Monday, May 23, 2022

Autumn Leaves: Canadian Style?

 Hello and hope you had a wonderful weekend!  

Happy Holidays to our friends in Canada!

It may seem strange to be posting about Autumn Leaves in Mid-Spring but we had an oppressively hot weekend so I didn't garden but refolded some of my quilts.  One of them was this lovely which appears to be a variation of Autumn Leaves popular in the 1930s:

I've always thought this particular pattern had a strange name because the colors of the leaves are certainly not autumnal.  But yesterday I studied this quilt more carefully than I had in the past and particularly the centerpiece of the medallion:

The centerpiece doesn't match any of the Autumn Leaves images I know of for the pattern.  The quilt was purchased in Canada and I am now wondering if this was just a different version of the pattern that a Canadian designer created.

The original pattern that I am familiar with became famous after the 1933 Century of Progress Fair in Chicago.  Sears had sponsored a quilt contest and later published a book featuring some of the award winning patterns.

Notice the difference in the arrangement of the center piece:

The fabrics in my quilt are more from the 1940s than the 1930s. 

I never thought much of this since patterns are often saved or passed along but now I am wondering if there was a similar pattern made in Canada or did the maker simply decide that she wanted a bouquet rather than trailing vines?  Actually, and this is an addendum to my original post, I found an Anne Orr pattern that resembled mine:

The maker of my quilt used the top part of the design and not the mirrored image upside down.  This pattern is from 1932.  My maker chose to put a prairie point edging on the quilt (not pictured, sorry).

There were many "Autumn Leaves" style quilts.  In 1936, another was published by Needlecraft Publishing and was marketed in 1936.  It has the same center medallion as the Sears version but had two borders of the trailing vines.

Today in Canada Day, it is "Victoria Day" or "Patriots' Day" depending on what part of Canada you live in.  Victoria Day celebrates Queen Victoria.  Patriot's Day is celebrated in Quebec to commemorate the rebellion of 1837 and 1838 when the Canadians in the previous French territory rebelled against the British (and eventually were suppressed).   I don't know about the rest of Canada, but in Quebec were my husband has been doing a lot of work, it is a big holiday.  

Wishing you all a day of fun and festivities no matter what you are celebrating!


  1. So much for this old lady from Oregon to learn of Canadian history!

  2. Wonderful post and a maple leaf quilt is on my bucket list. Aren't these versions so pretty though and not autumnal but very spring like to me. Interesting! Victoria Day is a holiday in Canada to celebrate the Queen's birthday and marks the official start to summer and camping, etc. That gets to be a joke as often the weather is horrid and not at all summer like. We had the first barbeque at daughter's house this year and our neighbours here had fireworks after dark.