In honour of our National Flag Day here in Canada, and especially this year, which is the 50th anniversary of the flag, I made my own little quilty version. And yes, I’m posting it a few days late! It’s the thought that counts. Besides, if you decide to make one, it will be great for Canada Day this summer. Here are some stats that I found on the government website about our Canadian Heritage. A brief history lesson (it’s good for me since I didn’t grow up in Canada):
According to many historians, the maple leaf began to serve as a Canadian symbol as early as 1700 when, before the coming of the first European settlers, Canada’s aboriginal peoples had discovered the food properties of maple sap, which they gathered every spring. In August 1860, at a public meeting held in Toronto, the maple leaf was adopted as the national emblem of Canada for use in the decorations for the Prince of Wales’ visit. In 1914, many Canadian soldiers wore the maple leaf on their military badges, and it was the dominant symbol used by many Canadian regiments serving in the Great World War I. Red and white were approved as Canada’s official colours in the proclamation of the royal arms of Canada in 1921 by King George V. In 1964, the Government made the creation of a distinctive Canadian flag a priority. When Parliament could not reach agreement on the design, the task of finding a national flag was given to an all-party Parliamentary committee. After considering thousands of proposals for flags submitted by Canadians, the committee chose three final designs. It was the single leaf, red and white design that the Committee recommended to Parliament. The motion was passed to adopt this design as the National Flag of Canada with a vote of 163 to 78 on December 15, 1964.
On February 15, 1965 our national flag was raised for the first time on Parliament Hill. Canada was just two years away from centennial celebrations when the maple leaf flag was made official by Royal Proclamation. In 1996, February 15 was declared National Flag of Canada Day and has been observed every year since. February 15, 2015, will mark the 50th anniversary of the National Flag of Canada.
We are a young country, but it still surprised me that our flag is so very young! I’ll have to ask my Dad if he remembers when the flag was adopted! ;)
In order to celebrate, I searched around online to find a maple leaf quilt block that I could sew up with some cute red fabric my sister gave me. I found that Anjeanette Klinder had posted a tutorial for a very lovely maple leaf block table runner. Another cool thing was that her maple leaves were made from charm packs, love that idea, but I as yet have no charm packs! Anyways, the all-red leaf was what I was going for, you know, for flag day. So I followed her instructions…mostly. I’m not so good at quilty math and stuff like that, so the middle point on my leaf didn’t turn out like hers, I kind of just eyeballed it instead of following her geometrical directions! :) I have really been having fun piecing together quilt block designs. Love the way squares sewn together become fairly easy points and triangles! Here is a quick step-by-step of how the sewing up of the maple leaf happened (sew and flip):
Then after playing around with the outer edges of the block (should I keep it square?), my daughter liked the more traditional flag-shaped rectangle, so I went for this idea, appliqued a stem, and added jumbo rickrack to the sides (because jumbo rick rack is just so jumbo and awesome!):Quilting powers activate!!! I’ve been practicing, and this was a great project to practice quilting on. I don’t have a walking foot or darning foot, so no free-handed stuff! It’s all start and stop and turn and start, so the straight sides of the leaf were good to practice echo quilting on.I did what Anjeanette suggested and added extra batting under the leaf. Another close-up. Hey, not perfect, but great practice, and I just LOVE THE RED AND WHITE!!!I added tabs so we could hang this little flag up on the wall, and there it hangs! O Canada! Happy Flag Day!
P.S. I even used Canadian spelling for this patriotic post! Did you notice? (I usually spell American style)