Designing Pen & Inked Fabric Collection
1.13.2016
Pen & Inked Fabric Collection by Winthur Sempliner for Connecting Threads

Pen & Inked Fabric Collection by Winthur Sempliner for Connecting Threads

This is a very exciting collection debut for me. Pen & Inked is the first collection that I have designed for Connecting Threads that is made exclusively from my own hand drawings.

Pen & Inked Coordinates in Black and White with shades of Purple, Lime, and Aqua.

Pen & Inked Coordinates in Black and White with shades of Purple, Lime, and Aqua.

Pen & Inked Focal Floral: Inspired by Jacobean Crewel Embroidery Designs from the 17th Century with modern colors from contemporary interior design.

Pen & Inked Focal Floral: Inspired by Jacobean Crewel Embroidery Designs from the 17th Century with modern colors from contemporary interior design.

In February 2015 I took a trip to London to visit my sister.  As a mom of three small children, I usually have an entourage of craziness when flying the friendly skies.  Comparatively, travelling solo was an amazingly peaceful experience!  I wound up drawing happily in my sketchbook the entire trip.

Pen & Inked blogpost pics-08 Pen & Inked blogpost pics-07

I was incredibly inspired by my visit to the Victoria & Albert Museum’s exhibit “Wedding Dresses 1775-2014”. (Unfortunately, now closed.)  I was enamoured by the older, embroidered dresses on display and went in search of more antique embroidery.  My main inspiration for the drawings in this collection were Jacobean embroidery designs.  The reign of James I of England is known as the Jacobean period, 1603-1625. Early Jacobean embroidery often featured ornate scrolling floral patterns worked in colored silk threads, but the initial designs were sketched in black ink on white paper.  Making these drawing on my way home from London was very relaxing!  I just thought about all the beautiful embroidery that I saw in the museum that day and went with it.  At the end of 2 long flights, I had an entire collection.

Examples of Jacobean Era Embroidery Designs. Photo's courtesy of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacobean_era

Examples of Jacobean Era Embroidery Designs, drawn in black ink on white paper. Photo’s courtesy of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacobean_era

Back in the office, I scanned in the designs and cleaned them up.  I really edited them very little and tried to retain their hand drawn line quality.

While I think this collection would have been stunning in simply black and white, I decided to add color.  The embroidery designs I was inspired by were always crafted in color, even if they were initially designed in black and white.  And the silk that they were embroidered with must have looked SO vibrant and extravagant at the time when most textiles were left to their natural color as dyes were so expensive.

Inspiring British Gowns.  Photo's courtesy of mantuamaker.tumblr.com

Inspiring British Gowns showing vibrant, colored silk embroidery. Photo’s courtesy of mantuamaker.tumblr.com

2006AC7176_jpg_ds 2010EB2446_jpg_dsI looked to home interiors, as I frequently do, for color inspiration and stumbled across these rooms designed by Amanda Nisbet Design.  I thought the lime and purple combination was so extraordinary and would be a fun, sharp contrast to the antique style of the designs.

Contemporary Interior Design with a Lime and Purple color palette by Amanda Nisbet Design.  www.amandanisbetdesign.com

Contemporary Interior Design with a Lime and Purple color palette by Amanda Nisbet Design. www.amandanisbetdesign.com

With color added to my drawings, a collection was born!  I hope you have fun sewing with it.  I just love what our quilt designers came up with that we are offering as kits on our website.

 

Thanks for reading!

Winthur


19 comments

  1. Ann - January 13, 2016

    It is a lovely, vibrant collection and you are so talented! You could publish your own grownup coloring book with your designs!

    Reply
    • Winthur - January 13, 2016

      Thank you, Ann! That would be so fun to design a coloring book!

      Reply
  2. Gay Ferland - January 13, 2016

    I always am intrigued by the 18th & 19th centuries clothing. You have succeeded with your art, beautiful colors, pupae and green, fantastic duo!!!!

    Reply
    • Winthur - January 13, 2016

      Thank you so much! It is a fascinating period in textile history.

      Reply
  3. Marie Evans - January 13, 2016

    I enjoyed hearing about the inspiration behind your fabric and in awe of your talent!

    Reply
    • Winthur - January 15, 2016

      Thank you so much, Marie! And thanks for reading, too 🙂

      Reply
  4. Carol Hayes - January 13, 2016

    Winthur,
    Your designs are fantastic and I really like your color choices. What a fabulous trip and alone flight time suited to creating.

    Reply
    • Winthur - January 15, 2016

      Thanks for reading, Carol! It was a great trip, I need another one soon!

      Reply
  5. MargeP - January 13, 2016

    Winthur – great information on the inspiration for your Pen and Inked collection. I could fly not stop around the world and never come up with the designs you do. You are so creative and that is very nice for us who are not so blessed..

    Course my DH and I got to meet you in Vancouver last summer when Mari gave us a tour of your workplace. I am still waiting for the line that you were designing at the time (may I mention Tea 🙂 ) and will definitely add it to my collection.

    Keep those designs coming!

    Reply
    • Winthur - January 15, 2016

      Hi Marge! I remember meeting you and your husband, you shoudl come visit again! Funny story about the tea set collection I was working on when you were here: it got completely edited and the actual teapot print was removed! But I’m still working on it for a later date, we just need to fit it in. I will let you know when that happens. Thanks for writing!

      Reply
      • MargeP - January 16, 2016

        YES, please do let me know when it will be available. I WANT some for sure. 🙂 Thanks!

        Reply
  6. shannon - January 14, 2016

    seriously beautiful designs. not normally a fan of black and white as they are usually too bold and graphic, but these are lovely with beautiful detail. also love the teal/green combos.

    Reply
    • Winthur - January 15, 2016

      Thanks, Shannon! I love the teal/green combos, too 🙂

      Reply
  7. Cindy - January 16, 2016

    Love this new collection. As soon as the pocket book allows, I will be ordering several of the different pieces to use for curtains and different decorative elements in my quilt studio. Have been on the lookout for the perfect fabric and here it is. I am sew excited. I can always count on CT for having what I like.

    Reply
    • Winthur - January 20, 2016

      Hi Cindy! This is one of the best compliments I have ever received. I am so happy you like the fabric enough to use in your quilt studio- that is a very personal space! Many thanks 🙂

      Reply
  8. Mary D - January 16, 2016

    I was drawn to this collection the moment I saw it in my Connecting Threads magazine. Congratulations! I will certainly own some of this collection soon.

    Reply
    • Winthur - January 20, 2016

      Hi Mary, I am so happy you were drawn to this collection! 🙂

      Reply
  9. Kathleen - January 17, 2016

    Funny you should mention you wanted to do this collection in all black and white. It’s the black and white pieces that really draw me to this collection! I might have to break my fabric diet and get some of this 🙂

    Reply
    • Winthur - January 20, 2016

      Hi Kathleen, I hope you do! Diets are created to be broken 🙂

      Reply

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