New Brunswick Museum and Marco Polo Quilters’ Guild present 2024 New Brunswick Contemporary Quilt Award

The New Brunswick Museum and the Marco Polo Quilters’ Guild are proud to present the juried New Brunswick Contemporary Quilt Award for 2024.  This year, two quilts will share the award and will be added to the permanent collection of the New Brunswick Museum.

New Brunswick Contemporary Quilt Award, a collaborative project between the New Brunswick Museum and the Marco Polo Quilters’ Guild, ensures that quilts made in New Brunswick after 1960 are represented in the New Brunswick Museum’s collection.  In the past half century or so, there have been major changes in quilt-making tools, materials, methods and designs.  To tell the most complete story, the New Brunswick Museum’s quilt collection must include current examples of provincial quilts.

Selected by jury, the sixth award is being presented to Jennifer Scantlebury Vienneau (Chocolate River Quilters Guild) of Irishtown, NB, for her 2024 Connections and Robin Whittaker Naish (Marco Polo Quilters Guild) of Grand Bay-Westfield, NB, for her 2017 Calling All Birds.

Jennifer Scantlebury Vienneau’s quilt, Connections, is an original design based on her own photographs.  Documenting one of the widely experienced aspects of pandemic, the video conference, this quilt was intended to focus on one of the better memories from this difficult period.  This work also represents her new approaches based on an online Fabric Portrait Course instructed by Luke Haynes.  The quilt also makes amazing use of fusible raw-edge appliqué throughout.  Additional time at home over the past few years have permitted Scantlebury Vienneau to experiment with hand-dyeing as well as put her expert machine-quilting skills to use.

Jennifer Scantlebury Vienneau (Irishtown, Westmorland County, New Brunswick). Connections, 2024. Machine-pieced, fusible raw-edge appliqué and machine-quilted (on a longarm sewing machine) commercially-dyed and hand-dyed cotton, Misty-Fuse fusible web, cotton batting and polyester thread (128 x 168 cm).

Robin Whittaker Naish was inspired by the playfulness and bright colours of this pattern that was published in Quilts & Crafts Simply Moderne  (Issue No. 8).  It challenged her to explore colour choices beyond her usual taste and it was also her first introduction to English paper piecing which she very admirably mastered.  Whittaker Naish’s initial exposure to quilting was through both her grandmothers, Lucy Burgess Withers Whittaker and Eva Laura Hamilton Parks, though she did not start quilting seriously until in her forties.  Her exceptional hand quilting is a beautiful tribute to a long family tradition.

Robin Whittaker Naish  (Grand Bay-Westfield, Kings County, New Brunswick). Calling All Birds, 2017 (after a pattern by Sew Quilt Designs). Hand-quilted cotton with needle-turn appliqué and English paper piecing with polyester batting (112 x 112 cm).

The New Brunswick Museum houses an extremely important textile collection.  Since the first donation of a quilt in 1927, the bedding component has grown to over 500 quilts and quilt tops making it one of the most extensive overviews of provincially-produced bedding in Canada.  Dating from the late eighteenth century to 2016, the collection now provides one of the most important 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, NB, for her 2004 wall quilt, Railways in a Northern Land; in 2013, Juanita Allain of Riverview, NB, received the award for her 2002-2006 quilt, When Compasses Collide; in 2015, Gail Fearon of New Line, NB, won with her 2011 Baltimore Bouquet;  in 2017, the Tidal Threads Quilt and Needlework Guild of Grand Manan, NB, won with their 2011, Setting Day; and in 2019, the award was shared by Lillian Clark of Saint John, NB, with her 2019 Pinwheels Galore and Christina Savoie of Point La Nim, NB, with her 2019 Statistically Speaking.


About New Brunswick Museum
The New Brunswick Museum is the oldest continuing museum in Canada, dedicated to preserving and showcasing the rich history, art, and natural heritage of New Brunswick. With a commitment to education, research, and community engagement, the NBM serves as a hub for exploration, learning, and appreciation of New Brunswick’s vibrant past and present. To learn more, visit


For more information:
Luis Cardoso
New Brunswick Museum