About Joanna - Joanna Smith-Ryland

About Joanna

Joanna has had a curtain design business for 30 years. She worked out of her premises in Fulham, London, until 2003 when she moved her company back to Sherbourne Park (her home) where she grew up.

Joanna Left with Family

Joanna (sitting) with Family

Joanna grew up with four brothers and sisters. One of the nannies, being an excellent seamstress introduced Joanna to a wonderful world of sewing: Embroidery, dolls clothes and Village Fetes made up her childhood.

Sherbourne Fête 1967

Sherbourne Fête 1967

Sherbourne Fête 1968

Sherbourne Fête 1968

At the age of eleven Joanna went to a Boarding School in Ascot called Heathfield, where she was introduced to Patchwork by Miss Spry, her sewing teacher. That was the beginning of a lifetime obsession with patchwork.’ O’ levels fell by the wayside as one patchwork quilt after another was produced/created through endless French and Maths lessons. After ‘A’ levels Joanna exported herself to Barbados where she opened a shop called, ‘Patchwork and Things’. Joanna and her team made by hand, bags, toys, quilts and cushions, which were so popular that Dotto’s Boutique in the Sandy Lane Hotel, Barbados, and her own shop both did a roaring trade.

Heathfield Boarding School Asco

Heathfield Boarding School Ascot

On her return to England, pursuing her dreams of a patchwork business seemed impossible, because every type of patchwork was already in the shops. It was not until 1995 that Joanna remembered a unique style called Cathedral Window Patchwork. She realised this style had never been commercially made before because of its complicated and intricate design of folding and layering fabrics giving a unique 3-dimensional finish.

In 2009 she had the opportunity to create her own designs. Cathedral Window Patchwork is inspired by beautiful Stained Glass windows that we find in our Churches and Cathedrals. The windows gave her a unique opportunity to tell a different story with each new design and so were born her first three collections:

Cathedral Window Patchwork Big Cat Collection Red Leopard

Big Cat Collection Red Leopard

The Big Cat Collection, The Garden Collection and The Jewel Collection. Her next idea was to photograph her designs and create a highly original range of PVC bags with printed cotton linings.

Visit her shop