A Field Guide Quilts With An Angle Sheila Christensen, softback published by C&T. ISBN 9781617456411. Price 24.99. Available in the UK from www.searchpress.com
Get started with tools, fabrics and basics. This book teaches angles – triangles, trapezoid, diamond, parallelogram and jewel, plus strip-pieced quilts and a primer ‘design your own blocks’. Each 60° shape section has great quilt patterns. The 60° shape is throughly explored through techniques and possibilities. Sheila has the same design philosophy as myself: one thing leads to another. Standard sizes make strips easy to rotary cut and piece. The colour section is basic with one glaring error, blue does not face yellow on the colour wheel. Basic quilting techniques include cutting, seam sewing, chain piecing. This book comes into its own when we get to the lessons. Great grids, instructions and quick reference charts, super blocks and fantastic quilts. Marks out of 10 – A plus for the quilt designs; as a designer myself I would still love to sit down and make most of these. Highly recommended as a thorough grounding in 60° shape, ease of use, inspiration for all levels and 15 wonderful quilt designs.
Seven days of design – what Karen did last week. They say seven days is a long time in politics, but you can fit an awful lot of work into seven days.
My seven days of design was varied and interesting, it has been a good week. There is rarely a dull time as a designer and rarely a minute to spare. I divide my week into different media. Usually all in one day. This is mainly because I have to switch activity owing to avoiding painful repetitive syndrome that affects many crafters and textile artists.
For my work, check out the quilts and textiles pages
My main area of work for almost three years now has been quilting. With my latest design I have taken another direction. My new quilt is inspired by a digital design that happened one morning out of the blue, unexpected and looking promising. I had to shelf it until I had finished other projects. Seven days of design involved selecting fabrics, size, colour, deciding on surface design, order of stitch and much more. It’s under wraps at the moment until finished (should be next week), but I can give you a sneak view.
For years I designed knitwear and knitted up to eight hours a day. Now I am only able to knit one or two hours maximum. It is a real shame as it is my favourite craft. My designs these days are just using up wool I have. I had quite a lot of grey and cream and decided to put in a few odds and ends to make a fair-isle. Seven days of design involved stitch and pattern selection, colour, size and more. Like all good fair-isle, it is in fine yarn and takes about 100 hours to complete.
I was considering selling my embellisher machine, but I still have rather a lot of supplies. So I decided to use them up in new designs. Seven days of design involved inspiration and research, arrangement, selecting fibres and colours amongst other things. I am finding inspiration in the Peak District for my landscapes.
More next week. Images, words and copyright Karen Platt 2019
All the quilting news in one place. This is just for this week, it is getting so busy here.
My first quilting news is that I have just finished the new quilt, the second in the River Series Quilt patterns. I am so struggling with double vision, but hoping to move on to another new quilt design today.
My most exciting quilting news is that I am leading many workshops at the West Country Quilt Show in Bristol from 29 August for three days. Check out the show and workshop details on their website
Thursday 29th August 2019, 12.30 pm I am teaching how to make a Landscape Quilt, at 14.00pm scrap coasters – I’ll be showing lots of examples and how to do them and at 15.00 pm I’m doing Cathedral Windows with a difference.
Friday 30th at 10.30am I am teaching the sunflower quilt – this can be a 12″ pictorial wall hanging or quilt block. The rest are as above all 3 sessions. 4 sessions in total today.
Saturday 31st is the same times and topics at the Friday. 4 sessions in total.
I hope to meet many quilters. I will be providing fabrics and teaching instructions. The fabrics might differ slightly to those shown. The Landscape is a smaller version. If you want to bring your own fabrics or bring scraps for other quilters, that would be fine. The booking form is at the bottom of the page on their website.
New Blog Hop
Welcome to my first blog hop, arranged by Sam of Hunter’s Design. On 20th September as part of the hop. I’ll be doing ‘Drunkard’s Path Made Easy’.
New Website Registration
You can now register on my website, and receive discounts an extra special goodies and pre-notifications. The Sign up is at the bottom of the home page, so make sure you scroll down. As a special thank you there is a mini ‘Inspiration’ pdf booklet that will be emailed to you.
If you missed the Festival of Quilts blogs – there is a 6 part series for 2019 highlighting many of the quilts on display. Just scroll on the menu to the right on the blog page to catch up.
