Even the smallest of beginner sewers will love making this kitsch cushion.
Liberty print connoisseur, expert sewer and owner of Alice Caroline, Alice Caroline Garrett gives us a sneak peek at her new book, Little Lady Liberty with this quirky hand-crafted cushion cover. Having spent her own childhood rummaging through her Grandmother’s Liberty fabric stash, Alice has designed this book with children in mind, with the hope of bringing enjoyment and creativity through step-by-step sewing projects.
We caught up with Alice to find out exactly why she decided to create this book and to hear about her passion for encouraging the next generation to get sewing:
Why did you decide to create a book for children?
The book is based around a young girl’s bedroom and the projects are all things I would like to make for my daughter; the kinds of things I loved as a child. Each project is named after girls I know – my daughter’s friends and cousins – and I chose projects I thought they would each enjoy. For example, Lilly loves ponies, so I named the duvet set after her.
How did you develop your own skills as a beginner?
My mum taught me to sew when I was younger; we made sleeping bags for teddies and a few patchwork cushions. I developed my skills later by trial and error, through making dresses as a student; I would buy a pattern and work through it, just learning as I went.
Do you think it’s important to pass on crafting to the next generation?
Yes, it’s something I’m passionate about, as making something with your own hands is so satisfying. When you can make something to wear or for your home you know it’s unique! It’s a skill you can build and, as an adult, it can be a way to reconnect with creativity otherwise lost in a busy life of work.
Have you tried out any of the projects with girls you know?
Yes I’ve made the Molly purse with my daughter. She wanted the Hello Kitty Liberty fabric and chose a lining to match; it’s super cute! She does the pedal on the sewing machine and I say when to stop, although she is learning to see the end coming up. She plaited the handle as well.
Do you remember the first Liberty fabric you owned?
I remember I had a piece of one of my Grandfather’s Liberty shirts when I was about 10. Then, in my teens, I went to the Liberty store for the first time and bought some gorgeous sequinned Edenham. It’s so beautiful! I made a tiny bag from it but still haven’t used the rest.
If you had unlimited time, what would you love to make out of Liberty print?
I would make quilts for everyone I know! One day I want to make a quilt using all of the 2.5” charm squares I have been collecting for a few years, but I would grade them all by colour first.
Do you have any Liberty prints decorating your house? If so, which ones?
My daughter Sophie has the duvet from the book, crafted with My Little Pace and Emolly Can Can. I am slowly starting to make curtains for the house with the gorgeous The Secret Garden Collection; I’m going to start with Faria Flowers in the kitchen!
Is there a book for boys on the horizon?
I would love to do a book for boys (particularly as I have one), but there aren’t quite as many Liberty prints for boys. Although recently we’ve had the fabulous Queue for the Zoo and Tom’s Jets – I’d love to go through the archive and maybe reprint some great boyish designs for a book!
THE PROJECT: HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN HOLLY SCATTER CUSHIONS
“Little Lady Liberty has been inspired by my lifelong love for Liberty fabrics; the huge range of magical prints is perfect for making beautiful things for children. I love sewing with a beloved one in mind; crafting a gift like a dress, toy, cushion or quilt that becomes woven into their childhood. All of the projects are named after little girls I know. I’ve designed the instructions with step by step drawings accessible to beginners as well as more advanced sewers, in the hope that anyone with a special little girl can find a project they both love!”
Select colours to match your bedroom’s theme or, if giving the cushion as a gift, make things a little more personal by choosing colours inspired by your lucky recipient.
You will need:
33 x 73.5cm (13 x 29in) Liberty fabric for a 30cm (12in) square cushion (see the book for other cushion sizing options)
Sewing machine OR hand sewing need
Thread (either contrast or matching)
How to make:
Select your fabric and cut to the right size for the cushion that you would like to make.
At one end of the short edge of the fabric, fold over 5mm (1⁄4in) to the wrong side and press.
Fold over another 1cm (1⁄2in) and press. Topstitch through all the layers, staying close to the edge of the original fold.
Repeat steps 1 to 3 at the other end of the fabric.
Lay the fabric out with the right side facing up and fold one end of the fabric over on top, measuring 19cm (71⁄2in).
Fold over the other end of the fabric by the same amount as in step 5 and, most importantly, ensure the bottom layer is as wide as the finished size of your cushion.
