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Six month retrospective – quilting, writing, inspiration

Six month retrospective – a look back at my textiles, quilting and writing work. A retrospective of all my work from 21 December 2018 to 21 June 2019.

It’s always good to look back over work and remind yourself of your achievements. I did this for the six previous months to 21 Dec 2018 also, and it popped up in my facebook feed. My immediate reaction was, I have not really done much since then. That is how it felt. So I checked. I am amazed. Here is my six month retrospective of all the work finished and completed in the last six months. Sit back and enjoy.


It is odd that you can persuade yourself that the past six months have been a wilderness. I completed not one, not two, but five quilts. Yes five. That is a huge increase in production for me. After two years, I have obviously got the hang of things. Quilt patterns are Hydrangea and Sunflower wall hangings, Charm Quilt (recently featured in British Patchwork & Quilting Magazine – first feature in a quilting magazine), Snowflakes and my favourite Bells of St. Clements Quilt. All quilts are also for sale. Patterns and quilts are on sale on the website.

retrospective hydrangea quilt
Hydrangea quilt pattern
retrospective sunflower quilt
Sunflower Quilt Pattern
Retrospective Charm Quilt
Charm Quilt Pattern
Snowflakes Quilts
Snowflakes Quilt Pattern
quilt pattern
Bells of St Clements Quilt Pattern

Unique Quilting Fabrics

My work has given rise to the creation of digital fabrics for you to enjoy. I created original fabrics based on snowflakes, tiles and stained glass. They are all for sale on the website.

stained glass fabric

Quilting eCourses

Well I perhaps have been a bit slow on the introduction of new quilting ecourses, but the one that was launched is a whopper on the subject of Colour for Quilters (and any other artists). It was entirely written by me from hands on experience and study of the subject over many years.

quilting ecourses
Colour for Quilters ecourse

Inspiration ebooks

We all need inspiration from time to time and I have been building up a library of Inspiration ebooks from my own photos. The Inspiration ebooks are dedicated to themes, seasons or travel. Three new ones were launched in the past six months, bringing the total number to ten. Church Architecture, Spring and Summer are the new additions to the website.

Inspiration ebook churches
Inspiration for artists and quilters – churches
Inspirations ebook spring
Spring Inspiration ebook
Inspiration summer ebook
Summer Inspirations ebook

Finally, this period also saw the launch of a free brochure available for you to download for the ecourses and more. So all that remains is for me to tell you what is in the pipeline for the next six months. Many more quilts, I shall be concentrating on some pieced work as well as art quilts. The first BOM will be launched, more about that next week. I have a quilt going off to FOQ shortly. The Desert Inspirations ebook is almost ready to launch, as is the first travel inspiration book on Madeira. I think the next six months look very interesting. If nothing else it launches the talks at FOQ, another first. All my work is original.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Visiting Manchester and Salford for Houses, Arts, Crafts and Cathedrals

Visiting Manchester this week became one of my favourite things. I managed to visit one Manchester Elizabethan house, three art exhibitions and two cathedrals. This was an impromptu visit, totally unplanned, it arose as the result of double booking a hotel. I was fortunate that they allowed me to change the booking.

Visiting Manchester is quick, easy and cheap from Sheffield. Last Tuesday I caught the train to Manchester for the bargain price of 5.90 return! Then I caught the Metro to Salford Quays. Yes, even if you did not see my Guess where? photos this week, you have probably guessed my first destination.

The Lowry

My first stop on my midweek trail was The Lowry to see Lowry’s art. I know some who describe it in less than endearing terms, but if you go to the gallery, you will see the classical nudes he drew when he was studying. Don’t say the man painted as he did because he lacked technical skill, he did not. Then I tried to walk to my second pitstop, but the body was not willing, so at 3pm, I had to go to the hotel.

Visiting Manchester

Salford Quays

Ordsall Hall

Fortunately second on my list was just around the corner, although no-one seemed to know. Ordsall Hall deserves to be on everyone’s ‘to visit’ list. Not only is it fabulous, the staff are truly wonderful. Within a few minutes of my arrival I had to sit down as a migraine had started. The aura soon passed off with a couple of tablets and I really enjoyed this house, garden and the staff are so friendly and knowledgable, not to mention helpful. Two quilts were hanging in the Great Hall and there is a wonderful period bed. A map of how to get to destination three was kindly given to me.

Visiting Manchester
Ordsall Hall

Salford Museum and Art gallery

It was a bit of a longer walk than I had imagined, but hey, struggling with lack of sleep, vertigo and a migraine, I was getting there on sheer determination. So glad I did! Salford Museum and Art gallery is a little gem with an excellent printmaking exhibition entitled Transformations at the moment. I popped my head into Salford Cathedral, nosing into the small gallery on the way (GK Gallery and tearoom on Chapel St), which would have been great if I were not suffering nausea. Long walk back to the hotel and again I had to crash out at 4pm.