Words, images and work copyright Karen Platt 2019. See you mext Monday.
Festival of Quilts ended just a week ago and it seems like a lifetime ago. What joy the show brings with the biggest display of quilts in the UK and how hard everyone works to make it a success.
This is my final look at the quilts on display, with the makers’ names, so that you can have the pleasure of looking up your favourite makers and finding out more about them. I was prompted to write this series of blogs (it’s taken at least 9 hours to do so) as I felt incensed by all the social media posts that do not acknowledge the quilt maker. It is actually written into copyright law that the moral rights of creators of any art or craft are acknowledged. Despite this, even those that know do not always put the names with the quilts and ignorance has never been an excuse in law. For me it is essential to acknowledge the makers of these beautiful quilts. Some quilts take a long time to make, let’s celebrate the makers and find joy in their work. The quilt belongs to someone and it is common decency to give them their due, their moment in the spotlight.
I took a few photos where I could not read the label, and therefore have not shared. That’s how it should be – either we acknowledge the maker or in accordance with the law we keep the photos for personal reference, we do not share if we are not giving the makers’ names.
Aina Muze in the Eternal Thread exhibition, a quilt that used interesting fabrics. It was actually dated 2009.
Jenny Otto and Frances Meredith entered a two-person quilt called ‘Stonefields’ that I thought was sheer delight. There is a bunny in there. I long to make this kind of quilt, it is on my list to design one in the coming year.
Magdalena Galinska and Agnieszka Wietczak entered ‘Promienie/Rays’ in the same category, which received a highly recommended from the judges. Striking design and colour.
Tatiana Duffie’s ‘Bauble II’, a modern quilt, was a fabulous blend of immaculate piecing and quilting.
Helen Butcher’s ‘Negative Space?’ was highly commended in the modern section. Soft greys with highlights. A lovely geometric medley.
Sheena Roberts’ beautiful storm at sea quilt. I love this interpretation. Sorry my pic is a bit wonky, I was getting tired. It really stood out.
Lesley Brankin’s ‘Belonging’ was featured in the Guild’s Spotlight @ 40 and epitomises the joy of quilting and a great reason to belong to the Quilter’s Guild – the spirit of friendship.
I would like to finish this series of six blogs by mentioning the Guild’s page and membership. Why not join? It is not expensive and without them we would not have this show, so thank you to everyone involved again and my only question is ‘Why do we have to wait another year?’. Make sure you are at FOQ 2020. So much to see and do.
Words, images copyright Karen Platt, quilts copyright their respective makers.
Michael James Digital Quilt: When I first saw the announcement for this I was intrigued, because I have been creating digital images, digital fabrics and digital quilts for some time. In fact it was because people kept telling that my digital manipulations would make great quilts, that I, with very little sewing machine experience at all, came to be a quilter.
I love playing with my images, and if I have a strength, it is probably that I have found a unique way of digital manipulation. Playing with photos to reveal layers. For further details see my ecourse
The first ecourse I wrote was also on this subject. It is very dear to my heart and I have created a number of smaller ecourses dedicated to digital kaleidoscope creation or blocks. The courses are taken at home, so are suitable wherever you live and all have tutor input. My latest ecourse: Digital Quilting, will be available shortly. If you are interested please use the contact form, with the name of the ecourse as the subject.
Michael James Digital Quilt was a fascinating gallery that seemed to be a gallery of two halves, the brights and the darks. I preferred the brighter quilts shown here. His pieces are beautifully machine quilted. All the images that follow are Michael James quilts and are copyright Michael James.
One more gallery to come in this series of 6 discovering the quilts at FOQ 2019. Words and images copyright Karen Platt
Part 4 of my FOQ blogs concentrates on Exhibition Galleries with a bit of fascinating hand dyeing too. The Exhibition Galleries are where I always head straight after seeing the main quilts hung inside Hall 8. This year I thought the Exhibition Galleries were a real thrill. I shall cover the final one in Part 5.
Many of us are familiar with the striking work of Sandra Meech. She is one of the ladies who stirred a passion to quilt within me with her fabulous books published by Batsford. Her work is simply breathtaking when you see it. The small trio below were priced at 750 pounds each. She followed on from me, speaking in the same lecture room, so I was able to say hello and shake hands. Quilts as wall art has always interested me, something I have concentrated on in my own work.