Stitch through all layers, 1cm (1⁄2in) from the raw edges, down each side of the folded fabric leaving the overlapped edges open for an envelope-style back.
Turn the finished cushion cover right side out through the back opening. Press and insert the cushion pad.
And there you have it! A lovely little cushion to start building yourself a homely den when the rainy British weather gets too much.
We love to see all your Liberty print projects, so why not share them with us on Twitter or Pinterest using #SewLiberty.
Feeling inspired? Let Little Lady Liberty and our newest Liberty fabrics be the starting point for your next crafting afternoon.
Dress your table for Easter entertaining with this simple napkin and table runner set.
Expert sewer, author and Liberty print connoisseur Alice Garrett, owner of Alice Caroline shows you how to dress your table for Easter with this simple step-by-step guide. A lover of Liberty fabric since a childhood spent rummaging through her grandmother’s fabric stash, Alice now sells Liberty fabrics from her online shop, working from her studio in the Cotswolds where her library of Liberty fabric is a constant inspiration.
Whether you’re entertaining this Easter or getting the whole family together, your table will be the envy of all your guests.
Follow the steps below for both the table runner and the napkins
Table Runner: 132cm (52”) x 35cm (14”)
Napkins: 40cm (16”) x 40cm (16”)
You will need
Table runner: 137cm (54”) x 40cm (16”) Liberty fabric
Napkins: 45cm (18”) x 45cm (18”) Liberty fabric per napkin
Alice has used Hubert A Tana Lawn
How to make
Step 1. Fold down one corner of the fabric so that corner edges are both 1 ¼”.
Step 2. Cut corner flap off, leaving ½” edges. Repeat steps 1 and 2 at the 3 remaining corners.
Step 3. Fold one edge of the napkin over ¼”, press.
Step 4. Fold another ¼” over, press and pin in place. Repeat steps 3 and 4 at the remaining edges.
Step 5. Stitch all around the napkin, 3mm (1/8”) from the edge of the inner fold. TIP: When stitching, keep the needle down when you get to each corner. Lift the sewing machine foot and pivot the fabric 90 degrees, then lower the foot and continue sewing along the next edge.
Dress your table and enjoy!
Are you taking part in any Easter crafting? Share your creations using #SewLiberty @LibertyLondon. Shop all Liberty Art Fabrics
Meet the Designer – Alice Caroline
This lovely ‘Easter Table’ tutorial, designed by Alice Caroline Garrett, is just one of the wonderful projects for sewers that she creates using Liberty of London fabrics.
Alice Garrett, owner of Alice Caroline sells a huge range of Liberty prints from the latest collections. She enjoys sourcing limited edition prints and designing patterns, kits and notions all in a distinctive Liberty style. Alice’s love of Liberty fabrics grew from when she was just a child, rummaging through her grandmothers fabric stash, always excited to find a snippet of Liberty fabric. Her grandmother was an amazing quilter who also loved those distinctive patterns, meaning that Alice has had a lifelong love of all things Liberty.
Her studio in the Cotswolds is a riot of colour and texture. There are stacked rolls in her ‘Liberty Library’ of fabric, drawers packed with fat quarters, books and magazines to inspire, and jars of ribbons and buttons sourced from her travels. Being surrounded by such an array of pattern and colour inspires that Alice to design new projects for sewers that use the fabric in such a way that shows Liberty at its best.
With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, start a new Liberty print project with lots of heart…
Valentine’s Day is fast-approaching, so we called on Jemima Flendt from the blog Tied With A Ribbon to talk about her love of crafting and show us how to make a mini Liberty print quilted heart wall hanging.
Tell us how you got into crafting?
Since I was a young girl my fondest memories are those spent with my Nanna in her sewing room and baking cookies. My mum was always making at her sewing machine. I have grown up to love and be inspired by all things fabric, textiles, buttons, ribbons and embellishments.
I started quilting when I was about 16 – making quilts with leftover scraps from Mum’s sewing projects. I was quickly hooked and started taking classes to learn about different quilting techniques and skills.
Why did you start your blog?
