Monday, June 12, 2017

The Canadian Sampler - Meet the Designers - Irene Dewar

We hope you're enjoying making your Canadian Sampler!
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The blocks for June are by Irene Dewar from Brambleberry Cottage Quilts and Elaine Theriault from Crazy Quilter on a Bike.

Sugar Maple 
Irene Dewar from Brambleberry Cottage Quilts 

Sugar Maple by Irene Dewar

While still a very young child Irene’s mother taught her to knit, sew, crochet and embroider. She very much enjoyed these textile arts while growing up but it was not until 1983 when she took a quilting class she realized what an exciting and diverse variety of techniques there were in quilting. Those other needlework pastimes were soon set aside and quilting became her passion. Later, Irene began teaching quilting classes at home. Little did she know that those first few classes held around her dining room table would lead to countless classes at local quilt shops, work-shops and trunk shows at Guilds across Ontario, being a featured quilter in a Studio 2 production on TVO, or classes at the CreativFestival Conferences in Toronto.

Irene Dewar 

Irene was an avid participant in the now disbanded Quilt Project for Breast Cancer Support, participating in a group that annually made and donated a quilt. It was while designing the group’s 2004 donation quilt that she developed what would become her first commercial quilt pattern. With the encouragement of friends and co-workers, she began to self-publish under the name Brambleberry Cottage Quilts. Since then, her collection of published patterns has grown and expanded. She currently designs for Northcott Collections, Row by Row, Contemporary Sewing Materials as well as independently. In addition, she teaches in her home studio in Pickering, Ontario.

Irene can be reached through her website Brambleberry Cottage Quilts

Inspiration for Sugar Maple 

When I think of symbols of Canada, the Maple leaf is the first to come to mind. What could be more iconic than the Maple Leaf? It is literally the central image of our national flag. 

Just as the snow starts to melt the maple gives us another icon of the Canadian experience, maple syrup. Sugaring-off is celebrated as the first harbinger of spring and a promise of warmer weather to come. It’s sticky sweetness is an excuse to come out of hibernation and begin enjoying the great outdoors again. In the summer, maples give us shade and in the fall a brilliant display of colour. Who amongst us has not made bouquets of brilliant fall leaves? 

The Colors of Autumn reflected in the water at my Cottage

The maple seems to be a theme in my quilting. The shape of the leaf gives this pieced block. One of my first patterns, Ottawa Valley Serenade, features a Maple Leaf Block paired with a Log Cabin Block. A few years later Maple Ridge became another of my patterns. Place mat Duet РCanadian Maple, designed for Canada 150, features a maple leaf appliqu̩ for place mats, runner and table topper.

Brambleberry Cottage Quilts

Sign up for The Canadian Sampler and make this gorgeous quilt to Celebrate Canada's 150th Anniversary!

 Registrations for The Canadian Sampler starting July 2017 are now open.

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