You’re here! Yay! I am super excited and honoured to be the first stop on the Canadian Summer Quilt Along. Pull up a lawn chair, grab an iced tea/iced coffee/adult sippy cup of wine (#iwould) and be prepared to get inspired by the incredible line up we have prepared for you!
Our wonderful host Anita (@daydreamsofquilts on IG) organized this QAL to celebrate our love for this beautiful country of ours! And as you can guess, all of the quilters on this QAL schedule are all fellow Canadians. We were each tasked with creating a 12″ finished block that represents something that we love about Canada. Some of the quilters on the schedule created very patriotic and beautiful blocks, but mine is a little more personal. When I think of what I love about Canada I automatically think of summer, and when I think of summer I think of my family.
To make a long story (and massive family tree) short (no trees were harmed in the writing of this blog post), my paternal grandmother is one of 7 children. Back in 1975 the 7 grown children and their expanding families decided to organize an annual summer family reunion. The Grant Family Reunion is going into its 43rd year this summer and has been a highlight of my year since I was born. From catching up with cousins who live far away to seeing my great-grandmother have a few sociables and play pranks on those who went to bed early, some of my fondest family summer memories revolve around these reunions.
As with most family reunions, there are a few friendly – yet serious – tournaments that we partake in. We have a Euchre tournament and a Horseshoe tournament. I take my game of horseshoes VERY seriously! LOL! And I’ve come thiiiiiis close to winning the trophy a couple of times, but have yet to win (*sniffle*). So in honour of my favourite summer family sport, I created a horseshoe block. I wanted to be able to get a nice curve to the horseshoe so decided that needle-turn appliqué would be the technique of choice.
Have you ever done needle-turn appliqué? If not, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Also, I’ll mention that you do NOT need to hand-baste your pieces onto your fabrics – if you’ll find it easier to glue baste or machine baste, please do whichever basting method suits you best.
If you happen to have a Creativebug membership, my favourite needle-turn appliqué class/tutorial video is Carolyn Friedlander’s Hand-Stitched Appliqué Quilts tutorial. Carolyn’s technique is pretty well the exact same as mine when it comes to the needle-turning and stitching. And if you don’t have a membership, you can always sign up for their free trial and use your free credits to take this class! I’m a HUGE fan of Carolyn’s style, slow-stitching mentality and fabric designs, so this would be my #1 recommendation.
Here’s the link to the PDF of the block pieces! You will need:
- a fat quarter for your background, cut to 12.5 x 12.5″
- a 12×12″ scrap for the horseshoe
- smaller scraps for the flower, flower centre and leaves
Cut out your shapes on the solid line – the dashed line is your basting line, which is 1/4″ from the edge. Follow Carolyn’s tutorial or use your own awesome needle turn appliqué skills for the basic technique. Start with the horseshoe, then stitch on your leaves, the flower and then the flower centre. Give it a good press and you’re set!
Now to get this party started on the right foot I am also hosting a giveaway! I’ve got a Sew Fine Thread Gloss prize pack (my awesome side-hustle!) that includes 3 thread gloss scents to help you with your summer sewing projects! All you need to do is comment on this post and tell me what your favourite summer family tradition is. Contest will be open from June 11 at 9am EST to June 15th at 11:59pm EST. I’ll draw a name at random and post the winner here and on Instagram – be sure to include your Instagram handle in your comment so I can tag you! Open to residents of Canada only.
If you haven’t seen the entire quilt, in all its Canadian glory, here’s Anita’s full sized quilt with flag sashing. Isn’t it GORGEOUS?! Now get needle-turning! I hear there might be a super amazing grand prize for someone who completes all of the blocks…
Leave your comment to win! And thanks for stopping by!