The Path to 'Roads Home'

It started with a 30-day challenge to myself - a bit of structure to support my mid-pandemic mental health. Each day: one successful design doodle. Some days, my first idea was the one - I’d redraw it in pen, label it with the day’s number to sense time moving past, and check that off my list. Other days, whole pages of scribbles were required. Eventually, my notebook began to fill with potential, and I began to see my creative self emerging in these tiny squares. Bold geometry, negative space, simple lines and curves - these could play together in so many ways. (numbered drawings - “best of the scribbles”)

“Artist” is a hard word to wrap my self-image around, but I began to feel at home in designer, in creative, and so, naturally, it was time for...math! Fridays became “Design Days,” a weekly date with myself to turn scribbles into patterns on my computer screen, breaking my pictures into their component shapes, drawing the lines I’d later stitch together.

Next up - color. Truly both my favorite and the hardest part of the process. Here things became tangible again. I cut up swatches of my favorite sold fabrics, scattered them across

work surfaces, combined and recombined, snapped photos and swapped out ivory for white, doeskin for espresso. Dumped the lot into a basket and walked away. Returned, found myself drawn again and again to similar shades: a theme of calm with contrast. Of course blues - navy, cadet, chambray - but also warm tones of ochre, sienna, pecan. These colors brought me a step closer to artist, imagining them pooled on palette, spattered across my painting clothes. I loved the playing - but the choosing! Eventually I narrowed my choices, checking in on them each morning, swapping one in, one out, till it was perfect I knew it was time to start making.

The rest is more obvious perhaps - cutting fabric, sewing it steadily into the designs I’d doodled. Adjusting my pattern math, improving my skills (did I really want to include so many circles and curves?!), deciding on finishing details, cutting more fabric and trying it all again.

And the final choices - which designs to include? At which scale, and in what kind of products? How to build a cohesive collection out of these ideas? A friend sent me links of the latest runway collections, and I was inspired both by the phenomenal sewing craft behind the fashion world, and by how collections flowed together, united by a design element here, a color or feeling there. And so I laid out all my designs, began to sort and filter, and as I did, my theme sank in like it’d always been there, waiting to be found. Throughout this time, I’d been preparing for an upcoming move, back to my childhood hometown. I missed my pre-COVID travelling life, but had directed my energy to this new journey, and a journey is what came to life as I looked at the pieces I’d created.

Roads Home captures my own journey, and I am thrilled (terrified, overwhelmed, joyful!) to share it with you. I hope it inspires, and celebrates, your own journeys and the many roads this life can take. See the full collection here!

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