Thanks to everyone who joined in for our virtual branch meeting, we managed to do quite a lot, although we are still missing the face-to-face chats.
Katharine gave us a tour of the IPS website highlighting the new functionality that enables members to renew their membership online. If you haven't done it yet, please remember to pay your fee as it is the only way to keep the society going during this time, most importantly to keep publishing the newsletter. Equally important is for every member to check their details in their account to ensure a valid email address is on record and "contact by email" option is ticked, as this is our primary means of communication at the moment.
Our virtual Show-and-Tell was a proof that a lot of our members were very busy making beautiful things for their homes and their friends and family. Winter and lockdown are not that bad if you have a cosy quilt (or two) and a couple of cushions to keep you warm and comfy. There was a great response to the "Cushion of the Month" project, with lots of variations on the October pattern, and we are looking forward to seeing all the November cushions, the design for which was revealed at the meeting.
Another ongoing project is the branch patchwork banner; the blocks are still arriving and they are brilliant, but the assembly will have to be put off until sewing get-togethers are allowed again. All the slideshows will be available to view on the EB Gallery page.
Our branch member Anne Marie of www.craftystudio.ie gave a us a virtual tour of her studio, which was a real treat. She talked about making clothes and quilts and showed us lots of fabrics and notions she has in stock.
The Christmas challenge for this year was announced and we think it is in the true spirit of Christmas: members are asked to make fabric Christmas cards and send them to nursing homes or care homes, for which the committee will be putting together a list of contacts (if you have connections to a nursing home, please contact Verleen at firstname.lastname@example.org with details). An Post have announced that post to nursing homes will be free this Christmas, so you can send as many cards as you want. For the branch challenge, please select your best card and send a photo to email@example.com by 21st of November so we have enough time to organise the voting, as it proved problematic on Zoom.
A lot of you will remember that we had another postcard challenge quite recently, so many people will be familiar with the technique, and for those who need a refresher we have a separate blog post with the instructions kindly provided by our member Miriam Gogarty. You can also find this tutorial in our Summer 2018 newsletter.
Virtual meetings are new for all of us, and although they have a lot of limitations, there may be some opportunities to do things that are not possible in a "real" meeting situation. The committee welcomes any ideas and suggestions about what to do and what not to do in our virtual meetings, all the contacts are on our Contact page.