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.
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.
Even the gardens are a delight. It’s no wonder Debra hosts guests from around the world!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
Debra has designed lots of bunnies, like this Mama & Baby Bunny.
Most recently, Debra shared her Cotton Candy Sock Bunny.
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?? 😉