2013 Canadian Quilt Tour

17 Jun

In May this year three members of Glamorgan Quilters – Jill Stephens, Jo John and me, Jill Merrifield – joined another five women from England on a Canadian Quilting Tour organised by Janet Wallace of JJN Amish Tours.

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We flew from Heathrow to Toronto and transferred to a lovely hotel in Cambridge, a small town about one hour outside Toronto. This hotel became our base for a week during which time we enjoyed the busy itinerary Janet had arranged for us.

The first of the many Quilt Shows we went to was in a small town called Ailsa Craig where the local Quilt Festival Committee puts on an annual exhibition showcasing the works of quilters from another country. This year it was “Quilts of Israel” – a superb selection of traditional and fibre art quilts and wall hangings – and we had the opportunity to talk to the Israeli women who had brought their quilts for exhibition.

Next year the Ailsa Craig Committee have asked some quilters from the UK to show their art in the festival.

During the following week Janet organised for us to visit quilt exhibitions in Perth County Museum (where the curator also showed us some of the antique quilts in the Museum’s collection), in the Homer Watson House (the Grand National Quilt show, an invitational Canada-wide quilt exhibition that celebrates both traditional and inspirational work), at various locations around St Jacobs where we could preview quilts which were due to be auctioned by the Mennonite Relief Committee and not least, at a Show and Tell hosted by one of Canada’s top Long Arm Quilters. We saw fibre-art work to admire and traditional work to inspire – a brilliant mixed bag of works. What a delight !

We also visited many fabric shops, ranging from a marvellous discount warehouse to wonderful top of the range fabric shops. Plenty of opportunity to spend our holiday money!!

One of the highlights of the tour was attending the Mennonite Relief Sale of Quilts by Auction in Hamburg – an event run by the Mennonite Relief Committee to raise money to help in their charitable works anywhere in the world at times of disaster. This was a truly amazing event; we saw many beautiful quilts and wall hangings all donated for auction and raising many thousands of dollars. The prize quilt itself made over $10,000. Awesome !

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Other brilliant excursions included a trip to St Jacobs Market (home to many and varied delicious foodstuffs), a tour of Crawford Lake Iroquoian Village (a reconstruction on site of an Indian village), a treasure hunt of Quilt Blocks affixed to barns, church notice boards, railway carriages etc. on the Oxford Barn Quilt Trail (we spotted 17 of the 19 on the trail – it became quite a competition in the coach to be the first ‘spotter’).

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On our penultimate day a boat trip on the “Maid of the Mist” into the waters of Niagara Falls. Wowee – this was one ticked off my bucket list! It was breathtaking.

On the final day we had a super lunch in the restaurant at the top of the CN Tower in Toronto. Another bucket list event and a really good meal to boot.

This is but a short synopsis of a week and a half full of lovely places to see, shop and eat – the time went all too quickly. If, after reading this, anyone feels that this tour could be for them, Janet’s web address is http://www.amishtours.co.uk. She has other tours listed there and having joined her on her Quilters Holiday Tour 4 years ago this would be another I couldn’t recommend too highly. Maybe one day I’ll treat myself to another adventure with her?

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One Response to “2013 Canadian Quilt Tour”

  1. Lynne wheeler 18/06/2013 at 11:42 am #

    Thank you so much for taking the time to let us all know about your fabulous trip. The pics are good too. So many happy memories to relive until you go again?

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