Wooowee! After preparing madly to send off all of our fabric needed at the AQC, as well has hosting our Open Day, we have finally had a little bit of time to slow down and take a deep breath…
This means that for the first time since Quilters Companion published a feature on Robyn and her Scrappy Hexi quilts in their Jan/Feb edition, we actually have time to sit down and upload it to share with all of our friends who didn’t manage to get a copy of it in their crafty little hands!
So here it is – a big thank you Quilters Companion for letting us repost the feature and also for publishing it in the first place! I’m sure most of you know it by now, but just incase, it is a GREAT Australian publication full of fabulous and inspiring projects that are sure to get your creative juices flowing. If you get the chance, it is definitely worth picking up and having a good read of it!
If you would like to make a Scrappy Liberty Hexi Quilt it is a great way to use up all the little pieces you have laying around – but remember, we also have a huge range of pre-cut Liberty hexies in The Strawberry Thief store to help you on your way… Click here to shop our hexi packs!
Below is the feature on Robyn, keep on scrolling for the Scrappy Liberty Hexi Quilt Tutorial
Published in Jan/Feb 2017 Quilters Companion
EDIT: The Competition is now closed. Thank you to every body who participated! Please feel free to continue to contribute your own tips and tricks to this article 🙂
We are calling it – Liberty Tana Lawn is THE BEST fabric with which to create your beautiful quilts!
Over the years, quilters have turned to Liberty Tana Lawn not only for the diverse range of beautiful classic and seasonal Liberty prints, but also for the delicate softness and beautiful feel that the fabric lends to quilts in particular. It is lightweight and silken to touch – with beautiful hang and drape- and it is obedient, holding it’s shape well.
Liberty may be a little pricier than regular quilting cotton, but it is oh so worth it. Tana Lawn feels SO beautiful and delicate. And the Liberty prints simply shine on the fabric – almost as though the highly saturated colour shimmers on the surface. ANY thing that you create with such beautiful fabric is of course going to be stunning. Liberty is an investment – it’s important that we do our best to treat it with care and respect, to get the most out of our fabric and ensure the longevity of resulting quilt.
Often people ask me how to work with Liberty, or how I care for my Liberty quilts. I decided to put together a one stop post full of tips and tricks to make sure you get the best result possible when using your Liberty Tana Lawn…
Selecting which fabrics you are going to use is the funnest part, especially when working with Liberty!
Do I need to prewash Tana Lawn?
Nope! Tana lawn is pre-washed, so you do not need to worry about washing it before you work with it. It is also much easier to work with before it is washed again, which is an added bonus. Bearing this in mind, it is always a good idea to wash any linens or other fabrics that you are pairing with it before you start. All you really need to do with Liberty before you get stuck in is give it a good iron to ensure it is flat and wrinkle free!
Please do not be afraid to cut in to your Liberty stash! I understand, but if you are feeling a little trepidatious, perhaps choose a quilt design that calls for small amounts of different prints so that you can slowly get in to the process with smaller pieces- this way, in the unlikely event that you mess up, it isn’t so traumatic. But trust me, once you start working with it you will fall even more in LOVE – soon you will be making absolutely everything out of Liberty!!!
I am often taking my fabric straight from the bolt so I will generally tear my fabric to ensure I get a straight line. It then settles and falls in to shape. Otherwise, for smaller pieces, I use a rotary cutter and a large rectangle ruler for absolute perfection. If I need to fold a pattern to cut it, I always check that the fold is following the direction of the pattern.
When I am making a hexi quilt using directional fabrics I try to cut them all on a tilt. Having each fabric on a different angle means that it isn’t noticeable if they aren’t lining up perfectly – it takes a bit of pressure off and also brings a lot of movement to the quilt, which I love.
Don’t forget, if you need to save time or you can’t stand cutting out shapes, like hexagons or charm squares, you can pick up a whole lot of precuts and papers in The Strawberry Thief store.
Sewing with Tana Lawn
Tana Lawn has a very tight weave with fine threads, so whether you are using a machine or stitching by hand, it is always best to use a small needle so that you don’t damage the threads or leave any holes. When I am sewing on a machine I use a size 70 all purpose needle and for hand stitching I like to use a very small needle, around a size 10. In order to avoid puckering, you should also make sure you are using a good quality, light weight cotton thread – Aurifil or DMC cotton threads are great.
I do know that some people like to spray Liberty with a starch to make it easier to cut and sew with – personally I don’t, and I have never had a problem using it.
I have had great success with machine quilting and also hand quilting my Liberty. Personally I like to use a thick DMC cotton when hand quilting – this is mostly for the aesthetic because I think that it ties everything together nicely. If I send my quilt to be machine quilted on a long arm machine I always ask them to enlarge the pattern so that there is around a 2″ space between each line of quilting – I prefer this to a small and tight pattern of stitching which I find can make quilts quite stiff. The bigger pattern allows the quilt to remain quite soft and floppy which I think enhances the delicate and soft nature of Liberty Tana Lawn.
