Friday, 11 May 2018

Belfast Bulletin - Hot off the presses

The Belfast Bulletin has had its official reveal. It went on a little trip last week to have its photo shoot, before it goes on its long trip for handover.

For those who are unaware, and how could you be? This has been a major part of my life, both in the real world and in the blogging world for quite a few months. My son is getting married. I can't say my second son, my sons are twins. To say second son would open up a whole new seam in the mine of family relationships. However, this son is the second son to marry, and of course the proud mama wants to make a wedding quilt. I suggested the Postcards from Sweden quilt but although they both loved it, they thought something, well, a little quieter. My son was always quiet plain colours, there wouldn't really be any great change now I suppose. Anyhow, I spotted a quilt design Sarah Goer made for Mary Ringer and thought this would be perfect, if made a little bigger. The design was approved and it was full steam ahead.

The name Belfast Bulletin came about as I like to name my quilts. I renamed Postcard from Sweden as Writing from Whitehead, a local seaside town which has a promenade of bright houses. I wanted to keep within the writing theme, so Belfast Bulletin was born. I actually thought Bulletin from Belfast, but my daughter thought it laid to much emphasis on the word "bullet". Fair enough. We do live in Belfast. (Apologies if you have read all this so many times before)

My new daughter in law is American. And like many Americans, her roots are in Ireland. Remarkably her roots are from a small town not more than 20 miles from where we live. We can join the motorway half a mile from our house, I can hear it as I type. Drive straight turning neither left nor right and you end up in Randalstown. Remarkable. So where better to take this quilt for its quilts in the wild photo shoot?
this photo made me think of our own dear queen, at a unveiling.
I now declare this quilt open! waves *  at the crowd.

The sun was shining when we left the house. The sun was shining when we returned home, but it was rather overcast in Randalstown, no reflection on the town or the folk who live there! The photos are rather darker than I hoped, but that's what happens when you photo quilts in the wild!

Randallstown is a town which really grew up around a castle, and the ancient family who lived there, Shane's Castle and the O'Neill family. The O'Neill's were one of the old clans of  Ireland. You can't move in N Ireland for O'Neills and the O'Neill family still live there.
The town was a mill town, there was a cotton mill there, I used to buy fabric remnants there when I used to quilt first. The mill closed down in the 1980s. Don't tell but I bought a pair of shorts for 50p there and I am still wear them. Can't be bad to that.!
From the viaduct there is a lovely outlook across the river towards the mill and the mill chimney. We took a few photos there. It got a bit surreal. We were taking photos of the quilt on the viaduct. On the river bed below we could see a man taking photos of us taking photos! It wasn't creepy just funny.
I would have like to walk down to the bridge and take photos there, but the pavement is rather narrow and there was a surprising amount of traffic for a Sunday afternoon.
When you look at this photo of the viaduct, you can see why we didn't drape the quilt over the top too much!

We then walked back along the viaduct towards Shane's Castle entrance, and tried to take some photos with the castle gates in the backdrop. There was a car parked there and the driver was watching us intently. Again not creepy, just funny.

Next up we found this fantastic roller, which is repurposed as public art from the old mill. It is just at the entrance to the town, opposite the castle. And guess what? The paint just matched the backing of our quilt! Serendipity or what. This was in a little grassed and gated off area. We headed in and started taking our photos. And guess what? We got an audience. A guy came through the gate. I thought he was going to offer to help, to hold the quilt, take the photo. But no. He stood alongside us watching us out of the corner of his eye then left as quietly as he had arrived. Again not creepy, just funny.

It was lovely taking photos in Randalstown, and being the talk of the town. I would have like to have headed towards the shore, Randallstown is on the shores of Lough Neagh, N Ireland's biggest inland water. That big grey cloud was getting nearer, and I had a feeling dinner might be ready. We went home and guess what, the sun was out.
I am pretty sure my daughter in law will like her quilt. She has been following the progress on instagram. I look forward to delivering it soon in person. And I feel a forthcoming blog post on both my wedding quilts. I will of course not have an actual favourite, I love them both equally. 
Helen x


  1. Wow. Your quilt is beautiful and the scenery spectacular. Sounds like you had fun photographing it. :)

  2. I’m pretty sure your DIL will like this quilt, too! Lovely photo shoot!

  3. least you gave the folk of Randalstown something to talk about!!!
    Your quilt looks beautiful....enjoy the wedding! :)
    V x

  4. The setting is perfect! How nice to be able to bring your DIL's roots into the photos.

  5. What a fun photography shoot for the Belfast Bulletin! I love how it looks draped over the sign with the lovely flowers, and the castle is a most impressive backdrop. You know me and my engineering background probably favors your final backside shot (hee hee) and the matching green gears, though!

  6. Too funny about all the spectators! They must have thought you were a bit daft, taking pics of your quilt. Only other quilters think that's normal :)

    BB turned out so, so lovely and I very much enjoyed seeing it in the wild like this!

  7. Great photo shoot. I'm sure your son and DIL will love it.

  8. I love these photos and the gorgeous scenery and (old) architecture (Can't find that in the US). Quilters always draw a crowd in the wild. I think they would love to ask questions but don't know if it's okay. I'm glad they didn't intimidate you into stuffing the quilt in a ball and leaving. I hope you are having a wonderful time on "our" side of the pond. Congrats on the marriage of your son and new daughter. The family connections are fascinating.

  9. It is stunning Helen!! Oh that roller shot!! And the castle gates. And the mill and the queenly one!! Just absolutely fabulous. I am so glad I have a sister in quilts-in-the-wild photo shoots with onlookers. Yep. Funny. Bet they ADORE the quilt

  10. A very beautiful quilt. I know the happy couple will love it. What great photos you took...a great way to document all the hard work (well the great fun) of making the quilt.

  11. Gorgeous quilt. Fabulous Photo Shoot. And one very lucky couple!!!
    That shot atop the viaduct look like that you are flying on a magic carpet (the Belfast Bulletin) and enjoying the views below!!!


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