It goes without saying that Liberty prints are always at the top of our wish list, especially after we featured Sally Ablett’s The Grand Orangery quilt in issue 53. Here we chat to Adam Herbert, lead designer at Liberty Fabrics to find out more about The Summer House range and how it was created…
Citrus fruits feature heavily in The Summer House collection (Liberty’s outstanding new fabric range, available from the stockists below), which was inspired by orangeries – outdoor rooms that were used to grow fruits and plants that otherwise wouldn’t have survived the British winter.
What was it about 17th and 19th century orangeries that made them so appealing to your team?
We were drawn to the Victorian detailing that we saw in the orangeries, the decorative ironwork and the geometric floor tiles as well as the idea of all the exotic fruits and plants that would have been growing in these spaces. We also liked the idea that these spaces were outdoor rooms that may have also been used for entertaining and relaxing – I personally love the idea of someone sipping afternoon tea surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers.
How do you go about selecting fabrics for a specific collection?
When we work on a collection at Liberty, we always start with a concept, in this case summer houses and orangeries, and then we start to look through our archive to find prints that feel right for the concept. Then, I start to edit them down until I feel we have the right aesthetic for the collection and its intended use.
Is citrus fruit a reoccurring theme in the Liberty archive?
Yes, we have quite a few prints that pop up through our history which draw on fruit imagery, so this is something that I feel is in keeping with the Liberty aesthetic. One of the signature prints in the collection is of a large scale orange tree that we discovered in the archive and then redrew for this collection!
What do you imagine makers will use these prints for?
I am always thinking about how people might use the prints as we are picking out designs for our collections. The prints in this collection have been chosen to work for both traditional and contemporary designs, and even a mix of the two. For example, I love the juxtaposition of the graphic prints with the classic floral motifs. It’s a very versatile range that lends itself well to making quilts as well as homewares such as cushions and lamp shades.
How did you decide on the colour palette for Summer House, and what is your favourite print in the collection?
We were very much inspired by the colours that we had seen in our research – hot orange and lemon citrus tones, as well as cool grey putty colours that reminded us of the orangery buildings themselves. I love the citrus fruit prints in Summer House – they really evoke the theme of the collection for me, and transport me to some of the utterly beautiful orangeries that I discovered while reading up on this theme.
It must be wonderfully inspiring to be surrounded by fabrics all day?
Of course! It’s absolutely amazing to be able to access all of our beautiful prints each and every day. Our studio is full of pattern and colour, so there is an abundance of inspiration at our fingertips and lots of creative people to bounce ideas off, too. There is always another Liberty collection just waiting to be chosen by the team, and lots of talented makers out there who can give them a new lease of life!
About EQS: EQS is a leading distributor of patchwork and quilting products established in 1996 to provide a wide range of high quality fabrics, wadding, threads and more to shops throughout the UK and Europe who share a passion for quilting. To find out more and view their range of products: www.eqsuk.com
Find your nearest Liberty stockist
- Amanda’s Fabrics 1A Earl Road, Mold, Flintshire, CH7 1AX, 07849 962 312
- Cheshire Needlecraft Cranage Retail Park, Cheshire CW4 8HE
- Fletcher’s Patch Unit 111 Bradley House, Bradley Fold Trading Estate, Radcliffe Moor Road, Bolton, BL2 6RT, www.fletcherspatch.co.uk, 07963 752 993
- From Rags to Stitches 85 High Street, Maltby, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, S66 7BL, www.fromragstostitches.co.uk, o1709 814 444
- Gillies Fabrics 2 Peter Lane, York, North Yorkshire, YO1 8SW, 01904 626 244
- Patchwork Garden 630 Abbeydale Rd, Sheffield, Yorkshire, S7 2BA www.thepatchworkgarden.co.uk
- Quilt Sandwich at the Royal Bridlington 1 Shaftesbury Rd, Bridlington YO15 3NP www.quiltsandwich.co.uk
- Quilting Tree 72-74 Dam Lane, Warrington, WA1 4EP, 01925 851 000
- Sew Fabric and Tuition 2A George Street, Sutton In Ashfield, Nottingham NG17 2HJ
