Finishing a Textile Design degree meant that one day I hoped (and dreamt about) seeing my designs on products out there in the world, but seeing something I am so proud of, and it being the first design sold, just made me so overjoyed, that I could never express it properly in words. The hours spent putting the detail into the design, and the joy I got from it cannot be described in words. This print was my kid that I nurtured in my final year of uni, and released into the world, and it means more to me than just birds, branches and florals.
Seeing my designs out there never gets old. It never will. The excitement and elation is something that will never fade, as it has been a dream of mine ever since I chose my degree, to bring my designs into life by placing them on products that people use. Hence why I started the hashtag #zoemuslin after launching my muslin collection. That way I can see where the products go, and how they are used in people’s lives. For me, it is not primarily a promotional tool, but so that I can be excited about what I have created and know that the ideas that have been running around my mind are in people’s lives, and are not just left on paper for good. I cannot tell you how big a smile I get from a post sent to me with a photo of my products in use, or a lovely comment about the designs. It gets me so excited to show you the next step coming from my studio, that I have to contain myself from sharing new designs before it’s ready.
So, thank you, for all your kind words and positivity. Please do continue to share your comments and pics of my muslins, as I cannot tell you how much it makes my day!
Ornithology, available at B&Q, under Holder Decor
The first collection of baby muslin squares have landed on z-o-e.co.uk! (27.1.16)
As mentioned on the ‘about’ page, the baby muslin squares are just the start of the collection. And these prints are the start of the muslin square designs.
Designed especially for you, the muslin squares are made with the softest material and highest colour number I could find. The two main criteria I had was that they had to be super soft- the best grade I could get, and contain the highest number of colours to print in the pattern as possible. So with the thickest, softest muslin my manufacturers could supply, and the highest number of colours they could print with, here is the birth of the Woodland and Mechanised Dodos gift box collections.
When it came to designing and selecting the prints there had to be animal designs in the collections, as for me, they are what I love drawing and painting the most, with florals coming in a close second.
As I have lived in the country, surrounded by National Trust land since I was six, having a woodland themed collection was a must. This welcomed the Bluetit, Rabbit & Hare, and Columbine Flower designs.
To compliment and not compete with this collection, I decided to create a pattern with less watercolour fluidity, brighter and bolder, that was still hand drawn. As I had to include a bird design (I have managed to include a bird print in nearly every collection I have done so far) I thought of bringing back the dodo. And what would be better than a group of mechanised ones. This led to creating Mechanised Parts and Blueprints to unify the Mechanised Dodos collection.
Two different collections, made with equal love and care. At the end of the day, my aim is to connect with you through my passion and love for design.
After designing for fashion, home and gifts brands, those near and dear did wonder ‘why start with muslins?’
It was something back in my university years that had briefly caught my attention when researching products to design for, but at that time I chose to design for interiors. Then a few months later my mum mentioned my patterns would look good on muslin squares. Other than agreeing, I didn’t think much more of it as I focused on finishing the interiors collection for my textile design degree.
Fast forward to a year ago, when one of my friends announced she was pregnant, and as friends do, you search for a gift for the new arrival. Being the first friend to have a little one, the whole baby section in stores was still pretty unknown to me. I wanted to find something that was a little bit of me, and be both practical and essential. I came across muslin squares!
They were something I loved as a little girl, and used as a comforter all through my early years. They weren’t something that got put on a pile to hand down to my cousin once I had outgrown their use for burping, feeding and general mopping of spillages. They were carried on holidays, snuggled to at night, and even accidentally taken into school. Now this was a product I wanted to give that new little one, so that he would have those same fond memories (if he chose to become as attached to them as I did).
Don’t get me wrong, there are some lovely muslin squares out there, but I was looking for one bursting with pattern, showing more colour than the white muslin, super soft, and beautifully presented. Every box I found was just missing that one ‘thing’ I was looking for that would show my friend the colour-clashing pattern-bursting creative mind I had, and wanted to share.
And there it was, that lightbulb moment.