Thursday, 3 March 2011

Liberty Belle

If you are lucky enough to have been to the most beautiful "department" store ever, you will likely recognise this display...





This is the sight that greets you as you approach Liberty. I have long loved this store; not only does it sell beautiful goods but the shop itself is an Arts and Crafts gem, a period I particularly love. Where else can you ride in wood panelled lifts and behold beautiful original carved and tiled fireplaces, never mind the divine furniture, fabrics, clothes, cosmetics and so on?




I have posted about my love for Liberty before (you can read that here). Of course, Liberty is also famous for its stunning range of fabrics called "tana lawn". This is the finest quality cotton, it is very tightly woven which means it has a very supple and soft, almost silk-like texture, and can be printed with the most intricate and small designs. It is a fabric which is synonymous with English style, I think. It is the one area where we have stolen a bit of the limelight from our fantastic fabric producing friends, the Americans, and where as we Brits are usually lamenting what a fantastic choice of fabrics there is available to buy in America at extremely reasonable prices, I think our cousins across the pond really envy us our Liberty tana lawn! Sadly, we cannot boast that it comes cheap at an eye watering £20 per metre.





I have previously made some bird boxes with tana lawn, I also made a hexagon hand-pieced cushion and indeed, I have incorporated tana lawn into the first quilt I ever made, but I have never made a quilt exclusively from this fabric.






Or at least, before today, I hadn't!





I've squirrelled away quite a yummy collection of tana lawn so it was out with the rotary cutter and to the machine for me!





This is one of the very latest fabric designs, you can hopefully just make out the little oval shape which carries the "Liberty" insignia. (Don't forget you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them.)





Yesterday evening, I went up to turn out all the lights in my quilting room where I had been pinning my quilt and found that a certain small person had left a little friend there! (The Munchkin found this knitted owl in a charity shop a few weeks ago, his winning smile securing it for the princely sum of 25p. I was so jealous!)





The sun has finally peeped out (it's freeeezing though), so let's nip outside to see "Liberty Belle", shall we?





The fabrics are so beautiful and intricate that I didn't want a fussy quilt design so I went for a simple brick path style which shows off the prints to their best advantage. I have quilted simply along each brick.





The reverse is made from equally silky snowy white tana lawn (goodness me, it's tricky, slippery stuff to sew with though!) and has a feature pieced panel of tana loveliness.






I popped to Liberty yesterday to choose the binding and went for this cute ditsy pattern in pinks and green and have added a little label.





This quilt feels so divine, I know what experts mean when they talk about fabrics having a fabulous "drape", this quilt certainly does. It's sized smaller than my bed quilts, at 40" and 52", perfect as a throw on a favourite chair or indeed as a cot quilt, though it would also sit nicely atop a little lady's bed.





And if you like this, the good news is that Liberty Belle is for sale! You can find her waiting impatiently here! (I'm making another one for me!)






Edit: This Liberty Belle quilt has been happily re-homed but I have another which just needs hand binding - I always cut too many blocks! So do still get in touch if you hanker after your own Liberty loveliness...

41 comments:

  1. Quite simply beautiful!

    Bertie x

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  2. Ah! heavenly! A feast of Liberty for the eyes, I adore it x
    Nattie x

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  3. I welcome any opportunity to pledge allegiance to Liberty's beautiful building and all that transpires therein.

    Your decision to keep the quilt's pieces geometrically simple is wise, because it really does showcase those amazing textile designs. The results are superb!

    xo

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  4. I love popping up to Liberty's after work, just happy to walk around there!

    Victoria xx

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  5. Beautiful - really compliments the fabulous fabric! Quilt Love. G

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  6. BEAUTIFUL just beautiful
    Julie xxxxxxxx

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  7. Stunning, I love the quilt, you really are so very clever. I love the little owl too!! x
    Sophie

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  8. For one moment when I read 'a small person had left a friend' I had visions of you discovering one of your lovely cats had left you a mouse!! Knitted owl makes a much nicer present though.
    Ellie

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  9. ooh Hen, I think this one might be my favourite of yours so far, I love the simplicity of the brick pattern..and that beautiful rosy fabric! x
    and how sweet is H's woolly owl?!

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  10. Such a beautiful quilt your fabrics are stunning, dee x

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  11. I am sooooooo jealous right now. These prints are just fantastic and your quilt is a pure treasure. One day I will also splash out on some 20£ a meter fabric from Liberty and make myself something very dear and special.

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  12. Lovely fabrics Hen.
    In all of the years that I have visited London I have never ventured in, and do long to do so, maybe this year!?
    T X

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  13. GLORIOUS!! I have never been to Liberty. I just don't trust myself!

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  14. Hen - it is absolutely divine!!! I can just imagine how wonderful it would feel to snuggle under as well. You really do inspire me so much. Love Kate xxooxx.

