Quilting with Liberty Fabrics: 15 quilts celebrating 145 years in fabric


Textile Art Book Reviews

At Mr X Stitch we love to review textile art and embroidery books for you. There are so many great books to discover, packed with needlework inspiration and textile techniques, so we dive into each book to find out what’s good, what’s bad and let you know why you should pick it up.

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Here’s what we think of Quilting with Liberty Fabrics: 15 quilts celebrating 145 years in fabric, written by Jenni Smith published by Lucky Spool Media.

Introduction

We will all have our own memories of Liberty, for myself as the author of this review, I have many photographs of my mother in Liberty print dresses, all made by her hand. Lacking the dress-making skills, many of my own printed textiles designs have been inspired by her history and usage of this timeless fabric, rather than my own. What is your Liberty memory?

Bound with quality and respect towards it’s linage and name within the fashion and arts world, Quilting with Liberty Fabrics is a joyous marriage of history and art. Jenni Smith as the writer takes us behind the scenes, using her ability of access the actual Liberty Design Studio and historical archives, to showcase and progress with fifteen projects. All feature aspects of history within Liberty fabrics, so we learn as well as create our own pieces. British design at its best.

A full colour reference index is given for every fabric used. Featuring beautiful details of the classic fabric designs produced over the years, each quilt will inspire readers to finally cut into those precious bits of fabric and begin enjoying them in pieced projects of their very own. Or on the other hand maybe indulge in a visit to the store itself to look at the array on offer.

This is the first quilting book to be an official partnership with Liberty – imagine the satisfaction as an author, having achieved and secured this connection.

About The Author

Jenni Smith is a UK-based designer of patters and now an author. She has a career in teaching, with a specialised interest in introducing others to the diversity of quilting and dressmaking.

Who Is This Book Aimed At?

Those who have memories of Liberty, or those with a love of pattern. The projects are aimed at those with some experience in quilting. There are clear guidelines and diagrams, yet for those less educated in the quilting field, some direction will be required.

Content

The projects are set out with their own names. There’s also some more personal sections, such as My Liberty, where the author reveals her own memories of this iconic company. We will surely all have our own memories, so this can spark off patterns of history in our own minds.

Liberty Print Jenni Smith
The contents list

Maybe you have your own memories to draw upon, have you visited the actual Liberty store? Many have….the inside cover of this publication is dressed with an inside view of the store.

Liberty Print Jenni Smith
Have you visited the Liberty store?

Before the projects are explored, there lies a most wonderful section, Then and Now. For those of us with a nosey streak, this is a dream come true. With information right from the design studios themselves, we will discover more about the process of creating the patterns, what methods are used and what inspires each design. You are bound to have more appreciation of the finished fabric after reading this section. The author Jenni Smith herself has challenged herself to get better educated and she certainly passes on her knowledge here.

Liberty Print Jenni Smith then and now
Behind the scenes information found in this section

We will go into the illustrating of the publication within the photography section of this review. However we enjoyed the books separation via full page photographs, setting the fabric in a variety of styled settings. The garden set up actually works well here.

Liberty Print Jenni Smith projects
Projects

Each project is coupled with enough imagery for us to comprehend what the finished item will be like….

Liberty Print Jenni Smith quilt image
Finished item illustration

As well as the finished photographs, we will come across diagrams to the quilt pattern:

Liberty Print Jenni Smith quilt diagram
The assembly of one of the quilts, outlined in diagram form

Here is a two page spread, to show how the step-by-step diagrams lead on to the finished piece. Within the publication as a whole, we will discover designs which use a number of sewing techniques. We will have to have some knowledge of these in order to progress with the projects themselves. You will discover appliqué, English Paper Piecing, Foundation Paper Piecing and sewing curves.

Liberty Print Jenni Smith step by step
From diagram version to reality, a finished project

Photography

Because the author has been allowed into areas of the Liberty studios which we cannot access ourselves, we get to see things which are quite rare to behold. These can be observed visually, thanks to the allowance of photography. The design studio is a delight, allowing us to see how traditional methods are still used – paper and paints are still a feature, which is reassuring for all the traditionalists out there. Liberty are specialists in printing onto the raw fabric, block printing was one method and later moving on to screen printing and digital printing, as technology evolved; yet the attention to detail via the designers hand has never been lost.

Jenni Smith Liberty print design studio
It is not all digital, we see how traditional methods are still used

As we mentioned earlier, the sections of the book are divided with quality imagery.

Jenni Smith Quilting Basics imagery
Divisions of the book

What Makes This Book Special?

The traditional cover of this book is sublime. It has a texture and is beautifully bound…

Jenni Smith Quilting book cover
Beauty outside too

It is also set inside its own house as it were, a protective shield from time wearing influences..

quilting
A protection from damage

On this cover, we will locate a paragraph from the author themselves. It really surmises the value and cherished memories we all may associate with Liberty. It is a personal comment, yet we can identify with it.

Jenni Smith Quilting book cover author comment
Are you ready to discover the joy?

Anything Wrong With The Book?

Some have noticed that the patterns at the back have to be enlarged. For those who are experienced quilters, this will not be a problem.

Liberty Jenni Smith quilting enlargement
One of the patterns to enlarge, all located at the back of this publication

This book can look complicated when in the hands of those with lesser quilting experience. However it is worth noting that sections like the one below really do help us to understand the basics…

Liberty Jenni Smith quilting basics
Quilting basics, tips and tricks conveyed at the latter end of this publication

Conclusion

Get your copy of Quilting with Liberty Fabrics: 15 quilts celebrating 145 years in fabric, written by Jenni Smith published by Lucky Spool Media from BookStore and support independent bookshops!

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