ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Captivating Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

I've seen Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, in the rain a couple of times, but this time we had the pleasure of seeing it in sunshine! Just look at the view from the guest house we stayed at during my visit to the Celtic Quilt Guild. Carolyn and Howard graciously offered the space to us. At night you could see the milky way if you turned out the lights and went out on the deck. We arrived to a wonderful dinner of lobster!!! 

I taught a second "In Full Bloom" workshop here just like the week before in Mahone Bay. A few students decided to design their own work and a good number worked with my patterns. Look at the bright and lovely community centre the class took place in. Each student had their very own table.

This student finished her peony over the two days.
and so did Claudia.

Wow, here's another heavy weight of the quilting world in my class. Do check out Anne Morrell Robinson's website. She runs an amazing business out of her home studio in Margaree Harbour, Cape Breton Island. I wish I had her energy!

So great to see Kristi Farrier again ... she used to live near Ottawa and now she's moved to Cape Breton! Kristi is also the current SAQA Rep for Maritime Canada. To Kristi's left is Helene Blanchet, whose show we had the pleasure of seeing at the Antigonish Library on our way home. A bit about that later in the post.

Here's the class. On the right in the front row is Carolyn McKay, my lovely hostess.

A big thank you to this group for their warm welcome! After class my husband and I drove up the coast to the town of Cheticamp for dinner. We stopped on the way back to our guest house to take a few photos. Enjoy!

On our way home we stopped at the Antigonish Library to see the exhibition of Helene Blanchet. It was as charming as she is. Helene tells stories with her quilts, and the story she tells in this show is about her experiences moving to Calgary for three years.

In "The CFA" (first piece on left above, detail shot below), Helene depicts herself arriving in Calgary. If you've ever met Helene, this is so her!

 I love the way she extends her designs into painted frames. "A Coulee for Barbara"

I could not find a website for Helene, but you can read an article here in the Cape Breton Post 

Again, we took our time driving back to Ottawa. Everywhere we went, including our overnight stay in Riviere-du-Loup it was lobster season. We picked up dinner on our last night at a "poissonerie" very near our hotel.


  1. Elaine, I enjoyed the pictures from your class and the lovely area of your travels! You really make me want to travel to Canada. I checked out Anne Robinson's studio--what a lovely place, and her quilts look so expertly done. I'm glad you showed a detail shot of Helene's quilts because I was curious thinking they had frames around them, and your pics showed that. Very interesting! My first art teacher used to extend the watercolor objects onto her mat, and I find myself using this technique often.

  2. Nova Scotia is a beautiful place Martha! And the people are so kind and friendly. You would love it!
    Yes, Anne Robinson is an expert for sure! Loved Helene's show!


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