Wednesday, July 31, 2013

London 2013 - Give Me Liberty

I've been getting requests to share my fabric purchases from London. Not one to keep anyone in suspense, here you have it!

Within four hours or so of my arrival in London and before I'd even eaten a proper meal, Leanne took me off to Shaukat for some Liberty love. Tana lawn before dinner: my kind of London experience!

Liberty tana lawns at Shaukat, London
rolls and rolls of tana lawn

Prior to the trip, I was warned that this shop can be overwhelming but I was pleasantly surprised. Not only were we the only two customers in the store, it was beautifully air conditioned (man, London was an oven while I was there - I haven't sweat that much since Bangkok in '91), spotlessly clean and very well organized. My mission was to come home with some small pieces of fabric that I could use to make the Liberty Spool Quilt from Alexia Abegg's Liberty Love book.

Liberty Tana Lawn

Shaukat's minimum cut is a 1/2 meter, but lucky for collectors like me they also sell remnant pieces for 1, 3 and 5 pounds sterling, depending on the size. Leanne and I quickly took to the remnant piles and dug for our favourites. 

Liberty Tana Lawn
Most of these pink prints are from a strip roll up I purchased at Liberty.

Liberty Tana Lawn
Darker prints that I will use for spool ends in the quilt. Some were traded at the Saturday night marketplace held at retreat.

Liberty Tana Lawn
eep! It's Hello Kitty!

The next day we were part of a lucky group from retreat that was selected to participate in a designer talk at the Liberty of London store. After some initial confusion and traipsing up and down stairs and elevators between the store and the office building behind it, we settled into a lovely cool conference room.

 Liberty of London

First a young designer with the company talked about collaborations with artists in some recent collections. Then Liberty's passionate archivist gave us a history of the company and it's flagship store, followed by a slide show. She shared comparative photos of the archival designs that inspired modern counterparts for the Stile (which they pronounce "steel") collection of quilting cottons. The excitement didn't end there for me.  After the talk, I went down a staircase and exited the office building through a set of doors into an alley behind the main store. Wrong move. I set off the Liberty Secret Service. All at once I had 4 Italian men dressed in black with ear pieces running down the alleyway from both buildings! Hehe, my bad. Luckily, I could play the innocent foreigner and no harm was done.

Some photos from inside the store:

Liberty of London
Origami cranes hang above a display table

Liberty of London
foxy door stops!

Liberty of London
Sarah Fielke's book for sale on the fabric floor

Liberty of London
Awards display in the office building lobby

Liberty of London
walk this way to beautiful fabric

There you have it: Poppyprint's Liberty rampage of London! 

Next up, all of the beautiful handmades that came home with me from Fat Quarterly Retreat.

24 comments:

Lise-Lotte said...

Wow!
What an experience--so great!
Thanks for sharing your pictures--I love Liberty fabric and my mother always did too. I have some of hers that I have been using..
Lise-Lotte
partygreen.ca

Doris said...

Thanks for sharing! I went to London in 1996, and GASP! I did not go to Liberty... wasn't back into sewing yet at that point. I must return one day soon, if only it weren't so far from Iowa...

Brenda said...

wowser! thanks for sharing the eye candy.

Isisjem said...

I got a little overwhelmed in Shaukat too. Thank heavens for the remnant pile or I'd have bought nothing for not knowing what to choose!

Artsy-Craftsy Ivy said...

I went to England in 2003. Spent one day in London and I did manage to get to the Liberty store. I just bought one piece (a half meter), which I have only started to cut into now! Ha!

Katy Cameron said...

I hope you feel Liberated now :oD

Dianne said...

Hahaha! Total mind pictures of you being pursued by men in black. You nefarious shopper you!!
Thanks for the tour :0)

Flying Blind... said...

Oh you did good! You can come again xxx

Nicole Follow the White Bunny said...

I definitely want to visit that Shaukat store next time I'm in London! Lovely post :)

Tal Nakmann Tiran said...

Can't believe I've been to London and didn't make it to Liberty... Definitely next time!
Thanks for sharing :)

Tal @ The Crafeteria

Catherine said...

You definitely got a good liberty haul

Kirsty@Bonjour said...

How amazing! Is it weird that the first photo makes me drool a little bit?

Barbara B said...

What an amazing trip you had.

Fiona @ Poppy Makes said...

Oooooo that last picture of feet has totally inspired me to do something with the prints I made of my kids feet when they were really small! Thankyou!

Barb said...

Thanks for sharing your amazing liberty experience! On my list for our trip to the UK next summer.

~The Bargain Babe from *Zucchini Summer Blog* said...

fabric feet prints! the perfect touch!

Leanne said...

I hope you have time to start those spools soon. I hope we can go fabric shopping again.

Rafael's Mum said...

What a lovely post Krista, thanks for all the photos. I realized I saw all these things but didn't take pictures at the time as I was too overwhelmed (and, frankly, laden down with luggage...:-) so great to see it back. Lovely to finally meet you too although it really felt as if I had already, lol :-)

Elsa said...

Oh, lucky you to see all that lovely goodness!
Glad you had such a great time ~ thanks for sharing all the wonderful photos!

Jo Ann said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing! Love the fabrics.

Danielle said...

So many pretties! Loved the Shaukat shop, my spree was limited to 20 minutes (they were about to close) plus I'd walked there in the dark by myself from the tube station, hmm, I went slightly mad grabbing bolts off the shelves, now all I can think about is going back for more! One day...

Aliceart said...

Heartfelt sigh. What a fantasy experience. I hope I get to do that one day...

Sandi said...

Beautiful fabrics and fabulous photos. I can't wait to see the finished spool quilt.
Sandi

Andrea C said...

Beautiful fabrics! And I kinda want a fox doorstop now.