- Sew I Did 2 Regents Park Business Centre, London Road, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 6LW 07780 793 676
- Sewing Centre 54-56 Aberdeen Walk, Scarborough YO11 1XW
- Sewing Days Fabrics 99 Lidget, Oakworth, West Yorks BD22 7HN
- Simply Stitch Village Hall, School Lane, East Keswick, Leeds LS17 9DA www.simplystitch.co.uk 07969 578 289
- The Remnant House Ltd 26 Commercial Street, Harrogate, North Yorkshire HG1 1TY www.remnanthousefabric.co.uk 01423 502 707
- Alice Caroline Ltd Darkes Barn East, Conderton Tewkesbury GL20 7PP www.alicecaroline.com 01386 725 000
- Gts Sewing Machines Ltd 55A Mewburn Road, Queensway Shopping Centre, Banbury, Oxfordshire OX16 9PQ, 01295 701 384
- Hollies Haberdashery 19 Barracks Court, Barracks Road, Newcastle-Under-Lyme ST5 1LG www.hollieshaberdashery.co.uk 07795 112 697
- Jools Wools 1A High Street, Finedon, Northamptonshire NN9 5JN 01933 680 119
- Quilters Corner Unit 3, 4 Oat Street, Evesham, Worcestershire WR11 4PJ 01386 244 424
- Quorn Country Crafts Parkside Works, Gotham Road, East Leake, Leicestershire LE12 6JG www.quorncountrycrafts.co.uk 01509 211 604
- Sew and So’s of Bungay 14 Upper Olland Street, Bungay, Suffolk NR35 1BG www.sewsos.co.uk 01986 896 147
- Sew Creative Ltd 11 St. Giles Street, Norwich NR2 1JL 01603 305 888
- Something Special Unit A Feathers Yard, Holt, Norfolk NR25 6BF 01263 711 275
- The Bramble Patch Ltd West Street, Weedon Northants NN7 4QU www.thebramblepatch.co.uk 01327 342 212
- The Cosy Cabin Ltd Risby Barns, South Street, Risby, Suffolk IP28 6QU www.thecosycabin.co.uk 01284 811 222
- The Cotton Patch 1283-1285 Stratford Road, Hall Green, Birmingham, West Midlands B28 9AJ www.cottonpatch.co.uk 01217 022 840
- The Nimble Thimble 1D Well Street, Buckingham MK18 1EW email@example.com 01280 822 236
- Wool Warehouse 12 Longfield Road, Sydenham Industrial Estate, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire CV31 1XB www.woolwarehouse.co.uk 01926 882 818
- Bettie Freckles 22 Broad Street, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 8BS 01568 589 057
- Country Threads 2 Pierrepont Place, Bath BA1 1JX
- Creative Quilting 32 Bridge Road, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9HA www.creativequilting.co.uk 02089 417 075
- Doughty Brothers 100 Barrs Court Rd, Hereford HR1 1EG
- Fashion ‘N’ Fabrics 24 Beech Road, St Albans, Hertfordshire AL3 5AS www.fashion-n-fabrics.com 01727 865 038
- Franklins – Colchester 13 St Botolph’s St, Colchester CO2 7DU
- Material Needs Ltd 79 High St, Burnham-on-Sea TA8 1PE
- Pins and Needles Headley Road, Grayshott, Surrey GU26 6LG www.pinsandneedlesgrayshott.co.uk 01428 608 817
- Purple-Pixie Fabric & Craft The Hop Farm, Maidstone Rd, Paddock Wood, Kent TN12 6PY www.purple-pixie.co.uk
- Sew & So 1 Landsdown, Stroud, Glos GL5 1BB
- Sew Much Fun 46 Chalcot Road, London NW1 8LS 02077 229 889
- Sew Vintage 38 Market Street, Wells, Somerset BA5 2DS 07976 204 483
- The Cheap Shop 108 Church Road, Tiptree, Colchester, Essex CO5 0AB www.thecheapshoptiptree.co.uk 01621 815 576
- Truro Fabrics Ltd Calenick Street, Truro Truro, Cornwall TR1 2SF www.trurofabrics.com 01872 222 130
- Williamsons Fabrics 45 Victoria Road, Woolston, Southampton, Hampshire SO19 9DY www.williamsonshaberdashery.co.uk 02380 448 081
- Witney Sewing Machine Centre 52 High Street, Witney, Oxon OX28 6HQ www.witneysewingandknittingcentre.co.uk 01993 704 535
- Black Mountain Fabric 29 Cross Street, Abergavenny, Gwent NP7 5EW 01873 858 827
- Flying Goose Quilting Abernant Shop, Dolecoed Road, Llanwrtyd Wells LD5 4RA www.flyinggoosequilting.co.uk 01558 824 224
- The Make Spot Ltd 4 Conrad House, Beufort Square, Chepstow, Monmouthshire NP16 5LG 07800 874 275
- The Quilting Bee, 28 Queens Rd, Craig Y Don, Conwy LL30 1AZ
- White Gecko Craft Lounge 13 Camms Corner, Dinas Powys, Vale of Glamorgan CF64 4QY www.whitegeckoevents.co.uk 07841 013 609
Or shop online
- Axholme Quilting www.axholmequilting.co.uk 07785 378 371
- DBD Sewing Supplies www.dbdsewingsupplies.co.uk 07948 794 791
- Drop Dead Threads Embroidery www.dropdeadthreadsembroidery.com 07446 894 299
- Fabrics of Society www.facebook.com/fabricsofsocietyuk
- Frills and Froth frillsandfroth.com
- Monkey Boo Designs www.ebay.co.uk/usr/monkeyboodesigns 01524 410 403
- Prettiful Fabrics www.prettiful-fabrics.co.uk
- Quality Fabrics Online www.qualityfabricsonline.co.uk 07717 604 463
- Rosie’s Craft Shop Ltd www.rosiescraftshop.co.uk
- Sew Box Ltd www.sewbox.co.uk 01787 269 366
- Sew Confused sewconfused.co.uk 01722 712 752
- Sew-Drops Ltd www.sewdrops.co.uk 01925 229 293
- Sewmotion www.sewmotion.com 07503 214 805
- Sunnyside Fabrics UK www.sunnysidefabricsuk.com