My favourite batting to use is Quilt Lite Batting. Of course, you need to take in to consideration the climate you live in and your own preference, but even in colder places I think I would still use quilt lite – I would prefer to layer lots of soft floppy quilts than use one thick, heavy one… It might be personal preference, but I love being surrounded by and using my quilts, so I can’t think of anything better than having a few on my bed at once!
Something else to consider when quilting with Liberty is that due to the delicate, almost sheer nature of tana lawn, putting a certain colour of batting behind the fabric can completely change the feel of the quilt. For instance, if you use a cream or a natural batting behind Liberty, like Quilt Lite, it will give it a vintage hue that softens the colours and ties all of the different prints together. On the other hand, if you use a really bright, bleached white batting it really lifts and brightens the colours by shining through the print. Quilt lite doesn’t come in a bright white, so if I am looking for that colour pop that comes from the the whiter batting I just make sure to select another brand that is 100% cotton.
See the difference between the white batting underneath this quilt on the left hand side, and the cream batting on the right hand side? Normally I prefer the soft, vintage appearance that quilt lite gives to my quilts, particularly my hexi quilts, but in my Love Liberty quilt, picking a bright white batting lifted the colours and strengthened the overall appearance of the quilt.
Using and Maintaining your Liberty Quilt
I am of the opinion that quilts should be used and enjoyed, not tucked away in a cupboard for years and forgotten about. I have piles of quilts around my home that are easy to access and use at any point by all members of my family and guests. I don’t treat them any differently to my other blankets – they go in the wash with my clothes and come out perfectly clean and ready to go again.
My best advice for ensuring the longevity of a quilt is to make sure that you don’t keep it in direct sunlight – for instance, if it’s on your bed and you get strong morning sun you will probably want to close your curtains in the morning. Prolonged exposure to the sun will definitely bleach it.
The Strawberry Thief Not-so-Tricky Liberty Giveaway
What is your number one Liberty tip or trick? Do you have any advice that you think will come in handy for your fellow stichers? We would love to hear it in the comments below! Our favourite comment will receive a lovely little Liberty Inspiration Bundle – 10 x super sweet Liberty fat 1/16s and 2 x 3m Bias Binding packs – valued at $64.00!
This Giveaway is open until Monday 20th March 2017… Don’t forget to include your name and current email address with your comment so that we can contact you♥ Good Luck! Invite your friends to participate too – we really want to get a conversation going with all of our fellow Liberty Lovers!
EDIT: The Competition is now closed. Thank you to every body who participated! Please feel free to continue to contribute your own tips and tricks to this article 🙂
Sign up to our Newsletter on our homepage to stay informed about future Giveaways and events! Don’t forget, you can find The Strawberry Thief on Instagram (@the_strawberry_thief) and Facebook as well!
Introducing The Strawberry Thief’s take on a sweetheart quilt – the ♥ Love Liberty Quilt! ♥ Beautiful Liberty fabric, soft and fresh colours, sweet patterns… ♥ All the things we love most in one quilt!
We couldn’t think of a better project to express our love for Liberty this Valentines day than by making one of these lovely heart quilts. Yes, we know, heart quilts have been done many times before in thousands of styles – but this V day we just wanted to adapt a simple pattern of sweet little hearts to show off the beautiful Liberty prints and let the different designs sing together!
Our Fabric Palette Inspiration
We thought that this quilt would be the perfect opportunity to use a few of the latest additions to the Liberty Classic Collection as part of our fabric pull. As you can see by our mood board above, in particular we were inspired by the gentle pastel pink and white silhouette of Mortimer C- which we decided to use as our background fabric – and the beautiful freshness of the yellow Betsy W. Once we had picked those two fabrics we knew that we wanted a soft and delicate rainbow palette to work around them- but with fresh pops of colour to make it really sing! This is what we ended up with:
You can buy a Love Liberty Quilt Kit from our store if you would like to use the same fabrics as we did! It contains 32 x fat 16s in the colours shown above, as well as 2m of the background fabric, Mortimer. This is enough beautiful Liberty fabric to make the entire quilt top, including all the borders and the gorgeous scrappy binding. You can find out more and purchase it from our online store, here.
♥ The Strawberry Thief Love Liberty Quilt ♥
32 x different fat 16s of printed fabric (these will be used for the hearts, border and binding)
2m of background fabric (Mortimer C)
General sewing materials – thread, sewing machine, rotary cutter and cutting mat, ruler
WOF = Width of Fabric
RST = Right Sides Together
Using your fat 16s you will need to cut:
– 32 matching pairs of rectangles (64 in total) x 3.5″x 6.5″
– 34 strips measuring 6.5″ x 2″ (for your scrappy border)
– 34 strips 2″ x WOF (for your scrappy binding)
From background fabric (Mortimer) cut
– 128 x 2″ squares
– 64 x 3.5″ squares
– 6 x 5″ x 6″ rectangles
– 25 x 3.5″ x 6.5″ rectangles
– 8 strips 3.5″ x WOF (for borders)
Assembling the Heart Blocks
3. Repeat Step 2 by placing a 2″ square on the top right side of the rectangle with diagonal line pointed to the centre. Sew on the line, trim seam allowance, and press the seam in the opposite direction than the left side square in Step 2. Opposing seams will make it easier to piece the two sections together later. Repeat this step for all 64 rectangles.
