Make your own Liberty print patchwork picnic blanket or throw.
Summer may be over, but the sun is still shining and the skies are blue, making the perfect setting for a picnic with family and friends with this lovely Liberty print picnic blanket. This sewing project is made from this seasons collection inspired by jungles, precious stones, astrology and sunsets.
Make your own original picnic blanket, by choosing your favourite Liberty prints and following our step-by-step sewing tutorial on how to make a picnic blanket. This project is for the intermediate sewer or a beginner looking for something a bit more challenging.
What you will need:
Tess and Rosa A – 30cm
Dulwich Park C – 30cm
Edna B – 30cm
Arrow A – 30cm
Pereira D – 30cm
Baby Rainbow A – 30cm
Opie B – 30cm
Plain fabric – Grey Tana Lawn
Backing fabric – Matt Maddison C
Dress making pencil/ chalk
Start by choosing which fabrics you would like to use, we have chosen a selection of fabrics which fade into one another from our new Autumn Winter Tana lawn collection.
We have chosen to use the plain grey tana lawn for the background colour.
Download our Picnic-blanket-templates.
Making the picnic blanket
Using template A and drawing with a dress making chalk pencil, cut the following amounts from each fabrics:
5 x Pereira D
4 x Baby Rainbow A
5 x Edna B
4 x Arrow A
5 x Opie B
4 x Tess and Rosa A
5 x Dulwich Park
Using template B draw and cut 24 pieces from the plain grey fabric.
Working in rows, lay your fabrics out on a flat surface, if you are lucky enough to have a big enough table or if not you can use the floor.
Begin by sewing row 1, refer to the picnic blanket layout for the measurements of the plain grey fabric which lies on either side of your first diamond.
The top grey segment should measure 8cm and the other side 24cm lining up with the 60 degree angle. The lower segment should measure 24cm on one side and 40cm on the other. Not forgetting to add seam the 1/4 inch seam allowance.
The best way is to cut a strip of grey fabric measuring 16cm wide plus seam allowance and cut across at 60 degrees using the patchwork ruler and lining up on the cutting mat.
Line up the sides leaving a ¼ inch seam allowance at the end and pin in place. When the fabric pieces are flipped the right way they will be in line with the rest of the pieces
Repeat these processes for rows 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. Keep the picnic blanket laid out so it is easy to see where you are up to.
After all the rows are all complete cut the two corner pieces and the narrow strips in between the rows. Refer to the picnic blanket layout for the measurements.
The narrow strips should measure the following in length and 8cm in width plus the ¼ inch seam allowance. These will be trimmed down afterwards.
Row 1 – 0.96m
Row 2 – 1.44m
Row 3 – 1.92m
Row 4 – 1.92m
Row 5 – 1.92m
Row 6 – 1.44m
Row 7 – 0.96m
Before you start to sew, iron all your pieces flat and pressing seams to the darker fabric. Trim all extra bits of fabric for a neat edge.
Begin to sew all the quilt pieces together, starting from one corner and working towards the opposite side.
Once you have completed, trim the quilt to 130cm x 160cm plus 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Time to cut the backing fabric, we have chosen Maddison to echo the diamond pattern on the front of the picnic blanket. Cut this to the same size as the front 130cm x 160cm. Cut the wadding a fraction smaller for it to be a snug fit when you add it into the picnic blanket.
Lay the backing fabric on a flat surface, securing with masking tape at the edges, ensure that it is flat and smoothed out. Right sides facing, lay the front of the blanket onto, lining up with the backing and smoothing out any wrinkles. Secure layers together with pins or safety pins. Stitch around the picnic blanket with a ¼ inch seam allowance leaving one end at the bottom open, this is where the flap will be added to fasten the blanket. Remove the pins and turn the picnic blanket the right way and press again.
Sandwich the wadding in middle of the quilt, making sure it is flat and reaching all the corners, secure agin with pins, ready for quilting. We have quilted every other diamond on each row, if you prefer you can quilt every diamond, using the quilting thread.
