New Liberty Arts Fabrics ~ Interview with Joyce Roberston

on May 24 | in Products | by | with 32 Comments

We’re in love with the rich colors and beautiful designs in the new Marylebone collection from Liberty Arts Fabrics. We asked Joyce Robertson from Westminster to tell us about the collection, part of a new collaboration between Liberty of London and Westminster. Westminster Lifestyle Fabrics includes Rowan and FreeSpirit brands, and is home to some of our favorite fabric designers including Amy Butler, Kaffe Fassett, Heather Ross, Denyse Schmidt, Heather Bailey and Jennifer Paganelli. Kaffe Fassett plays an instrumental role in this new collaboration, as you’ll see in our interview. Enjoy!

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SMS: Please tell us a little about yourself and your job.
Westminster: Joyce Robertson, General Manager, Westminster Lifestyle Fabrics. I have been with WFI for approximately 6 years and have worked in the textile design industry for 14 years. One of my responsibilities is selecting designs from artists around the world for our fabric collections, and all fabric artwork collections are submitted directly to me for the selection process and final approval. I am proud to say that WFI is well-known in the textile industry for our creative and unique fabric designs and talented, trend-setting artists under our Rowan and FreeSpirit brands.

SMS: How did the Liberty Art Fabrics/Westminster collaboration come to be? Are the designs unique, or are they from the Liberty archives?
Westminster: WFI has had a long working relationship with both Liberty of London and artist, Kaffe Fassett.

Liberty, WFI, and leading Rowan designer, Kaffe Fassett, each have a strong global presence and recognized the opportunities for growth by partnering together to develop a new line of co-branded fabrics called Liberty Art Fabrics.

Our first collection was introduced in October, 2009, and these new fabric collections interconnect original artwork from the Liberty textile archives which date back to 1875 with Kaffe’s design inspiration and unique sense of glorious colors. All of the prints for the Liberty Art Fabric collections will be selected by Kaffe from the Liberty archives, and he will then decide on the scale and colors for the designs.

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SMS: We’re really excited to get the Marylebone group. How many prints/colors are there?
Westminster: Marylebone is printed on 44/45” width, 100% cotton fabric. There are 12 prints, each with 3 different colorways for a total of 36 pieces in the collection.

LB 11 Rajah ~ Gold, red, blue
LB 12 Crosswalk ~ Yellow, red, blue
LB 13 Frilly ~ Pastel, ochre, pink
LB 14 Plumes ~ Brown, green, peach
LB 15 Kashmir ~ Black, blue, red
LB 16 Punk Stripe ~ Pink, blue, magenta
LB 17 Parasols ~ Blue, pink, ochre
LB 18 Pauline ~ Black, red, blue
LB 19 Provencal Blue, rust, brown
LB 20 Meadow ~ Summer, red, gold
LB 21 Katy ~ Tomato, aqua, brown
LB 22 Fordwych ~ Mauve, blue, rust

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SMS: What are the plans for the future? Will we be seeing more Liberty groups? Any chance they’ll show up on other base cloths?
Westminster: WFI is planning to launch two Liberty Art Fabric collections a year and yes, you will be seeing these collections on additional substrates in the future. Do you have any special requests?

Readers, we’re asking you the question… Liberty is know for their absolutely lovely Tana Lawn base cloth. The new collection is printed on Westminster’s beautiful (and much more affordable) quilting cotton.  Do you have any special requests for specific base cloths in future Liberty Art Fabric collections? Tell us, and Westminster, in the comments!

Look for the complete collection of Marylebone at Sew,Mama,Sew! in the coming weeks! It’s here!

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32 Responses to New Liberty Arts Fabrics ~ Interview with Joyce Roberston

  1. chrisie says:

    Liberty go with the lawn because I’d love to use some of these textiles for furniture. Anything a bit heavier than quilt weight cotton is doable for me. The collection is OUTSTANDING!! Just amazing. Thanks for the post Sew Mama!!!

  2. Sarah says:

    Lovely! I’m definitely voting for voile here.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Westminster, are you still reading? Please please please put some of these prints in the voiles that Anna Maria Horner and other Kaffe Fassett prints also appear on. People who are serious and halfway knowledgeable about sewing garments are not going to sink their efforts into quilting cottons, no matter how beautiful the fabrics — the drape just isn’t there. These are really beautiful prints; won’t you please give them a longer shelf life and print some on fabrics that garment sewers will love too?

