Each of the blocks in this quilt was made by a different lady from across our great country. We each made 13 blocks of the province we represented and we mailed 12 of those out to the other ladies. After that it was up to each individual to make their project.
This is a description of my layout. The blocks are placed in order with Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick as Cornerstones as these are the 1st four provinces to join Canadian federation. Nunavut is centered as it was the last to join. From there they are placed in order as to the date they joined. I chose red white and black to surround my blocks as this reminds me of the many nationalities of people that make up Canadians. The red stripe in the middle is to remind me that Canada is a place where people are honest (straight and narrow) the flying geese sashing blocks are pointing north as we are the true north and also a reminder of our own majestic birds flying home for the summer. The Border is made up of intertwined red and black to show how all are lives are somehow connected thru one another and how this project has joined us together. There are 12 friendship starts also in the border as a reminder of the 12 new friends we have made in the completion process of this quilt Also we are known in the world for our friendliness. And of course a Canadian quilt would not be totally finished without a maple leaf like our flag.
Ontario (July 1, 1867)
Here is what Ontario Means to me. Ontario holds 40% of Canada’s population. I grew up and remain in South Western Ontario where my family helped settle the township. The Underground Railroad was a huge part of this locations history and my family played a part in that era so “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” has always been a part of my heart. While you will not see any cabin on your block just the fact that we are quilting is reference to that time frame.
My block was drawn up on EQ7 and the fabric picked to depict the natural aspect of the province. We are one huge Campground and Wilderness to hike and explore. Full of wildlife and Lakes, in particular “the Great Lakes”. The ground in southern Ontario is very fertile but starts to head north and you will run into the Niagara Escarpment, the Canadian Shield and rock, rock, and more rock.
Point Pelle which is the southernmost part of our country is my playground. I am 28 kilometers from its doorstep. In the fall the Monarch Butterfly gather in huge numbers and splendor for the rest before starting their journey south. Leamington which is the neighboring town of point Pelee was home to Heinz until just recently.
Niagara Falls was one of the only sources of power for a long time and I can get to this wonder in a short 3 ½ hour drive.
Mining is a huge mainstay for our industry both salt and mineral while the Automotive Industry has made Windsor famous. The white Pine Tree has become a symbol of Ontario and while wood working this is my Favorite medium.
Our marsh lands have provided some of the richest farm lands once irrigated and our forests are home to different wildlife giving us a huge hunting and camping opportunity, our land is covered in rivers, streams and lakes making for a wonderland for boaters and fishermen.
The major part of population lives in a very small southerly part of the province leaving the north open and untouched. If you can see that tiny little back peninsula sticking out at the bottom of the province you will be looking at Point Pelee and I am some 28 kilometers in towards the center of the township…. that tiny fly speck is Pelee Island where my mom was born. My father’s family crossed the Detroit River once it was frozen under cover of night for religious freedom in the 1800’s and settled in Essex County. The red portion is Toronto where the main part of the population lives.
There is so much to share, so much to tell but this gives you an idea of My Ontario. This has certainly put into perspective whet a wonder of a country we have and how blessed we are to be able to connect across it with ought fear of government interference or backlash…. Canada…. the true North Strong and FREE…
Quebec (July 1 1867)
I stepped up to represent Quebec as it is the province of my birth. The background material is to represent the Lorentian Mountains. As a child this was my playground. In winter I would set snares for rabbits with my dad. We had our own little trap line. There were times that the snow was so deep that I would sink all the way to my waist. I chose a maple tree being tapped with bucket. My pepere (grandfather) had his own sugar shack. And many a times we would go to it and drink the sap straight from the buckets. Also o remember the maple syrup that was made and how pepper would cook eggs bacon and sausages in the syrupy. And also the “tir” the toffee poured onto fresh snow and eaten off a stick. The purple iris is Quebec’s official flower. This would grow wild by the streams in the forest and along the railroad tracks that we played on. The rocks are included as all the lakes in Quebec that we went to were crystal clear due to the rock bottoms. By our house we also had rock formations that were dynamited to cut the hill for the road. We played on these too. I chose to do a straight seam on the leaves so that they would curl with wear. And hoping that the trees and grass will fray with wear also. Making my block more rugged as I found Quebec to be rugged country.
