Today I am sharing with you what I made with Liberty’s newest quilting cotton collection for Riley Blake Designs – Flower Show Spring. As soon as I saw the collection I fell in love (although hard not to with Liberty!) and knew straight away whatever I made it had to feature linen and clamshells.
I had intended on making a cushion but my heart was drawn towards a tote bag – something perfect for spring and trips to the park, although definitely too nice for the play park!! More for an alfresco lunch or coffee date.
Rather than my usual preference of using a 2″ or 2.5″ shape I went with a 4″ shape. I wanted to really highlight those beautiful prints and thought the larger clamshell would do that best. Having said that I will have to make some smaller clamshells as well. This fabric is too pretty not to!
It has taken me a while to post about this bag. This was actually finished and ready to post back in January, but the day before it’s scheduled post mum was rushed into hospital, and well, you know the rest of that story. This bag was going to be for her, I knew as I was making it, it would either be a Mother’s Day or birthday gift (her birthday is in April). We both have a shared love of Liberty so I knew she would be thrilled.
What happens to it now, I don’t know. I will probably keep it as a reminder of her, and use it as she may have done. But here I am getting or sentimental again, so let me tell you about the bag instead!
I didn’t use a particular pattern just went with an idea I had in my mind, and although it did not quite turn out how I envisioned it, I am still happy.
I couldn’t settle on what colour to hand quilt it, and in the end with Aurifil 12wt #2311. I do wish I had gone with my other choice however a darker thread. My original thought was I didn’t want to detract from the prints, but in hindsight I see that the darker thread would have really made them “pop”. However I still like the effect.
The back of the bag rather than more clamshells, I decided to do scrappy stripes, I like the contrast between the front and back, and if I’m honest I couldn’t decide on just one fabric!
I really wanted this bag to have a good sturdy structure, and so I used foam. I didn’t even think to attempt to hand quilt the foam, so, instead hand-quilted the clamshells on some interfacing and then used fusible foam. I’m gradually getting used to working with foam, I do like the end result it gives.
Along with Flower Show Spring, Liberty have released a new tone on tone basics collection called Wiltshire Shadow, which rather handily coordinates beautifully! For the lining I used “Cloud”, a beautiful light blue.
I kept it super simple with a slip pocket on one side and a little zip pocket on the other.
I do love an opportunity to use a fun bit of lining for interior pockets! Those roses are so beautiful! A nice little surprise when you unzip the pocket.
This was my first time using leather handles, and it won’t be the last! Not just because it saves you from the faff of having to make straps yourself, it gives the bag a nice professional looking finish too, plus it was rather fun getting the hammer out!
Liberty Flower Show Spring is available online and in shops now!