Salford Museum
Salford Art Gallery
Salford Art Gallery

Transformations printmaking

Salford University
Salford University
Peel Park
Peel Park
Peel Park

Manchester Cathedral

Final day was a trip into Manchester on the Metro. Store the small suitcase, then off on the free bus. I stopped off at Manchester Cathedral – oh what fabulous stained glass, but unfortunately they were setting up for an exhibition, so much of the Cathedral was out of bounds. Some beautiful tapestry kneelers.

Manchester Cathedral

Whitworth Gallery

My final stop was none other than the Whitworth Gallery to see the Goya prints. Very excited to see the small Andean textiles exhibition. Always worth a visit. I was lucky enough for the next exhibition on Islamic textiles to be set up too for the opening night.

Manchester Whitworth Gallery
Whitworth Gallery

All the venues and exhibitions were free entry. Visiting Manchester could also have included a trip to Mrs Gaskell’s House, Platt Museum of Textiles and the Lowry Theatre to name a few. I have not recovered yet, feeling under the weather and drained. Must get cracking with my quilts and writing. It’s awfully nice to be out and about, but it’s good to come home 🙂

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Words, images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Quilting Blog Hands-on Quilt Designer

In the quilting blog this week is my progress with the FOQ 2019 quilt, appearances and workshops.

Quilting Progress

For the FOQ quilt it was a case of leave it until I realised what was bugging me about it. That took 6 days. Never think designing a quilt happens in minutes and is then just sewn together perfectly. What is on paper, if you are designing from scratch, often changes when you are stitching when you realise a) it does not work b) it would work better another way or c) something else entirely will work better.

Something had been bugging me about the quilt since the second section. I just could not see what it was. When I finally realised I kicked myself, not only because I had not followed my gut feeling about piecing, but because I had to unpick. There might be six letters in that word but it really is a four-letter word to quilters. It not only means tedium, but is time consuming. However, it is all done now and the next section is also pieced. Just the final section to go and I am there. I have two ideas for that running around my head. I might not use either of them.

What’s New

Whilst I was waiting for things to click, I started cutting another quilt. I am playing with ways to piece this.

quilting piecing
quilting blog

Quilting Workshops

Finally I believe the workshop bookings are open at the West Country Quilt Show, so you can book any three of the workshops I am offering.

Quilters’ Guild Members Discount

If you are a member of the Quilter’s Guild, you’ll also see I am offering 10% off purchases online. You can also see my online page on there and ask about booking me for a talk or workshop in your region. You can see all my work on my website here

Join me next week for the quilting blog, when I hope to have that FOQ quilt nearing completion.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Book review – Organic Applique by Kathy Doughty

Organic Applique by Kathy Doughty, softback published by Stash Books. ISBN 978-1617458231, price 21.99 available in the UK from

The intro chapters are more Doughty’s philosophy on life than quilting per se. I am very attracted to the colourful quilts and applique shapes in this book. I am particularly drawn to the organic flowers and plants. There are useful exercises for choosing fabrics. Instructions include basting, needle turn applique, EPP and hand quilting. You’ll also find a chapter on inspiration, although the photos in this are not very inspiring and poor quality. Design tips for those who prefer to use the book purely for inspiration and projects for those who need something more concrete to follow. If you are a Doughty fan and a lover of interesting fabrics and applique, you’ll most likely love this book. Something of a pot boiler perhaps.

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New QUILTING Launches June is Bursting Out All Over

Good Quilting News

New quilting launches. It’s one of those months when I just know things are coming to fruition. June is absolutely chock full of new quilting launches. My new quilting launches include quilts, BOM, tutorials, features, workshops. What more could the quilting world want?

My FOQ quilt is well on its way, hurrah. It’s not the one I wanted to do, but hey ho, that happens sometimes as a designer when you set the bar too high. I am satisfied that it is something I can finish, it has a twist and good colour combination. That’s good enough for me. Another wall hanging quilt is planned and another in the Don River series. Yesterday I walked some more of the river. I think I have quilted more than last year.

River Don
River Don

Autumn Quilting Launch

A brand new quilting launch for me – my first BOM. This is an autumn start BOM, not a one year long haul, but something manageable for everyone. Something everyone can do. Join me now. It is going to be exciting. Fabrics are available or you can buy your own. This is not an expensive BOM, but one I hope everyone feels they can afford.

New quilting launches

There will be at least one new tutorial, maybe more. All the new launches will be on the website, click here. The July issue of British Quilting & Patchwork features my first and last quilt. How tremendous is this my first feature in a quilting magazine! More great news is that booking should now be open online at the West Country Quilt Show, where you can book one of three workshops I am teaching at this show. The workshops are repeated each day, so take your pick from quilting coasters, quilting a landscape or hand stitched Cathedral Window quilting. One workshop has already sold out. I have heard fantastic recommendations of this show, so I hope you will join me. Book here

Join me next Monday on the blog, Karen

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019