Mill Street Quilters


There’s something extraordinarily soothing about craft making in a group setting. Sewing, woodwork, knitting or metal work – it’s the easy companionship that offers that elusive peace and head space many of us crave.

Croí na Gaillimhe is bringing the joy of creating in a slow-paced, creative and fun environment to life in its Galway 2020 Small Towns Big Ideas project, Mill Street Quilters. The project, which begins in the coming weeks, involves the coming together of two groups – the sewing group at Croí na Gaillimhe and the Inter-generational Group – Young Hearts (which involves Our Lady’s College Galway and active retired people from the community), to create three quilts based on the Galway 2020 themes of Language, Landscape and Migration.

The idea for the project grew from Croí na Gaillimhe’s experience in offering sewing classes and the natural and easy interaction and communication it brought about in the group. The sewing classes act to reduce isolation, increase inter-generational and intercultural connections and leave a lasting legacy for the local community.

The Mill Street Quilters group is made up of people who are already involved in classes in Croí na Gaillimhe, including participants from Galway, Nigeria, Spain and Syria, and 5th year students from Our Lady’s College Galway. This will form a module in Croí’s Young Hearts Inter-generational Programme, and the quilt will be hand sewn to encourage more inter-generational connections between the young and the old while they are making the quilt.



“There’s a great buzz around the centre and both the Young Hearts and Mill Street Quilters are really looking forward to starting”

“There’s a great buzz around the centre and both the Young Hearts and Mill Street Quilters are really looking forward to starting,” says Loretta Needham of Croí na Gaillimhe.

“The idea that we’re involved in something that so many people will get to see and that can be brought all around the county is really exciting. There’s something special about being part of something that will be there for generations to come. We’re so pleased that our neighbors in Our Lady’s and the Bish are able to be part of this unique project.”

The basics of quilt design and construction can be taught in a single workshop, so even those with no sewing experience will be able to contribute, but being part of the workshops over several months will also mean that participants also develop their skills and become more competent. Strong personal connections will also be made through the process of making the quilt. The physical act of quilting, from choosing your fabric to cutting and piecing together blocks, is time set aside that lets the group unplug and focus on creating. The environment of quilting also helps to focus on completing tasks, as opposed to shortening attention spans, especially since quilting is an art that requires full attention.

Transition Year students from the Bish will be on hand to photograph the project as it progresses through the various stages. The group will meet for the first time next week and will spend Friday mornings over the next three months with experienced tutor Marcella Morgan.


About Croí na Gaillimhe

The core work of Croí na Gaillimhe, which is a Resource Centre of St Vincent de Paul, is to build a sense of solidarity and capacity among the groups using the centre, and to reduce the underlying causes of isolation or exclusion. On average, some 400 people (aged from 3 months to 90+) connect with the centre on a weekly basis. Croí na Gaillimhe is a home for all age groups and is a hub of inter-generational and intercultural activity and is at the heart of the Galway community.

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