My professional career as a Home Economics teacher means I have been able to combine my love of teaching with my love of baking and sewing. I started Tied with a Ribbon to create a direction in which I could pursue this love. I have been teaching quilting and sewing classes, retreats and workshops, as well as contributing to several publications with projects over the past few years. It is a great buzz encouraging others to develop a love for sewing and stitching.
What is your favourite craft?
I love to crochet – I learnt this as a young girl but only really picked up my hook again about two years ago. So far I have been making simple bags, Ripple Blankets and a variety of granny Square Blankets, next I’m hoping to try some cute animals. But quilting is really my true passion. I love making modern and contemporary quilts. I love combining bright colours and textures of different fabrics like linens and lawns and embellishing them with added features such as hand stitching, ribbons and appliqué.
What techniques do you specialise in?
I love hand quilting, using different hand embroidery threads in a quilt, and relish the time taken to add this special touch. I often use multiple fabrics and use materials like cotton, linen, chambray and lawn to create different textures within the one project.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I am often inspired by the other women I sew with. I love being around others while sewing, stitching and crocheting – so many ideas and new projects start here. I read blogs and love connecting with what is happening around the world in terms of fabrics and trends. I love shopping for fabric just as much, so I am often out in quilting and fabric stores searching for the perfect materials for a project. My two girls like drawing, so I often use their pictures to create projects or incorporate their design ideas into quilts and other sewing tasks.
If you could make a quilt for anyone who would it be and why?
If I could make a quilt for anyone I would love to make one for my Nanna. She passed away when I was 12 and I wish that I could have shown her how much she would shape and become a part of my life even after she was gone. She was such a strong and determined woman and made time to instil a love of craft in me. I truly treasure the crafting gifts she taught and shared with me.
What plans do you have for your next Liberty print project?
I just got my hands on some stunning Carline Chambray – I have plans to make a quilt with it that will be for someone special. This fabric will be the star of the quilt so I will spend time designing just the perfect quilt to showcase its beautiful rose print. I have also just signed up for a Liberty of London swap over on Instagram. I love being pushed outside my own comfort zone to create a beautiful piece for someone else, plus there’s a little bit of pressure to create for a fellow Liberty Lover. I’m going to make them a mini quilt out of colours and prints that they hopefully will love.
How to make Jemima’s mini quilted heart wall hanging:
Finished Size – 20in x 20in (51cm x 51cm). ¼ inch seam allowance included. Fabric measurements based on fabric 42in/110cm wide (WOF)
You will need:
6.5in x 6.5in of 18 different Liberty Prints
16in (40cm) white fabric
6in binding fabric
26in x 26in (60cm x 60cm) batting
26in x 26in backing fabric
Cotton sewing thread
Hand quilting embroidery cotton
Rotary cutter, ruler and mat
General sewing supplies
Sewing machine with ¼ inch and walking foot
From the White
Cut 8 –1.5in strips x WOF. Cross cut into 224 – 1.5in x 1.5in squares
Cut 1 – 2.25in strip x WOF. Cross cut into 16 – 2.25in x 2.25in squares
From each of the 18 Liberty fabrics
Cut 8 – 1.5in squares. You need 144 squares in total
Cut 1 – 2.25in square. You only need 16 in total.
Cut 2 – 2.25in strips x WOF
Read all instructions and view or download this layout before starting.
1. Cut out as per cutting instructions.
2. To make the Half Square Triangles (HST) – take the 2.25in white squares and with a pencil mark a diagonal line from one corner to the other. Place one Liberty 2.25in square with right sides facing a white 2.25in square. Pin together. Sew ¼ in, along either side of this marked line on your white square.
3. If you mark and pin them all up you can chain piece these to speed up this step. You will have two Liberty squares left over, as you only need 16.
4. Cut along the diagonal line and press the seam toward the coloured fabric.
5. Trim these HST to be 1.5in squares. Repeat until you have made 32 HST’s in total.
6. Lay out your white squares and Liberty prints in the Heart pattern so that you make 20 columns by 20 rows. Play with the placement of the Liberty fabrics to create a pleasing look to your mini quilt top so that you do not have too many of the same fabrics or colours together. The HST blocks will form the shape and sides of your Heart.
7. Sew up the squares and HST by sewing each of the 20 squares together the make a row.
8. Press the seams in the same direction. Continue sewing each of the rows together pressing alternate rows in the same direction.
