Today I am putting the final border on a quilt that will be donated as a Quilt of Valour. This is a program that supports " our Canadian armed forces members past and present, with quilts of comfort in their time of need." The program originally started in the USA and is now in Canada.
I had heard about the program a few years ago and started hoarding a collection of red fabrics to use. When I found some Northcott Stonehenge Oh Canada 4 flag fabric designed specifically for QOV, I was ready to roll!
Northcott has designed many fabric lines with several free patterns that use their Stonehenge Oh Canada fabric. This is the design I started with for the centre of my quilt, using the three flags surrounded by pieced flying geese blocks. This quilt was designed by Elaine Theriault for Northcott using fabrics from the Oh Canada 4 fabric line. She has a great blog at Crazy Quilter on a Bike so please visit her often to be inspired!
I only had the flag fabric from Oh Canada 4, so had to adapt everything else. After I made the centre, I added a few borders and then changed up everything! I wanted to use maple leaf blocks for one of the borders. I googled the block and found lots of free patterns for a 6" finished block. I made the stem the easy way. I cut a 1" wide strip of fabric 5 inches long for each stem, pressed the long edges in 1/4", sewed the stem to the square close to the long edges, and squared the block. Easy peasy!
I used about 6 different red fabrics to make the blocks with a variety of creams for the backgrounds. Here are my first six...
I laid out the blocks first this way with all the blocks arranged facing up but it wasn't to my liking.
Then I rearranged the blocks so the leaves travelled in the same direction all around the quilt and that is what I decided on.
To keep the corner maple leaves from running into each other, I used a cream block with a red centre for the corner blocks and surrounded it all with a red print border.
I have another red border to add, but I didn't think the weather would cooperate for a picture later today. The quilt will finiah around 56" x 68", a cuddle quilt size. Tomorrow I hope to sandwich the quilt and will start machine quilting it. When finished, I will make a pillowcase for it and send it off to the Nova Scotia provincial QOV rep in Halifax. She will attach a special label and will see that it is passed along to a new owner.
Both my father and my father-in-law served in World War II and are no longer with us so I really wanted to do something in their memory. Quilts of Valour-Canada was the way I could help. They have a goal to have 10,000 quilts made and donated by 2018. To date, over 6,000 quilts have been donated, with one more soon to be ready! Please visit Quilts of Valour-Canada if you would like further information on how to donate a quilt or if you know someone who you feel should be a recipient of a quilt. If you live in the USA, the link for Quilts of Valor is HERE.
It's a great day for quilting!