ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Nova Scotia: Mahone Bay Quilters Guild

If I hadn't told you in the subject line of this post, I'm sure you could have guessed where I spent most of the last week by this photo of lobsters in a pot. I returned last night from teaching and lecturing for the Mahone Bay Quilters Guild and the Mariners Quilt Guild in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. While working with the Mahone Bay guild, I was billeted at the lovely ocean-side home of Ann Phelan and her husband Bruce. Check out this view from their back deck.

This was my bedroom ... another view of the ocean. After my three consecutive days of teaching, I just laid there on the last morning staring at the beautiful ocean! Ann's house has a wonderful southern exposure so it is filled with light.

I think you can see the view a little better in this photo.

I spent two days teaching my "Beyond Stippling, Part 1" and "Beyond Stippling, Part 2" free-motion machine quilting workshops. There were 20 eager students in class, and they all worked very hard and amazed themselves by their abilities over the two days.

This is Ann, whose home I stayed at. I kept teasing her that she was my "lobster provider". Although she herself does not like lobster (something I don't understand) she cooked two lobsters (which you see in the pot at the top of this post) and I enjoyed lobster sandwiches each day of the workshop. At night I enjoyed haddock and other delicacies that Ann prepared. She's a wonderful cook with a huge collection of cookbooks, and makes everything from scratch with only the freshest of ingredients!

Much to my huge surprise, look who registered in my class!! Yes, this is Laurie Swim, probably the most famous quilt artist in Canada, and definitely the one with the longest career. I've been saying it has been 30 years but found out on this trip that it is actually 40! Laurie has been a huge inspiration to me, and I so appreciate her show of support in coming to my class! Check out my blog post of  September 20, 2011 to learn more about Laurie. She was also interviewed on the CQA blog. Laurie makes her living from selling her fine art quilts. She has a studio and gallery in the UNESCO designated town of Lunenberg, Nova Scotia. She has been featured in Magazine D'Art, picked up by the Globe and Mail, and has two works in the Nova Scotia Art Bank.

While I was in Nova Scotia, the Maritime Fibre Arts Retreat was taking place at the Atlantica Hotel on Oak Island. You can read more about that on Barb Robson's blog.  We headed there after my first day of teaching, to find more than 200 fibre artists congregated for the weekend. There were quilters, felters, stitchers, spinners, bobbin lace makers, doll makers, rug hookers, etc. Look who I found: some well-known folks, including Margie Hennen, Penny Behrens, and Kate Madeloso

We had dinner with retreat participants at the Inn's restaurant.

After the workshop, student Linda Mills took all her practice sandwiches from my free-motion classes, attached them together, and sashed them. She did a great job. I think if you click on the photo you can see a larger version with more detail.

Here are some other samples from the class. I believe these are by Sandy Ternoway.

There are a lot more photos of the workshop here on the Guild's blog.

Next post will be about my visit to the Mariners Quilt Guild in Dartmouth.


  1. There must be something in the water in Nova Scotia to produce so many wonderful fiber artists! Looks like it was a great place to teach, along with all that wonderful seafood.

  2. Or maybe it is in the seafood Laura :-)) I suspect it is the beauty and serenity of the landscape.


Your posts are important to me. Due to a huge amount of SPAM on my blog recently, I have decided to moderate comments, at least for the time being. Please be patient, your post will be approved as soon as I can get to it.