Place a 3.5″ square RST on the bottom end of the left rectangle with diagonal line pointing to lower bottom right. As in Step 2, sew on the line, press all seams in the same direction and trim the bottom 2 layers to 1⁄4″ seam allowance. Repeat this by then laying a 3.5″ square on the bottom right side of the Right rectangle with the diagonal line pointing to lower left corner. You will want to press the seam in the opposite direction than that of the left rectangle, for ease when piecing.
5. After applying step 4 to all of your matching rectangles, you can now you can sew your pairs together! You should end up with 32 heart blocks all in all.
Assembling your Quilt Top
6. Referring to our diagram below, lay your quilt blocks out in 7 rows with the 3.5″ x 6.5″ background fabric rectangles in between each heart block. We tried to balance the layout of the blocks so that there was a good, even mix of bolder and softer coloured hearts throughout. Put the 6 mortimer rectangles measuring 5″ x 6″ at the beginning and end of the rows where indicated in the diagram.
7. Once you are happy with your layout, sew the blocks together in to rows. Then you can sew the rows together to make your centre block!
8. Stitch four of the 3.5″ strips of background fabric around the centre block to create the first border, and square it up.
9. Stitch the 34 x 6.5″ strips of your printed fabric together to make one long strip, then stitch this to the 1st border on the Centre Block to create a second ‘Scrappy’ border. Instead of making 4 individual pieces, I make one long border strip that I can just stitch down one side of the centre block, cut the rest of the strip off, stitch down the next side etc without having to measure and cut all of the pieces at the beginning.
10. Stitch the remainder of the background fabric in to one long strip to create third and final border, which you can then attach to the Scrappy border.
11. Lastly you will need to stitch the 34 WOF x 2″ strips from your fat 16s together to make your beautiful Scrappy binding. Fold in half and iron.
Look at that lovely roll of scrappy binding you have made! Go you! Now you are ready to lay up your quilt and attach your binding in what ever way is easiest for you! HOORAY!
I have just machine quilted mine (my first attempt at doing this EVER) and it went a bit puffy, as you can see in the photos, but I am hoping this will settle down after a wash. I will keep you updated when I add my bias – I ran out of time – but that could be worth doing a whole tutorial on itself!
♥ ♥ ♥
I hope that was easy enough to understand – feel free to ask any questions in the comments and I will try my best to help! Also, any advice for this novice machine quilter from you guys would be very helpful too!
This project is perfect for using up all those gorgeous Liberty scraps you’ve collected!
You will need…
+ fabric scraps
+ sewing machine
Before you begin…
Gather your scraps and sort them into colours that feel right together. One of the things we love about Liberty is that all their designs work together, we just separate those with cream backgrounds from those with white backgrounds.
Start matching pieces of similar length (a) and stitch them together, ironing as you go.
note: Matching pieces of equal length or width will ensure minimal fabric waste.
Add new pieces (b), then combine to build blocks of similar size (c). Repeat until you have enough blocks to create the quilt size you have in mind.
note: Don’t worry about misaligned seams – this is exactly what you are trying to achieve in scrappy boho patchwork.
Lay your blocks out and arrange to create a pleasing overall design. Stitch blocks together.
tip: take a photo to remind yourself of the overall design before you start stitching – that way it won’t matter if they get mixed up.
Quilt and bind your project.
Have you seen our new scrappy boho packs?
They are perfect for this project! You can find them here
project and photography by Tanya Collier
A pretty way to carry your favourite Liberty fabric with you everywhere, and the perfect project for your Liberty off cuts.
you will need
+ mini hoop necklace kit – available from dandelyne
+ Liberty Tana Lawn in Betsy P – find it here
+ embroidery thread to match
+ embroidery needle
+ glue & brush
Move the hoop over the fabric to help choose which section you would like to feature in your necklace
Embellish using embroidery thread. We’ve chosen the red flower as a focal point and used a simple satin stitch. Keep the thread at the back as minimal and tidy as possible.
Place the hoop over your miniature artwork and use a pencil to trace around the outside of the hoop.
Cut approx. 1cm around the pencil line.
Flip the fabric over so that the wrong side is facing upward and place the small disc in the centre of the fabric
Snip into the fabric around the circle and use glue to secure the fabric to the disc. Check the front as you go to ensure it is smooth.
Turn the disc right side up and place the hoop over your creation. Tighten the bolt at the top of the hoop to secure the disc.
Allow to dry and your new necklace is ready to wear!