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Saturday, 17 September 2011

The Liberty Book of Home Sewing (Quadrille Publishing)

Despite its long history as a leading textile design house and retailer, Liberty has yet to produce its own inspirational book of home sewing. That is set to change. This sumptuous book has been created to showcase Liberty Art Fabrics, to inspire the reader with their versatility and to provide irresistible original designs for the home. Divided into three chapters - Essential, Organisation and Luxury - this book contains projects ranging from practical fold-up shopping bags to elegant cushions, through handy display boards and slipcovers to indulgent kimonos, beanbags and throws. Variations are included for many projects so the core collection is in fact an inexhaustible resource of ideas. This book offers the opportunity to add an element of Liberty style using as much or as little Liberty fabric as you choose. While respecting the essential timelessness of the Liberty brand, the projects present a modern way of using the prints for a contemporary take on home furnishings. They include both core items as well as more special designs but they are all characterised by the imaginative use of fabric with often unexpected combinations of colour and pattern. The projects in this book all showcase Liberty fabrics to maximum effect.

Before I even opened the cover of this book I loved it! The cover is some of the famous Liberty fabrics; bright, bold, patterns full of colour and design.
There are full page prints of fabric designs.

The book details the history of Liberty, from Arthur Lasenby Liberty opening his first shop on Regent Street in 1875, where he sold imported textiles from China, Japan and India, to the creation of dyes and Liberty's own designs of fabrics using imported silks, top designers being commissioned to produce patterns for Liberty's and the movement from copper roller printing to machine screen printing and beyond.

There are instructions of how to make cushions, curtains and bags and these can be made simply or adapted to a more complex design. Many of the designs are traditional designs, using classic Liberty prints but there are also modern designs for i pod/phone cases and modern style bags.

Templates are included for projects with clear instructions and many steps are pictured as well as written. There are plenty of photographs showing finished items

The projects are categorised into three areas: essential, organisation and  luxury. The essentials section includes projects for cushions, curtains, bags and aprons, The organisation section has ideas for boards, jewellery rolls, pincushions and gadget cases. The luxury section has some beautiful corsages, lampshades, kimono, throws and a traditional quilt

The last section of the book is entitled sewing basics. There are pages entitled essential equipment, giving advice on what is essential in a sewing kit and also what would be useful; haberdashery advice - what threads to use, how you can use buttons, beads, press studs and zips to add detail and fastenings to projects; how to get started on projects and also step by step details for hems, seams and basic hand stitches. There is also a very useful glossary of terms used within the book and a catalogue of liberty's most popular fabric prints. This section is a very useful section to keep referring to when working on projects within the book

I really enjoyed looking through this book. There is plenty of inspiration for projects to brighten up your home and even if Liberty Fabrics are out of your price range, the project ideas can be used using other fabrics. The final section is a great resource for budding stitchers.

I would recommend this book as a great gift for anyone who enjoys making things or wants to update their home using existing furnishings and adapting the make do and mend attitude of the country today. It would make a great addition to any stitchers library.

Thank you to Quadrille Publishing for sending me the book to review.

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