Tip: Stitch in the ditch!
Making the flap
We have made a simple flap which measures 12cm x 33cm. Make this in the same way as the quilt. We have cut the corners for more detail. Add the wadding in the middle, press and insert into the centre of the blanket and pin into place.
Hand sew the opening shut by using a slip stitch, leaving the flap pinned in place until you add the handle.
Making the handle
Cut three lengths of cord around 45 cm each. We have wrapped a strip of fabric round the cord, folding one side over to hide any raw edges as wrapping round. We covered one with grey plain tana and two with Madisson.
Using a pin to hold in place, start to plait them together, we have run a stitch back and forth at the end of the plait to make it secure.
Insert the handle into the centre of the flap and pin into place, this is onto the backing fabric side. Complete by slip stitching the flap closed on both sides adding a few extra stitches where the handle is to make it sturdy.
The only thing that is left to do is add the Velcro. Add two pieces measuring 3.50cm in length, these are placed on the grey side of the flap and the opposite sides of the Velcro are added on the backing fabric. Practice folding and rolling the picnic blanket to find the perfect place to stitch the velcro. Ours was 60cm from the edge of the flap towards the centre of the blanket.
Your picnic blanket is now ready for days out with family and friends.
You can share your Liberty print projects with us on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest by using #SewLiberty.
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Home stylist and genius behind interiors blog Apartment Apothecary, Katy Orme, shows us how to redesign your home office so you can de-clutter and revel in your new workspace.
Having recently re-styled her spare room and home office into an elegant, artistic space, Katy now has a constructive area to keep the creative juices flowing at home.
Katy has restyled the room in a way that changes the entire perspective of her home office, making it clear and spacious but still maintaining her stylish flair to allow inspiration.
There are a few things to consider before you begin, so Katy gives us her top tips to help you be successful.
Katy’s top three tips for redesigning your home office:
1. Spend time planning the layout of the room
What exactly will you be using this space for? Make a list of how you’re going to use the room and what you need to store, then plan the furniture and layout around this list. For example, for my home office I wanted to be able to cut fabric and take photographs, so I positioned the desks in the middle of the room in order to access it from all angles.
This is essential as it will inspire you to make good use of all the free space you now have. Do this before starting so you know how much room you’ve got to work with. Once you’ve taken the plunge you’ll feel invigorated by the about of light, bright space you now have, without being surround by a mountain of ‘stuff’!
3. Add beautiful items to your room
There’s no reason why an office should be a hard, ugly and soulless place. Be inspired by prints, photographs, plants, flowers, textiles and gorgeous stationary. I love Liberty’s print pencils and have a variety of tumblers to hold them in.
How to choose the right colours
Sometimes picking the tones and colours of a room can be difficult, so I recommend starting by honing in on one of your favourite objects in the room, be it a lamp, cushion, blind, picture or even a notebook. Choose a colour from that object that you like and build the scheme around it. For me, I started with a Double Merrick print that I love. It has a beautiful greyish-blue background, so I started from there, matching it with the pendant lamp and some other accents around the room, such as the Liberty print cushion cover I made, vases, pens and pots, to offset the white canvas. Combining various colours can be tricky, so I often use inspiration boards to look at my favourite fabric pieces and find ones that complement each other.
If you’re looking to instantly re-vamp your room, these are some of my favourite pieces from Liberty home, fabric or haberdashery departments:
1. Find yourself some beautiful cups, jugs or bowls to store your pens and stationary in. I really enjoyed adding some of these to my room:
Flowers of Liberty Betsy Print Jug | Falcon Enamel Mini Tumbler | White Panel Tumbler | Burleigh Regal Peacock Earthenware Jug
2. Get sewing and make a cushion for your desk chair using some chic Liberty fabrics, they do a great job of softening what might normally be a rigid space. At the moment I’m in love with Pepper Liberty print.
3. Take the time and invest in some quality, stylish lighting. A good lamp goes a long way in keeping the room alive and fresh. I have a BTC Original clip-on task light but I love this floor version.
