Saturday, 6 March 2010

We HEART Liberty!

A trip to ye olde city of London isn't complete without a visit to Liberty - the building is beautiful & oozes history, the window displays (especially at Christmas) are a joy to behold & inside is a rabbit warren emporium of wonderfulness.

For me though, Liberty is epitomised by the fabrics - there is just something quite special about those delicate prints, sophisticated colour palettes and drape & quality of the fabric that I find almost mesmerizing. I have been collecting bits of Liberty fabrics now for many years - they are not that easy to come by & are usually a bit pricey, but hey, the FEEL of them is so worth it! I recently made a series of paper organisers featuring a Liberty fabric covered button so that it added a touch of quintessential British vintage glam to my desk & all those mundane bills & invoices that needed tackling. I guess the aim is to one day have enough to incorporate into a divine patchwork quilt.

Talking of which, I am so very tempted to book a flight back to London just to feast my peepers on this new exhibition at the V&A (that's Victoria & Albert Museum for anyone that isn't sure - my most favourite place in the UK). Quilts 1700-2010 runs from 20th March until 4th July 2010 and features this beautiful Liberty Jack quilt (above) by Janey Forgan. *swoon* I need to see this exhibition!

Fabric lovers & patchworkers take note; to celebrate the Quilts 1700-2010 exhibition, Liberty Art Fabrics and the V&A Shop have collaborated on a limited edition collection of 18 printed cottons featuring designs from quilts in the V&A’s collections. All fabrics are 100% cotton and sold by the metre making them perfect for quilting, dressmaking and patchwork as well as homewares and many other craft projects. Prices start at just £3.50 for a fat quarter and can even be ordered online Yay! The V&A totally have this covered & you can even follow the behind the scenes action of the exhibition at the curators blog.

The big news of the moment is that Liberty have collaborated with US giant Target to offer an affordable range of fashion & homewares launching on March 14th. Luckily for us Brits the range can also be bought online from and will be in the store itself from April. The designs will feature the Liberty's iconic micro-floral prints on bedding, gardening items, piggy banks, lamps, candles, storage boxes, ceramic and melamine dishes, and even a bicycle! Hello summer, riding through the park! And as for the dresses, well, check out the sneak peak video clip here... be warned, they are exceptionally gorgeous!
"I am thrilled by the way Target has interpreted the flower power of Liberty by mixing, in a very modern way, our heritage prints with the widest ever range of products from lingerie to design chairs to bicycles," said Geoffroy de La Bourdonnaye, chief executive of Liberty, in a release. "The collection is a very youthful interpretation of the love and rebellion values that Liberty of London stands for."

Confused & bemuddled at the choice of prints to get your mits on? Try the Patternality test on the Liberty of London & Target Facebook page. I took the test and they decided my pattern of choice is Mark. Personally I think I love the Sixty print most.

"You are a little arty and a lot delightful. Hopping into the convertible with your three-ring binder and your shoes off—it's splendid
And so it is with pride that Liberty of London can lead you to the fab paisley wonderland that is Mark. Dive in—it's wonderful in here."

The top snapshot of the Liberty building was taken on my last trip back to the UK at Christmas, down Carnaby Street. How delish is that!? I'm not sure if the building is always like that or whether it was part of the 60's vibe they had going on down Carnaby Street but I'm so glad I got to see it with my very own eyes!

Did you know that Liberty offers craft workshops? No, neither did I! But you can sign up a week ahead of each class and learn about sewing, knit, crochet, colour theory. Their current schedule can be found here
And finally, here's a little history...
Arthur Lasenby Liberty first opened his Regent Street store in London in 1875, selling ornaments, fabric and decorative objects from Japan and the East. In 1885 he expanded the location and added carpets and furniture. In the 1890s, Liberty built strong relationships with leading English designers of the Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau movements and incorporated the styles into the shop. Over the decades, Liberty of London grew into a destination emporium for eclectic renderings of contemporary and traditional designs in fabrics, homegoods, furniture, accessories, gifts and apparel.

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