Manitoba (June 15, 1870)
Hudson Bay blanket colors – A Hudson’s Bay blanket was made from wool and traded by the Hudson’s Bay Company during the 18th century and 19th century. The company is named for the famous saltwater bay in Northeastern Canada. The blankets were typically traded to First Nations and Native Americans in exchange for beaver pelts. The blankets hold iconic status in Canada. Red River Cart was a large two‑wheeled cart made entirely of wood. It was often drawn by oxen, though also by horses or mules. The carts were used throughout most of the 19th century in the fur trade and in westward expansion of Canada into the area of the Red River and on the plains west of the Red River Colony. The cart was a simple conveyance developed by Métis for use in their settlement on the Red River in what later became Manitoba.
Northwest Territories (July 15, 1870)
Because the North West Territories is such a large and diverse place I chose to include images of my little corner of the Territory – the Beaufort Delta from Inuvik and to the north.
The block features the 2 main seasons we have here – winter and mud all under the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). I have then added one of the favorite pastimes here – dog sledding (while no longer used for transportation they are a popular tourist attraction and a number of people keep racing teams), the ever-present and very large Raven ( a protected Bird in NT ‑ you are not allowed to kill them even though they are pests) And the iconic Our Lady of Victory Roman Catholic Church(Known locally as the igloo church) The low growing plants, and the snow/ice with a dog team To have tried to include everything that could represent the northwest Territories could have taken up a whole quilt and then some.
British Columbia (June 20, 1871)
BC is Canada’s most mountainous province and has some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in the world is bordered to the west by the Pacific ocean and its marine life (killer whales and dolphins) can be viewed. Many species of wildlife inhabit the gorgeous province bears and deer are abundant. Colors used in the block are Green for the vast forests, blue for the ocean, lakes Streams and rivers. Brown for the wood harvested. Sky for the incredible sunsets that can be found.
Prince Edward Island (July 1, 1873)
The tartan of course represents the red soil and the green fields, the lighthouse is actually the North Rustico lighthouse on the north shore. I chose not to do anything with Anne of Green Gables because we are also famous for our shores and lighthouses. I also didn’t want any potatoes on it. Nope. I sell lots of that fabric at the shop plus our Anne fabric so wanted something completely different. I’ve been hoarding my seagulls for years (hard to find) and thought the sky needed them.
Nunavut (April 1,999)
Ruth M Adamchick
Although I have never lived in Nunavut. I have traveled through Rankin Inlet and Iqaluit several times. During our eleven years in Yellowknife I met and worked with several great people from Nunavut and feel a bond with people of the North. There are explanations of the symbolism in the flag you could goggle, however the yellow inuksuk reminds me of the airport in Iqaluit which looks somewhat like a yellow submarine. The northern lights and snow and ice landscape I chose for obvious reasons.
Yukon (June 13, 1898)
Jeanne May Dyck
Mine is very simple as there being mountains (home of Mount Logan the highest mountain in Canada.), forestry, lakes and gold panning (gold was discovered in 1898 leading to the Klondike gold rush) on the water’s edge. The pink is the fireweed flowers that are the first to start to grow after a forest fire had gone through the area.
Alberta (sept 1, 1905)
Linda Moore Gunderson
Here is my block story: the cows represent the many dairy farms in the area, we also have a lot of other farms with different cows & animals. Then the grass represents the many kind of things we grow from vegetables to grain crops. The water is for a lot for lakes, rivers & wetlands, hills, including the Badlands. Then beautiful Rocky Mountains. On the side is the Wild Rose our Flower for Alberta the Oil Derrick (The First Oil Well was drilled in 1902, it was the first productive in western Canadian the Waterton Lakes National Park) which very much dot the landscape of Ab, is part of our economic growth
Saskatchewan (September 1, 1905)
Endless wheat fields, the sky seems to never stop. You can watch your dog run away for days. A small grain elevator in the distance. The four red corners represent all those that come to Regina, Sk to become RCMP and to all the corners of Canada they are sent to. The Prairie Lilly is the provincial flower.