Don’t feel like you have to dig deep to make your home office a beautiful, workable area – there are plenty of ways to be thifty one a budget. I bought my new desk from a timber yard and we then cut it down to the right size. Plus, if you’re creative with your sewing like me, find your favourite Liberty pattern and design your own gorgeous cushions to brighten up any room.
Katy Orme is a freelance writer, home stylist and writer behind the interiors blog, Apartment Apothecary. Now it’s your turn to get started on redesigning your home office. Be inspired by our vibrant, botanic furnishing fabrics, or discover our full range of fabrics to get started on your next Liberty print project.
Don’t forget to share you lovely Liberty makes with us on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest – @LibertyLondon #SewLiberty.
Lauren Guthrie talks us through her latest Liberty print project and tells us about a life wrapped up in all things sewing.
Author of popular sewing blog Guthrie and Ghani, Lauren Guthrie has a true passion for sewing. When she’s not teaching workshops or completing her own sewing projects, she runs a haberdashery in Birmingham with her husband, Ayaz. As she shows us how to ad a statement Liberty print trim to a summer loungewear staple, we asked Lauren how her crafting empire came about.
How did you get into sewing; what was the first project you made?
I first got into sewing when I was only 4 years old. My Mum was a dressmaker and worked from home, so the house was always full of sewing projects. She taught me how to make a hand sewn stitch sampler that came as a kit – I’ve still got it up on my wall now!
Did you ever see yourself owning a shop dedicated to crafts?
When I was younger I used to dream of having a shop that was full of things that I had made, but now I absolutely love selling fabrics and creating notions for people to make things themselves. I think sewing has so many positive benefits, it’s really rewarding to see that thrive in the customers that come to the shop.
How did the ‘Love Liberty’ section on your blog come about?
I have always loved Liberty fabric and can remember going on a trip to the haberdashery department, all the way from Scotland, when I left school. I was allowed to pick a fabric for my Mum to make me a special outfit. I’m so drawn to the colours, patterns and amazing softness of the fabric that I love to include it in my projects, even if it’s just a little splash here and there – like the lining of a pocket, a bit of bias trim or some buttons. So I thought it would be good to have a whole category on the blog that pulled all of these projects together for people out there who love Liberty.
Do you have any favourite prints?
That is such a hard question… but if my life depended on it, Betsy – in any colourway!
Which sewing skill did you find the hardest to master?
Getting the perfect fit on a garment is always tricky. I’m lucky that usually my proportions fit more or less into the size options on sewing patterns, but there is always something new to learn in terms of getting it spot on.
What tips do you have for someone who wants to start making their own clothes or accessories?
Embrace the mistakes – you can always unpick something and you will learn so much from it so it’s never a waste of time.
Be brave – try something you’ve never attempted before, work through it slowly step by step. Soon you’ll see how it all comes together.
Get the right tools – I know it seems like a big investment but it will make life a lot easier if you have good quality equipment.
Lastly – work with a Liberty fabric! Even if it’s not perfect it’ll still look lovely if it’s made with beautiful fabric!
THE PROJECT: HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN SHORTS WITH A LIBERTY PRINT TRIM
A basic in everyone’s wardrobe, this lovely pair of comfy pyjama bottoms in a soft cotton fabric is easy to wear and simple to make, too. This project is a really good place to get to grips with following a garment pattern, as you don’t need to worry too much about getting the fit right. This simple shorts version has a contrast panel at the hem.
You will need:
Up-scale and print the ‘Short’ Shorts Pattern
1.2m (1yd) of main fabric at least 114cm (45in) wide, such as medium-weight cotton
60cm (yd) of contrast fabric at least 114cm (45in) wide, such as medium-weight cotton
Piece of 2cm (in) elastic half your waist measurement
Piece of iron-on interfacing at least 5cm (2in) square
How to make:
Cut out the fabric pieces following the cutting layout and, using the pattern, cut out the fabric pieces in the two fabrics. Also from the contrast fabric cut two strips 50 x 5cm (20 x 2in) for ties. Transfer all pattern markings onto the fabric.