9. As you have pressed the rows in opposite directions the seams will “nest” when you sew the rows together. This will make it easy to pin the squares in place.
10. Once you have sewn all of the rows, sew them together to complete your mini quilt top.
11. Draw the word “love” onto the mini quilt top with a pencil. Using a backstitch – sew the lettering using your hand embroidery thread onto the mini quilt top.
Sandwich your Mini Quilt
Lay your backing fabric right side down, then centre the wadding and lay the quilt top right side up over the top. Smooth out the quilt top and pin the three layers together.
I machine-quilted the quilt in the ditch around the heart. I used a white cotton thread to sew the lines and then I echoed the shape of the heart out from the centre to make a heart shape with my quilting lines.
Take the binding strips and join them with right sides facing.
Mark the diagonal and sew along this line.
Trim and press the seam open.
Then press the entire strip in half lengthways with wrong sides facing.
Start about halfway along one side of the mini quilt and sew the binding strip to the right side of the mini quilt, mitring the corners as you go.
Stop about six inches from where you started. Join the ends and cut off excess. Continue sewing the binding to the min quilt top. Trim the backing and wadding.
Fold over the binding and slip stitch into place along the back seam line.
And you’re finished!
Browse our new season collection Pictures and Conversations, derived from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, to find beautiful prints for your quilted wall hang.
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Learn the basics of calligraphy in this workshop, hosted by Betty Etiquette’s Rebecca Cahill Roots.
Calling all budding calligraphers! Whether you’re looking to learn a new skill, or you have a specific event coming up you’d like to create your own stationery for, join Liberty for a beginner’s calligraphy class hosted by Rebecca Cahill Roots, Creative Director of stationery brand Betty Etiquette.
You will learn basic letter formation using a dip ink pen, and then use your new skills to write a letter for special someone. Classes cost £40 and will take place 10am – 1pm 7 February. Included in the price is a calligraphy starter kit and a Valentine’s print to take away with you, to book your place please call Customer Services on +44 (0)20 7734 1234.
Don’t forget to share your calligraphy creations using @LibertyLondon
View all our events here
We catch up with Cindy Lammon who learnt her skill of sewing through two generations of sewers. Using traditional techniques and chipping away at her stash, Cindy is always brimming with more ideas than what she has time for, combining this with her love for geometry and fabric, Cindy creates countless projects which she shares with her followers on her blog.
Snuggle up in the cold winter months with this hour glass quilt, follow Cindy’s step by step on how to make your own from your favourite Liberty prints.
Tell us about yourself and when you discovered sewing?
I don’t remember a time when I didn’t sew! My Mother and Grandmother were both fabulous seamstresses although neither of them quilted. I grew up doing embroidery, crewel work, garment sewing and home dec sewing. My Mother had
some quilting magazines and I have memories of looking through them admiring the quilts as a teenager. I even attempted a quilt found in one of those magazines – a Double Wedding Ring. I used tissue paper templates and needless to say, it was a disaster!
I took my first quilting class after I had my first baby and needed some non-baby diversion. That was back in 1981 and I haven’t stopped quilting since!
My quilting career has included participating in guilds, retreats, teaching classes, working in quilt shops and writing quilting books. The most recent book is Simply Modern Christmas which came out in August 2013. It’s filled with 14 projects that evolved from my love of modern quilting.
You primarily quilt, what is it about quilting that you find so special?
I love fabric! Quilting allows me to use lots of different fabrics in one project. I think coordinating fabrics for a quilt is my favorite part of the process. I also have a
thing for geometry. Call me a nerd, but I love to figure out how different shapes can create a design. Because of my love for fabric and geometry, I have more quilts in my head than I could ever make in a lifetime!
Some of your designs are very complex, do you have to an expert a maths to do them?
I do think you have to have some math skills (and enjoy doing the math) to design quilts other than super simple ones. Luckily we have a wealth of designers and pattern makers that fall into that category today. If you don’t like doing math, there are tons of wonderful patterns in books, magazines and online. We’re really pretty lucky nowadays!
Has there been a quilt project that has been the most challenging?
