Retreat Memories

Browse our galleries of quilters, friends, and teachers past and present - and let us know if you've got contributions to add to our collection of photographs. We'd love to share yours here.

  • Old Nova Scotian Quilts
    Old Nova Scotian Quilts
    by Scott Robson, Sharon MacDonald
  • Visual Coloring: A Foolproof Approach to Color-Rich Quilts
    Visual Coloring: A Foolproof Approach to Color-Rich Quilts
    by Joen Wolfrom
  • A Garden Party of Quilts: 7 Pieced Projects for Flower Lovers
    A Garden Party of Quilts: 7 Pieced Projects for Flower Lovers
    by Joen Wolfrom
  • Points of View: Landscape Quilts to Stitch and Embellish (That Patchwork Place)
    Points of View: Landscape Quilts to Stitch and Embellish (That Patchwork Place)
    by Valerie Hearder
  • Fat Quarter Frenzy Two
    Fat Quarter Frenzy Two
    by Susan Purney-Mark, Daphne Greig
  • Simple Stained Glass Quilts
    Simple Stained Glass Quilts
    by Daphne Greig, Susan Purney Mark
  • Fat Quarter Frenzy
    Fat Quarter Frenzy
    by Susan Purney-Mark, Daphne Greig
  • The Quilted Garden: Design and Make Nature Inspired Quilts
    The Quilted Garden: Design and Make Nature Inspired Quilts
    by Jane Sassaman
  • A Month of Sundays - Family, Friends, Food & Quilts: Slow Down & Sew - 16 Projects, Precut Friendly
    A Month of Sundays - Family, Friends, Food & Quilts: Slow Down & Sew - 16 Projects, Precut Friendly
    by Cheryl Arkison
  • Sunday Morning Quilts: 16 Modern Scrap Projects Sort, Store, and Use Every Last Bit of Your Treasured Fabrics
    Sunday Morning Quilts: 16 Modern Scrap Projects Sort, Store, and Use Every Last Bit of Your Treasured Fabrics
    by Amanda Jean Nyberg, Cheryl Arkison
  • Canadian Heritage Quilting: Quick Creative Designs
    Canadian Heritage Quilting: Quick Creative Designs
    by Karen Neary, Diane Shink
  • Japanese Garden Quilt: 12 Circle Blocks to Hand or Machine Applique
    Japanese Garden Quilt: 12 Circle Blocks to Hand or Machine Applique
    by Karen Kay Buckley
  • The Joy of quilting.
    The Joy of quilting.
    by Swim. Laurie.

And That's a Wrap!

The view from the deck looking towards the PEI ferry.

The 15th Mayflower Quilter's Retreat is one for the record books now. After 30 years of organizing, fine tuning and fund raising, we can now look forward to a new beginning of sorts. I have only missed one Retreat (due to a family wedding) and have been at the helm of 13 of the 15 Retreats. the time has come to pass it on and hopefully it will run for another 30 years. There is so much more to learn, new teachers to bring to NS and we need to introduce new, young quilters to the Retreat concept. I am thrilled that the Retreat is going to continue in the excellent hands of Ann Carmichael. 

As I processed the pictures from this 15th Retreat, I thought of all the changes the quilt world has experienced in the last 30 years. how we have gone from templates and scissors to fancy rulers and rotary cutters not to mention how computers have changed our world! How lucky we are, those of us who have a good 30+ years of quilting in, to have experienced and embraced all these changes. there is still so much to learn, so much to share.

Barb M under our guardian moose in the main dning room at Pictou Lodge.

This Retreat was special, Pictou Lodge has been our "home" for every Retreat. we have gone through several owners, many changes in staff and changes in event managers. The latest, Karen Wolff just started in June and did a superb job. I think we initiated her well!

Laurie Swim, Ana Buzzalino and Karen Kay Buckley

Our teachers were all first timers! Karen Kay Buckley from Pennsylvania, Ana Buzzalino from Calgary and Laurie Swim from Lunenburg. Just over one third of our quilters were also first timers. Two of the 63 quilters, Kay S and Barb M have been to every Retreat! Such dedication!


Our Avonport Young Quilter Scholarship winner settled in just fine and I know from the smile of her face (for the entire Retreat!) was one of sheer happiness. I think Heather learned a lot and had a great time. We would love to have her come back.

Our fund raising efforts have begun for the 2017 Retreat, many thanks to all those who donated to the auction and those who made purchases as well as our silent auction. We are off to a good start!

There are lots of pictures in our photo albums, be sure and click on the link at the top right hand side under Retreat Memories.


One More Sleep!

The Retreat banner was made by Dorothy Johnston.

