Celtic Knot Quilting
at Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department,
Baddeck, Cape Breton
(7 October 2012)

I desperately wanted to take this class but it was full by the time I contacted them. Boy, am I glad!

Though well instructed by Norma Marchant, it was way, way beyond my skill level, not really geared to a beginner quilter. For those 11 attendees with some skill, though, it was a challenging and entrancing workshop experience.

I sat in on parts of the workshop, watching as muslin was slowly built up using multi-fall-colored bias to create a triskele-in-circle Celtic knot wall hanging.

On a pre-drawn pattern the students pinned fabric using an over-under weave that Marchant says is one of the three rules of Celtic quilting, the others being: each line is a continuous line, and never have three "roads" at any "intersection." (In other words, never have three fabrics meet up in the same place in the pattern). In fact, Marchant said, "These are the same techniques as are used for stained-glass quilting."

Sitting next to me was veteran quilter Wendy, from Manitoba. "So you've done this before? I asked her. "Quilting, yes. This, no! It's a different way of thinking of things." In regular quilting, she said, "You put the pieces together and it builds and builds and builds."

"Maybe if I enjoy this and get good enough at it, I can take it back to them," referring to her quilting group back in Manitoba. "You're always looking for something new, you know!"

Having a bit more difficulty was Carmie from Sydney, who called it "tiny, tedious work." Yet she seemed to be enjoying herself. "You get lost in it," she admitted.

By the time I left the students were well into their work, preparing to put on the green bias and fall leaf border fabric.

For me, it was just as satisfying to watch these talented women work their art as it would have been to take the class. Considering how inept I would have been, probably it was more!

Celtic Knot Quilting, one of numerous classes and demonstrations scheduled throughout the Celtic Colours week, was hosted by the South Haven Guild of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers and the Baddeck Quilt Guild.

music review by
Katie Knapp

17 November 2012

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