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The 14th Annual River of Dreams Quilt Exhibition

The 14th River of Dreams Quilt exhibition is running from Friday, June 14 to Friday, June 21, daily from 10 am to 5 pm at the Limerick School of Art and Design.

The 14th Annual River of Dreams Quilt Exhibition

The River of Dreams exhibition is run by a small group of women who are passionate about quilting and who want to give local quilters the opportunity to exhibit their work. This year is the 14th Annual exhibition and will be the 5th year to exhibit in the Limerick School of Art and Design, Clare Street, Limerick.

Entry to the exhibition is free with free quilting and patchwork skills demonstrations from 1 pm daily. These are generally given by local quilt teachers. The River of Dreams Quilt Exhibition has shown over 1000 quilts since it started in 2005. The Gallery Space, originally a church, was refurbished to create a venue which offers fantastic exhibiting possibilities.

river of dreams exhibition

Conor (aged 10 years) and his mum Suzanne made a quilt to commemorate Limerick’s All Ireland Championship victory in 2018.

The ethos of the River of Dreams is one of inclusiveness and they exhibit quilts from beginners to experienced quilters. Jane Harris said, “We love it and lots of the local community do too.  We have 96 quilts in the Exhibition this year, the largest amount that we have ever had, of all sizes from King Sized bed quilts to wall hangings. We have quilters of all ages exhibiting quilts, from the very young to the more mature.”

Conor said, “I made it fit the theme Memories for the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham. I got permission from the magazine “The Green and White” to use the covers. I printed the covers onto fabric. The first cover shows the captain, Declan Hannon lifting the Liam McCarthy cup and the second shows six Limerick All-Stars and the Hurler of the year and the Young Hurler of the year. Other than these pictures, I only used green and white fabric and green and white thread.”

The River of Dreams quilt exhibition is run on a voluntary basis and they are very appreciative of the volunteers from the local quilting community who give their time willingly to invigilate the exhibition. They enhance the visitor experience by answering questions about the quilts and helping non-quilters understand why they like cutting up pieces of fabric and sewing them back together again. A quilt, made by one of the Limerick quilters, is raffled and the proceeds are used to help pay for the running of the exhibition.

Jane continued, “The quilts are not judged but we ask our visitors to vote for the quilt they like the best and the quilter with the most votes is rewarded with a nice big bundle of fat quarters kindly donated by Moda. For the last few of years, we have used the exhibition to highlight organisations that are helping other people. In 2017, our quilters donated over 40 cot quilts to Heart Children Ireland, which were given to babies going for cardiac surgery.”

Last year The Shelter Quilt was constructed from paper pieced house blocks made by quilters from all over Ireland. Helping them to appreciate the work done by Novas, an organisation who provides care for the homeless. This very colourful quilt can be seen hanging in the Novas Head Quarters front hall, 87 O’Connell St, Limerick.

This year the group want to draw attention to Adapt, a domestic abuse service that promotes the right of everyone to live and grow to their full potential in a violence-free environment. The group have asked quilters to make an applique sunbonnet sue block. They have had blocks in from all over Ireland and the world, with blocks from as far away as America and Australia. They have pieced the blocks into a quilt to raffle to raise funds for Adapt house. Sunbonnet Sue quilt for Adapt House being long arm quilted in the Limerick Quilt Centre.

“We are able to hang quilts of all sizes, demonstrating the skill and hard work of our quilters. We appreciate how good the exhibition looks in this space and are sure all our visitors agree.”

The 14th River of Dreams Quilt exhibition is running from Friday, June 14 to Friday, June 21, daily from 10 am to 5 pm at the Limerick School of Art and Design.

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Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.