It’s hard to imagine that we started this Canada Mystery Quilt in the fall of 2015. I started a Canada Mystery Quilt group on my Facebook page in November 2015 in hopes that it would encourage everyone to keep up with their blocks. The discussion has been great and I love that quilters are making changes to the blocks that do not inspire them. We are so close to the finish and I can’t wait to see the finished products. I wonder how many Canada 150 Birthday quilts will be produced?
I’ve had discussions with quilters who say they don’t have the patience for this type of work. It’s been a first for me, joining a BOM, and I had to learn patience for having to WAIT for the next block!
I’ve told them if they can trace and cut they can do this. The pattern is set up for raw edge applique meaning you just straight stitch around the pieces. I’ve chosen to change thread colours and use what ever type of thread I have. Joan is going with invisible thread to save time changing colours. It’s all individual. I’ve seen some use the Satin stitch and others use a Blanket stitch. Some of my blocks have free motion stitching on the applique too.
<—- The applique pressing sheet is the best tool to have for creating these detailed appliques.
I made the first two blocks and was puzzled by some of the instructions. Like assemble the chickadee & branch by “lightly fusing, cool and set aside.” I didn’t know you could do such a thing, but if you happen to have an applique pressing sheet, you can!
After you have patiently traced, fused and cut out your applique pieces the fun begins. Place the applique sheet on top of the layout guide. Follow the instructions of the pattern on which order to place the pieces that you are going to “lightly fuse, cool and set aside.” When the applique is cooled, gently peel it off the sheet. You will see that the fusible is still intact and ready to be place on the background piece.
There are 13 blocks blocks in this mystery quilt. One for each province or territory. The first block was from New Brunswick and I loved everything about it except the fabric chosen for the tree branch. I swapped it out for something in my stash that I liked. I have seen someone change the barn colour to red in the Alberta block. In the Northwest Territories block I decided to add a second polar bear cub, but otherwise loved the block.
When I got to the eighth block, Ontario, I decided to make a change to a few pieces. I believe a lot of likes and dislikes with these blocks come from where we live & where we’ve traveled in our country. I had difficulty with the “dock” in the Ontario block, but that’s because the docks I know and love on the ocean do not look like that. A quilter from the east coast had the same difficulty. While I didn’t change the shape of the dock I used a “wood” fabric in place of the original piece. I also wanted to take advantage of the awesome red fabric for the #sharethechair that Parks Canada uses. Those red chairs are a delight to find while out enjoying our awesome National Parks. So I changed the colour of the chairs and canoe. One quilter has made a change to the land in the horizon, depicting “the sleeping giant” as seen on Lake Superior.
<—All was fine until I got to Manitoba. The block depicts bison in the rolling hills with a grey moon over the horizon. I didn’t like the choice of fabric as the fabric design seemed too big for such a small block. One piece in particular seemed all wrong as the pattern in the fabric seemed to be directional and this piece was cut in the wrong direction. I pieced this block (it’s Joan’s) and then found out the fabric was indeed cut wrong for all the kits. But what are you to do when the block is finished?
<—For my block, I chose to swap out the green/yellow piece for a piece of green from my stash. Never having spent any amount of time on the prairies I don’t understand the moon on the horizon so I left it out. Maybe one day I’ll go to Manitoba and get a real feel for this part of the country. Like I said, I believe where we’ve lived and what we’ve seen goes a long way to understanding our country and what it looks like.
We’ve had ten blocks depicting the countryside, animals, birds and flowers of our provinces/territories. Now we come to Quebec, the eleventh block. Boy was I not expecting this one.
Quebec’s block is made up of historical buildings. A lot of black and grey, big patterned fabrics. I have had this kit for awhile now and just can’t wrap my head around it. I do not like it and the majority of discussion on the Canada Mystery group chat indicates I’m not the only one. I’ve been to Quebec. It’s beautiful and there is a lot of beautiful scenery to look at. I have decided to draft a block from a photo I took of the Quebec City fortified wall. I will be able to keep with the building theme but have some green from the top of the walls, a tree and will add the provincial flower, the blue flag iris.
One quilter in the group has done a block depicting Perce Rock. It captures the Gaspe Peninsula region on the Gulf of St Lawrence. It’s amazing.
Then just the other day another glitch happened. From the Cantik Batik Team : “In the making of the fabric for BC block, the colours came in wrong. We have been hoping the fabric would be corrected in time but we will not release a product until it is right.” I’m glad that they will send a corrected colour kit but this gets dicey when it comes to finishing on time. But then again, there are many worse things that can happen to us.
In May 2016 the Cantik Batik Team took a break from mystery blocks and gave us this amazing pattern, Homecoming. It is 33″ x 16 1/2.”
I’ve made two, the first for Joan was a flimsy and this one is quilted with the geese flying in the V formation. I’ll be making more as this one has been spied and coveted by two family members! If word gets out I’ll become a master flag maker!! Loving #Canada150!
Happy Quilting…Valerie Raye