Northcott recently released it’s “Oh Canada” fabric line to support the Quilts of Valour and I was immediately struck by these wonderful fabrics. I am not sure if everyone knows but Northcott is the only Canadian fabric designing company amongst all the fabric companies out there. This is also the first line of Canadiana fabric that has ever caught my eye and I wanted to make something with it. One of the great things about this fabric line is that proceeds from each sale are going to support the Quilts of Valour program. QOV is a program that provides quilts of comfort for injured Canadian soldiers. See their website for how you can help by making just one block.
Michelle at Simcoe Sew & Quilt in Barrie suggested I design a block of the month quilt using the fabric line. I rolled the idea around in my head and set about designing. I had the idea in my head but just couldn’t quite figure out how to go about doing what I wanted. Instead of trying to design in EQ I went straight for graph paper, pencil, ruler and eraser – the last item being the most used of course. I started out designing and had the rough idea of what I wanted the quilt to look like but then I was stuck on what to put in the blocks that represented Canada. Each block in my mind had to be a part of Canada otherwise it just wouldn’t be a Canadiana quilt, would it?
I put the design aside for a bit, until Michelle asked to see it and then I was down to the crunch to get it done. I went to bed one night and my mind was just a racing about what I could put into these empty spaces of my quilt to represent Canada. Needless to say I didn’t stay in bed and back to the paper I went to create the quilt called Purely Canadian. Each block says something about Canada and most of them have a connection to me in some way, shape or form.
I have tried to represent all areas of Canada from coast to coast to coast and that third coast, the Arctic Ocean is very dear to me as I spent a decade of my life in the Arctic. Having grown up in the prairies you would think that the first thing to go on the quilt would have been a grain elevator especially since there are very few left standing, but can you believe I forgot to put one on. I have rectified that problem though and if you look on the back of my quilt, when you see it in person, you will find one there having the place of honour as my label.
I have the pleasure of bringing this quilt to Simcoe Sew & Quilt this fall as a block of the month program which will start at the end of October and run the fourth Wednesday of the month until June 2013 excluding December. Your registration fee includes the coloured fabrics to make the blocks in the maple leaf and all printed patterns as well as the monthly meetings. If you can’t make the BOM the pattern will also be available for purchase separately.
Along with this Oh Canada line, a sister line called Stars & Stripes was created to support the American branch of Quilts of Valor. I figured I might as well design one with it as well and here it is.