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Thursday, 22 June 2017

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.

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