Saturday, April 17, 2010

Quilting Up North

In Northern Alberta there is an oil town called Ft. McMurray. The list of reasons for going to Ft. McMurray is short- to make money. People from all over the country and probably North America come to Ft. McMurray to make their tidy little fortune working in the oil sands, or 7-Eleven. Even gas station attendants make $18-$20/ hr. Sounds tempting, n'est pas? Well, there is a bit of a trade off. Like the freeze your ass off temps, the lack of stuff to do, and the dismal man-made landscape.
Ft Mac is smack dab in the Boreal Forest and rests beside the point of two converging rivers. The natural landscape is stunning. Unfortunately there is not much that is "nice" or "interesting-in-a-good-way" about the town. I don't want to dump too much on Ft. McMurray as there is a community of people that live there, but even they admit that it isn't much of a place to call home.
I visited the Northern Alberta town recently to visit my Mum. She is not an oil worker, but makes more than she ever has in her life as part of the management team at a major Canadian discount retailer in the shopping mall. She works long, hard hours and earns every penny of that salary.
While she had to work I found my little oasis in an otherwise culturally deserted town. I found Suzy Q's Quilt Shop by doing some online research. All I came up with was the name and address of the shop, not even a photo. This shop is located in the downtown core and has a very unassuming store front. Also, it was a short walk from my Mum's place-though my Mum did offer to leave work and drive me there. Of the seven days in Ft. Mac I was at Suzy Q's three. Here is a tour of the shop:

I especially love the way the dragonfly's wings are stitched.

Quilting Kits

Natural Resources

Wool for needle felting, spinning, wet felting. Suzy Q's also has yarn and other knitting supplies, embroidery patterns, and beads.

This is the owner. She called this machine her "baby".

The ample workspace. My stuff is the second table from the right. I brought my knitting to work on.

I actually really liked this fabric. I am very attracted to orange and green. This fabric went 50% off in the boss is away sale over Easter Weekend.

A quilt hanging out in the work room.

Some photos of my latest additions to my fabric stash. As mentioned before there was a 50% off sale on some of the fabric. The fabric I really liked was included! What luck!! On Saturday everyone got a plastic egg with an additional secret discount tucked inside. My additional discount was 15%. This lot of fat quarters only cost me $22. A steal!!!

I adore the colour and pattern on this fabric. I picked up two versions of it. First of all I am attracted to circles and secondly I am am attracted to leaves.

Well, that concludes my tour of Suzy Q's Quilt Shop in Ft. McMurray, Alberta. Happy quilting and crafting.


  1. Oh my gosh what a treasure. I would have never expected to see that place in Ft Mac (though I don't know why not)

  2. The shop has only been open four months. I don't think anything unique or independent lasts long up there. A few businesses I searched just were not there when I went to the address. I think Suzy Q's will be around a while as Alberta seems to be quilting country.



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