I'm so excited to announce my first ever collaboration with... the amazing Lewis and Irene fabrics! This range is so, so special to me and contains a precious space in my heart.
When my daughter Sienna was born in 2016 I struggled with anxiety. My husband rescued me. He encouraged me to shift my focus from my anxieties by suggesting that I start drawing again, which led to me developing my drawings into pattern repeats. For years I'd dreamt of being a pattern designer and putting my designs into repeat seemed like such a natural progression. Encouraging me every single day, my husband helped me to rediscover my creative core. Giving me time to draw, study, teach myself Adobe Illustrator from scratch, create, design, talk through ideas, and discuss colour palettes, he pushed me towards my dream.
In 2020 our son Rory was born, eight weeks later we went into lockdown. The first few weeks we settled into our roles of working, home schooling and looking after a new born. I struggled massively with 'Mum guilt,' and trying to divide my time between two children that had vastly different needs with little respite in between. When Rory turned four months old he stopped sleeping and my world fell apart. Postnatal depression engulfed me. For a long time I thought that my anxiety had returned on a bigger scale. I cried at the slightest thing and struggled to find happiness in anything. It took a few weeks before my husband turned around and told me this wasn't anxiety anymore, this was postnatal depression. As soon as he said those words everything fell in to place. One of the most difficult things I found was envisioning the future. Seeing a future where everyone slept and I had time to myself didn't seem like a possibility. I took one day at a time, some days even one minute at a time just to get through the day. Eventually things became very slowly easier. Rory started to nap on his own and then consolidate his naps. I started to get more time for myself and was able to start drawing and designing again. I started to hope.
When Rory was seven months old I sent my designs to Lewis and Irene. When I received the email from their Creative Director saying that they would like to work with me I was ecstatic. I burst into tears and ran to my husbands office to tell him. We danced around outside and he started shouting 'MY WIFE'S A FABRIC DESIGNER' much to the neighbours amusement. It was such a sweet moment that will be forever etched in my memory.
The first ever pattern I created using Adobe Illustrator was 'Butterfly dance' in 2016. From here 'Heart of Summer' blossomed. This collection has been on a long journey with me. It's allowed me to believe and remain hopeful, not just in myself but in my work as well. It's helped me to keep my faith in my aspirations and even when the tunnel was dark and there was little light to be seen it helped me to move forward.
Inspired by poetic memories and days of yore, 'Heart of Summer' encapsulates a magical moment in time. Feel the dappled sunlight warming your skin, let the warm breeze roll over you and immerse yourself in our collection. All time is stolen, so spend it together with love, laughter and nature.
'Daydreaming of Summer days past. Soft beams of warm sunlight and the sweet fragrance of petals playing on the breeze call me further into my musings.
Stolen minutes watching butterflies twirling, flitting and fluttering, dancing amongst the floral gathering to their Summer song.
The magical moment broken. Delighted laughter fills the air as children frolic amongst the wildflowers of the sweet meadow.
Here I sit and time moves around me, shifting shades of memory that live with me in the now.'
In all good fabric shops from March 2022. For a sneak preview head to the Lewis and Irene website.