Flags for Lac Mégantic

You might remember in the beginning of July there was a terrible disaster in Lac Mégantic, Québec when a train carrying oil derailed in the centre of the town, causing an enormous explosion that destroyed a huge part of city centre and killed 47 people. I think it was probably Canada’s largest disaster of that sort, but regardless, it was and still is heartbreaking and horrifying and something that will follow the survivors around for the rest of their lives.

Claire at Courtepointe Claire, a quilting shop in Laval, Québec is collecting flags to hang in Lac Mégantic, much like was done with To Boston With Love following the Boston bombing.

These are the flags I made to send away:

Flags for Lac Megantic

They asked for flags in blues and greens, avoiding reds, yellows, and oranges so much as possible. You can tell what was on top of my scrap bins because there was a lot of blues already there – most of these solids will also appear in my Simply Solids quilt top because they were still out after I cut fabric to send away to my bee mates.

Flags for Lac Megantic

This very simple dove was paper pieced using this pattern and bits of grey (and a scrap of gold Mendocino fabric). I probably should have used white for the dove – it’s so simple it just looks like a grey bird – but I found (from the Fleur de Lys) that white showed too much through without a batting.

Flags for Lac Megantic

This paper-pieced scrappy log cabin heart pattern came from SewHooked, here. All the fabrics in the heart came from my Modern Scrappy Bits swap. Some of them weren’t quilting cotton, but they worked for an application like this – I don’t think anyone needs to worry about how they’ll handle washing or how they’ll age. (I find a lot of thinner clothing-type fabrics will fall apart in quilts faster than cottons do. Or anyway, my favourite quilt that my mum made, a scrappy log cabin, had all the clothing-fabric strips rotted out long before the rest of it started to fall apart.)

Flags for Lac Megantic

And then the last one, a Fleur de Lys, which I chose especially because the Québec flag features four white fleurs-de-lys on a blue background. This pattern also was designed by Jennifer Ofenstein of SewHooked, and can be purchased here from her Craftsy shop. The last time I made this, I shrunk it a little to make it fit in a 5″ square, but this time I did it full-sized and I think it worked out better that way as I was able to get the little bar under the petals to work using the pattern (last time I pieced it traditionally, rather than curving it with paper piecing).

I hope Courtepointe Claire will receive a lot of flags to hang in Lac Mégantic – I’d have loved to make more, but feel like I’m running out of time, so I’m sending these now and if I have more time, I’ll make a few more. (They’d like to receive them by August 24, so I’m not entirely out of time, but I’m going to be short-staffed at work again for the next little while, so I’m not sure how much time I’ll spend sewing in the next little while.) It feels like such a small thing to do, but they’re a very long way off, and it’s something more concrete than just hoping for peace and comfort for the people in Lac Mégantic.


6 thoughts on “Flags for Lac Mégantic”

    1. I’m not very good at doing those teeny tiny pieces to begin with, so getting those little pieces scaled down even further much made things that much more difficult 😀 But I’ve started gluing my first piece to the paper instead of using pins and that helps for those tiny starts. (I’ve been using a Sewline gluestick – they hold well, but also release well, so it’s not too bad.)

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