Wednesday 12 February 2014

pretty please!

 Okay time to slap my wrist...
take back everything I've said about 
fabrics not needing to be pretty.
 These are of course Liberty prints.
Truth be told I'm a recent convert.
I always thought the designs to be twee
and the fineness of the fabric
too flimsy.

 After a naughty purchase from that online website
I must confess to being completely bowled over by their beauty.
These are my favourites.
There are 76 squares 
so double the size of the above.
I do love them in simple rows,
but wheres the sewing enjoyment for me?
No I shall be doing these justice with a lovely hand pieced project.
I have been searching through my books and online.
I know I want to make the most of each piece.
Hexagons would be the obvious choice
but I have already made a big hexagon quilt.
I want a challenge.
I began to think of a clamshell design and stumbled upon 
the pickled clamshell
which I have seen on Barbara Brackman's blog
I think I shall need some practise before I commit.
I am a little worried about stitching together
the tana lawns with a different weight plain cotton.
Can anyone please offer their experience with the clamshell or Liberty fabric?
Am I mad to try the clamshell?


  1. Mary is THE clam shell expert! She did a fabulous tutorial a while back and Liberty would be the perfect fabric choice!

  2. why don't you try contacting Jo at

    She taught me basic EPP and I am sure she is working on a liberty EPP quilt. Worth a shot! The fabrics look lovely - I'm very jealous!

  3. Omg!! All those beaut Liberty. I counted myself lucky with 10 pieces! The 'pickle clams look a great challenge! Look forward to following. Sooooo lucky with all those fabrics!

  4. The clamshell looks insanely time-consuming, intricate and beautiful (My sort of aspirational quilting!) The liberty is just like sewing with voile, spay starch is an option if things get too slippery while sewing and a smaller needle/stitch length is recommended but other than that just have at it :D

  5. Now that is one heck of a purchase! And very pretty indeed. Looked at the Pickled Clamshells though and my only thought is you have waaaaaay more patience than me!!!

  6. Hello,
    I'm not sure about hand sewing, but certainly piecing by machine I had no problems at all mixing Liberty fabric scraps with 'quilting cotton' weight fabric. One example I made here (scroll down). The only (small) issue I seem to have is with the wool batting I used that does slightly come through the fabric in tiny wisps if you look very close. Clamshells sound insane but beautiful! I look forward to seeing your progress. xx JJ

  7. Clamshells + liberty = divine!! I've done an epp cushion with tana lawn and it worked fine, it even withstands bashing from the kids!!

  8. I prefer simple square quilts that show off the fabric. I don't really like geometric quilts very much at all. They are complicated and clever for sure but I'm not fond of the look. Liberty fabric is beautiful and best shown off by keeping it in bigger pieces I think.

  9. yummy fabrics. I say try the clamshells or something similar because you'll get to touch and admire those fabrics as you stitch.

  10. Wow, what a fabulous collection! Those pickled clamshells looked gorgeous :-) My two thoughts are that you must be a very patient person, and also that I assume you will have some fabric wastage? There are plenty of ways to use even tiny scraps of Liberty though... I agree with the above comments about machine sewing not being a problem. I was very naive when I made my first ever patchwork quilt out of Liberty... As it is a sampler, some parts were machine sewn and others by hand. In six years it has been through the wash a bit, and it's the hand sewn parts which look worse for wear. Enjoy your beautiful fabrics!

  11. Clare! I am overwhelmed and drooling over your gorgeous stash of Liberty! You go girl! I think I would hand piece the clamshells or pickled clamshells. I think you will have more control over the outcome. And as for the background....why don't you look for a very neutral Liberty for the background? They have some lovely greys and are tone on tone and read as a solid. Just a thought. Love it, Clare!

  12. Liberty heaven!!! I have never seen so many beautiful Liberty fabrics together!
    I have no experience to offer re: using the fabrics in this quantity, although i have successfully mixed them with other fabrics with no adverse affects, and have never tried the clam shell shape.
    Checked out your link and love the white version with lots of little colored pieces - just beautiful!
    Whatever you do with them it will look gorgeous, and I can't wait to see what design you decide on.
    This planning and research bit's half the fun! Enjoy!
    Gill xx

  13. LOVE Liberty prints. I really loved your Poole post yesterday - You were very sweet xxxxxx

  14. Must be the new forest air because is addicted to liberty at the moment. Lots in my stash, and I love to buy small remnants at the shows- I deliberated over what to do- I have machine pieced 4 inch squares into a small quilt, and plan on hand quilting. Sometimes simple is better when the fabrics are so beautiful and each square is divine!! I will post picture shortly. I love the delicate feel of the lawn but it can be more difficult to work with as it can stretch a little!

  15. I love Liberty prints. What a wonderful selection you've bought.
    I think you should attempt whatever you love, you are so talented you'll make it work.
    Lisa x

  16. You have received some great advice there. Liberty fabric is well woven and strong, hence the expense. Now I think you should take some time to "pickle" the fabric before attempting the big pickle. ( pickled fabric..fabric placed in the room stroked and sighed over , many plans made until perfect moment when fabric is ripe enough to pop into the current project of your choice, this process may take a little or long time depending on the weather)

  17. I've combined liberty w quilters cotton in an epp hexagon quilt w no issues. Did find myself allowing slightly more generous ease when basting the liberty fabrics so that I would have more fabric to "grab" if you will when whip stitching. Very minuscule amount though and just started doing it instinctively really.

  18. so very pretty! what a gorgeous collection...I just enjoyed looking at them all, never mind sewing with them!!! (p.s. Check out Latifah Saafir’s free patterns for an 8″ Glam Clam as an alternative to hand piecing a Clamshell quilt). Linda NZ

  19. What a collection! I feel like we should be ordering our fat 8 bundles from you! Lucky duck! Whatever you make will be gorgeous. Still loving my table top quilt in your header.

  20. What a gorgeous Liberty collection! I've been working on an EPP hexagon quilt using Liberty fabrics. I think they're a dream to work with. Liberty does have a small selection of solid lawn fabrics. I ordered them directly from the Liberty website. I'm using a bright green for the centers of my hexie flowers and and white between them. I completely agree that such beautiful fabric deserves to be used in a hand done project. I'm sure whatever pattern you choose will be fabulous.

  21. Beautiful fabrics and not at all twee amongst a contemporary setting says she the design expert!!! x

  22. Would slap your wrist for not liking Liberty fabrics sooner! Fab idea - hand piecing these would be a joy. Oakshott fabrics wok well with Liberty if you want an alternative solid!

  23. Anyone is just beautiful,Happy sewing!

  24. What a lovely collection. I bought 3 small bundles of Liberty before Christmas. My first thought was to cut them up into hexagons. But my pieces are so small, (and different sizes) I may decide to basically use them as they are. You are so fortunate to have so many at your disposal.
    Clamshells were very popular last year, (or was it the year before?) and a number of blogs joined in with a quilt-a-long. I can't remember off hand which ones though.
    Did you link to where you bought your fabrics from? I can't see one. I got mine from veryberryhandmade. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with yours. I'm sure you'll enjoy working with the fabrics, they're so pretty.

  25. So much gorgeous Liberty all together!!!!!!!!! I have never had a problem sewing with Liberty Tana Lawn, I have used them in lots of things both on the machine and hand sewn. I am slowly making a Liberty quilt with hexagons and EPP. I always buy mine form Very Berry Fabrics.

  26. Wow! These look fab, just catching up with all your delicious colour! Have a great weekend! :) x


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