Sew the inside leg seams: pin a front piece and a back piece together, right sides facing, along the inside leg edges. Stitch the seam with a 1.5cm (5/8in) seam allowance (used throughout). Press the seam allowances open and finish them off. Repeat to join the other inside leg seam.
Sew side seams: pin and stitch the side seams, with right sides facing. Finish off the seam allowances together and press them towards the front.
Add contrast border: pin and stitch the front and back panels together at the side edges; press the seams open. At the top (un-notched) edge of the panels press 1.5cm (5/8in) to the wrong side.
Turn the pyjamas wrong side out and pin the border, also wrong side out, around the lower edge of each leg, matching side seams and notches and with the pressed-back edge at the top, as shown. Tack if you wish, then stitch 1.5cm (5/8in) from the lower edge.
Finish attaching border: press the border down, away from the pyjamas. Turn the pyjamas right side out, and fold the border up over each leg; press it so that the seam you stitched in Step 4 is at the edge. Pin and tack, then topstitch the border in place 2mm (scant 1/8in) from its top (pressed-under) edge.
Sew crotch seam: turn one leg right side out. Place it inside the other leg (turned wrong side out) so that the right sides of the fabric are facing. Match up inner leg seams and front and back notches and pin in place; tack if you wish, then stitch the seam. Press the seam to one side and finish off the raw edges together.
Make the buttonholes: turn under and press 3cm (1 1/4in) along the upper edge of the pyjama bottoms, then turn under and press another 3cm (1 1/4in). This will be stitched later to form the casing for the elastic.Now open out the folds. Iron the small piece of interfacing to the marking for the buttonhole on each side of the crotch seam. Stitch two buttonholes and cut them open.
Stitch the casing: re-fold the casing and pin it in place. Topstitch 2.7cm (generous 1in) down from the top folded edge, leaving a gap of 8cm (3in) along the back. Repeat with a line of topstitching 3mm (1/8in) from the top; this will stop the elastic from twisting.
Attach waist ties to elastic: press each tie piece in half lengthways, wrong sides together. Open out this fold and fold the raw edges in to meet the crease.
Re-fold the tie, enclosing the raw edges. Topstitch close to the turned-in edges. Tie a little knot at one end of each tie. Attach the un-knotted ends of the ties to the elastic with two or three rows of zigzag stitch.
Feed elastic and ties through casing: attach a safety pin to each end of the waist ties. Feed the ties through the gap in the casing you left at the back and out through the buttonholes at the front. Pin the elastic to the top edge of the pyjamas at each side seam, then topstitch it in place. Topstitch the gap in the casing to close it. (You will have to stretch the elastic to make the fabric lie flat when you do this.)
As always, we love to see your beautiful Liberty print makes, so why not share them with us on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest – #LibertyPrint #SewLiberty.
You can find even more details, tips and projects in Learn to Sew with Lauren by Lauren Guthrie, published by Mitchell Beazley, £25 (www.octopusbooks.co.uk)
Images by Nassima Rothacker
Jess Christian from Craftiness is not Optional has a knack of juggling motherhood and her passion for crafting. Mother of three and a sewer of children’s clothing and accessory tutorials, she has a countless amount of projects under her belt. Jess has even sewn up felt food, but also finds time to whip up some tasty recipes on a separate blog, which she writes with a friend.
We find out more about Jess and what she does with her favourite medium, fabric and how to make a knotted necklace.
Tell us about yourself and how you got into sewing and blogging?
I got into sewing when I was expecting my first daughter, I wanted to make her a blanket and the rest is history! I got bitten by the sewing bug and never looked back. As far as blogging goes, I started out blogging for my family and friends, and when the sewing started taking over the blog, I switched over to just craftiness! I love it!
You have made a variety of tutorials for your followers, is there a project that you enjoyed making the most or one that has been a bit different to the norm?
I really loved making ribbon-wrapped fabric weights I have a whole bowl of them on my cutting table that I use constantly. They are easy to make and so colourful and useful!
