Road Trip Recap: A visit with designer Debra Quartermain and a stay at the Quartermain House B&B

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.

Quartermain House B&B

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.

Quartermain House B&B

The inviting foyer.

Quartermain House B&B

Debra attends to every detail at the B&B, like decorating the mantel in the parlor.

Quartermain House B&B

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!

 Quartermain House B&B

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.

 Fredericton, New Brunswick

A view from the walking bridge.

University of New Brunswick

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 in 2014 and 2015, and consistently receives five-stars on

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.

New Brunswick Legislative Assembly Building

The only free-standing, circular staircase that you can climb in Canada.

New Brunswick Legislative Assembly Building

Me, my sister, and Debra on the gorgeous staircase.

New Brunswick Legislative Assembly Building

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.

Enormous DIY Felt Flowers

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!

Quartermain House B&B

Debra converted a small closet into her design studio.

Quartermain House B&B

Debra has used every inch of her studio, and maximized the storage space.

Quartermain House B&B

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.

Quartermain House B&B

The third-floor attic is a magical place!

Quartermain House B&B

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

DIY Sock Snowman

Sweet, Sock Snowman by Debra Quartermain

JOYful Snowman

JOYful Snowman

JOYful Snowman by Debra Quartermain

 Frosty Snowman Family

DIY felt, fleece snowman

Frosty Snowman Family by Debra Quartermain

Sledding Snow Bunnies

DIY Sledding Snowbunnies

Sledding Snow Bunnies by Debra Quartermain.

 Felted Snow Bunny

DIY needle felted Snow Bunny

Needle-Felted Snow Bunny by Debra Quartermain

And so many Penguins!  You’ll find several of Debra’s penguins in this post.

DIY felt & fleece penguins

Fishing Penguins by Debra Quartermain.

Debra has designed lots of bunnies, like this Mama & Baby Bunny.

DIY Needle-felted Bunnies

Mama & Baby Bunnies by Debra Quartermain.

Most recently, Debra shared her Cotton Candy Sock Bunny.

DIY 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.

Happy crafting!

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?? 😉

Ganong Chocolates in St. John, New Brunswick.

This yummy book is on display at the B&B.


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24 Responses to Road Trip Recap: A visit with designer Debra Quartermain and a stay at the Quartermain House B&B

  1. Wow! I would much rather have been there than in the ICU for the last few days! It was a close call on whether it was permanent lights out for me this time around but as I told the doctor as I very slowly and not so saucily attempted to saunter out of the hospital at midnight last night!, that only the good die young and old b**ches like me live forever to torture the good ones! Mwah, haw, haw, haw, haw!
    Debra Quartermain’s B&B looks whimsical, fun and amazing! Just like she is! Glad you got to spend time there and with her! That box of chocolates looks like just what the doctor ordered! I think a giveaway IS called for! TFS and 🤞🤞🤞

    • Sharon says:

      Oh no, I am so sorry to hear about your recent hospital visit, and very relieved to hear that you’re back at home. You need to keep that glue gun blazing, Barb — you have way too many crafts to DIY! You’re not going anywhere! Thank you for letting us know that you are doing o.k., and take care of yourself! Hugs to Jenna, too. Happy crafting! Sharon

  2. What a FABULOUS trip and WONDERFUL lady Debra is! I don’t think I would have wanted to leave.

    GREAT post Sharon. ~ Cobs. x

    • Sharon says:

      Yes indeed, it was tempting to stay! Maybe next time . . . Thank you for the sweet comment and joining in the tour today! Happy crafting! Sharon

  3. CraftyB says:


  4. What a wonderful trip! WIshing I could have joined you for all the fun. The snowmen and bunnies are adorable. It almost takes some of the heat away during this hot July summer. Thank you for sharing!

    • Sharon says:

      Thank you, Angie. I wish you could have been there, too — it would have been fun to have everyone there, and host a big crafting party! And yes, make a snowman when it’s this hot! It will cool you down! Happy crafting, Angie. Sharon

  5. This is such a fantastic post and review of Quartermain House! What a dream to get to stay there. Loved seeing all of Debra’s creative touches and her many projects!

    • Sharon says:

      Thank you, Christie. It was a dream come to true! I’m so glad you’re joining us for next week’s Christmas in July feature! It’s going to be a fun week! Happy crafting! Sharon

  6. Debbie Kaste says:

    Great photos and loved hearing about your trip, Sharon. That photo of the chocolates is making me drool….lol! Thanks for sharing.

  7. I am a snowman fanatic!! lol I just love all the little snowmen =)

    • Sharon says:

      🙂 Me, too! Debra has a knack for designing the sweetest snowmen full of personality. I’m sure they all have a story to tell! Thanks for stopping in. Sharon

  8. Cindy deRosier says:

    Oh my gosh – so cool! I am completely jealous of your stay with Debra. Quartermain House looks amazing and I know that her guests are pampered. I’ve heard of the legendary breakfasts! Not to mention, I absolutely love Canada. Debra is such a nice person and talented designer. I am dying to get my hands on one of her bunny creations!

    • Sharon says:

      Thanks, Cindy. On your family travels, you must schedule a visit to eastern Canada and stop in at Debra’s! There is so much to see and do in that area, and we were wishing we’d have several weeks instead of several days. Start planning! Happy bunny crafting! Sharon

  9. eileenhull says:

    I wondered who the special guest was! How fun that you got to visit! Isn’t it amazing? I went last spring and it was magical! Thanks for the post- brings back great memories 🙂

    • Sharon says:

      🙂 I thought of you and your visit there, too, Eileen. Wouldn’t it be fun to gather up a group and have a craft retreat at the B&B? We had the best time! Thanks for stopping in, Eileen. Sharon

  10. Katiria says:

    it’s like a crafter’s dream come true or a storybook come to life. That 3rd floor attic… 🙂 🙂 :)So sweet and pretty.

    • Sharon says:

      I know! Who wouldn’t love to spend an afternoon in that attic? Debra has a storybook like, doesn’t she? Behind the scenes, I know Debra has put in a lot of “blood, sweat & tears” to make it happen, and she very much deserves this happy ending. So glad you enjoyed the sneak peek! Sharon

  11. annehaun says:

    What a fun and memorable trip! Love that wreath in the parlor – beautiful.

    • Sharon says:

      We had a wonderful time! If you are ever in the area, you must stop in and say “hello” to Debra. I know she’s love to meet you! Thanks so much for stopping by today. Happy crafting! Sharon

  12. Laurie says:

    What a great trip! Loved the report and all the crafting inspiration!

    • Sharon says:

      🙂 Thank you! It was memorable, for sure, and Debra is such a delightful hostess. It’s a beautiful area, too. Have you visited there? Happy crafting! Sharon

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