Trending: Alfresco Dining Ideas

Monday 21st July 2014, 16.32



Everyone’s been thinking about alfresco dining ideas.

With the recent heatwave hitting the UK hard, it’s been difficult not to spend all our time outdoors. Our new Flowers of Liberty range of luxurious, English-made homeware and gifts has been sliding off the shelves quicker than you can  say Mary Berry this week – and for good reason.

Covered in our stunning Theodora Liberty print, our collection of plates, placemats and table accessories is the only way to serve up summertime dishes when dining alfresco.

Be inspired for your own garden outdoor dining ideas and share your pictures with us @Liberty #FlowersOfLiberty.


Beauty Beat: A Cheat’s Guide to Flawless Foundation

Friday 18th July 2014, 16.42



Liberty Beauty Buyer, Sarah Coonan spreads her beauty tips on choosing and applying the right foundation for a flawless, expert finish.

Foundation is probably the most important step in any make-up routine. The wrong foundation, when poorly applied, can be really ageing and look mask-like. Luckily, finding the best foundation is much easier than you think and application doesn’t need to take hours. We’ve pulled together some of our favourite makeup tips and tricks to help you achieve an enviably flawless base.

Step 1. Find the perfect colour

Foundation should match your skin as closely as possible, and I recommend visiting a make-up counter for advice. Always test it on your skin and ideally in natural light. If you don’t feel confident the colour is quite right ask for a sample and try it at home. There’s nothing worse than investing in a great foundation and then not using it because the colour is poorly matched.


Step 2. Take a lesson

Nothing beats a one-to-one tuition with a great make-up artist. Pop into store for a lesson and you’ll pick up a handy arsenal of tips. The assistants on our beauty counters are make-up artists too and many of them do freelance work so they really know their stuff. Don’t automatically head to the brand you always use, have a look round and only seek advice from someone with flawlessly applied foundation. If theirs isn’t applied well I find it hard to take their advice seriously.


Step 3. Cherry pick

I’m a firm believer in finding the very best product you can, rather than buying everything from one brand. They may have the best foundations but if their primer or brushes aren’t up to scratch you aren’t going to get the best results. My make up bag is a big mix of products and the best ones for you will vary depending on your skin type, the time of year and what look you want to achieve. For me, I love Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation, Trish McEvoy Correct and Brighten for under the eye, and Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage for any blemishes. I’m not keen on an overly powdered look so my go to products are either Chantecaille HD Powder or Hourglass Ambient Powder.


Step 4. Tailor your products

Depending on the look you want to achieve, you will need to use the right products. If you want dewy skin, a mattifying primer is going to work against you, so either skip the primer altogether or use something like Laura Mercier Radiance Primer. For velvety skin, I swear by Hourglass Veil Fluid Make Up and if you want a really natural look and don’t need too much cover you really can’t beat Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturisers.


Step 5. Find the right tools

Now you have the perfect products, you need to make sure you’re applying them correctly! Much of this is down to personal preference, but certain tools will help you achieve a really precise look. For an airbrushed finish, a damp Beauty Blender is a godsend. It’s quick, totally mistake-proof and gives the most beautiful coverage using just the right amount of product. When it comes to brushes, quality is the key. This doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune, but do your research first. My favourites for foundation are: Trish McEvoy’s Sheer Mistake-Proof Brush, Hourglass No. 2 (the most versatile brush you will ever use) and London Brush Co. Pyramid Brush.


Step 6. Learn from the professionals

YouTube is an amazing resource where you can get advice from great artists and real people alike. Some of our favourites are Pixiwoo, Wayne Goss and Lisa Eldridge – and the beauty is you can practice while you watch. This is also a great way to get completely impartial advice about which products to use. Wayne Goss has some really great videos about foundation and applying it. His advice is super easy to follow and he is always brutally honest about the products.


Three Tips from Our Artists

Abida from Trish McEvoy

For an airbrushed finish use Trish’s Sheer Mistake Proof Brush to stipple on foundation. Using fast circular motions to blend gives you a really light, even coverage that you can build up.


Anastasia from NARS

I like using my fingers to apply foundation as the heat really helps to melt the product into your skin leaving a really natural finish. Alternatively, I like to use a Beauty Blender slightly wetted.

Yen – Shu Uemura

A good base to even out skin, correct pigmentation and bring down redness is essential for a flawless look. The key is to use a great primer of base product like our UV Underbase. Also, don’t overcompensate with foundation to cover up blemishes. Less is more!


Wild About Liberty – the limited edition scarves capsule collection

Monday 14th July 2014, 17.15




Wild About Liberty has launched with a selection of classic Liberty scarves with classic animal print overlays for a limited edition capsule collection. Liberty London scarves Wild About Liberty limited edition collection   Are you wild about Liberty print? If so, then you’re going to love our limited edition capsule collection of classic scarves our talented Design Studio has just created.

In celebration of our infamous scarf collection, our designers have selected three of the most popular scarf prints and overprinted them with three recognisable animal prints: African leopard, Amur leopard and Bengal tiger.  The scarves have been created using textile techniques and modern innovations never before used on Liberty scarves and each comes with its own bespoke packaging, making them the perfect gift for the avid collector or discerning fashion addict.

Discover the collection and let us know your thoughts @LibertyLondon.


