Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Thanks For A Great Festival!

The 2014 Nov Scotia Fibre Arts Festival was a resounding success. We thank all who participated and joined us here in Amherst for the week long celebration. The festivities closed with the draw for the winners in the Pin-It raffle. The grand prize of a trip for two to New York City, donated by Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium, is Jan Boiduk of Amherst. Winner of Karen Neary's New York, New York quilt is Heather Kellerman of Fall River. Congratulations to both Jan and Heather, and to all the winners of the donated prizes, as follows:

  • Trip for 2 to New York City- Jan Boiduk
  • New York, New York quilt- Heather Kellerman
  • Hand Woven Scarf- Carol Gothreau
  • Cowl- Faith Drinnan
  • Tapestry Bag- Tammy Goodwink
  • Cross Stitch Kit- Suzanne Costin
  • Shawlette- Beth Dickinson
  • Crazy Quilt Pillow- Katrina Furlong
  • Workshop with Deanne Fitzpatrick- Gail Baker
  • Moccasins - Barb Black
  • Baby Booties/Brooch- Diane Champagne
  • Handwoven Scarf- Carol Baldock

Mark your calendars for next year's festival: October 13-17, 2015 - 8th Annual NS Fibre Arts Festival. We'd love to have you join us!

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Pin It and Win It!

Our Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival has a very special connection to a highly regarded publication in the quilting world.  The aptly named Quilter's Connection magazine features the raffle quilt which is part of this year's Pin-It Draw on the cover of the fall issue! 

It's not every day you can win a quilt shown in a magazine.  New York, New York was designed and made by Karen Neary who graciously shared the instructions for this beauty in Quilter's Connection to celebrate the release of her new book "Quilting Beauties" due out later this month from AQS.  The quilt is on display now at Mrs Pugsley's Emporium (the clock tower building at 50 Victoria Street) where you can also purchase a copy of the magazine, as well a Pin-It ticket.  
The quilt will remain on display at Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium throughout the festival and become part of Karen's show of NY Beauty quilts "A World of Beauty" held there that week.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Oh, BeeHIVE!

Check out this great article in the Amherst Daily News by Dave Mathieson on the Brown Bag Theatre production of "The Beehive".
Every year during Fibre Arts Festival, Tantramar Theatre stages a fibre-related comedy over the Thursday and Friday noon hour which leaves everyone in stitches (pardon the pun). A tasty brown bag lunch is provided by Bambino’s Pizzeria. The Beehive runs Oct. 16 and 17 at the Trinity-St. Stephen’s United Church in Amherst. 

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

A Maritime Modern Quilt Designer

As you read in the previous post, the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild will be holding an exhibit here Oct 17 and 18 and the Fibre Arts Festival is honoured that this young and energetic guild has chosen us for their début show!  Linda Coolen Smith of Halifax is a member of this guild and will be bringing almost a dozen of her quilts to be part of the show. 

Linda began quilting in 1993 when she moved from N.S. to N.B. and joined the Marco Polo Quilt Guild in Saint John.  Returning to N.S. three years later, she continued to nurture her quilting skills and even worked for a bit at the Quilter's Hope Chest in Halifax before leaving on a different career path.  Linda began as a traditional quilter, first working her stitches by hand, before moving on to free motion machine quilting about 5 years ago.  Here's her very first quilt:
What drew Linda to modern quilting? "The freedom...the improvisation.....the creativity....the use of colour as well as the use of solid fabrics. I've always used solids in my work." Since joining the guild, Linda has felt encouraged and motivated to follow her muse rather than following a pattern.  The result is that she has now begun designing her own quilts, and making those designs available to others.  
The current issue of Quilter's Connection features Linda's very first published design and the N.S. Fibre Arts Festival is excited that this very project will be part of the MMQG exhibit at Amherst Town Hall.
"Colour Columns"embodies what defines modern quilting:  clean, simple lines, bold colour combinations, asymmetrical design and extensive use of white or grey as background. The magazine article shows a finished cushion, but also gives instruction on how to adapt the design to a quilt.

