December's block celebrates the early days of exploration in Canada. The word canoe comes from the aboriginal word 'kenu', which means dugout.
When settlers and traders came from Europe, they learned to value the canoe as an ideal mode of transportation along the many rivers and lakes that dot the Canadian landscape. The fur traders or voyageurs found the canoe’s elegance and speed especially useful for transporting furs easily along long routes.
Birchbark was the preferred material for constructing canoes, being both lightweight and, after a coating in resin, impervious to water.
Samuel de Champlain is considered the first European to use the birchbark canoes in his travels in Ontario in 1615. In 2015, Ontarians celebrated the 400th anniversary of Champlain’s travels in Ontario. His travels now echo popular vacation spots for Ontarians such as the southern shores of Georgian Bay, Lake Huron, Lake Nipissing and the Ottawa River.
How to Make The Block
The pattern designer, Yolanda Fundora, has given us permission to use her pattern which includes both templates for pieces, and a foundation-piecing pattern. Foundation-piecing is recommended but both techniques will work.
You can see more of Yolanda’s work and patterns at: http://www.urbanamishfabrics.com/
If you’re inspired by this block, Yolanda created another version of it called “Geese over Crossed Canoes” that has flying geese in the pattern. The pattern is published in “Vol. 11 of Quiltmakers 100 blocks.”