I’m a fan of Debra Quartermain’s sweet, whimsical creations, and I bet you are, too. I first met Debra almost 20 years ago at a craft industry event. When the opportunity came up last month to travel to Fredericton, New Brunswick and visit with Debra, I was on it! You see, Debra is not only a recognized talent in the craft world, but she’s also the gracious hostess at the Quartermain House, an award-winning, five-star B&B in Fredericton. I thought I’d share a few glimpses today from my trip, and Debra’s magical world.
Award-winning Quartermain House B&B in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
The Quartermain House is a preserved and pristeen, 1840s Gothic revival home, right along the Saint John River in Fredericton. Gleaming hardwood floors, gracious rooms and a lovely staircase are a tribute to earlier times. The home has an illustrious history and in 1870, it was the home of Thomas Harrison, the first University of New Brunswick president to be born in New Brunswick. Later, Premier and Lt. Governor John B. McNair also lived in the home.
The inviting foyer.
Debra attends to every detail at the B&B, like decorating the mantel in the parlor.
I found this wreath hanging in the parlor!
Even the gardens are a delight. It’s no wonder Debra hosts guests from around the world!
A charming garden vignette!
The Quartermain House is a short, riverside walk from downtown Fredericton. Along the way is the Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge, which spans the Saint John River. From the bridge, you can see the city skyline, including the University of New Brunswick. Debra first arrived in Fredericton as a student at University of New Brunswick.
A view from the walking bridge.
Debra first arrived in Fredericton to attend the University of New Brunswick.
Debra is a gracious and caring host, who makes sure every guest has an unforgettable stay. Debra also creates memorable weddings, tea parties, showers and holiday gatherings. At Christmas time, Debra decorates six Christmas trees. It’s no wonder that the Quartermain House B&B was ranked #1 in North America by Booking.com in 2014 and 2015, and consistently receives five-stars on TripAdvisor.com.
The accommodations are luxurious, and Debra’s three-course breakfasts are legendary. Once breakfast was over, Debra helped to plan our days, including a day-trip to the seaside town of St. Andrews. So charming!
Another day, Debra showed us the town, and we toured the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly Building, City Hall (do not miss the handwoven tapestries on the second floor!), and the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. The Legislative Assembly Building features a wood-framed, free-standing circular staircase built in the 1880s. It’s the only free-standing, circular staircase that you can climb in Canada.
The only free-standing, circular staircase that you can climb in Canada.
Me, my sister, and Debra on the gorgeous staircase.
The New Brunswick Legislative Assembly Building lit up at night to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary.
In addition to hosting guests, Debra continues to share her considerable talents in the design world. She’s the design lead and social media coordinator for Kunin Felt; she manages the design team for Expo International; she is the 2017 AFCI Designer Chair; and she publishes on her blog, too. Debra also creates some of the favorite projects here on Crafts ‘n Coffee.
Debra made these enormous felt flowers to decorate the garden for a granddaughter’s birthday tea.
Now, where does the magic happen? If you think you don’t have the space to spread out and create, Debra’s studio will be an inspiration for you! Debra converted a small closet into her studio, and she will tell you that this miniature room is her favorite in the house!
Debra converted a small closet into her design studio.
Debra has used every inch of her studio, and maximized the storage space.
Debra’s sweet husband Russ even built custom shelving for behind the door.
There’s another magical spot in Debra’s B&B, but it’s only for her smallest guests, ie, her numerous grandchildren. Debra converted the attic into a gossamer pink play space for her “littles”, and I imagine there are many enchanted, fairy tales days up under the eaves. The boys have their own hideaway, too, but I didn’t get to see their cabin retreat.
The third-floor attic is a magical place!
Who wouldn’t want to curl up and read a book in this cozy nook?
While Debra and I visited, we brainstormed an idea, and we have some crafty fun planned for next week. Debra and members of the Expo International design team will share their Christmas projects Monday through Friday next week. I am so excited! Instead of just a Tinsel Tuesday, we’ll celebrate Christmas crafting all week long!
In the meantime, here are a few of Debra’s designs I’ve featured here on Crafts ‘n Coffee. Can you pick a favorite? I can’t!
Sweet, Sock Snowman by Debra Quartermain
JOYful Snowman by Debra Quartermain
Frosty Snowman Family by Debra Quartermain
Sledding Snow Bunnies by Debra Quartermain.
Needle-Felted Snow Bunny by Debra Quartermain
And so many Penguins! You’ll find several of Debra’s penguins in this post.
Fishing Penguins by Debra Quartermain.
Debra has designed lots of bunnies, like this Mama & Baby Bunny.
Mama & Baby Bunnies by Debra Quartermain.
Most recently, Debra shared her Cotton Candy Sock Bunny.
Cotton Candy Sock Bunny by Debra Quartermain.
I can’t wait to see what the Expo International design team will share with us next week! See you on Tuesday.
P.S. Be sure to stop by Debra’s blog to say “hello.”
P.P.S. As if Debra’s story could get any sweeter — her great grandfather was the first professional confectioneer for Ganong in St. Stephen, New Brunswick. Ganong is Canada’s oldest chocolate and candy company. Sounds like an opportunity for a giveaway, doesn’t it?? 😉
This yummy book is on display at the B&B.