Saturday, 1 August 2020

Best Kept Secrets


My prompt from Carol for this round was the book Best Kept Secrets of Ireland which Carol bought and sent to me, but we think has been a victim of Covid post, probably sitting forgotten in a warehouse somewhere keeping its secrests all to itself. 
Scraps added improv style to just have a play and see what happens

I've been pondering and pondering the phrase best kept secrets and what kept popping into my head is Barry's tea (our national Irish drink isn't Guiness but a good strong cup of black tea with milk!).  In lieu of the book Carol prompted me to think of my favourite place.

That's a tough one.  My favourite places are where we go walking the dogs.  We have a few spots about the place.  I live in Limerick, on the Shannon so we have miles and miles of riverbank.  We are just over an hours drive to the Atlantic and have many more miles of the beach and cliff walks and my favourite beach to walk the dogs in the summer is Doughmore beach in Doonbeg or Beal Beach near Ballybunion.
Free motion quilting and fancy stitches crazy piecing style
In the end, I kept coming back to my favourite place from childhood, Curragh Chase Estate which is part of our National Forestry Service Coillte (pronounced queel-cha).  We used to cycle the 12 miles there when we were kids or be driven out for a days rambling on special occasions.  We used to use an old seat belt and swing from a huge tree, fighting for light with the biggest weeping willow I've ever seen. 

Theres a big grey granite stone house which burned down twice, a man made lake and bridges with swans, a wishing chair and a pet cemetry which I always loved. 

It was the home of the deVere family before it was handed over to the state.  Aubrey deVere was a poet and I always wonder what it must have felt like to open the door in the morning, wander down the grey steps into cultivated greenery surrounded by woodland and feel blessed to own all of that. A very different kind of life to most people.
Must have been just horrific watching the main house go up in flames.

Still, to this day, I love to walk with the dogs along the trails under the trees especially when its raining (which is quite a bit!).  You get that smell of green and feeling of dampness from the ferns and the soft rustle of the wind.   Defintely my favourite place to just be.

Cut up and moved about to fit this framing mat.  Hints of memories peeking through.

16 comments:

  1. What a lovely picture you have painted Ruth of a beautiful place and happy memories. I love your framing mat hinting at secret views. Our youngest son has just moved to Limerick (and is in quarantine as I write!) so I shall look forward to discovering some of your secret places on our visits to him :)

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    1. So sorry he won't get to see the city at its best for a while. Most places are still shut but hopefully when you come to visit we might even be able to meet up in person! That would be great after chatting virtually for years!

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  2. I love your descriptions, Ruth - it felt as if I was somewhere magical, which is what we all need just now! You really captured the feeling of it too in your lovely quilt.

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    1. Thanksa million Catherine - its been raining cats and dogs this past week so that probably had an effect!

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  3. Beautiful pictures. I love all the color and thread work in your piece. I live in the United States, but I visited Limerick some years ago. Your descriptions brought back memories.

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    1. I lived in Seattle for a bit and have family in Washington, Utah, Idaho, New York and Illimois so normally would visit every second year or so but not this year unfortunately. Staycation has been nice though.

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  4. Ah, Ruth, your writing transported me right to Ireland. I walked with you in my thoughts. My paternal grandmother was born there and I have always wanted to visit. I love your idea of making a quilt of your favorite childhood place. It's interesting to me that you used all those bright colors to depict a place that isn't quite that colorful. But isn't that the way with our memories of childhood? They are so vivid. The crazy patch piecing and stitching is a perfect throwback to times remembered, as is capturing those wonderful memories in a frame. It's an altogether delight!

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    1. Defintely Maureen, in our memories it was always sunny, days were long and magically we all turned up for dinner bang on time! I'm calling it artistic licence.

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  5. How I would enjoy a walk with you and your dogs after reading your description. I particularly like how you've quilted your piece, then cut it up for framing. What a lovely quilt to remind you of happy memories.

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    1. Thanks so much. I'm defintely out of practice on free motion but really did enjoy messing with the fancy stitches. First time using a lot of them - isn't that always the way when you buy a fancy machine.

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  6. All those colors, shapes and needle work make a very interesting quilt. I love that you went abstract and still got the feel of the landscape.

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    1. Thanks a million. I was a bit stuck and had an idea which I quickly abandoned so pulled out the scrap basket to just play to see if that would unlock the brain. Thankfully the brain stayed quiet and the scraps worked out well!

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  7. Beautiful piece and your description for the inspiration really transported me to this magical place. Love all the quilting detail: so varied it creates such wonderful texture.

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  8. Thanks a millon Martha. It was a case of not being happy with just quilting and experimenting with some fancy stitches crazy piece style. First time doing that and really enjoyed it.

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  9. I love your photos and your memories and descriptions of the beautiful places you enjoy and your colours, shapes and stitching have really captures the beauty and atmosphere of those places. I so much admire how you make can something abstract with so much atmosphere :)

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  10. Sorry you didn't get the book. It looked gorgeous and hopefully you will be surprised to find it in your mail box. I love that you captured my prompt so well and am happy that it prompted you to fond memories of a place you loved.
    xx, Carol

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