2017 New Brunswick Contemporary Quilt Award Winner

The New Brunswick Museum and the Marco Polo Quilters Guild are proud to present the biennial, juried New Brunswick Contemporary Quilt Award.

The award-winning quilt will be added to the permanent collection of the New Brunswick Museum.

The purpose of the New Brunswick Contemporary Quilt Award is to ensure that quilts made after 1960 in New Brunswick are represented in the New Brunswick Museum’s collection. In the past 50 years or so, there have been major changes in quilt-making tools as well as in the methods used for making quilts. Some quilts have moved off beds onto walls and, with this expansion in their use, different styles of quilts have developed. Ultimately, if it is to tell the most complete story, the New Brunswick Museum’s quilt collection must include examples of what has been happening in quilt-making in New Brunswick since 1960.

Selected by jury, the fourth biennial award has been won by Tidal Threads Quilt and Needlework Guild of Grand Manan, New Brunswick. Their 2011 quilt, Setting Day, features an exceptional original design, excellent piecing and appliqué techniques, sophisticated colour choices and high quality machine-quilting. The quilt is an original design by Nancy Estle with assistance from Martha Eaton and Dawn Locke. It was pieced and appliquéd by various guild members. The machine quilting was undertaken by Jill Lloyd of Quispamsis, NB. The quilt was designed to celebrate an extremely important aspect of life on Grand Manan, the annual opening of lobster season on the second Tuesday of November and it features a charming rendition of colourful buoys as well as marine flora and fauna. It was the guild’s 2011 raffle project and was won by Frank Longstaff a local lawyer who displayed it in his office until his retirement when he returned it to the guild for repurposing. The story of this quilt was featured and illustrated in the Autumn 2011 edition of the Canadian Quilt Association’s magazine, The Canadian Quilter.

It is of particular interest for the New Brunswick Museum collection because it shows an aspect of contemporary quilt-making that is not currently represented – a quilt with a high-quality original design that was produced through the efforts of an entire guild.

The NBM houses an extremely important textile collection. In the bedding component, almost 650 quilts, quilt tops and quilt blocks provide an excellent cross section of provincially-produced bedding. More than ninety percent of these items originated, or most likely originated, in New Brunswick. The artifacts range in date from the late eighteenth century to 2016 with the majority clustered between 1875 and 1925. The first quilt was donated to the NBM in 1927, the most recent in 2017.  A small grouping of twenty modern quilts, dating between 1975 and 1985, was acquired in 1995 as part of the transfer of the New Brunswick Craft Collection to the NBM. The most extensive development of the quilt collection came between 2003 and 2014 with the acquisition of almost 300 quilts from prominent textile collector, John J. Corey of Havelock, New Brunswick. The entire collection now provides one of the most extensive resources for the research and study of quilting materials, designs and techniques in the country.

The New Brunswick Contemporary Quilt Award was conceived by the late Kathy Coffin, a member of the Marco Polo Quilters Guild. She generously donated funds raised by the sales of her original appliqué pattern quilt block, Purple Violet, a beautiful design depicting our provincial flower, for the first award in 2011. The inaugural award went to Donna K. Young, of Fredericton for her 2004 wall quilt, Railways in a Northern Land. In 2013, Juanita Allain of Riverview received the award for her 2002-2006 quilt, When Compasses Collide, and in 2015 Gail Fearon of New Line won with her 2011 Baltimore Bouquet.

Photo Caption:
Tidal Threads Quilt and Needlework Guild (Designed by Nancy Estle with the assistance of Martha Eaton and Dawn Locke; machine quilted by Jill Lloyd)
quilt: Setting Day, 2011
machine-pieced, hand-appliquéd and machine-quilted cotton with cotton batting
213.5 x 187 cm

For more information:
Caitlin Griffiths or Aristi Dsilva, Communications & Marketing
New Brunswick Museum
(506) 654-7059 or (506) 643-2358
caitlin.griffiths@nbm-mnb.ca or aristi.dsilva@nbm-mnb.ca