To date, Linda has hand quilted approximately 50 bed sized quilts as well as lots of smaller ones, and has machine quilted over 20 projects. 
These are some of Linda's quilts which will be part of the FAF exhibit.
You can see more of Linda's work on her blog, Scrapmaster.
The Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival extends to Linda a very hearty congratulations on her published design and invites everyone to come see for themselves October 17 and 18, 2014 what Modern Quilting is all about. Bravo, Linda!       

Saturday, 20 September 2014



Are you interested in finding out what is happening with Modern Quilting in our part of the world?  The Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival is the place to be, to find out lots of information and to see, up close and personal, what our very own Maritime modern quilters are creating. 

The Maritime Modern Quilt Guild will be presenting their very first quilt show at Amherst Town Hall, on Friday the 17th and Saturday the 18th.

The Maritime Modern Quilt Guild was started in November of 2013 by Adrienne Klenck of Chezzetcook Modern Quilts.  A dream come true for her…to gather like-minded modern quilters together in our region…a place to share, inspire and just have some plain old fun with our common passion. She sent out the call via Blogland and 6 excited quilters showed up; the MMQG was born. 

To date, 30+ quilters have joined in and become members.   Although the MMQG is physically located in the Halifax/Dartmouth area, quilters who live too far to join in, can be linked up via video conferencing for meetings.  For example, modern quilters have travelled from Annapolis Royal, Yarmouth and PEI to join in from time to time, bringing along some amazing modern quilts to show and share.  We are a talented lot here in the Maritimes!

Monthly meeting are held as well as the very popular monthly Sew-In Days.  Check out the MMQG blog for dates and times. 

Here are a few examples of what you will see when you visit the MMQG exhibit at Fibre Fest.                




Thursday, 18 September 2014


The town of Amherst comes alive during the week of the Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival and the many shops and businesses which populate our downtown join in on the fibre celebration.  One of Amherst's largest and oldest shops is dayle's Department Store on Victoria Street.  Every year dayle's offer a variety of daily specials and demonstrations in the Dry Goods department and this year they've got a great line-up!

At the top of this page under the orange heading, you will see a list of light grey tabs;  click on the one which reads "daily events" to see some of the demonstrations offered this year - everything from beautiful "Belgium Bobbin" Lace to the intriguing "Poetry Mittens!" Not to be missed is a showcase of Deb Plestid's incredible work in the large front windows. The always-lively Market on Saturday will have a special focus on fibre arts.  

One of the most popular events is the quilt block contest and this year the theme is star blocks. Click the pictures below to enlarge:

By entering one block you may win 20 back - enough to make an entire quilt- or the Viewer's Choice which is a basket filled with quilting supplies.

The blocks entered are on display in Dry Goods on the 2nd floor;  it's so fun to see the different blocks and try to pick your favourite.

They're all so lovely it's hard to choose just one!

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Quilt A Tiny Treasure

Have you been a quilter for a while, and feel you’re ready for a new challenge? Are you wishing your piecing skills were more accurate and precise? Would you like to raise the “wow” factor of your quilts?  Then we’ve got the perfect class for you!
 Linda Hubbard’s class “Tiny Treasures – Miniature Quilts” is what she describes as a “combo” deal – it’s both a “skills” class and a “project” class. Students will pick up many tips and techniques to improve piecing skills and the accuracy of their work on quilts of all sizes, while trying their hand at making a Miniature quilt! 
Linda is a trained teacher, with 10 years in the public school system before “retiring to her dream job” of teaching quilting classes! Linda has been a well known and respected teacher in New Brunswick for over 20 years, and has taught for guilds and retreats in Nova Scotia as well. She brings a high level of professionalism, energy and enthusiasm to her classes.