Nova Scotia (July 1, 1867)
The block has Nova Scotia tartan on the bottom, then the clouds of course. An image of the iconic Bluenose is centered and then on the bottom right is a scallop shell to represent my home of Digby, home of world famous Digby Scallops. This is not the original plan, as I said. I had always intended the Bluenose to be there however it was to have been a much more elaborate block
Newfoundland/Labrador (March 31, 1949)
I wanted to do something that represented the area where I live. We are known for our sandy beaches, so the wave rolling in on the sand. Our main industry is the fishery, especially snow crab, so the fish theme fabric. This also represents our connection with Labrador. Years ago, fishermen went to Labrador in the fall chasing fish. Snow crab is only a recent addition to the fishing industry. It really peaked when the cod moratorium began in 1992 when processing plants were scrambling to find new markets. It was considered a nuisance years ago when cod was king, along with lobster, getting tangled in fishing nets. It was put on vegetable gardens for fertilizer. Lastly, the lightening fabric represents our extreme weather here and Labrador.
New Brunswick (July 1, 1867)
This is the ‘story’ of the block: the black capped chickadees are one of our provincial icons, as is the balsam fir ‑ lobsters probably should be in there too! We are a province of spectacular sunsets, of forests and creatures, and of beautiful seascapes ‑ which sometimes turn in an instant…the block is called Storm at Sea, which to me means the Escuminac Disaster of 1959. I look out at the sea where it happened and many of my friends were affected badly… ‘The catastrophe, known as the Escuminac Disaster, took place during the night of 19 to 20 June 1959, when 35 fishermen, young boys as well as adults, perished in a violent storm on the coast. Escuminac Wharf, located at the entrance to Miramichi Bay, was at that time the center of fishing activity for several nearby communities. On that day in June 1959 when fishermen went out to sea in pursuit of the lucrative salmon fishery, the weather forecast from Halifax predicted nothing out of the ordinary, nothing more than light winds. It was only later on that evening that warnings of a violent storm were issued. Unfortunately, none of the fishing boats was equipped with a radio. The fishermen, who had already cast their nets, tried in vain to brave the storm. The winds reached 75 mile‑per‑hour (120 kilometers‑per‑hour) gales, and 50‑foot (15 meters) waves reduced 22 of the 32 +boats to kindling and did the same to many of their trawls and lobster traps. Although 16 fishermen were spared, 35 could not escape the ravages of the brutal storm. The youngest victim was only 13 years old. The tragedy brought severe social and economic hardships to those affected in the region. It also served to shed a sudden light on the impoverished condition of the fishing communities. The most visible response to the Escuminac Disaster was the launching of the New Brunswick Fishermen’s Disaster Fund, established by Fredericton’s Daily Gleaner publisher Brigadier Michael Wardell. During the months following the tragedy, donations were received from all parts of Canada, and even Pope John XXIII and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, who was on a Royal Tour in Canada, donated money to the fund. More than $400,000 was collected, enough to provide limited but valuable relief to the 24 adults and 83 children who were the widows and orphans left in distress by the tragedy. “My friend’s husband was one of the survivors who went back out as a rescuer, he’s now 83 and still fishing, as are his 2 sons and his grandson. We still hold the memorial every year in our small churches.For me there was only one choice of block, it represents an area where people pull together, and look out for one another regardless of what life throws at you.
I’m real proud of this project. I displayed it at our local library September 2015 for our logging days. It was quite a hit. Even the reporter from our local paper did an article on the quilt. since then it has been used at my kids elementary school as a teaching aid.
These are some of the Quilts from this project that have been completed.