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  15. One of my very favourite shops and what fantastic designs. You are lucky to be able to pop in. x

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  16. Your quilt is so beautiful, it will surely be treasured, and Munchkin's owl find is so adorable.

    By the way, I brought some Liberty fabric online (Kayako I think the design is called) yesterday, especially as there was 20% off! I'm going to make a summer top out of it.

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  17. hello it was good to see your liberty photos many years ago i worked for libertys in their cotton dept Tana lawn was £1.35 per meter and their cotton 90pence per meter i dont think they make 100% cotton anymore as employees we could buy fabric at cost price 1/4 of the retail price!!! alas my love for fabric was not then what it is now never mind thank goodness my salary has improved over the years back then it was £18.00 per week !! kind reards Tudor Rose

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  18. Oh, I love it! I have a few of those fabrics and whilst my quilting skills are nowhere near your standards, you've inspired me to make similar with my fabric. Thank you x

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  19. Gorgeous quilt! Liberty is a beautiful shop, isn't it? I'm not sure about that owl, though - there's something odd about him!!

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  20. Yes I too love Liberty. I used to buy tapestry kits from there many, many years ago. Their fabrics are just wonderful. Love that little quilt.
    June.

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  21. Beautiful, just beautiful.
    I used to love Liberty in York, so sad it closed down.
    Carol xx

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  22. I love Liberty, I remember having afternoon tea there a couple of years ago, cucumber sandwiches and a pot of tea.....divine!! Lovely quilt Hen, Tana Lawn is such gorgeous fabric, I recently found an old stash in my work room. When we lived in Devon there used to be a fabric sale at the local secondary school twice a year and you could buy Liberty fabric for next to nothing!!! The whole hall would be filled with beautiful fabrics and there was always loads of gorgeous Tana Lawn available. Love the Owl, soooo cute.
    Jo xx

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  23. Oh Hen, it's absolutely gorgeous!!! I'm most certainly jealous of a lot of things you have over there!

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  24. I love Liberty cottons and you quilt is so pretty. The brick design works really well to show off all the different patterns and colours...so clever!

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  25. My first quilt was made from offcuts of Tana Lawn.Always headed down to Liberty at sale time and bought fabrics to make my shirts and dresses.Started dressmaking around age 13,the first quilt aged about 20,I had enough left-over bits for a double quilt.It is wonderful stuff to work with and lasts for years.

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  26. That quilt is just beautiful in its simplicity. I love it.

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  27. Good gracious, I think that may be my favourite of all your quilts. It's just divine. If only I had a daughter. My 3 Mud Thugs would demolish it in no time I'm sure!

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  28. It's lovely Hen! Liberty is my favourite shop too even though I don't get there very often.
    I really like the simple brick design which shows off the fabrics so well. The "tiger flowers" fabric is such fun!

    Hope to see you tomorrow!
    Jayne

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  29. WOW! Amazing...you always impress me when I come to visit Hen! xxx

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  30. Such a gorgeous quilt - very pretty. I really wanted one of the Liberty Comic Relief bags - I can't believe they sold out before I could buy one! x

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  31. Fantastic! I can almost feel it's luciousness! can I use your idea of patchworking the fireplace please in our york shop? jennyx

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  32. I am an Aussie & I LOVE Liberty prints too!
    My mum actually made me a beautiful dress from a $2 remnant she found in a fabric shop when I was a kid and she knew it was a Liberty print even though it was only $2!! The dress went a long time ago but I still have the sash: such beautiful cotton.

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  33. Adorable quilt! Such a darling touch to personalize it on the back.

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  34. I love the fabrics that you used it's such a cute quilt!! Wish I had the time to make one!!!
    Have a great weekend!
    Chris :o)

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  35. What beautiful fabrics, I especially love the pink roses one!

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  36. Oh bother - I missed all this excitement!!! Love the quilt Hen! I would have had it so it's probably just as well it has found a lovely home. So gorgeous though, well done you! Especially love the binding, is that a bit sad? Tee hee,

    Sarah x

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  37. One of my favorites that you have made.. Lovely.
    Such a pretty shop. You find such gorgeous places to shop.

    Have a Great Day.

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  38. I love the flower stall as you go in through the front entrance of Liberty's too, it's always stunning isn't it. Your quilt, Hen, is making me feel slightly weak at the knees, it's BEAUTIFUL! I've bought some of that Tana Lawn, and it feels like a dream, and so finely woven, the height of luxury when it comes to fabric. So a quilt made from it, wow! It must be the quilt equivalent of wearing a couture dress. Gorgeous hen, and I'm not surprised it's been re-homed immediately. Love Vanessa xxx

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  39. yum, gorgeous quilt - we visited Liberty recently & I treated myself to a "hanky" in the yummy fabric in your 2nd photo - though I shall be using it as a scarf. I could spend a fortune in that shop (if I had one :D) x

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