Every sewer has a fabric stash for a rainy day, what do you plan to make with some of yours?
My stash could provide enough for a whole rainy month! I have plans for most fabrics when I buy them, but life gets in the way and sometimes the plans get shelved. I have lots of fabric set aside for more tops for me!
What advice would you offer someone who would like to take up sewing and is not sure where to start?
Start with sewing something simple, like a pillow or easy blanket to build up your confidence!
What plans do you have for the future? How would you like to develop your craftiness?
Someday I’d love to design fabric…I want to work on my pattern line and add some new ones soon…there’s always something to do, right?
What you will need:
1 yard 3/8″ wide piping
1/4 yard Liberty Fabric (you will have plenty leftover to make more than one!)
Jewellery end cap-3/8″ wide/18mm wide
Matching chain, jump rings, and clasp
Cut a strip of fabric 1.75″ (4.45cm) wide by the width of the fabric. Fold and press one long side of the fabric 1/4″(0.64cm), wrong sides facing.
Using the glue, and working a few inches at a time, apply a thin layer to the raw edge of the fabric strip, and attach it to the piping trim.
Wrap the fabric around the piping trim so that it overlaps the raw edge, then glue in place along the piping trim.
Knot it up! This part is up to you-I played around with knotting and twisting it till I was happy with how it looked. Cut off the extra piping trim on either end, making sure it is even and a few inches above the knot.
Dab some glue inside one of the end caps and push one end of the piping trim into it. You can use something thin to help push it evenly into the end cap. Make sure it is pushed in snugly so that the glue bonds! Let dry.
Attach jump rings to the end caps, then two pieces of chain to the jump rings. (Length is up to you!) Then to the other ends of the chains, add jump rings, then the clasp pieces. You are done!
Follow Jess on Instagram @craftinessisnotoptional
We love to see all your crafty makes, so why not share them with us on Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram using #SewLiberty
Guest blogger Ali Winston has made this simple quilt mixing craft and new seasons Tana lawn fabric. Inspired by a nautical theme the front of the quilt is reminiscent of seaside linens. Ali experimented by using flannel instead of batting for the inside of the quilt, offering an amazing drape and cosy feel. It even takes up less space in the closet when tidying it away in the summer.
Ali tells us about her love for science and sewing:
‘I started sewing at a young age with my mum and grandmother. Thankfully those early projects are long gone with no proof of how bad they were! I dabbled in garments (disaster!) and duvet covers, but nothing specific held my attention. After putting sewing on hold during college, I rediscovered sewing while working in interior design. I bought the smallest, cheapest sewing machine to make pillows on. While the tiny sewing machine worked for simple pillows, Josh, my husband, could see that it needed to be upgraded. That Christmas he gave me the best present ever. The sewing hasn’t stopped since.
While quilts are my primary focus now, I enjoy all kinds of sewing challenges – from bags to garments to home decor. I’ve recently become infatuated with my over locker for finishing garments and pillows!
Sewing isn’t my full time job though. I currently work as a high school math teacher. It’s an interesting challenge and sewing is definitely a needed stress reducer at the end of the day! Even though sewing quilts heavily involves the maths side of things, I’m able to disconnect between being creative and being math oriented. I studied Architecture at an Engineering school, so my education was heavy on both art and math/science. I’m certified to teach art and math (although I think teaching art would be the death of me with all the messy projects happening at once!). I need structure, so math is more suited to that. I also tend to be very methodical with my sewing and designing too.
Still, I love blending the arts and sciences in my free time, which is how I came up with the idea for my book, Quilt Lab. Quilt Lab takes science and math ideas and turns them into graphic quilts. I also talk about my design process as something structured rather than pure inspiration. It’s been great to hear how many other people there are who are nerdy and crafty!’
