Thursday, June 21, 2018

O Canada ! Canadian Nine Patch quilts

What are Canadian Nine Patch quilts?  They are quilts made by Canadians to honor the country's 150th anniversary in 2017.  Each of these outstanding quilts incorporates a nine patch design, either overtly or in a subtle way.  The quilts represent Canada’s history, geography, and culture as expressed by each artist. Since Canada Day is coming up (July 1), we wanted to share some of these wonderful quilts.

p.s. For bargains on quilt books, magazines, and jewelry, visit us on E-Bay - we're Top Rated Sellers ! For continuous listings of free quilt patterns, please check us out on Twitter ! 

Maple Leaf by Susan Therrien (Winona, Ontario, Canada)

Maple Leaf was hand appliqued, machine pieced and quilted, and paper pieced. Susan Therrien says, "I am proud to be Canadian! Finding a variety of symbols representing life in Canada became the inspiration for my Canadian Nine Patch." The nine-patch center of the quilt, inspired by clip art from the web, reflects the many aspects of Canadian heritage and cultural activities.

The red Maple Leaf and small quilted leaves are internationally recognized as symbols of Canada.

Canadian Tartan by Rebecca McAlpine (Oakville, Ontario, Canada)

This map quilt was inspired by the Canadian Nine Patch theme, the map of Canada, and Scottish heritage. All of Canada’s provinces and territories have official tartans. The Canadian Tartan quilt is a map of Canada with each province and territory depicted by its tartan as registered in The Scottish Register of Tartans.

The Tartan map of Canada is on a background of the Maple Leaf Nine Patch. The quilt is bound in the national tartan, The Maple Leaf. The Canadian Maple Leaf tartan was designed by David Weiser, for Canada in honor of the country’s centenary in 1967. If you look closely you can see the maple leaf block in the white-on-white background, shown below:

Modern Hudson Bay by Joanne and Jenna Prokop, quilted by Leslie Prokop

Machine pieced and quilted, Modern Hudson Bay is a modern interpretation of the iconic Hudson Bay Blanket. This quilt uses a variation of the traditional Nine Patch to illustrate Canada’s patchwork history.

Founded in 1670, the Hudson Bay Company was at the center of Europe’s exploration of what would become the second largest country in the world, Canada. Driven by the fur trade, HBC was the driving force in developing the trade routes across Canada, connecting Newfoundland and the Atlantic Ocean to Vancouver Island and the Pacific.

True North by Karen Brown (North York, Ontario, Canada)

Machine pieced and quilted,  Karen Brown's Canadian Nine Patch quilt takes a modern approach to traditional blocks. You can see traditional blocks, such as the Maple Leaf, viewed from a perspective.  She says, "Learning from the past and building toward a future brings Canada together as a country at the top of the world."

O Canada in Morse Code by Susan Richard (Oakville, Ontario, Canada)

Susan Richard says, "I have always been intrigued by Morse Code, a special alphabet represented by a series of dots and dashes... In this strip pieced quilt, I used the combination of dots (replaced with Canadian maple leaves) and dashes to spell out Canada’s National Anthem, “O Canada”. Within the quilt, there are two places where the dots and dashes line up and appear as three mini Canada flags sitting one on top of the other. Each flag, composed of three pieces of fabric, creates a Canadian Nine Patch out of Canadian flags."

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2017 Houston International Quilt Festival.  The Canadian Nine Patch exhibit was organized by Leslie Prokop and Shelley DeHay-Turner in honor of Canada's sesquicentennial.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Daddy, Hold My Hand

Here's a lovely quilt in tribute to Father's Day on June 17.  Any male who has been like a father to you can be honored on Father's Day. Fathers impart wisdom, nurturing, maturity, good advice, and often, lots of support and patience. Think of someone with these qualities and wish him a Happy Father's Day, as that may mean everything to him !

For low-cost quilt books, magazines, and jewelry, visit us on E-Bay - we're Top Rated Sellers ! For continuous listings of free quilt patterns, please check us out on Twitter !

Daddy, Hold My Hand, 44 x 57", by Heidi Proffetty (Massachusetts, U.S.A.)

At the Houston International Quilt Festival of 2017,  Heidi's quilt won Third Place in the category of Art Quilts: People, Portraits, and Figures.  Heidi explains, "This quilt is based on a photograph I took while on a stroll of Newport, Rhode Island. I think it captures the loving bond between a little girl and her daddy."

