Executive producer / writer Sarah Polley first tried to acquire the rights to the novel Alias Grace when the book came out in 1996. It took Sarah Polley a little over 20 years to bring this miniseries to its fruition.
In order to promote the series, over 70 copies of the book Alias Grace - along with a small note from author Margaret Atwood - were hidden throughout Canada prior to the series' premiere on Sept. 25, 2017.
There were 4 cast members who were alumni of the show "Reign" & the miniseries "Anne of Green Gable". Meg Ruffman (Diane) portrayed Alice Lawson the Avonlea mercantile owner and Susannah Hoffmann (Dr. Simon Jordan's mother) played Jan Pringle, a spoiled rich student of Anne's. While the gentleman Michael Therriault (Mr. McDonald) was Lord Castleroy, husband to Mary Queen of Scott's lady in waiting Greer and Jonathan Goad ( Grace's father) was Rev. John Knox, Mary's adversary in Reign's final season.
Grace shows Dr. Jordan her patchwork square and explains the log cabin represents the home, while "the center is always red, for the hearth." It is traditional to have the center of log cabin blocks red for the hearth or the heart, but it is not required, as seen in the next flashback a few seconds later when Grace and Mary are airing out the quilts of the Parkinson household. The quilt seen on the right of the screen is a log cabin pattern, made with dark/light patches like Grace's, without the red centers.