If you didn't already know, 2017 will mark Canada's 150th birthday. I think every quilter on the planet will know soon enough, because the deluge of red & white and maple leaf-themed quilts has already started!
So far, I've managed to stick with my own projects. In January my plan is to pull out these maple leaf blocks from 2014...
...and do something improv-y with them. I already have a fun idea. Or, maybe I should say that was my plan. Thanks to that horrible temptress Quilter Kathy, today I finally laid eyes on the full layout for the 150 Canadian Women quilt along, which I'd been avoiding, and which you can see here.
The decision process was very fast! Yes, two months ago I said that I was done with BOMs and quilt alongs, but you know, I hope I can also recognize a good thing when I see it. This quilt will be a classic.
So, while this was my nice easy plan for today, the last seam on the last units for Week 2 of En Provence...
...instead I went down to my stash in search of a suitable creamy background fabric. This was right on top...
...and so was that scruffy pink piece, so I grabbed that too. I knew the cream fabric was perfect right away. Why?
Yes, there's still one day left in the Kaleidoscope of Butterflies link up, and I have a butterfly-shaped hole in my line up right now, because I really haven't been able to hand stitch since my back went out in October. So this should keep me going for a while. Please check out the much better butterfly and kaleidoscope photos that everyone else in the link up has posted!
I have enough of this fabric to do all the block backgrounds as well as the sashing, but before I even climbed up all the stairs I knew that using just one background would be too flat for me. I love the depth I managed to get in my first quilt, the nine patch, by using a wide range of backgrounds, some lighter and some darker than the setting fabric. That will be the plan again, and a really wide range of "reds" to go with them.
I started with my Allietare leftovers (good reds!), and then pulled in some other scraps from the bin:
This really was a very enjoyable day. My goal was to make three blocks, and I made seven. With all those scraps in front of you, it's fun to see what looks good together, and how much you can squeeze out of that last tiny piece.
It looks a little grey in the photos, but there is quite a yellow tinge to the background fabric, so I will probably stay on the warm side with my reds. I'm hoping to bring in a little of everything -- modern, traditional, 30s reproductions, batiks...maybe Christmas too. Why not? With luck the blocks will reflect whatever else I am sewing at the time. And I'm going to make an effort to use real scraps from the bin, not yardage.
150 blocks, 3 blocks per week. The patterns are free for two weeks, and you will find them here. The designer, Kathryn Wilson Tucker, has named each block for a pioneering Canadian woman, and includes a brief history with each pattern. They make interesting reading! I sincerely hope she will be able to get a book deal for the quilt sometime this year. It would be great to keep the book along with the quilt. When it's done!