2020 was the year that the big fashion houses glanced towards DIY looks and sustainability for inspiration, swapping chic tailoring for circular styling in response to the rising demand for Eco-friendly fashion. Patchwork was everywhere as Gen-Z snatched up their sheers and thrifted old fabrics to construct trendy new pieces reminiscent of creations by the great Vivienne Westwood.

And the patchwork trend didn’t end with clothing. Trickling through from Stella McCartney Jackets and (pretty much everything from) indie label Bode, Vogue recently cited quilting and patchwork as one of 2021’s Interior Design Trends To Note For The Year Ahead!

After the year we’ve just had, the entire movement feels like a kind of positive metaphor; a gratifying nod to what can be achieved from leftovers. And, with that note of optimism in mind, I wanted to take the opportunity to talk about the inspiration behind our new Highland Cow Love Collection

Highland Cow Love Collection

Homeware inspired by nature’s elements

I designed this collection at the end of 2020 and, from the get-go, it was always going to be a range aimed at inspiring a heart-warming, positive approach to 2021. Given the year that 2020 was, we were all due some feel-good vibes!

I set out to create pieces that allowed me to combine one of Scotland’s favourite animals with our lush landscapes; endless fields and a patchwork of rolling hills. Capturing the countryside’s natural tones has always been a joy of mine, and the land’s varying textures and patterns make even the most mundane subjects (like mud and grass) vibrant and beautiful.

patchwork process 1
This is the original sketch of the patchwork fields image that I wanted to include in my designs. I used polychromos pencils and chose colours that were close to what I had in mind, although I knew I would most likely adjust the colours in Photoshop later on.
patchwork process 2
When I scanned it in, I knew almost immediately that I wanted to get rid of the messier section in the middle (highlighted in pink). I cut and pasted other elements of the drawing to make up the missing section.
patchwork process 3
Once I was happy with how the ‘patchwork’ was looking, it was a case of getting my pantone book out and selecting the colours I wanted to use. You can see my colours aren’t a million miles off from my initial sketch, but are much better!
patchwork process 4
Now that I have my base patchwork pattern, I can now use this across all my products – this picture is the wraparound artwork for my mug (I’ve removed the 2 cows so that you can see the patchwork design more clearly)

Homeware inspired by travel (remember travel?)

The hills in the background of this new range are inspired by my travels (again, I’ve got my fingers crossed for 2021). I remember I used to gaze out of aeroplane windows, looking down on the fields below, and imagining them as being one big giant patchwork quilt. The colours and textures would always vary from country to country, but nothing felt more familiar and welcoming than those I could see flying into home grounds (even if the Scottish weather wasn’t always as faithful).

patchwork countryside
Photo credit: Noah Silliman @noahsilliman

Sustainable Scottish brands incorporating patchwork into their looks

Whilst creating my own range, it’s been exciting to watch other Scottish brands also embrace the current patchwork trend. Utilising fabric scraps and preventing waste has been a huge focus for a lot of small brands across our little country, and it ties in well with Scotland’s updated Environment Strategy. Here are some of my favourite patchwork-inspired Scottish brands …

ReJean Denim – An ethical fashion brand crafting gender-neutral jackets and accessories from 100% reclaimed materials. Each of their pieces, from jackets to scrunchies, are one-of-a-kind and made from discarded denim.

Joey D – Edinburgh-based Joey D sells everything from couches and armchairs to footstool and bags. Made from recycled vintage clothing and homeware, each piece has a unique patchwork feel.

Begg x Co – Long-time weavers Begg x Co opened their first mill in the 1800’s and, since then, have been working to ensure that all of their natural fibres are sourced ethically and sustainably. I love their current patchwork-inspired scarves.

And one from England …

Collette Kinley is a self-taught sewer and Etsy seller who’s Allotment design PDF pattern helped win her a Saatchi Gallery award. I love her patchwork-style design patterns, which she offers at £12 for digital download so that you can stitch your own.

Patchwork Home Décor on Pinterest

If you’re a fan of patchwork homeware and haven’t explored Pinterest for inspiration yet, where have you been!? The platform is dream come true for those with a creative flair. It’s the best place to gather ideas if you love tearing up the interior style rule book and adding a personal spin to your home decorating.

Pinterest is not a new concept to the patchwork and quilting community; users have been posting tutorials, projects, progress stories and styling tips for years and, with all the extra time spent at home over the past 12 months, they’ve been busy pinning and repining even more homeware inspiration. Take a look at our Cherith Harrison Pinterest boards for a look into our inspiration and products.

Cherith Harrison pinterest images

Looking to incorporate some playful patchwork into your home décor? Explore our new Highland Cow Love Collection and enjoy quilting inspiration with a Scottish twist!