In the year 2000 my husband and I moved from The Netherlands to County Donegal on the north west coast of Ireland: one of the best decisions in our lives! We love it here: the rugged beauty of the land and coast, the friendly people and the traditional way of Irish living. A few years before we moved to County Donegal we had found a great site to build our Irish cottage on the Ards peninsula on the shores of Sheephaven Bay. We settled in well, and I opened a quilt shop in Dunfanaghy in 2001.
In 2003 I was one of the founder members of the Sheephaven Patchwork and Quilters Guild. The Guild is now a thriving group of around 50 quilters who meet weekly. The Guild promotes quilting in the local area, organises exhibitions and monthly workshops.
I started teaching patchwork and quilting during the years in the shop, soon followed by teaching all over the County Donegal and beyond, including Northern Ireland. I also started organising retreats for my Dutch friends in association with Arnolds Hotel in Dunfanaghy. The Dutch quilter groups visit every year and over the years I organised trips with Irish quilters to quilt shows in The Netherlands. This year I will be organising a trip with a group of Irish quilters to the Quilt Festival in Houston USA.
In 2009 I started using Donegal tweed in my designs for quilts, teaching participants in my workshops how to make tweed bags, wall hangings and quilts using cotton and linens for contrast fabrics. This attracted the interest of the famous tweed weavers Magee of Donegal town, resulting in a close cooperation in designing and promotion their tweed craft collection.
The designing, teaching and workshops gradually absorbed more and more of my time. In 2009 the quilt shop was taken over by Green Acre Quilts in Falcarragh. Since then I can spend more time in my studio (a purpose build log cabin in our garden!) at designing and preparing classes, workshops and quilt tours. And last-but-not least I can spend a bit more time with my supporting husband Maarten and our adorable black Labrador Bran.