Tag Archives: Canada Day ideas

Maple Leaf quilt block flag

Maple Leaf quilt block flag

In honour of our National Flag Day here in Canada, and especially this year, which is the 50th anniversary of the flag, I made my own little quilty version.  And yes, I’m posting it a few days late!  It’s the thought that counts.  Besides, if you decide to make one, it will be great for Canada Day this summer.  Here are some stats that I found on the government website about our Canadian Heritage.  A brief history lesson (it’s good for me since I didn’t grow up in Canada):

According to many historians, the maple leaf began to serve as a Canadian symbol as early as 1700 when, before the coming of the first European settlers, Canada’s aboriginal peoples had discovered the food properties of maple sap, which they gathered every spring.   In August 1860, at a public meeting held in Toronto, the maple leaf was adopted as the national emblem of Canada for use in the decorations for the Prince of Wales’ visit.   In 1914, many Canadian soldiers wore the maple leaf on their military badges, and it was the dominant symbol used by many Canadian regiments serving in the Great World War I.  Red and white were approved as Canada’s official colours in the proclamation of the royal arms of Canada in 1921 by King George V.  In 1964, the Government made the creation of a distinctive Canadian flag a priority.  When Parliament could not reach agreement on the design, the task of finding a national flag was given to an all-party Parliamentary committee.  After considering thousands of proposals for flags submitted by Canadians, the committee chose three final designs.  It was the single leaf, red and white design that the Committee recommended to Parliament. The motion was passed to adopt this design as the National Flag of Canada with a vote of 163 to 78 on December 15, 1964.

On February 15, 1965 our national flag was raised for the first time on Parliament Hill. Canada was just two years away from centennial celebrations when the maple leaf flag was made official by Royal Proclamation. In 1996, February 15 was declared National Flag of Canada Day and has been observed every year since.  February 15, 2015, will mark the 50th anniversary of the National Flag of Canada.

We are a young country, but it still surprised me that our flag is so very young!  I’ll have to ask my Dad if he remembers when the flag was adopted! 😉

In order to celebrate, I searched around online to find a maple leaf quilt block that I could sew up with some cute red fabric my sister gave me.  I found that Anjeanette Klinder had posted a tutorial for a very lovely maple leaf block table runner.  Another cool thing was that her maple leaves were made from charm packs, love that idea, but I as yet have no charm packs!  Anyways, the all-red leaf was what I was going for, you know, for flag day.  So I followed her instructions…mostly.  I’m not so good at quilty math and stuff like that, so the middle point on my leaf didn’t turn out like hers, I kind of just eyeballed it instead of following her geometrical directions! 🙂  I have really been having fun piecing together quilt block designs.  Love the way squares sewn together become fairly easy points and triangles!  Here is a quick step-by-step of how the sewing up of the maple leaf happened (sew and flip):maple leaf quilt block flag by dennasideas.com - Page 001

Then after playing around with the outer edges of the block (should I keep it square?), my daughter liked the more traditional flag-shaped rectangle, so I went for this idea, appliqued a stem, and added jumbo rickrack to the sides (because jumbo rick rack is just so jumbo and awesome!):maple leaf quilt block flag by dennasideas.com - Page 004Quilting powers activate!!!  I’ve been practicing, and this was a great project to practice quilting on.  I don’t have a walking foot or darning foot, so no free-handed stuff!  It’s all start and stop and turn and start, so the straight sides of the leaf were good to practice echo quilting on.maple leaf quilt block flag by dennasideas.com - Page 005I did what Anjeanette suggested and added extra batting under the leaf.  Another close-up.  Hey, not perfect, but great practice, and I just LOVE THE RED AND WHITE!!!maple leaf quilt block flag by dennasideas.com - Page 006maple leaf quilt block flag by dennasideas.com - Page 002I added tabs so we could hang this little flag up on the wall, and there it hangs!  O Canada!  Happy Flag Day!

P.S.  I even used Canadian spelling for this patriotic post!  Did you notice?  (I usually spell American style)

Canada week


We didn’t have much time to gear up for Canada Day (this past Sunday), so we just kind of made it last longer…more like Canada Week.  Which is perfectly fine.  I didn’t get my “traditional” cookies baked ’till the middle of the week, and other little things, but that’s ok, my energy levels go in fits and spurts so I can’t always keep up, even on posting here on the blog.  So I do what I can.  One of my mottos has always been “better late than never” and that pretty much sums it up.

Here are a few more photos I wanted to share.

Here’s our actual Canada Day meal, one that we love and for us, says CANADA, perogies and sausage!!I tried out several table centrepieces (that’s spelled the canadian way)…Involving cookies, flags, and a small piece of plastic grass…. I found it at the dollar store and it’s plastic tackiness was more than I could resist.  How cute it was and how perfect for a summery tabletop centerpiece!!  The ladybug tacks were fun, too, and so far no one has impaled themselves with one….$100 bills were also great used as napkins….I mean napkins that looked like $100 bills…..one was even used to pull out my son’s tooth!!!  Not every day a $100 bill is used for that purpose!A yummy dessert that didn’t turn out at all as I had planned, but slathered in cream and raspberries was quite delicious.Lots of red berries and fruit!! A touching performance of “O Canada!” was played on the…..ocarina….on an ipod app.  Did you know about that one?  You can blow into the speaker of your ipod and then play music on the “keys” that appear on the screen.  Who knew? but it works 😉

I think these next guys are Honey Bear’s circus relatives:colored sand in a jar…how easy….And the cookies, pecan maple leaves,  which I will post the recipe for soon….really, soon….sometime…..Happy Canada Week!!  Oh yeah, and hopefully all my US friends and relatives had a fun FOURTH of July!!! If I was there, I’d be celebrating with you!!!

Canada Day T-shirts…with robots!


Canada Day is coming up this weekend!!  Here’s our first project for Canada Day:  T-shirts.  There are so many fun designs and ideas for patriotic t-shirts…I’d like to try them all!  (I say “our” project, but I didn’t acutally let the kids help!  We were going to let the kids draw on the shirts, but then decided not to, ha!)

We went for a Robot theme for the shirts, since we were having a robot party….(I’ll post about that later).

I found some free retro robot vector files on  OpenGraphicDesign which I used for one of the designs, which you can dowload at the end of this post!  For the other designs, I used the digital kit Itty Bitty Robots by Mindy Terasawa (personal use only).

T-shirt transfers are easy to make with transfer paper.  I bought this stuff 3 years ago, and it’s still working fine!  When you make a design on your computer, you just need to flip the design before you print it out on the transfer paper.  Then cut it out and iron it onto your t-shirt!  (100% cotton works best).Here’s one of the designs the kids could choose from:And some cute ones (back and front designs) for the little girls:Does that remind anyone else of my favorite robot ever?  Rolie Polie Olie!!  (and the time Pappy lost his happy gear….)the front design:Here are the crazy bots with their new t-shirts on!And here’s the t-shirt design that I have for you to print and use today:The zipped file has two pages in it…one with one of the above designs on, and one page with 3 designs on.   They are for a regular 8 1/2×11 size paper, and the designs are already flipped backwards for you, so they are ready to print onto the transfer paper.  Please just use them for your personal use!!  You can dowload the print-ready image HERE!!  Get ready to celebrate Canada Day, all you Canucks and Canadian-lovers! 🙂