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.

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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.


  1. Interesting quilts. I like the use of tartans.

  2. I would really like a copy of the map pattern for the
    Canadian Tartan by Rebecca McAlpine (Oakville, Ontario, Canada). Is there a source for this pattern? It is really hard to find a good map pattern, and I would like to do a tartan map like this one!


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