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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Each project is coupled with enough imagery for us to comprehend what the finished item will be like….
As well as the finished photographs, we will come across diagrams to the quilt pattern:
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.
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.
As we mentioned earlier, the sections of the book are divided with quality imagery.
What Makes This Book Special?
The traditional cover of this book is sublime. It has a texture and is beautifully bound…
It is also set inside its own house as it were, a protective shield from time wearing influences..
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.
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.
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…
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!