No longer will quilting enthusiasts in the Antigonish-Strait area have to travel to New Glasgow or Sydney for a large selection of fabrics and supplies; now the destination is Havre Boucher.
It’s 11984 Hwy. 4, to be precise, and that is where you’ll find Vera Lynn Melong and her new business Mom’s Quiltique.
“Our opening day was Nov. 4 but I started the whole process early in the summer,” Melong said.
“I actually started in the spring and was this close (gesturing with her fingers) to approval, but chickened out because I was scared; it’s a big undertaking. Then, every day, I would think about it and think, I should have done this, I’ve been wanting to do this for so long. So, just one morning, I woke up and said, ‘I’m doing this.’”
Melong said, with her new resolve, she called her husband Shawn.
“He said, ‘you’ve been wanting to do this so, let’s do it’ … so I did,” she said, noting, along with their children Tabitha and Adam, they renovated the basement of their home from what was, essentially, a garage-like space into the business.
“It was a lot of hard work,” Melong said.
“Some days were hectic, other days were wonderful where we would have the music on, just working away. But we got through that and then had to prepare for opening day, of course, and order all of the supplies. Then when Nov. 4 came I was very, very nervous but, oh my gosh, the turnout … it was absolutely humbling to me.
“My family tells me that is what they expected but, when you’re doing it, you just … well, it was amazing, absolutely amazing.”
Melong called her family her biggest supporters and also noted the work of Brian Patton, from CBDC-NOBL, in helping Mom’s Quiltique get off the ground.
“He helped me through it all,” she said.
Melong noted she has been quilting for 40 years and joked it was 25 years before she actually owned one.
“I had given every quilt away; after 25 years my husband said ‘shouldn’t we own one?’ That’s when we got our first quilt,” she said with a chuckle.
Great examples of her work decorate the business’ walls and, as she pointed out, are all for sale.
It’s her background in the hobby which illuminated, for her, the need for a business like Mom’s Quiltique in the area.
“If you went towards Sydney, there is nowhere to buy fabric until you get to Sydney,” she said.
“If you were going towards Halifax, in New Glasgow there is Atlantic Fabrics and then in Truro there is Fabricville and Atlantic Fabrics, but nothing between here and there.
“So when we, my sisters and I, had to buy fabrics or quilting supplies, we had to drive a long way to get it and, of course, we would just make a day trip of it. But now, everyone just comes here and I love it.”
Mom’s Quiltique is opened Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and then on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The phone number for the business is 902-232-2351 and there is a strong web presence with both a thorough website (momsquiltique.com) and Facebook page.
As part of the business, Melong is offering classes which are conducted at the shop.
She noted she just purchased a new machine to save class participants from bringing their own.
“It can be difficult to carry the machines,” she said. “Someday I would like to have four but, for now, I do have an extra one.”
For more on the classes, call or drop into Mom’s Quiltique.
“And as long as I’m here, I can help them,” Melong said. “As long as the shop is open and I’m here, I can help them.”