Interview with Alissa Haight Carlton

Saturday 12th July 2014, 9.55



Handmade by Alissa is the blog of modern and minimalist Alissa Haight Carlton a quilter, author and mother. Alissa’s distinct contemporary style of blocks of colour was one of the reasons she started the Modern Quilt Guild which she co-founded in 2009. Creating a community to share projects online and in person. Along with her day job of casting stars for television shows she has a passion for sewing and making quilts. There is never a wasted minute and luckily Alissa had some spare time to answer a few interview questions for us.


Tell us about yourself?

I live in Los Angeles with my husband and two year old son. I am a modern quilter and designer, author and blogger. I’m also the Executive Director of the Modern Quilt Guild. I have written two modern quilting books, Block Party and Modern Minimal. I work part of the year at the career I’ve had since pre-quilting, casting Project Runway. I blog very sporadically and I enjoy posting on Instagram as so much is said with an image.

Have you always been a quilter and who or what inspired you to make your first quilt?

I have not always been a quilter at all – I have been quilting for six years now. But it’s been a very intense six years! When I starting quilting, I took to it like a fish to water and have made a lot of quilts since. I was first inspired to make a quilt in early 2008 when I came across the flickr group “Fresh Modern Quilts”.  For the first time I saw quilts that would fit into the design and taste of my home. The craft of sewing quilts appealed to me enormously and so seeing modern quilts made me want to dive in and try it myself. I bought Denyse Schmidt’s first book and from there I am self taught. I cringe when I look at that first quilt, but I have learned by doing!

You often work with blocks of colour and have a contemporary style, where do you get your ideas to make your quilts from?

Well, unlike a lot of quilt designers, I’m not someone who says “I have a million ideas in my head all the time!” I have to work to come up with my ideas and designs, they don’t just show up all the time… My tried and true policy is to always just “make the next quilt.” I don’t worry about it being hugely different from the quilt before it. I never make the same quilt twice, and I always design my own quilts, but I wallow in a colour story and design ideas for a long time. I find that I end up making a series of quilts and while they are all very different from each other, I don’t stress about reinventing my entire design wheel with every single quilt. I allow myself to explore the same ideas over and over and this helps me a lot.

In terms of the nuts and bolts of coming up with designs, I use Illustrator and find that just sitting in front of my computer and dragging around this rectangle or that and mixing and matching colours… just playing around… leads me to new and interesting ideas.

Your quilts are always finished with diverse quilting techniques, what sewing machine do you use? Are you lucky enough to own a long arm quilting machine?

These days, I tend to only straight-line quilt my quilts. It’s a texture and look that I’ve fallen in love with and I don’t think that I’ll be back to the free motion for a time to come. We’ll see… I am very lucky to be a part of Janome’s on-loan program and I sew with their Horizon 8900. I love it. It’s very big and it’s fantastic for all of the (admittedly very time consuming) straight line quilting that I do.  I don’t have a long arm (we have a tiny house in LA, so it’s not realistic any time soon) but I don’t mind so much as straight lines are possible on my home machine.

How do you think your work has developed over the years?

My work has change enormously over the years.  If you look at my first quilts and my most recent quilts it’s a bit hard to see a through line.  But if you look at the work along the way, it’s there!  I have always worked with lots of solids and bold colours, but as my work has grown I’ve developed a more minimalist graphic aesthetic.

What do you do with all your finish projects?

I have recently slowed down a lot with the projects that I get completed (I’m so busy with so many other things in life right now that the time to sew has dried up a lot!) but when I do sew I tend to always be sewing a project with it’s purpose in mind.  It’s either for a baby shower I’m headed to the next day, or I might be on a deadline for a project for a publication. It varies!

Can you tell us if you have some exciting projects coming up?

Well the Modern Quilt Guild has QuiltCon coming up in February in Austin, Texas and that has me very busy these days. I also have a quilt in the recently released book, Lucky Spool’s Essential Guide to Modern Quiltmaking. From there, I’m just working at keeping up with the things I have going on right now!

Follow Alissa on Instagram @alissahaightcarlton

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The Liberty Design Studio Inspires Crowds at Hampton Court Flower Show

Wednesday 9th July 2014, 18.07




The lovely Liberty Design Studio creatives have designed a giant Liberty print-covered letter sculpture for the Hampton Court Flower show.

Last week three members from our lovely wholesale design studio spent a busy few days at the Hampton Court Flower Show, creating a beautiful and inspiring Liberty print patchwork letter ‘I’ to greet the thousands of visitors who will enter over the coming week.

Head of Design Emma Mawston said, “The interior and rear side of the letter represent over thirty years of Liberty history, and the classic designs Liberty is so famous for. The fabrics were arranged in a beautifully random way as we don’t work to specific colour stories when colouring the classics.

The front of the letter is created with blue, pink and purple swatches to blend with the colour the other letters were painted. We started with blues, moving into pinks and then purples. The designs were mainly from the fashion fabric collection with a few classics included. The purple  front of the letter being very apt as it represents the colour of Liberty.

The side on show has more of a graded colour distribution as our seasonal fashion fabric collections are created with specific palettes. The designs are placed to represent from the bottom upwards: earth, grass and flowers with the sky, clouds and sunshine at the top. Prints used were a selection of styles by the Liberty Art Fabrics design studio, The Liberty Archive and 25 artist and group collaborations including Grayson Perry, Rachel de Thame, John Malkovich, Florence Welch and Deborah Landis.”

Visit Hampton Court Flower Show this week to see the design studio’s printed masterpiece and tweet us your pictures @LibertyLondon.