Friday, 24 March 2017

Elgin Piecemaker's Pillow challenge

The Elgin Piecemaker's guild does a challenge every year.  This year Julie and Joanne were in charge and they came up with a very appropriate challenge for Canada's 150th anniversary.  We were all given a 20" pillow form and a 10" piece of Kimono Maple Leaf fabric.  The challenge was to come up with a pillow cover that represents what Canada means to us.  We had to use the complete square of the maple leaf fabric.  

I had an idea almost right away as I was inspired by the neutral backgrounds with applique over it.  I could piece together a background with symbols and words that represent Canada and thought of appliqueing a maple leaf and a tulip on the front to reflect my Dutch heritage.  With three friends, I took part in the 401 Quilt Run shop hop in October 2016 in Eastern Ontario.  Visiting the 14 shops on the shop hop gave me ample opportunity to find appropriate fabrics.  Many of the fabrics represented my Mother's love of sewing and had sayings reflecting her values, love of family and gift of hospitality.  I even found a fabric with rings on it symbolizing my parents engagement by mail in January 1954.  My Dad had immigrated to Canada already with his whole family and my Mom followed about a year later.  We still have the envelope that the ring was sent in by registered mail :-).  

When I actually started the pillow, I ran stuck on the applique because I had to use the whole square of maple leaf fabric and could not think how to cut a tulip and a maple leaf out it!  So, I cut out a maple leaf and appliqued it on the back and put the frame on the front and then I added some tulips to the back as well.  I used up every mm of that maple leaf fabric LOL.

Last night, we had the grand reveal and Cynthia from Cherished Pieces and Jesse, one of our former members, were the judges.  They sure had their work cut out for them. The pillows were amazing!  Many of the backs were as nice as the front and the stories behind the quilts were very moving!  It was a great exercise in stopping and pondering this great country of Canada and what we appreciate about it. (Click on the photos to enlarge them for a better view.)

the Kimono challenge fabric

result of shopping excursion :-)
my pillow front
the back of the pillow
The group with all the pillows

This is the write up that accompanied my pillow:

My Canada

“My Canada” is inseparably linked to my parents’ immigration from Holland to Canada.  I chose neutral fabrics with symbols and words, each representing an aspect of Canada or a memory of my parents to whom I am grateful for my Canadian citizenship.   Word fabrics were chosen to describe my Mom’s life rules and talents and her love of sewing and hospitality. 
The iconic Canadian maple leaf was cut from the Kimono Maple leaf fabric and appliqued to the back of the pillow on tulip and bicycle fabric representing my roots in Holland. The remaining maple leaf frame was sewn on the front to create another silhouette of this great Canadian Symbol.  From front to back, I can rest comfortably in this great country Canada, which is my own.  This pillow will be proudly displayed in my home for Canada’s 150th celebration.


The Cozy Quilter said...

I loved reading all of the stories that accompanied each pillow. I knew right away which pillow you made! Well done!

Maureeneh said...

This was a great challenge and your pillow is fantastic and very patriotic!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Nice pillow. Challenges can be great fun.

Unknown said...

I love every one of them, Jacqui, your story is beautiful.
I covet Darlenes! Lol