3.5 yards (3.20m) Liberty Tana Lawn (backing, this fabric is 54” wide)
0.5 yards (0.46m) Liberty Tana Lawn (binding, this fabric is 54” wide)
Approx. 1 yard (0.91m) Liberty Lifestyle Scraps 1.5” – 3.5” tall (3.80cm – 8.90cm )
4 yards (3.66m) Essex Linen in Flax
5 yards (4.57m) flannel (pre-washed)
Assemble the Backing, Flannel, and Binding:
Step 1. Cut one 84” (2.13m) length from the backing fabric. Trim off the selvedges and set aside.
Step 2. From the remaining backing fabric, cut in the half to form 2 pieces 42” x 26” (1.07m x 0.66m). Trim selvedges.
Step 3. Sew the two pieces together using a 1/4” seam allowance to make one piece that is 83.5” x 26” (2.12m x 0.66m). Press seam open. *Pay close attention if you are using a directional print.
Step 4. Sew the 26” (0.66m) wide piece to the 54” (1.37m) wide piece along the 84” (2.13m) edge using a 1/4” seam allowance. Press seam open. You should now have a piece that is approx. 84” x 79”(2.13m x 2m). Set aside.
Step 5. Cut the 5 yards (4.57m) on flannel in half to create two pieces approx. 90” (2.29m) x width of fabric. Trim selvedges. Sew the two pieces together along a 90” (2.29m) length using is 1/2” seam allowance. Press open. You should now have a piece that is approx. 90” x 80” (2.29m x 2.03m).
Step 6. From the 0.5 yards (0.46m) for binding, cut 7 strips 2.5” wide. Sew pieces together to create binding.
Assemble the Patchwork Stripes:
Step 1. From your scraps, cut pieces that are varying lengths and 1.5” (3.81cm) tall, 2.5” (6.35cm) tall, and 3.5” (8.89cm) tall. You will need more 2.5” (6.35cm) and 3.5” (8.89cm) pieces than 1.5” (3.81cm) pieces.
Step 2. Sew the 1.5” (3.81cm) pieces together using a 1/4” seam allowance until you have a piece that is 70” (1.78m) wide (if longer, trim it down). Press all seams open.
Step 3. Repeat step 2 with the 2.5” (6.35cm) and 3.5” (8.89cm) pieces. You will need to create 2 70” (1.78m) rows of each of these.
Assemble the Quilt Top (using diagram as a guide):
Step 1. Cut the linen into to pieces that are 70” (1.78m) x width of fabric. Trim the selvedges off both. Set one piece aside
Step 2. From the other 70” (1.78m) width, cut:
One strip 16.5” x 70” (41.91cm x 1.78m)
Two strips 3.5” x 70” (8.89cm x 1.78m)
Two strips 2.5” x 70” (6.35cm 1.78m)
Step 3. Join the linen and patchwork together in pairs. Press seams open
Sew the 16.5” x 70” (41.91cm x 1.78m) linen to a 2.5” x 70” (6.35cm 1.78m) patchwork strip
Sew a 3.5” x 70” (8.89cm x 1.78m) linen to a 3.5” x 70” (8.89cm x 1.78m) patchwork strip
Sew a 2.5” x 70” (6.35cm 1.78m) linen to the 1.5” x 70” (3.81cm x 1.78m) patchwork strip
Sew a 2.5” x 70” (6.35cm 1.78m) linen to a 3.5” x 70” (8.89cm x 1.78m) patchwork strip
Sew a 3.5” x 70” (8.89cm x 1.78m) linen to a 2.5” x 70” (6.35cm x 1.78m) patchwork strip
Step 4. Continue joining the rows in pairs and pressing seams open until the bottom portion of the quilt is assembled.
Step 5. Sew the bottom half with stripes to the remaining 43” x 70” (1.09m x 1.78m) linen. Press seam open.
* I prefer spray basting. In this quilt I am treating the flannel as my batting. *
Step 1. Tape flannel to the floor so that the piece is taut. Smooth the quilt back onto it, right side up. Working in small strips, peel back the backing, spray the flannel, then smooth the backing back down.
Step 2.Repeat step 1 with the quilt top.
Step 3. Quilt by hand or by machine. Trim. Bind.