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.
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.
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.
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.
I 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.
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!