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Surya SAQA Light the World exhibit at EPM European Patchwork Meeting

Last week saw EPM European Patchwork Meeting back in action at Val d'Argent, France and I was thrilled to have one of my quilts Surya exhibited as part of the SAQA Light the World exhibit. A huge thank you to all those you took photos of my quilt there and to those who posted online about the event. Some day I'll get there but as I'm only back to work a couple of weeks, after having the summer off it's very hard to get permission, or even ask for it, to go. Like I said, some day.

Surya photo by Ethelda Ellis

Surya photo by Ethelda Ellis in SAQA Light the /world exhibit

Left: SAQA Light the World Exhibit


Surya (my quilt)

I wrote a post on blogger about this quilt, so I'm gonna be really lazy and just copt it here!

and here it is:

"Surya" 47 x 45 inches

My quilt "Surya" was juried into the SAQA exhibit "Light the World", thrilled. This exhibit is scheduled to debut at the European Patchwork Meeting in France in September.

Made a decision early last year to focus and get some work juried into some SAQA shows as I think it's an amazing organisation and they do a fabulous job of promoting quilting as an art form. So far so good, out of three applications, I've had two accepted.

So here's how it happened: I made a list of the SAQA calls for entry that appealed to me, I noted the deadlines and made some notes and let my ideas stew and develop for awhile. I used a royalty free image of the sun that I purchased from a website of stock images, making sure it was of a very high resolution. I then played with the image in Photoshop, a computer drawing program and then sent it off to Pixalili Ltd. a digital printing service here in Ireland (got to promote the local companies!)

Got it back from the printers, threw it up on the longarm and got to quilting, which took awhile and lots on concentration, but I got there.

Decided then that I wanted to add some symbols and depth to the piece, so made a couple of stencils and got out the oils sticks and the stencil brushes and off I went.

Started with a skull, a memento more, in the background, then had to lighten it.

Next was the Sanskrit word for Sun "Surya" which was also stencilled.

Using different colours and sizes of circles I then stencilled a circle within a circle symbol to complete the piece.

Artist statement:

"Surya" is a Sanskrit word that means the Sun and it is the symbol in the

centre of the quilt. Surya is the name of the Hindu God of the Sun, the Lord

of Light and Day. In the Buddhism tradition of the Far East Surya is one of

the twelve Devas or temple guardians.

The circle within a circle is an ancient symbol representing eternity, the sun

and the alchemical symbol for gold.

The Sun is both creator and Destroyer, the giver and taker of life.

I understand and live in a state of dichotomy and contradictions and have

always been drawn to the circle within a circle symbol. The sun lights our

world, but only we can light the fire of love, hope and kindness in ourselves,

one day at a time, building and layering with each step and breath.

Buried beneath the layers of circles is a skull outline, a Memento Mori, a

reminder that we all walk this astonishing planet for a brief time and should

strive to make the most of both the light and dark, for without one the other

can't exist.

Delighted to receive photos of another one of my quilts in Quilting Arts magazine Fall 2021 issue as part of the SAQA light the World exhibit. Still haven't managed to get a physical copy of it but am working on it. Quilting Arts is one of my favourite textile magazines and is always packed full of interesting articles and images, so I was beyond chuffed to have a second piece published!

Pattern, old favourites!

Returned again to a free Moda pattern that I made up last year and loved: Link to Moda Love free pattern

From one layer cake (42 ten inch squares) and about 3 1/2 yrds of a background you get a 72"sq., a 32"sq and 2 12" sq. quilts

Download PDF • 81KB

Moda Love large quilt 72 inches square made using May Morris layer cake and grey background

Moda Love 32 inch square quilt, number two!

Three and four form the leftovers, two cushions

All together now.

For my second attempt at this pattern, I'm using black and a Kaffe Fassett layer cake bundle. Making up some samples for a few students.

I found it easier to lay our all my fabrics first and make a rough choice of which I wanted to use to make up the HST's (half square triangles) and which I wanted to keep square. the fun part fit me was playing with the layout on my design wall.

Website to browse :

The Quilt Show is one of my favourite websites and when COVID hit and everything shut down, it was an amazing resource to delve into. I became a paid member, which allows access to years of show recordings, featuring the best quilters and textile artists out there. You get access to all sorts of classes, BOM's (block of the month) and well as group forums and it costs way less that what I used to pay on magazines!

Even without paying for membership you can access lots of free classes and resources.


Got my quilts couriered off to New York the other day, after having may head completely melted over the whole thing. tip, don't try and organise an online shipment during your lunch break! Even the cat avoided the room as I was huffing and puffing over the process and listening to that lovely music while on hold to speak to a real person.

At the age of 52, I still find this hilarious, I won my first ever prize for entering my first ever sporting event. I've never been into group sports but I must say I wish I had discovered the joy of open water swimming decades ago, one of the positives things to have come out of COVID!

TMG Two Mile Gate, Lough Derg

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