Another two years has slipped by so fast and we are about to head to Pictou Lodge for our 15th Quilter's Retreat. Our Retreat is bi-annual, so we have been doing this for 30 years! All of our Retreats have been at Pictou Lodge and every one has been memorable. We have lived through snow (yes, in September!), a hurricane (and the beginnings of Hurricane Juan), there have been three different owners and we have worked with 3 different event managers and are about to initiate our 4th! Two of our quilters have been to every Retreat, Kay and Barb who are great friends and great quilters. Barb was the winner of this year's Retreat Raffle, it couldn't have been won by a more deserving quilter except for Kay!

I have spent some time the last few days looking at the pictures that are here in our photo albums. Such great memories, so many friends from all over. So many great teachers! I would have everyone of them back at the drop of a hat! Just so much fun from the chef who made a quilt from men's ties to the year we had the scavenger hunt and then there was the group of quilters who arrived from Ontario in a van all decked out for the occasion. And I remember the quilter who was so determined to get there, she had car trouble and had to call a tow truck who delivered her to Pictou Lodge with her car in tow! The quilters really do make the Retreat. I wonder what ever happened to Sarah who came with her Mom, Joan from Newfoundland? Sarah was just twelve and we took up a fabric collection for her to start her very own stash, I wonder if she is still quilting?

We have had teachers come back as students and students who have taught for us. I think we we one of the first official "retreats for quilters" in Canada if not anywhere. I can't thank enough all those who have helped in so many ways to make this Retreat what it is today. 

Thanks everybody, see you tomorrow!


Thank You!

Once again this year we have had some wonderful donations and door prizes for the Retreat.

Many thanks go to - 

Avonport Discount Fabrics

Katherine Gagne

Jacquie Gillis - Mira Stitch'n Post

J.N. Harper Co. Ltd.

Valerie Hearder

Krista Hennebury

Lynn Jones - Lynn's Quilting Studio

Mahone Bay Quilters Guild

Barb Mrkjonic and Kay Stevens

Quiltsource Canada

Patch Halifax

Pictou Lodge

Rhoda Moore - Trend-Tex Fabrics

Jamie Pratt

Seaside Stitchers

Suttles and Seawinds

Laurie Swim

Anonymous Donors

We appreciate your kindness! Thanks for making our 2015 Quilter's Retreat the best ever!



Where Does the Time Go?

Some crazy happenings, you never know what you might learn like "how to hang a spoon"!

The last two years have flown by and we are just a little over two weeks to go for the 2015 Quilter's Retreat at Pictou Lodge. I was thinking the other day about all the wonderful times we have had at the Retreat, terrific teachers (I would invite them all back!), wonderful friends we have made over the years and changes. How the quilt world has changed over the last 30 years from rotary cutting (it had just started when we had the first Retreat) to rulers (oh my, the variety is amazing), to the internet world. When we began everything was done by snail mail from contacting teachers to communications with the quilters and Pictou Lodge.

Patsy wins a prize for her mug rug challenge from Jane Sassaman and Meredith

When we started we wanted to make the Retreat as affordable as possible. We fund raised, we sold raffle tickets, we had quilter's house tours, we had postcard challenges. I don't think there is a fund raiser we haven't tried. Many, many thanks to all those who have helped over the years supporting our efforts. For the last 4 Retreats we have been able to offer one young (19-40 year old) quilter a scholarship to attend the Retreat thanks to Avonport Discount Fabrics. I wish more Guild events would do this, we need to encourage and nurture our young quilters.

For the last 3 Retreats the Mahone Bay Quilters Guild has had a Retreat draw and two lucky members receive a $500 bursary to help with their expenses to attend the Retreat. I wish more Guilds would do this and support their members.

This is our 15th Retreat, my wish is there will be 15 more! Can't wait!



Majestic Mosaic Karen Kay Buckley from Carlisle, PA won the Best in Show award for this quilt at the AQS show in Paducah, KY this week. The quilt is machine appliquéd and machine quilted by Renae Haddadin from Sandy, UT. Karen Kay also won Best in Show at Paducah in 2013! We are so pleased to have her as a teacher at our 2015 Quilter's Retreat. Congratulations Karen!


And the Winner is....

Congratualtions to the winner of the 2015 Retreat Raffle - Barb Mrkonjic!

Barb has been to all 14 Retreats and has been a wonderful supporter and helper. Congratulations again Barb, see you at your 15th Retreat! 

And many, many thanks to all who bought and sold tickets, the raffle wouldn't be possible without all your support.


Retreat Raffle

Due to the extreme weather we have been having, our March 19 meeting of the Mayflower Quilter's Guild was cancelled and we couldn't have the Retreat Raffle draw. Because so many members always bring their tickets in the night of the draw we have been given permission by Service Nova Scotia to hold our draw at the next Guild meeting which is Thursday April 9, 7:30pm at the Dartmouth North Community Centre. Tickets can be mailed in (address is on the tickets) or brought to the meeting. It isn't too late! Someone is going to be a very happy quilter!

Thanks for all your support and understanding.