  4. Christine says:

    Love the colors!

  5. pieceLove says:

    I have some vintage tablecloths that are a sublime brushed cotton–not quite flannel. Every once in a blue moon I’ll find this same hand at a quilt shoppe, but it’s always some hideous colour. I would love to see more lightweight brushed cottons.

  6. Katie says:

    Gorgeous fabric!

  7. Tiffany says:

    Great fabrics!

  8. samantha says:

    These fabrics are so wonderful in colour, my soul is drawn to them. They remind me of a dream. Wow, I have no other words

  9. sharonj says:

    Thank you ! Great interview, I have always loved their fabrics such great colours and patterns. Nice to learn a little more about them. Sharonj.

  10. Deb Cameron says:

    Oh, I love these! Voile, linen/cotton, silk/cotton and even a lovely rayon would be fabulous. I would say lawn but given that Liberty do such a beautiful tana lawn I can’t see them giving that away.

  11. For clothing I prefer a little stretch for comfort, I’d like a cotton/elastene mix to make up some gorgeous tops and blouses

  12. Casey says:

    Another vote for clothing weight, especially voile. It is very easy these days to find beautiful quilting weight cottons, but not so easy to find beautiful, quality clothing fabrics.

  13. Delia says:

    These are so pretty!

  14. Munaiba says:

    I would like to see some fine weave, higher thread count fabric so that it can be used more easily for applique. Westminster fabrics are my favourite, especially Kaffe’s designs but I find that some of them are quite coarse and have a tendency to fray when cut into small shapes for applique. I have to say that Red Rajah fabric is gorgeous!

  15. Those are really beautiful!

  16. Marcia W. says:

    Beautiful fabrics — like all cotton weight for quilting

  17. Fran says:

    Beautiful prints….hope more arrive soon !
    I’d like to see some great paisley prints in
    quilting weight .

  18. Maeve says:

    Gorgeous fabrics! I prefer quilting cotton myself, but I am certain these print designs would be lovely in voile. Wow! Can’t wait to get some of these! Will they be available in fat quarter packs too?

  19. MamaBee says:


  20. Maddie says:

    I am going to have to throw my hand in with those who requested a clothing weight.. heavier than voile.. but not quilting weight either.. something for nice blouses and lovely dresses. We have tneded to try to press today’s quilting fabrics into the role of garment fabric but past using it for an A-line skirt it’s not really made or espeically well suited for clothing no matter how beautiful it is.


  21. ~Helena~ says:

    Love the prints, I mainly use quilting cottons.

  22. Christine says:

    I love all those fabrics! I need to win the lottery so I could afford and whole room (house) full of fabric!

  23. Caroline says:

    Awesome it looks like an amazing collection ~ i vote for more lawn or maybe some voile

  24. Myra says:

    Very pretty fabrics.

  25. Jane W. says:

    I also prefer the durability of quilting cottons, especially Amy Butler’s base. That said, I wouldn’t turn my nose up at voile, either.

    When are these coming? I can hardly wait!

  26. Vanessa says:

    Voile, double gauze or a lightweight cotton suitable for garments (not quilting cotton). I’m thinking the type of lightweight cotton you see in ready-to-wear garments at Anthropoligie…. a little heavier than a voile but lighter than a quilting cotton.

  27. Jenny says:

    There’s a real shortage of nice, non-cutesy flannels! And oil cloth can be fun for household use, too.

  28. Mama Lusco says:

    I prefer the quilting cotton for its affordability and durability. Beautiful prints!

  29. Rachel says:

    Is the current base cloth similar to the base cloth used for Kaffe Fassett or Amy Butler fabrics? Personally, I prefer Amy Butler’s base cloth. As for the future, I’d like to double gauze or a cotton/linen blend.

  30. Anita says:

    My only wish for future collections would be more small floral prints with white or cream backgrounds. I just love floral themed fabrics.

  31. Karen LePage says:

    I am going to be completely broke when these come out! Gorgeous work, and I’m so excited to have some Liberty prints available soon!

    I would love to see these available here (in the US) on some lawn or voile as well.

  32. Elizabeth says:

    so incredibly beautiful!

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