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Meet 'Memory Made' for Lewis and Irene

This collection is a little nod to my heritage and dedicated to my grandmothers' who have inspired a life long passion of creativity, crafting and textiles, especially sewing. I know lots of people who were taught to sew by a grandparent or parent and it is a skill which will be passed on from generation to generation.

Memory Made by Cassandra Connolly for Lewis and Irene

Growing up I was taught by my paternal grandmother that handmade gifts are much better than shop bought because of the love put in to them and (in most instances) I agree. Although her homemade peppermints were questionable! My Granny was always making something for someone's Birthday or Christmas present and everything she ever made for me has a fond memory attached to it. I can quite vividly recall her teaching me to sew, press flowers, decoupage and knit-albeit kack handily. I will never forget the excitement of when she would let me loose in her sewing box and allow me to choose my own buttons, thread or haberdashery. It always felt like such a treat. Even now an errant button can send me back nearly 30 years to some project or creation we made. Here's a couple of memories I wanted to share with you...

My Granny has a sewing box.

It isn’t much to see.

Except when you peek inside

the nostalgia calls to me.

Buttons of every colour.

Like sweets, shiny and bright.

A rainbow of threads,

wound on to their spools, tight.

Ribbons and trimmings,

broderie and lace.

Everything packed tightly,

there isn’t that much space.

Soft balls of wool,

she can knit for hours at a time.

Her needles going clickety clack,

beating out a rhyme.

Snippets of fabric,

stashed from projects past.

Not a scrap to be wasted,

every bit used until the last.

The memories aren’t just inside the box,

it’s something Granny can do.

She can make anything with

whatever she puts her mind to.

From fabric scraps grow giant quilts

to snuggle while in bed.

She can make anything

with just a needle and thread.

Knitted cardigans, crochet toys,

you’ll never be dismayed.

Every present from my Granny

is always a memory made.

Memory Made by Cassandra Connolly for Lewis and Irene

As always, I'd like to share with you some of my inspiration for the collection. Firstly let me introduce to you my hero print and favourite design from the range, 'Stitch in Time'. It comes in 'Cream', 'Pale Peach' and 'Dark Rust'. Even the name of this design, taken from the famous saying reminds me of my Granny, who would often quote such things, although I'm not sure she always heeded them! The embroidered flowers meandering across the pattern are a nod to her love of dried and pressed flowers which I have inherited.

Memory Made by Cassandra Connolly for Lewis and Irene

Next I'd like you to meet 'Nostalgic Notions' my secondary print. This pattern is available in 'Pale Peach', 'Light Slate Grey' and 'Dark Honey, all colours inspired by my own haberdashery stash. To me this fabric is the inside of the sewing box. I wanted to draw as many of my Granny's vintage notions as possible and there were many more which I could've included if it hadn't meant the pattern would become too busy! I really could've drawn them for hours!

Memory Made by Cassandra Connolly for Lewis and Irene

I have fond memories of my maternal grandmother who could always be found with a cup of tea growing cold as she knitted away with the television on in the background. Up until her final years at the grand age of 89, she still knitted despite her cataracts. Some of her last projects were some gorgeous 1950's baby cardigans which she made for my children when they were babies as she had done for each subsequent generation since my mother was born. She knew the pattern so well that she could knit it blind. They are such gorgeous heirlooms and I feel blessed to have such loving memories encapsulated in something which I can pass down through the generations. 'Clickety Clack' was very much inspired by my Grandma and her love for knitting. I hope she would've loved of it as much as I enjoyed designing it and remembering her knitting away. This design comes in 'Cream', 'Taupe' and 'Dark Rust'.

Memory Made by Cassandra Connolly for Lewis and Irene

Next up is 'Button Jumble' one of my co-ordinates for the collection. Who didn't love a big pile of buttons to play with when they were a child?! I would sit for hours at a time sorting through my Granny's button collection only to get really excited when I found a matching pair. Inspired by vintage buttons galore, 'Button Jumble' is available in 'Taupe', 'Dark Peach' and 'Slate Grey'.

Memory Made by Cassandra Connolly for Lewis and Irene

Finally 'Pin Play' is my blender for the collection. Ditsy pins dropped on the floor or lurking in the bottom of the sewing box, was always a good reason not to play with it unsupervised. I had a fondness for the flower headed dressmaking pins, but the fascination definitely ended after a few unfortunate events. This ditsy blender can be found in 'Pale Peach', 'Dark Honey' and 'Deep Plum'.

Memory Made by Cassandra Connolly for Lewis and Irene

I really hope 'Memory Made' resonates with you as much as it has inspired me. I’d love to see everyone’s creations. Please tag me in any photos on Facebook and Instagram using #CassandraConnolly or @cass_connolly.

You can find 'Memory Made' in all good fabric shops from April 2023. Enjoy!


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