Now that Andrew has received his quilt we can post a picture of it and tell the story!
In September of last year, Geoffrey and I along with two of our best friends Stan and Wanda did a 10 day tour of Nova Scotia and PEI. The weather was wonderful, the people were wonderful, the whole trip was wonderful. For 5 nights we were able to stay in a charming bed and breakfast in Wallace, Nova Scotia near where Geoffrey still owns land and also convenient for exploring the North Shore, PEI, and Cape Breton Island. The house was owned by some good friends of Geoffrey from his time in Nova Scotia and has now been passed on to their son, Andrew, who operates it as a bed and breakfast.
Andrew was stranded in Florida by a hurricane so we never did get to meet up with him while we were there, but he was kind enough to allow us to stay there pro bono as a friend of the family. As a token of appreciation and inspired by our stay there we all agreed that a special quilt would be a fitting gift for Andrew and the old house.
The design began with the photos of lighthouses that we saw on our travels around Nova Scotia. These included: Peggy’s Cove (of course); Annapolis Royal where we stayed on our first night in Nova Scotia; Point Prym near Digby; Sambro Island in Halifax Harbour; and the centrepiece, Wallace, just steps down the road from the house. These were printed on fabric at 8 1/2” square which then determined the dimensions of all of the other blocks.
Some of the individual blocks are traditional quilt blocks adapted for size. Others, I created to complement the overall design. I am an early riser and thus spent many of the wee morning hours on our Christmas holiday with the kids in Summerland, BC sketching out the blocks on graph paper at the dining room table.
Work In Progress -Here are some of the completed blocks on my design wall at a quilt retreat in January, 2018. The design wall lets me try out different combinations of blocks to get the best effect. This was not my final design. I also had some blocks left over which I pieced into the backing as a kind of hidden bonus.
In the end, it came together. quite nicely, I think. Geoffrey’s favourite part is the upper and lower borders inspired by the Victorian valence on the veranda where we began and ended each day during our stay there with a cup of coffee or glass of wine as appropriate. We couldn’t help thinking that a nice lap quilt to snuggle under would be just the thing on a cool autumn morning and/or evening.
Even though Geoffrey is the only one that has even met Andrew, we are all confidant that he can find a good use for this special quilt, inspired by his beautiful house and crafted with love.
If you should be visiting northern Nova Scotia and are interested in staying at Andrew’s Bed and Breakfast you can contact him through Airbnb: https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/4637615.
And if you do stay there, you might want to talk to Carol next door. She is an accomplished hand quilter and Andrew has one of her quilts in the house. Quilting, it seems, is alive and well in Nova Scotia.
Helen Maslowski is the owner and operator of Cedar House Quilting. She is ably assisted by her most charming partner Geoffrey. (Can you guess who wrote this?)