Another must-see for me was the gallery of Eszter Bornemisza ‘You Are Here’. Such fabulous work. I loved the multi-layered effect and the shadows her work creates. Interesting work using a limited palette.
The work of Sue Hotchkis deserves contemplation. It is so fascinating and intricately detailed. Wonderful use of colour. Her work usually hangs in the Fine Art Gallery. This piece was priced at 2,200 gbp.
The hand dyed fabrics were eye-catching, hanging outside the Committed to Cloth workshop space. I must get back to hand dyeing. My ecourse Hand Dyeing is almost ready to launch. This subject is also covered in my ecourse ‘Design Your Own Quilts’
Part 5 and 6 coming shortly. Words and photos copyright Karen Platt. Artworks and quilts copyright their respective owners.
Mary Palmer and Ann Kiely’s quilt ‘Who Will Tell The Bees’ was perhaps the most controversial quilt at the show. It won two awards. A long-armed quilt with fantastic quilting and a story to tell that many failed to understand. It was one of the most interesting art quilts.
There were some wonderful, but much photographed winners, so I am not going to include those. They can be seen on the official website where you can find details of next year’s show and how to enter a competition quilt.
Away from the competition quilts are the other entries – the 3D and exhibition galleries. The 3-D section is always of interest, not least Kathy Knapp’s work, which always amazes me. I am a huge fan of her work, she has a fb page. ‘Rose Red Fantasy’ was breathtaking in its detail.
Marijke van Welzen’s coat was based more on patchwork and stitch and was wonderful to see. Very wearable. When I started quilting, this was what I imagined I would do. Now, I am going to start now (I said that last year too).
I have at least one stitchy friend who is an author of 3-d dolls. Kate Crossley’s work was very detailed, especially around the base.
Caroline Nixon’s beautifully eco-dyed and stitched coat was very eye-catching.
In the ‘Natural Selection’ exhibition gallery, Fabienne Rey’s glorious stitch piece ‘Travelling Through The Land Of Nonsense’ was wondrously executed on plant dyed silks and eco prints. Priced at 1800gbp.
I loved the simplicity of Deborah Pawle’s ‘Sand Dunes’ with natural hand dyed threads, priced at 300gbp
As well as these pieces by Ross Belton, priced at 320gbp each
Roxanne Lasky’s amazing jacket was part of this Natural Selection gallery. Priced at 3,500 gbp it was made with recycled fabric and eco prints.
Part Four is coming soon with more exhibition gallery work. Words and images copyright Karen Platt. Copyright of quilts/artworks is with the respective makers.
I know some of us love Boro and this was a lovely Boro quilt by Sue Aldridge, entitled ‘Boro Borrowed’
Cecilia Slim’s ‘Underground’ was incredible, loved this for its incredible stitching
Totally different, but detailed and superb was Maggie Barber’s ‘A Stamp Story’ on sale at 1,000 pounds. A well-designed piece.
Jane Bottomley’s ‘Sleep Beneath The Stars’ a good monochrome BOM type quilt with effective use of fabrics
Just beautiful and haunting Ann Beare ‘The Sentinels: Silent Witness’ effective use of a limited palette
I loved this for the fantastic use of colour and stitch, although the peacock’s neck does disappear a little Brenda Wroe ‘My Fine Feathered Friend’
Liz Jones ‘Moving On’ is a masterpiece of simplicity, excellent colour and interesting fabrics – it uses woven fabrics and I think felt
Hanging in the Guild’s ‘Forty Years’ gallery was this fantastic wholecloth from the 1930s ‘Claridge’s Peach Wholecloth Quilt’ featuring Welsh motifs and part of a drive to prevent hand quilting from dying out.
Pippa Wardman’s ‘Taj Mahal At Sunset’ rightly received lots of praise and an award. The imagery and stitch were fantastic. I have one niggle though – that band of yellow unbalances the quilt as it is too strong, it either needed to be lighter in colour or a narrower band of saturated yellow.
Juana Castaneda Romera depicted a swan in amazing style ‘De oriente a occidente la mas’
There will be a part three. Words and images copyright Karen Platt. Quilts copyright of their makers.
