonderful people into my life and taught me so much. I look forward to the wonderful techniques and skills that I have yet to learn.”

Groups Paula is a member of:

  • IPS Irish Patchwork Society 
  • Quilters Guild of Ireland
  • Quilters Guild of the British Isles (specialist groups contemporary and modern)   
  • SAQA Studio Art Quilt Associates
  • Voyage (an online textile group
  • 20Perspectives

About the Day

The workshop will take place from 10am to 4pm and refreshments will be provided throughout the day including tea/coffee and freshly prepared lunch by our partners at Cloverglen.

Parking is available at the House by following the drive.

This workshop is in the Gallery which is on the second floor.

This is only accessible via stairs with no lift access available. If you have any access needs and would like to attend please let us know and we will accommodate you.

Kit and Requirements

If you are bringing your own fabric please come with the following:

4 co-ordinating fabrics from light to dark:
• Fabric 1: lightest x fat quarter (18” x 22”)
• Fabric 2: light x fat eighth (9” x 22”)
• Fabric 3: medium x fat eighth (9” x 22”)
• Fabric 4: dark x fat eighth (9” x 22”)
• Wadding 20” x 24”
• Backing fabric 20” x 24”
• Matching thread
• Bondaweb 18” x 22”

In addition you will need:

• Black permanent marker (sharpie)
• Sewing machine capable of free motion quilting
• Free motion and/or walking foot for machine
• Iron and ironing surface
• Optional : light box for tracing

Kits can be provided at an extra cost of £20. 

Essential Information

This workshop is in the  gallery which is on the second floor.
This is only accessible via stairs with no lift access available. Please let us know if you have any access needs and we will try our best to accommodate you.

Please note there are kit requirements or the option to purchase what is needed from your tutor and borrow a machine from Shambellie House. Please see the kit and requirements tab.

If you have answered yes and would like to discuss your requirements then please get in touch.

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