Tag Archives: celebrating Canada Day

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 Cookies


I’ve been trying out icing cookies with royal icing lately….there are so many beautiful cookie ideas over at Sweetopia and I’ve felt inspired.  So I grabbed some cookies (from the other day) and whipped up some royal icing (which is pretty easy, though getting a nice shade of red was not easy at all) and tried out a Canada Day picnic kinda theme!  (Have I mentioned that I love RED & WHITE!!?? Because I do. very muchly. And i love Canada Day!! yay)(need to work on my swirly maple leaves a bit…all my maple leaves I guess…)I like to think of them as perfect picnic cookies…….oh look, someone else likes them, too!!It’s my old friend, the jingle bell ant (who first made an appearance and my daughter’s first bday…)

Canada Day Cake at the beach.

Canada Day Cake at the beach.

We decided to spend the afternoon at the lake today.  For some reason, oh yes, the butter was sitting out and very soft…I felt I really had to make a cake to take.  To the beach.  For Canada day (weekend).  I had thought about trying to make a polka dot cake…it needs a little work, but this is what I tried:

Mix up a pound cake recipe.  Scoop out some batter and tint it red and leave the rest white.  Spread some white batter in the bottom of the loaf pan.  Put the rest of the white batter into a plastic baggie and snip off the end. (I set the baggies into cups and things to fill them and then hold them up).

Do the same for the red batter, then squeeze out some red lines onto the white batter in the pan.Then squeeze out some lines of white batter to cover up the red lines, trying not to smush the red lines too much.  Then add another layer of red lines.I tried out this plaid type pattern on the top of the cake, but when baked it just spread out into a red layer:When it was baked and flipped out of the pan, this is what the top looked like (it’s setting on it’s side):I pulled the cake out of the oven, tossed it on a cutting board and carried it off to the lake!!  The whole van smelled wonderful!  This is what it looked like when sliced into….not exactly what I had imagined, but still cool…I’ll need to work on the technique to get a more uniform spottiness!!Ahhh….Cake by the Lake!(After eating some cake)  My friend gave me some pointers on how to use my camera (which I badly needed), so I was practicing snapping some photos and was pleased with these pics of our day at the lake:Happy Canada Day Friends!!!