There’s nothing nicer than taking a trip to a city or town, only to discover a new fabric shop. My quilted heart skips a beat every time I see the words sewing or haberdashery emblazoned across a shop front window. A while back, quite a while back actually, I visited Hereford and sought out Doughty’s, a place I heard great things about. You may remember I blogged about the experience in this post. One of the things I picked up was a great dinosaur print by an unfamiliar-to-me manufacturer, Lewis and Irene. I really liked the look and feel of the fabric and set about investigated the company further.
A quick tour of their website and I was sold. Their fabrics are “threaded with love and printed on 100% pre-shrunk cotton with a light Schreiner finish”. They have some great collections, featuring a wide range of styles and colours. Being the dinosaur geek I am, I was always going to be taken with Jurassic Coast, a bright and breezy collection with a perfect binding print. Another favourite from their Autumn 2014 collections is Fox & Friends, which is full of cute critters and leafy tones, a lot of which would be right at home in my stash. They have some great upcoming lines too, and I do love a fabric company that gives impatient quilters like me a sneak peek. I’m particularly looking forward to Spring Hare, coming in 2015.
I contacted Hannah, the creative director, who was kind enough to answer some questions and tell me a little more about the story behind Lewis and Irene.
“The directors of Lewis & Irene are Bryan (Managing Director) and Jacqueline Taphouse (Finance Director), Andrew Heaton (Sales Director) and I (Creative Director). Andrew and Bryan have been in the textiles business forever. Bryan for over 40 years now! We are based in Romsey in Hampshire. Bryan and Jacqueline are my parents so it’s very much a family run company. It was Jacqueline who decided to start Lewis & Irene – we wanted to create a fresh company that designed for the modern quilter and had a wide appeal with lovely designs. We feel it’s exciting times for the craft industry with so much renewed interest in sewing and creating.”
“Once we had decided to start the company we had to think of a name. My Grandpa died in 2012 and my Grandma died of cancer 26 years ago when she was just 58 years old. They were really incredible people. They showed such love to their little family despite not coming from the most loving backgrounds themselves. As a family we are very close and their influence has been passed down through three generations now. Their names were Lewis & Irene and we couldn’t think of a nicer tribute to them. ‘Threaded with love’ couldn’t be more appropriate! We have a lovely designer who Bryan and I work with very closely. The designs are a real team effort with each of us contributing something and it’s my very favourite part of my job! Lots of our collections have quite personal relevance. Jurassic Coast for example is inspired by my little boy who is 4 and loves dinosaurs. One of his favourite places to go is Kimmeridge Bay in Dorset so he can hunt for fossils and look at the dinosaurs bones in the marine center. He runs around with his bucket and spade knowing it’s where the dinosaurs lived and his little imagination runs wild! Every collection has a real meaning to us.”
I’m really looking forward to adding some more from the collections to my stash. The variety of prints is great, with focal fabrics as well as useful blenders and small-scale prints that would work well in almost any project. Fancy trying some of their fabrics for yourself? Yes? Well isn’t it your lucky day. Lewis and Irene have generously provided a vintage fabulous forties for me to giveaway to one lucky reader. What’s a fabulous forties I hear you ask! It’s forty strips of fabric, each cut to two and a half inches, exactly like a jelly roll. These cuts are so versatile and there are loads of great quilt patterns that use them.
To be in with a chance of winning, please sign up to follow the blog then leave a comment telling me what you’d make if you won. If you’re already a follower go ahead and leave your comment. I love hearing all your ideas! For a bonus entry, go and like the Lewis and Irene Facebook page and leave a separate comment telling me you’ve done so. I’ll leave the competition open for a week before randomly drawing a winner. Good luck and thanks for visiting!
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.