Meet a Member – Festival Of Quilts 2017 Winner, Anita O’Brien


Get to know The Guild better by meeting our talented members. Every year we are so proud to have so many Guild members who are winners at Festival of Quilts. We have reached out to our talented member winners and asked them to share with us their quilting life, why they entered the competition, what their winning quilt means to them and where they get their inspiration. Read on and be inspired. Are you entering a quilt this year?

Meet Guild member Anita O’Brien who was a winner in the My First Quilt Category.

What are you working on now?

I have returned to a quilt made using blue and white fabric I printed myself. My partner thinks I should enter it but I came up with a design which is difficult!

Blue White detail

What does your winning quilt mean to you?


Peter and Aminas’ Quilt

Peter and Aminas’ Quilt was a gift for the 90th and 83rd birthdays of my partner’s parents. I worked in details such as his proposal in Morse Code.

I never intended to enter FOQ but family and friends were so positive that I thought I would try. Peter and Amina were so excited when I won!

Peter & Amina on quilt e

I was so pleased my mum was able to see it when it was exhibited to the Dublin Show. A lot of people were touched by the story behind it.

My first quilter winner, Anita OBrien

Who are your quilting heroes?

I found Nedra Bonds through a BBC story. She says ‘I wanted my quilts to be beautiful, but also to say something about the world.’

A Kiss from the Ancestors Image UMKC Libraries

Image A Kiss from the Ancestors by Nedra Bonds (Image credit UKMC Libraries)

To learn more about her, read the story titled The Angry Quilter about Nedra on the BBC website here. You can also read more about Nedra Bonds and how her cancer lead to a community quilting project and an exhibition of her work here and her public school work in the City of Kansas here

Can you recommend a good quilting book?


This book about Reiko Yamaguichi’s quilts was a gift. I love her striking and varied designs. I found an article about her in Quiltmania no. 65.

I found Michele Walker’s 1985 Complete Book of Quiltmaking in a charity shop and love her designer’s analysis as to what makes designs work.

What do you love about the Quilters’ Guild and the Festival of Quilts?

I don’t belong to a quilting group so it’s great to belong to The Guild. Regional days have fascinating speakers who introduce new things. I often check the members’ Gallery of the Day on the website. It’s inspiring to see the range of things people have made or are making. It’s great that The Guild has a collection to which it continues to add collecting both what’s happening now and Britain’s quilting heritage.


We are asking Members to tell us a bit about their sewing life using five simple questions. At the end of the interview each member suggests another to interview. This way we hope to bring you a wide range of makers from all corners of The Guild over the next weeks and months. If you know an inspiring quilter who we should feature, get in touch and we’ll send out a copy of our questionnaire.


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