Terrific displays on quilts of all shapes, sizes, levels so inspiring
Some quilts are better than others – after all this is not a juried show and quilters have different abilities
Some awards seem as baffling as ever and some very deserving quilts get left out
I still believe judges are poor on colour sense
Talking for the first time at the show was fantastic
Jenny Doan is definitely the world’s most famous quilter
Wonderful stands of fabrics etc and if only I could have carried it all home
It makes you spend more than you intend – those two packs of Voysey fat quarters were irresistible
Exhausting but exhilarating. If you were not there, why not?
I want it to last more days and I think we need a spring and winter FOQ, once a year is not enough
Judges comments on my quilt were all that my quilting was average and piecing needs attention. One judge (you get 3) said interesting use of fabrics and circles. (It was those fabrics that caused the problems). One said I did not have enough contrast!!! As you will know if you follow my work or blog, this was not the quilt I intended to enter and a lot of things went wrong. In fact, even though I had paid the entry fee, I almost did not send it in. People’s comments have been very kind. The pattern is available now. Absolutely everything I did in this quilt was new to me. Karen Platt ‘Can’t Find My Way Home’
So what did I think was fabulous? Here are some of the ones I loved, and some that were not photographed by many others. Jeltje and Friends, Follow Your Dreams Quilt (although with slight reservations on colour). Price tag 6,000 gbp.
Nibelungenquilter Group Quilt Anna’s Birthday Roses
The truly astonishing skill of Sandy Chandler ‘Fusion’
Ditto, amazing skill of Robyn Fahy (Dogwood Daisys)
Bowled over by the piecing skills (tiny pieces) Alison Gardiner ‘Who Was Sarah Monument?’
Excellent use of colour and fabric making this one of the best bargello quilts I have seen. Maria Cosmos ‘Get With The Flow’
Joanne Holomeij ‘Slightly Blue Christmas’. Good design and use of monochrome.
I loved the use of fabric and clever quilting in this pictorial quilt. Beverly Rebelo ‘Cinderella and The Ugly Sister’
Interesting concept, I believe the transition between top and bottom needed to be more gradual. It received a Judges’ Choice. Anna Williams ‘Log Cabins In The City’.
I am still recovering, so there will be a Part 2.
Words and photos copyright Karen Platt 2019. My design copyright Karen Platt 2019, all other designs and quilts copyright of their respective makers.
It is wonderful to be accurate all the time, but few of us achieve it. Drunkard’s Path Quilt Blocks have a few challenging issues. Quilters are so scared of curves. The curve is easy – I shall cover that in my tutorial soon. Sometimes though, when we lose accuracy, those blocks become out of square, and worse your curved seams might not line up. What can you do? Of course, you can unpick, but is there another way?
Squaring Up Blocks
You can square up by cutting to size, but then you might end up with blocks of different sizes.
Ensure your initial cutting of templates is as accurate as possible.
Press blocks do not iron. Both ironing and steam can make your blocks go out of shape.
If you are a tiny amount off, you could pin and steam, but steam is more likely to shrink.
Consider re-arranging your Drunkard’s Path blocks. This is a great idea, because if you are not matching those uneven curved seams, you do not have to worry about them.
These blocks can be arranged in many different ways. Don’t be afraid to try something out.
Playing with traditional blocks is one of the areas I cover in my comprehensive, year long quilt design ecourse, take a look here
My first illustrated quilting talks are at the Festival of Quilts at the NEC, Birmingham on Sunday 4th August only. Seats are still available, but do not miss this. Colour Confidence from the only person to have written four books in single colours and Design Your Own Quilts (no software needed). Colour can make a huge improvement to your work and design is such fun and makes your quilt unique. Talks are reasonably priced and there is a bonus discount for attendees off the ecourses. You can book tickets here and if not sold out, they will be available on the day.
We are setting up registration on the website. There will be a gift for anyone registering.
This week I have done 3 short videos, all posted on Facebook and Instagram to judge the response. It has been very enouraging, particularly on IG, so I shall now go ahead and create a YouTube channel. So it is all happening and thanks for being a part of this. See you next week with more exciting news and photos from the Festival of Quilts and how the talks went plus new products.