Close-up, Daddy, Hold My Hand

Heidi continues, "It is an original technique I developed that starts with a hand-drawn mosaic design, which is then traced and cut with a digital cutter. There are over 2,700 small applique pieces that have been fused and free-motion stitched." This intricate and sophisticated technique reminds us of assembling a complex jigsaw puzzle out of fabric. For more information on Heidi's mosaic art quilt techniques see the article at Superior Threads.

Close-up of Quilting,  Daddy Hold My Hand

In this close up, you can see some of the many different hues of batik fabric used by Heidi. Her mosaic technique is especially useful for depicting the dappled light and shadows of the stone walkway and the surrounding garden scenery.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2017 Houston International Quilt Festival.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Patience to Raise the Sun: Quilters of Haiti

A Haitian proverb says, “You must have patience to raise the sun.” This truth is well understood by the Haitian women who made the quilts we’re sharing today. All of these quilts were machine pieced on a treadle machine, then hand appliqued, embroidered, and quilted. The exhibit* was organized by PeaceQuilts, a nonprofit organization that provides sewing machines, equipment, and training to help women establish their own small artisan businesses so they can earn a living wage.

p.s. For low-cost quilt books, magazines, and jewelry, check us out on E-Bay - we're Top Rated Sellers ! For continuous listings of free quilt patterns, please check us out on Twitter !

Tout Moun Ap Kontample Environman Haiti (Everyone Contemplates Haiti) by Nadege Florian

This charming quilt was inspired by the life and environment that all Haitians know and love. Nadege Florian says, "In the center is the tree of life, important because Haiti has been largely deforested. Around the tree are colorful tap-tap buses; each one represents a different state in Haiti. The outside band of the quilt represents the sea."

This beautiful work was pieced on a treadle sewing machine, then hand-appliqued, echo quilted, embroidered and embellished.

Kay Koule Twonpe Soley Men Li Pa Ka Twonpe Lapli (A Leaky Roof Fools the Sun but Cannot Fool the Rain) by Sr. Angela Belizire

 "A leaky roof fools the sun but cannot fool the rain" is a Haitian proverb. Sister Angela Belizire says, "These are sayings that all Haitians know, and which are used to instruct children and provide wisdom and life lessons." This quilt depicts a typical Haitian home and yard.  You can see Sister Angela's expert hand embroidery in the closeup photo below.

Machann Twal Yo (Our Fabric Market) by Imma Hyppolite

The artist, Imma Hyppolite says,  "This [depicts] the market where I sometimes buy fabric. I love to see all the different colors and designs, but most of it is synthetic. Cotton is very hard to find."  Brightly colored cloth is displayed in the closeup photo below.

Kenèp Mwen An Ap Donnen (My Kenèp Tree Will Bear Fruit) by Rose Marie Agnant

Kenep trees grow up to 30m high and bear green fruit related to the lychee.  Rose Marie Agnant says this quilt was inspired by the Kenèp tree in her yard and by the tree of life: "I love to sit under the Kenèp tree in my yard. We are always happy when we can harvest the fruit." You can see a wonderful article on Rose Marie at the PeaceQuilts website.

Vini Danse Avek Mewn (Come Dance with Me) by Sr. Angela Belizaire

Sister Angela Belizaire says, "Haitians love to dance, and even though I am a Catholic nun, I also dance on many occasions. I sew my own costumes, select the music, and follow the movements of traditional Haitian dances. In this quilt, I am inviting everyone to dance with me. I decorated the border with cow horn buttons because Haitians make beautiful things out of almost anything, including the horns of a cow."

Bann RaRa an Ayiti (Hairian RaRa Bank) by Veronique Mathurin

Veronique explains, "RaRa bands are everywhere during Carnival but this is the one in my village of Lilavois. This is the most exciting and fun festival of the year and starts the season of Lent. This quilt shows all the different costumes, people dancing, playing horns and drums."

The online store at PeaceQuilts offers folk art quilts, pillows, bags, jewelry, and other handmade items. Each purchase helps support member-owned sewing cooperatives where women create beautiful, artisan-made products, inspired by Haiti's rich artistic and cultural heritage.

*Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2017 Houston International Quilt Festival. The special exhibit was called Haiti PeaceQuilts:  Patience to Raise the Sun.
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