November. It is such a somber time and I was feeling particularly down as November 11, 2019 approached. It seems to me that we are not learning lessons of peace. So much hate and anger out there in the world. Last November I followed my urge to make a small quilt for Remembrance Day. It definitely made me feel happier doing something I love as I remembered those that fought for us and our freedom. I found this free poppy-quilt-block and decided a small, happy wall hanging would be perfect to hang for the month of November. I purchased a fat quarter of poppy fabric and used scraps for the rest. The centre of the poppies have antique buttons from my stash. (so much fun scouring the 2nd hand stores for buttons.) I don’t know how any of you design quilts but it’s definitely a process. (More on that later.)
After I’d quilted and bound this small 11″ x 25″ wall hanging I decided to add these really cool button covers to the bottom of the piece. I’d found those for .75 at the Chemainus Ladies Auxiliary. I didn’t know what I’d do with them then but they had to come home with me. Button covers are like jewelry for clothes. Check out the butterflies in the petals of these covers. They attach by fitting over a standard size button. Well, once I got those on I thought something was missing. Crosses. Note to self would be to stitch the crosses and then add buttons. This quilt makes me happy. It is my November wall hanging. Between the Crosses, Row on Row <–just a little quilt blowing in the wind.
A few days ago I decided that I needed to make another Remembrance Day quilt. I started with blues and greens from my recently cut 2 1/2″ square stash and made a background. For the poppies I used the left over red maple leaf batik from the Homecoming flags by Shania Sunga. All the flowers, stems and leaves are free hand cut. I’m getting braver and braver at that. From past experience I decided to just place the flower pieces on the background and leave it for a bit. It took about 2 days to decide on placement before finally deciding to fuse. Next came the decision to add a border. A few blues & blacks came out to play. Finally decided on this piece designed by Buggy Barn for Henry Glass. It has a red star in the centre of a five petal, line drawn flower. I suspect that it is a piece from Merle’s stash. I free motion stitched all the applique as I was quilting it. Then it hung for a bit. It needed more poppies. I added two Flowers of Remembrance from Novembers gone past. Then it hung for a bit more. I found some red maple leaf buttons in the button box. They were the perfect red & size giving depth. I then decided I needed to add some crosses. They were stitched in white in the sky area. My niece Kristy had this to say: “I like how you put the crosses up high…the piece is like a breath of fresh air… it ends up having a lot of flow…I agree with the crosses being visible but gentle. It keeps the piece elevated and light…like looking up with hope instead of down with sadness.” <– This makes me smile as that is exactly what I was going for. It measures 16″ x 22″ and hangs beside the first one.
I can’t remember when I got my first Royal Canadian Air Force button but I was very excited to find this —> one. I believe it was found in the Powell River Ladies Auxiliary store. The button opens up like a locket. I do not know who the woman is in the photo but she’s been with me for several decades. Perhaps one year I will find a way to incorporate these into a wall hanging.
From the Canadian Legion website ( https://www.legion.ca/remembrance/the-poppy) these words: Each November, Poppies bloom on the lapels and collars of millions of Canadians. The significance of the Poppy can be traced back to the Napoleonic Wars in the 19th century, over 110 years before being adopted in Canada. Records from that time indicate how thick Poppies grew over the graves of soldiers in the area of Flanders, France. Fields that had been barren before battle exploded with the blood-red flowers after the fighting ended. During the tremendous bombardments of the war, the chalk soils became rich in lime from rubble, allowing the “popaver rhoeas” to thrive. When the war ended, the lime was quickly absorbed and the Poppy began to disappear again. The Great War Veteran’s Association in Canada (our predecessor) officially adopted the poppy as its Flower of Remembrance on July 5, 1921.
Also a great read here: veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/history/first-world-war/mccrae