One of the things I love about quilting is that there are so many techniques and design possibilities. I think that’s why I’ve been able to stick with it for so long. I’m never bored! Over the years I’ve embraced techniques that were new to me at the time, and it’s kept quilting interesting and challenging. Last year
I completed a 12 month paper pieced Block-of-the-Month and overcame my fear of paper piecing. This year I’ve made several quilts with curved piecing – Gathering Flowers Quilt and Flowering Snowball – which have been quite a challenge. It always amazes me how much easier things get with practice!
How do you start your design process for new projects and colour combinations?
I’m a collector. When I see a fabric line that I love, I buy several pieces of it that I think would look good together in a quilt. I also pick up patterns that I like. The fabric and patterns kind of hang out together in my studio. When I’m deciding on a new project, the fabric line and perfect pattern just seem to find each other in my mind. Does that make sense? I have a nice size stash, so I almost always add some stash fabrics into the mix for a quilt that’s unique to me.
How many quilts do you think you have made and what do you do with them after?
I’ve been quilting for a while, so I’d have to guess and say I’ve made a couple hundred quilts and just as many small wall quilts or table runners. We use my quilts in our home for beds, walls and throws. I’ve given lots of quilts away to both family members and charitable organizations. Many of my quilts are stored in one of two armoires and a large closet lined with shelving. I try to take them out on a regular basis to refold and just look at them. I really do love all my quilts!
What you will need:
12 different Liberty of London Tana Lawn Prints – 9” x 27”
3/8 yard Liberty of London Tana Lawn print for binding (54” wide
1 3/4 yards Liberty of London Tana Lawn for backing (54” wide)
2 1/4 yards solid white fabric (40” wide)
From 4 of the Tana Lawn prints, cut a total of 16 squares 6 1/2” x 6 1/2”
From 8 of the Tana Lawn prints, cut a total of 24 squares 6 1/2” x 6 1/2” and a total of 12 rectangles 3” x 5 1/2”
From the solid white, cut the following:
7 strips 6 1/2”, cut into 40 squares 6 1/2” x 6 1/2”
2 strips 3”, cut into 24 squares 3” x 3”
3 strips 5 1/2”, cut into 20 squares 5 1/2” x 5 1/2”
1 strip 5 1/2”, cut into 10 rectangles 3” x 5 1/2”
The design is created using two simple blocks, an Hourglass block and a Flying Geese block.
Finished size lap quilt – Hourglass Lap Quilt – 50” x 55”
Let’s start with the Hourglass blocks!
Step 1: Layer a white and a print 6 1/2” square right sides together. Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner. Stitch 1/4” on each side of your diagonal line.
Step 2: Cut the square in half diagonally on the drawn line to create 2 half triangle squares. Press the seam allowances to the print side. Repeat these steps with all 40 print and white squares.
Step 3: Layer 2 mismatched triangle squares right sides together, placing a print triangle to a white triangle. Align the squares so that the seams are butting up right next to each other. You should be able to feel the seams nestled together with your finger. I like to place a couple of pins along the seam line.
Step 4: Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner, going in the opposite direction of the previous seam line. Stitch 1/4” on each side of your diagonal line.
Step 5: Cut in half again diagonally on the drawn line. Press seams open.
Step 6: Trim the Hourglass square to 5 1/2” x 5 1/2” by placing the 45 degree line of your ruler on a diagonal seam and the 2 3/4” mark of the ruler at the center. Trim 2 adjacent sides this way, and then trim the block to 5 1/2” x 5 1/2”.
You’ll make a total of 80 Hourglass blocks, but you’ll only need 79 for the quilt!
The Flying Geese blocks are easy!
Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on all 24 white 3” squares.
Place a marked square on one short edge of a 3” x 5 1/2” print rectangle (note the direction of the marked line). Sew directly on the line this time.
Trim 1/4” from the sewn line and press the seam allowance toward the white.
Repeat with a second white 3” square on the opposite edge of the rectangle. Sew, trim, press.
Make a total of 12 Flying Geese blocks.
Lay your blocks out as shown here on the quilt layout. Alternate a row of 9 Hourglass Blocks and Flying Geese on each end with a row of 5 Hourglass Blocks, four 5 1/2” white squares and two white rectangles on each end.
Sew the blocks into rows and sew the rows together.
Layer your quilt top with batting and backing. I quilted mine with a diagonal grid of straight lines. Super simple! Finish with the binding.