Build a Quilt and the Maple Leaf block
Canada’s big birthday party is coming up soon and since the theme for the quilt show is Canada 150, I thought I would celebrate by making lots and lots or maple leaf 9 patch blocks …. At least 1 for every member in the guild, so that must be just over 200!!! Yikes what was I thinking! Just buying 215 candles would have been easier or maybe joining a smaller guild.
On the other hand, what a great excuse to have guild sisters Cathy Thoms, Vicki Robson and Eunice Rhoades come for a visit. You should see the speed Vicki can pin with one arm in a cast. Here is the 1st block….. And what a pile of 50 unstitched blocks look like!
What could be more cheery looking that a mass of red, green, yellow, orange maple leaves at our show? What could be easier than putting ready-made blocks into a table runner, lap quilt, embellished wall art or a simple mug rug in time for July 1st celebrations. But even more important, one of these blocks could be a catalyst to encourage someone to learn sew or take that 1st step down that rabbit hole into a brave new world of learning to quilt, fabric stashes and shop hops with friends. Let’s make that 1st step easy.
But there is more as to why I would like to do this…..
Each August long weekend my husband bike to the Heritage Festival in Edmonton. I am always amazed by the number of countries that you see represented in this far northern city. It always reminds me Canada is not a monochromatic quilt…. it is a dizzy array of vibrant colours and patterns that somehow work together.
My parents immigrated, to Canada from Europe in the 1950’s, to build a new life. In fact I think half of Europe must have come! The street I grew up in was a mixture of Polish, Ukrainians, Italians, Germans, Dutch, Yugoslavians, Irish and one token elderly Canadian that lived next door. When I think back, I took for granted the mosaic of different languages, food, clothes, religions and traditions. It seemed so natural and you got good at sign language! I also grew up knowing it was not always easy to be a new Canadian.
So where am I going with this? In honour of Canada’s upcoming birthday and to recognize the importance that the immigrate has been to our country, I would like to donate any money raised with the sale of the blocks at the members market to go to a non-profit charity in the Edmonton area that helps new immigrants settle into a new life in this city. I don’t know about you but events south of the border of late I find disquieting. This is the perfect occasion, even if even in this small way, take the opportunity to honour those who came and helped build a country and support those who are yet to come. I have made 50 blocks so far …. Are there quilt sisters or brothers that will help me reach my goal and reduce their stash a bit?
Let’s Celebrate, Encourage, Honour, Support… and we know any left over blocks would look amazing in a quilt of valour or other charity quilt.
Below are the instructions for the block. One word of advice, that I learned the hard way, make the ½ square triangles bigger and trim!!
….And don’t clench your jaw when cutting fabric!! I never realized I did that until I started cutting and trimming these blocks !!
For 9 1/2” (9 “finished’) maple leaf blocks you will need:
Fabric: plain white (or off white), variety of reds, greens, yellows or oranges.
For each block you will need. ….
2 – White 3 1/2” blocks (**you will cut one on the diagonal to give 2 triangles to build the stem block)
1 – Coloured leaf stem 5” x 1 1/2” (see above**)
3 – 3 ½” coloured blocks (i.e. combination reds for red leaf, greens for green leaf etc.)
4 – 3 ½” white / coloured half square triangles.
Chain stitch each horizontal row together first, leaving joining threads. It helps to keep your blocks organized.
If you are looking for a quick way to make multiple ½ square triangles, check out the following sites.
Half square magic 8 method: craftsy how to make 1/2 square triangles
http://www.generations-quilt-patterns.com/half-square-triangle-units.html …make 4 at a time (be generous … cut blocks 5 ¾” -6” and trim to exact size)
http://www.generations-quilt-patterns.com/triangle-square.html … make 8 at a time (according to calculation you start with a 9ish block but I would be a little more generous so you don’t have a problem trimming to 3 ½” half squares)