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Sunday, 25 June 2017

June 2017 Block of the Month – “Canada 150 Block”

It’s our final block of the month, and this one is to commemorate Canada’s 150th birthday!



There was quite a lot of controversy about the logo, and design firms were dismayed that a student won the contest to design the logo. Ariana Cuvin won the contest to design the logo. She says that she intended the base of the maple leaf, which is made up of four diamonds, to represent the four provinces that formed Confederation. The nine other diamonds expanding outwards, were meant to represent the six other provinces and three territories. “The repeated shape is meant to create a sense of unity and the 13 shapes forming the leaf represents our togetherness as a country,” she explains.

How to Make The Block

Dana Szucs Hayden designed the block and has given us permission to use it for our block of the month. It’s a free pattern that is available at her website SeaSew

( http://sea-sew.blogspot.ca/2015/04/canada150-quilt-pattern.html )

Or you can download a copy of the pattern by clicking here.

This month’s block is foundation pieced. Remember that when you’re paper-piecing this block, you’re using a template that is a mirror image of the logo – it looks like you’re sewing the logo backward but it turns out if you follow the pattern.
The individual segments are easy to piece while the A+B+C section is the hardest part to put together. You will find it helpful to refer to the block carefully when assembling the segments.

Dana' Instagram site has some additional instructions. You do not need to have an Instagram account to look at the pictures.
These are some of the best tips:


Joining A to B:
https://www.instagram.com/p/4TZCttEh0w/?taken-by=seasew.dana


Joining A/B to C:
https://www.instagram.com/p/4Ta_O6kh2w/?taken-by=seasew.dana




Detail of A/B
https://www.instagram.com/p/4TbgS3kh3T/?taken-by=seasew.dana
 

Finished "Right" side A/B/C
https://www.instagram.com/p/4Tbr2okh3i/?taken-by=seasew.dana
 

Close-up A/B/C
https://www.instagram.com/p/4Tb0rXEh3u/?taken-by=seasew.dana

Thursday, 22 June 2017

May 2017 Block of the Month: Canada Goose


Yes, it’s time for a block to celebrate the Canada Goose to be a part of our BOM theme, commemorating Canada’s 150th birthday. Canada geese are found throughout North America, except for the high Arctic and most southern parts of the US. The Canada Goose is one of the most common birds in Canada, and in many parts of the country, migrates south or north with the changes of season. In our part of Ontario, the large v-shaped groups of Canada Geese flying north mark the end of summer. In some parts, the weather supports Canada Goose populations year round. Canada Geese choose the same nesting spots that their parents did, which can be a problem with our wildly changing environment in south-ern Ontario. Rapid landscaping changes and new construction wreaks havoc with bird nesting sites. It’s not clear where the original name came from, but the first reference to the Canada Goose is from 1772, so it’s been a bird associated with our country for well over 200 years.

How to Make The Block
This month’s block can be made in a variety of sizes to suit whatever layout you’re using for your Canada 150 quilt. Flying Geese is a popular block, and there are many methods of construction. Julie Baird from Generations Quilt Patterns has kindly allowed us to use the instructions at her site that includes a foundation-pieced version as well as a pieced version.

Simple pieced construction: http://www.generations-quilt-patterns.com/quilt-block-patterns.html#FlyingGeese
Foundation-pieced version: http://www.generations-quilt-patterns.com/flying-geese.html


April 2017 Block of the Month: “Maple Leaf”

The maple leaf was used as an emblem by early settlers in Quebec. In the 18th century, maple leaf flags were displayed by French Canadians along the St. Lawrence River. Because of this history in the region, by 1868 the maple leaf was part of both the Ontario and Quebec flags.
Its ascension to the centerpiece of the Canadian flag was not without controversy. In 1964, Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson established a committee to choose a new flag to replace the union flag. The maple leaf was chosen among several different flag emblems to represent a new, modern culture distinguished from our roots in Britain, and paying tribute to the first settlers in Canada’s history.
Queen Elizabeth II proclaimed the new flag on January 28, 1965, and ever since, we have been enjoying Canada Days with our beautiful flag flying high.

How to Make The Block
This month’s block is made using an applique technique of your choice. You can find the maple leaf patterns by clicking here:

Pattern
There are two maple leaves on the first pattern – use one or both. The first patterns were made using authentic maple leaves I found in my neighbourhood last fall, and one is slightly smaller than the other. The patterns have no seam allowance, which is ideal for fusing and then securing using raw edge or a satin-finish. If you are using an applique method such as needle turn applique, you will need to add an appropriate seam allowance to each leaf as you cut it out.
For the stem, using either bias tape or stitching several times with a darker colour may be an alternative to cutting out and fusing a thin piece of fabric. I’ve also attached a maple leaf pattern that Carolyn Loewen shared – you may find it a little easier to make and it is more true to the look of the maple leaf on our flag. Thank you Carolyn!

Choose one version or the other to applique at least one of our iconic Maple Leafs onto your Canada quilt!
If you’re not following along with this Canada-themed block of the month, consider appliqueing a leaf onto quilts you make this year to mark 2017, Canada’s 150th birthday.