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Carnaby Street Shopper Tutorial...

The minute I decided to include a Liberty of London block in our London Town quilt - always at the top of my sightseeing list! - I knew I'd have to make a shopping bag to take to 'the mothership' (as I like to call it).


The pattern I used is my Storybook Bag, which is one of the series of Petit FOUR project patterns. These are all designed so that any one sampler block can be turned into a matching project.


If you'd like to make one too just click on the link below to access a complimentary copy of the PDF pattern, although please note that you will need additional fabric* to make this project.

The Tilda Hometown prints have a wonderful 'Arts & Crafts' feeling to them, which makes them a lovely choice for this project, but let's be honest, it would also look amazing in one of Liberty's iconic prints!

PS: It's also the ideal place to keep a Piccadilly Pouch...


Carnaby Tote.jpg

As I was making my extra Liberty of London block I took some step by step photos to show you how I laid out the ¼” bias tape on the upper stories of the façade before I stitched them down. As suggested in the pattern, I starched the fabric for my bias tape before I made it, which certainly helped.


First I added the the centre uprights and the short horizontal, glue-basting them in place (a). Next I added the remaining uprights (b), before trimming the gable pieces (c). I hope you can see the fray-check I added to my cut ends at the top of the gables. I then stitched all of these elements in place (d) and the pink arrows show the direction of my stitching. I then added the final horizontal, which covered the lower ends of the gable pieces (e). The reverse image (f) shows that my stitching wasn't as straight as it could have been, but the navy print camouflages any wobbles!

The eagle-eyed amongst you will notice a glaring error: in my haste, I forgot to add the bottom horizontal. I'm not making excuses (OK, I am), but May will have three bank holidays here in the UK (on top of a late Easter) so things are somewhat intense in the sewing studio at the moment. But, truth be told, I don't think it matters, so customise away.

And on that note, there are other options for finishing this block: if you prefer raw edge applique, use a standard fusible rather than lightweight - which will give your strips more heft - and cut the strips ¼” wide, fusing them down one at a time; if you love embroidery, use the navy thread from month 5 to add the timbers once the block is assembled; or you can applique the strips by hand. Your quilt, your choice. There's only one Liberty's though,

Nicola xx

Liberty step by step.JPG

* As well as the Tilda Elanora print, I used Bloomsbury Silhouette in navy from the Carnaby Collection by Liberty Fabrics (for the timbers), Tilda dove solid and Tilda Paint Dots in blue (for the upper stories and windows), Tilda dusty aqua solid (for the canopy), Makower Linen Texture in delft (for the background and body of the bag) and a red gingham from Strawberry Fields by Fig Tree for Moda Fabrics (to trim and line the bag). The stripy ribbon is by East of India.

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