Friday, May 21, 2010


It was probably 25-30 years ago that someone gave me my first pieces of Liberty fabric. I was sewing items for the Church fete, and I was always looking for bits of fabric to use. In those days we just used to sew children's clothing and practical items like aprons. In those days my fabric stash was very limited and basic, and consisted of a few pieces of dressmaking material, and cheap cotton prints from chain stores.

This is my favourite Liberty fabric of all time - so pretty and romantic. How I would love to be able to buy more of this "vintage"

When I first handled this Liberty fabric, I was overwhelmed by the sheer fineness and luxury, and when I discovered the price, I was equally overcome. A recently opened shop on the island had begun stocking just a few bolts of this beautiful fabric, along with other special English products like Crabtree and Evelyn. And as dear as it was, I soon realised it was actually quite a bit cheaper than I would be paying in Australia or New Zealand.
The love affair began there.

Over the years, I acquired a number of pieces of Liberty. If I was down in the dumps, a trip to the store for a quarter of a metre of Liberty would soon cheer me up. If I was inspired to sew with it, every little leftover scrap was cherished and added to the ever-growing stash.

When I was sorting through the "Liberty" drawer, I pulled out this bundle of scraps because I decided they were too small to use. But I cannot part with them, and they will probably find their way into my planned Crazy "Silk and Liberty" quilt.

Sometimes, I would pick up a garment in an Op shop ....often unfinished garments donated by someone (like me) whose dressmaking skills were not quite as strong as their love for the appearance or feel of the fabric. A couple of times I have been fortunate to obtain a bundle of small sample pieces of Liberty fabric.

A few years ago, I sewed some handkerchiefs from some of the fabric. Some were sold at a fete, and the others went into my handkerchief drawer. What better use for a fabric with such a beautiful soft, fine feel?


  Last week, I was in one of those moods where I was contemplating the possibility that much of my beautiful collection of fabric would end up at the dump one day unless I made good use of it NOW. Upstairs I had a whole drawer full of Liberty. So I decided that another bunch of handkerchiefs was called for.

Over the weekend I cut out and hemmed (on the machine) about 40 hankies from the collection of fabrics.  It was a very soothing activity once I had come to terms with how to keep the corners neat.


          Handkerchiefs versus tissues? Now that could be the subject of a whole new blog!

Now you would think this would have reduced the pile considerably! But it only helped the remaining fabric pieces to breathe out a little, and they still absolutely fill the drawer!

As I sorted through and fondled the pieces, I had an inspiration. Perhaps I could make a Crazypatch quilt out of some of the pretty scraps and some very lovely pieces of silk, which I also collect. I can add some pretty pieces of lace and use some of my very special threads and beads and woven silk pictures.


And if I do proceed with this project, I will not need to spend a single penny, because I have everything here among my treasures which are spread throughout the house.
And I will not fool myself that I am actually reducing my stash. I will only be clearing the decks for more to take its place!

Today, the well-known textile designer Kaffe Fassett is designing prints for Liberty of London. What a fabulous combination!!



Miriam said...

Nice fabric that liberty fabric I must admit. I like the first picture combination.
I heard them on the radio the other day asking people if they can remember the last time they used a hanky. It would have been many many years since me or the kids have used a hanky. Its one of those things that have become all but extinct now I come to think about it. Maybe they will make a comeback one day :-)

Rose said...

I've never heard of liberty fabric before if you can believe that. I know one thing, it's pretty fabric! I had to chuckle out loud when I read about your stash cuz I to have the same problem! I could do a crazy quilt as well and not have to buy anything but quilting thread since I don't quilt. I have buttons, beads, lace, trim, fabrics of all kinds and all kinds of other things. The crazy quilts really really appeal to me. I was just talking about a quilt my maw maw made when I was just a little child on my blog. I have it and can't toss it out and it's falling appart. Anyway just wanted to let you know that I have found a kindred spirit in you! :) LOVE your blog!

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