Friday, February 3, 2017

Canada 150 Sew Day

Canada turns 150 years old this year so of course quilters across Canada are going to help celebrate! The Canadian Quilters Association is hosting Canada's Biggest Quilt Bee at Quilt Canada from June 14-17. Quilters across Canada are asked to participate by making slab quilt blocks, send then to Quilt Canada, and during Canada's Biggest Quilt Bee, the blocks will be assembled into quilt tops, quilted, and then the finished quilts will be distributed to Ronald McDonald Houses all across Canada. Wow! What a win-win initiative! Quilters get to have fun all for a good cause! 

On Wednesday of this week, my local guild, the Tea Thyme Quilters of Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia, organized a SEW DAY. We invited quilters, sewers, and members of the community to come help us make slab blocks at St. Mark's Church from 10-4. We invited people to come for an hour or for the day. McDonalds provided coffee and pastries, a local restaurant, the Fleur de Lis, provided sandwiches, and some wonderful cooks/quilters provided soup and sweets. What a successful day it was! This is the wall of blocks that were made that day...

The day started with a live radio interview on 101.5 The Hawk early that morning.  Quilter Barb and myself were given headphones and a microphone and asked to "have a conversation" with local radio personalities Scottie O and Greg Morrow. And did we converse! Several people heard us and dropped in to see what the fuss was all about.

We had about 50 people participate that day. Around 35 brought their machines and sewed blocks, while the others helped organize fabrics, pressed strips, served food, and generally helped out. A requirement for the Bee is that each block had to have a piece of special Canada 150 fabric in it. Everyone who came that day was given some of that fabric to use, plus quilters filled a table with stash fabrics to share. Hope you enjoy a little photo diary of the day.

The day started with set up of tables in the church hall and organization of fabrics.

The doors opened around 10:00 and before long the room was filled with quilters and sewing machines. One of the first groups to arrive was from "the Mainland!"

On the stage, we displayed some sample blocks that had already been sewn together at home. These blocks will be sent to Quilt Canada with all the blocks made at Sew Day. Some women brought finished quilts which we also displayed on the stage. Each province has a volunteer to be a "collector" of the finished quilts. In Nova Scotia, the collector will then hand deliver any finished quilts to the Ronald McDonald House in Halifax. The Collectors are listed in this document HERE.

As the day progressed, finished blocks were taped to the side wall and the count was on! We had a goal of making 150 blocks that day and the ongoing count definitely kept us motivated. 

We were thrilled when local radio personality Scottie O arrived to make a block.  Barb and the gals took him to the fabric table where he carefully chose his fabrics. 

I was very excited to walk Scottie O through the "making of the block" process. He was a quick learner and had no problem at all using the rotary cutter or the sewing machine. As he said, "I do use power tools, after all!". 

Scottie O was so proud to display his block. Behind him, you can see how the wall of blocks kept growing!

Quilters came from across Cape Breton and from the Mainland to join us that day. This group of quilting friends giggled all day but sure got a lot accomplished!

Just look at how the fabric table grew as the day went on...

At the end of the day we might have been a little tired but we sure were excited when we counted the blocks. We made 163 blocks that day, and when we added the 27 made before hand, we now have a total of 190 blocks that are ready to mail out. Thanks so much to everyone who was involved. It was such a feel-good day! And always a great day for quilting!


  1. Way to go! So great to read about such awesome, generous Nova Scotia quilters.

  2. Looks like a well organized and publicized event. Sounds like you had great support and accomplished a lot!
    Scottie looks very happy with his block. : )

  3. Way to go ladies......190 blocks is a lot of blocks. Well done!!!!!👏👏

  4. Congratulations on an awesome and successful project!

  5. What a fantastic project!!! You all did an awesome job at the Sew Day and we know the finished quilts will help comfort people. ~Jeanne

  6. That is an amazing achievement. And what a wonderful event. Thank you for sharing all aspects of this fun day!

  7. Awesome write up on an awesome day for an awesome project, you gals did so well in one day !

  8. The Mahone Bay Quilters Guild did the same thing! We had a great day and many are still working on blocks.

  9. Awesome!! You're becoming a celebrity -- first tv and now radio. What's next?? LOL

  10. Looks like an incredible day, Lesley! Wish I could have been there! A few of my island friends wrote to say they participated and had so much fun! XO

  11. Wow! Sounds like your event was a success by any measure!

  12. Wow, what a fantastic way to bring a community together..well done on a great effort to you and your team. And such a good cause too!


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