Sunday, August 16, 2015

Liberty Quilt

If you know me, you know I'm a fan of all things British. I've been to the UK seven (?) times now, with another trip planned for the spring. Over the years, I've fallen in love with Liberty of London -- an old department store near Oxford Circus known for its gorgeous line of fabrics. They mainly produce pricey clothing and decor weight fabrics, so I was super excited to hear about the line of (somewhat more) affordable quilting fabrics they were releasing in 2012. I bought the whole line of Bloomsbury fabrics in the blue color story. (Fun fact: The individual patterns are named after members of the illustrious Bloomsbury Group, including one of my very favorite authors,Virginia Woolf!)

I knew I would use them to make myself a quilt for the couch, but it took me a long time to settle on a pattern and with all of the baby quilts I had been making, it took me a year or so to even cut into the Liberty collection. It took another year to to actually put the quilt together. But here it is!

I opted for a disappearing 9-patch pattern, which I had never done before. It was easy in theory, but took a while to execute. First, I sewed together small blocks in a 3x3 arrangment (the "9" in "9-patch") to create large blocks. Then, I sliced up those large blocks into quarters and repositioned the pieces in a haphazard-looking way (the "disappearing" part of the "disappearing 9-patch"). 

The goal was to showcase all of the prints while giving the quilt a traditional patchwork feel. I still did my best to avoid having similar patterns hit one another in the quilt, though. Once I cut into the fabric, I had doubts about how busy the quilt would be, so I threw in some coordinating solids and whites to accent the patterned fabric. 

Since the quilt is somewhere between twin and queen sized, I couldn't afford enough Liberty fabric to finish out the back. I bargain-hunted for some blue patterned fabric in the same color family as the front. 

I also used a London underground print I purchased a while ago on a whim for a nice little homage to my favorite city: 

I quilted diagonally through the main squares, which lately has been my preferred quilting method. I think it provides a nice contrast to the block patterns. (My quilting isn't as wavy as the photo below might have you believe! It was just a windy day, and the quilt kept blowing in the breeze!)

Finally, I bound the quilt in the navy version of my favorite Joel Dewberry herringbone fabric:

This quilt has been at home on my couch for the past year and has proven to be the coziest TV-watching and nap-taking partner. And every time I see it, I think of England!