When Ballyseede came out in Quiltmaker magazine, they asked me where the inspiration for the quilt and
the name came from. When I told them, they then asked if I would do an interview for their blog. I agreed
and they posted it last week on their blog. Here is the interview:
The Jan/Feb issue of Quiltmaker features a quilt called Ballyseede by Monique Dillard of Open Gate Quilts. We asked Monique to tell us about the quilt’s inspiration.
Ballyseede by Monique Dillard from Quiltmaker Jan/Feb 2011
is an unusual name for a quilt. What is its origin?
A couple of years ago, a friend and I traveled to Ireland for a tour of the country. We stayed in a castle in
Tralee and the castle’s name is Ballyseede.
The tile floor in the entryway had a beautiful design. I thought it was perfect inspiration for a quilt.
Please tell us a little about the trip: its purpose, your traveling companions, places you visited.
purpose of the trip was purely pleasure. I lived in Germany for two years. My parents taught for the military
and were based in Lahr in the Black Forest about 30 miles from Strasbourg, France. I had many opportunities to travel in the
main part of Europe but not Ireland. I had always wanted to go there and definitely want to return.
About three years
before we went, my friend Sue and I started saving for the trip. We planned for months and gathered opinions from friends
who had been there. First we spent 3 days in London and then we flew to Dublin and headed straight for the countryside.
of the things I like to do when I visit another country is to bring small handmade gifts for people that we meet. If they
are particularly helpful or friendly, we will give them a gift. The first time that I did this, my friend and I made small
wool table mats and for this trip to Ireland, we made pillowcases. The recipients were very pleased with their gifts
and it felt good to show our appreciation.
What did you find inspiring during the trip
and how are those inspirations finding their way into your quilts?
The tile works and scenery were so inspiring!
The beautiful greens of the countryside were admirable. There were tile floors all over and the possibilities were endless.
I have named several of my quilts after places that we visited in Ireland. The town of Kinsale was inspiration for one of
Our favorite village, Inistioge, was also an inspiration for our Block of the Month book. Up the hill from
Inistioge is Woodstock Gardens. We named one of the quilts after this stunning place. The trees, shrubs, flowers and grass
areas were unbelievable.
What travel recommendations would you make for others going to
the same places? What would you recommend that people not miss?
Stay in B & B’s so that you can talk
to the owners of the establishments and learn the best places to go. Take time to stop and have a beer and talk to the locals.
I loved the small towns, the history and the scenery. If you are brave enough to drive, do it! The roads are very narrow but
it is worth being able to go wherever you want. We saw many things that would be hard to see from a train. There were times
when we stopped just to take a picture or wander around.
Places that shouldn’t be missed: Adare, Kinsale, Kenmare,
Dingle, Inistioge, and Doolin. Sites not to miss: Woodstock Gardens, Ring of Kerry, Dingle Peninsula, Wicklow Mountains and
the Irish Countryside views.
Anything else about the quilt, your work or yourself you’d
like our readers to know?
I grew up sewing with my aunt and I loved Home Ec. I was born in Canada. When I was
21 and I moved to the U.S. to marry my husband, I told him I wanted two things: to get my degree and to get an Old English
Sheepdog. I did both.
My degree in mathematics plays an important role in my quilting career. I use math in my patterns
to figure yardage, cutting and the geometry of the quilts. I have designed three rulers and math plays an important part in
I have designed over 75 patterns, three block of the month books with my friend Sue, one baby book and
a line of fabric with Maywood Studio. My love of antique textiles, tapestries and tiles gave me inspiration to design my fabric
line, Olde World Style. Traveling throughout Europe and seeing the beautiful architecture has been inspirational.
Remember that I told you that I would have pictures of Tillie and Sadie? Well, I do. They had a blast.
At first, Tillie wasn't sure what to do with Sadie because she has so much energy but she soon figured it out. They
chased each other, ate snow, jumped, barked, had a blast. That night, Tillie was exhausted and I want to know when Sadie
can come back for another play date!!!!
LeAnne, LeAnne's daughter, Sami, Sadie and Tillie
Tag, you're it!
Aren't we playing anymore?!
Thanks for dropping by!