Quilt Canada 2023 Halifax NS

Making Connections at Quilt Canada

Andrea Schafthuizen & Patty McKenna


January 14, 2024


What happens at Quilt Canada? We all know about visiting the juried and concurrent shows, taking a class or attending a lecture, and especially touring the Merchant Mall.

But one of my fondest memories of Quilt Canada 2023 in Halifax was making a new friend. While I was viewing the show and spending time in the mall, I kept running into and chatting with another conference attendee. It turned out to be Patty McKenna, Co-President of the Kindred Spirits Quilt Guild of PEI.   

We connected, as quilters do, and decided that it would be fun to do some kind of guild exchange. I came back to my guild, the Sagebrush Quilters Guild, in Kamloops, BC, and shared the idea.   

Kindred Spirits Quilt Guild, PEI

Members of Kindred Spirits Quilt Guild of PEI with mug rugs received from Sagebrush Quilters Guild.

Eventually we settled on a Mug Rug exchange, to be completed before Christmas. The challenge was to try to create something that either represented our area or was Christmasy. And the members of both guilds did not disappoint.

Patty and I collected all the mug rugs and shipped them across Canada to each other. At our guild meetings we redistributed them to participating members by a draw.

We received many mug rugs, including some with PEI themes such as Anne of Green Gables and the PEI tartan. In exchange we sent back a collection of mug rugs including some that were beautifully embroidered for Christmas and others that were examples of work created in a class our members had just completed.

Everyone, from both guilds, really enjoyed looking at the many beautiful and unique mug rugs, both those sent and those received, and there were comments saying we should do it again next year!

Sagebrush Quilters Guild, BC

Members of Sagebrush Quilters Guild with Mug Rugs received from Kindred Spirits Quilt Guild of PEI.

We love to hear stories about the friendships made through quilting. Have you made a special connection at Quilt Canada that created a new friendship for you and your guild?

And, special thanks to Andrea, one of the authors, for spreading the word about the 1957 Signature Quilt, which also has connections between Nova Scotia and British Columbia. Quilting can be a small world, full of serendipity.

Quilt Canada June 18-21, 2025 in Toronto, Ontario

Quilt Canada June 18-21, 2025 in Toronto, Ontario

Quilt Canada June 18-21, 2025 in Toronto, Ontario