Linda has tried and enjoys a wide variety of styles and techniques, but her current passion is making miniature quilts. “Everyone’s idea of just what IS miniature is different” she says. “Everyone works with some sort of a handicap, whether it’s a finicky machine, or waning eyesight, or clumsy hands. So what is miniature to one, may differ from what another considers miniature. We all just do the best that we can with what we have to work with. I like to challenge myself to see just how small I can go, and still be as precise as possible. My current project underway features pieced blocks of three different sizes, the smallest being less than one inch. Of course, those are the ones I have to make the greatest number of!” she laughs. Some might consider her crazy, but once you see her work, you’re bound to be impressed with the accuracy and intricacy of the tiny pieces.  “Anyone can make a Miniature” Linda says, “but they may all vary somewhat in size.”
Students will choose their own design (with guidance) and just “how small” (or “large” if that makes you feel better) they wish to work. There’ll be no pressure from the teacher to do a certain size! Challenge yourself as much or as little as you wish! Linda believes all classes should, above all, be FUN, and a fun time you are guaranteed in this class! The project will be small, but what is learned is applicable to quilts of all sizes. The full day class will be held Saturday October 18 from 9-4pm. Click on the “Instructors” and “Workshop Descriptions” tabs above for more info on Linda and her class. Visit her blog at www.linda-hubbard.blogspot.ca to view her miniatures (under “Galleries” on the sidebar) and for a more detailed class description (click on the NSFAF logo at the top of the sidebar.) Contact Linda at 506-455-1825 or  hubbard2@nbnet.nb.ca

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Call for Items for the Fibre Walk

An annual highlight of the Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival is the Fibre Walk where participants and other interested persons can stroll through downtown Amherst and enjoy many of the beautiful items displayed in the windows of the merchants. 
Now is the time the Festival Committee is looking for items for the displays. Anyone interested in lending their work for this purpose should contact Phyllis Cameron  or Patti Colson  for further details. 
The success of this event depends on the quality and variety of the items submitted for display. The Committee looks forward to a positive response from the fibre arts community - we'd love to showcase your work!

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Thread Power

The Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival is pleased to welcome back Kathy Tidswell to the teaching staff again this year.  Kathy is well known for her thread artistry; her pieces have been juried into Canadian Quilters’ Association / Association canadienne de la courtepointe (CQA/ACC) National Juried Shows, Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery Grand National Exhibitions and Ontario Network of Needleworkers Threadworks. In 1999 she won the CQA/ACC Award of Excellence in Wearable Art and in 2005 received Honourable Mention. Since 1993, Kathy’s love of teaching has lead her to share her knowledge and talent delivering workshops and slide/trunk shows from coast to coast for guilds, four Quilt Canada’s (the biannual National Conference of the Canadian Quilters’ Association), fibre art festivals, retreats etc. In 2005, she was honoured with the CQA/ACC Teacher of the Year Award. Kathy has been again chosen to teach at Quilt Canada in Lethbridge, Alberta in 2015.

If you have been longing to make jackets and vests that stand out from the crowd and are distinctly yours, Designing One of a Kind Wearable Art with Kathy Tidswell is a must-do workshop. Sewers and quilters at all levels are welcome, including beginners. In addition to suggestions on the types of patterns to choose, you will learn embellishment techniques such as lace cutwork, bobbin work, trapunto, arranging appliqués and methods for attaching appliqués. Information will be shared on types of batting to use...or you may choose not to quilt. Samples will be produced using free motion embroidery on a regular zigzag sewing machine and work on individual pieces will be started. This all-day class will be held Tuesday October 14, 2014 from 9 am to 4 pm.

A second class by Kathy teaches you to to create realistic images of flowers or birds totally from thread. On October 15, 2014 in the Creating With Thread workshop, you will learn to drop the feed dogs on your regular zigzag sewing machine and create beautiful pieces that can be used in quilts, artworks, cards and wearable art. In this class, you can choose to make flowers or birds but once learned the method can be used to make your own creations.

