The quilt 'Hope' was part of the IPS Western Branch exhibition called "Branching Out" in the Spring of 2011.  As we were making the quilt a tragic accident happened in Fukushima, Japan.  The eastcoast of Japan was hit first by an earthquake and then a tsunami wave, which exposed the reactors at the Daiichi nuclear plant and eventually caused a meltdown and the deaths and forced evacuation of tens of thousands of people.  The long term environmental consequencies cannot even be estimated for many years to come.

At the planning stages of making the quilt we had looked at Japanese magazines for inspiration on gardens and plants that could "branch out" and if not a traditional Asian quilt, 'Hope' is a fusion of modern east and west in its composition, colours and style.  It is a "branching out" to new cultures.

In March of 2011 after the accident we, similarly to most people in Ireland, witnessed the bravery and humility of many ordinary Japanese people in attempting to contain the situation and helping victims to safety.  People had to leave behind their belongings, properties and homes of their ancestors.  We wanted to "reach out" to them symbolically (in addition to having donated money) and we saw "Hope" in Earth being able to heal itself and allow for new growth and possibility and renewal of nature.