For more information visit www.kathytidswell.com or contact Kathy at 506-363-3560/ kathy@kathytidswell.com Further details on the workshops may be found here.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

You Asked For It!

Due to popular demand, Mary Farrow Sinclair will be offering a second Harmonic Convergence workshop at this year's Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival.
The new class will be held Tuesday, October 14, 2014. Further details on the workshop may be found here.
To register call Mary at 902 – 667 – 7401 or email farrow.sinclair@bellaliant.net

Monday, 18 August 2014

Making Paper Beads

Normally when we hear the term "fibre art" we think of items made with yarn, fabric, and other textiles. "Fibre" however is a broader term which refers to any component made of composite materials or those matted into sheets...such as paper.  This year's Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival will host a paper bead making workshop by talented artist Diann McDonald who does amazing things with paper, from sculpture to jewelry.  Diann takes great delight in transforming ordinary pieces of paper into works of art.

This is the beginning stage of a piece entitled "Olive the Rug Hooker."

Here's Olive transformed by Diann's artistry:

Diann's latest papier maché sculpture, entitled Unity.
Diann says, "I enjoy creating beads from paper to use in my jewelry. This is a fun and relaxing hobby. Paper is a great fibre to work with and there are so many wonderful colours and types of paper to choose from...the beads are truly beautiful."

Diann's work is represented at The Papier Mache Resource out of the UK; you can see a gallery of her work here

For her workshop at this year's festival, Diann will introduce participants to paper maché bead making; paper will be formed into beads which are then glazed and used in a bracelet.

The ladybugs on the paper add a bit of whimsy to the bracelet. Diann supplies materials for the workshop however you can bring a favourite paper if you have one to incorporate into your own jewelry.
You can see more of Diann's work in her Etsy Store, Paper Me in Jewelry   
Click here to read the full workshop description on the festival blog.  The class will be held Thursday, Oct 16, 2014. For more information or to register for the workshop contact Diann  at 902-861-4749  or by email diannmcdonald@gmail.com

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Pin-It Draw

The Festival Society of Nova Scotia is a not-for-profit organization which coordinates the annual Fibre Arts Festival each October in Amherst. There are many, many volunteers who work together and contribute long hours to make the festival be the success it is. One of the most exciting things taking place this year is a Pin It draw;  each $10. ticket (which comes with a festival pin) gives you a chance to win some exquisite hand made items...and the grand prize of a trip for two to New York City!
Generously donated by Amherst's fabulous new quilt shop  Mrs Pugsley's Emporium, the trip is part of Showcase Productions annual Christmas on Broadway tours:
Showcase Productions Theatre Tours has been sharing the excitement of “Christmas on Broadway” with Atlantic Canadians for 24 years, transporting you to an exciting world of culture, fashion and wonderment. Visit Grand Central Station, Rockefeller Centre, Macy’s, Saks 5th Ave., and almost everything from Harlem to the Financial District. 
Tour package includes: luxury coach transportation to and from your pick-up location and New York City, 7 nights accommodations (including 5 nights in the heart of New York City and 2 nights in Maine enroute), 2 breakfasts, 2 group meals, a four-hour tour of Manhattan, a TKTS voucher for a Broadway performance, and the services of two tour escorts to help you along the way. While in New York, you will stay at The Muse HotelThe coach originates in Halifax but makes pick up stops along the way so folks may board in Truro, Amherst, Moncton and Fredericton.  There is more information on this fabulous prize on the Showcase Productions website;  details are under Tour C-2 HalifaxNS – Muse Hotel, NYC

Pin It tickets are currently available at Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium;  during the festival they will also be available at several locations including Festival Headquarters (Town Hall).  The ticket includes a guide with artist information for the various displays on the downtown walking tour. The draw for the prizes will be made at the close of the festival on October 18, with the trip taking place November 16-23, 2014.  Make sure you get a ticket to get in on the fun!