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Stay At Home Quilting and Textiles

Stay at home quilting and textiles from a quilter and textile artist who works from home offering ways to keep creative and an insight into her creativity with tips and themes.

Quilting

It’s a great opportunity to start a new project or to finish that pile of UFOs or diminish your stash or scraps. I am working on my scrap quilt. Piecing the back in a different way to the front, you can see the first two blocks of the back positioned over the front blocks in the top right corner. I also found some fabric in my stash that will make the sashing.

stay at home quilting

Stay At Home Textiles

Quilting comes into textiles anyway, but my textile work tends to also differ from my quilting work at the moment. I had set a fruit and vegetables theme for the Stay At Home and Create group on fb. I chose to work with pears and create a fabric book. That is now underway and I also added to the paper prototype. This week on the paper prototype I used charcoal, watercolour and clingfilm, words and I did my cutout too.

paper concertina book

The fabric book is a way to explore different fabrics and stitch. So far I have used my hand dyed fabric as a background, and pears made from my hand dyed felt and velvet. I have explored different stitches and threads.

stay at home fabric book

To say I have been so ill I have achieved quite a lot. I finished my hand knitted cardigan too. Not to mention the latest in my Travel Inspiration ebooks – Athens – has all the photos and text done and is just waiting for me to put the artworks I created from my trip into the ebook. All the travel inspiration ebooks can be found here. Escape whist sitting in your armchair. Here’s to another creative week.

stay at home fabric book

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Lockdown Creativity – Drawing, Quilting and more

Lockdown creativity is about staying positive. Last week I started a new group on facebook called Stay At Home And Create, so if you want to join me, you’ll find it here. Over 50 members have already joined. Reduce stress, take your mind off the news and make something. Do it alone or with family and share on the fb page.

lockdown creativity
figs on the worktop

We are moving into drawing and painting fruit for Week 2. Here’s some ideas I have been working with. I am exploring ideas at this stage with a view to producing quilts, or a textile fabric book.

lockdown creativity
pears from my original painting
lockdown creativity
ideas developed in software
pear watercolour painting
another in the pear series

Work

Lockdown creativity for me has been limited as I developed shingles mid week. It could keep my creativity limited for some time. Financially it’s difficult for so many of us and I am one that relies on sales from my website and would appreciate any support people can offer at this time, particularly the online ecourses or ebooks so that I do not have to go out to post. Please take a look.

There is just one more block to go on my scrap quilt. Qaygo might be easier for me to quilt this. I might prefer to quilt in one go, but it definitely needs binding and sashing, which at the moment I do not have.

scrap quilting
scrap quilting

New ebook Travel Inspiration Corfu

I have finished ebook Five in the Inspiration travel series. It is a pictorial guide book to Corfu, where I enjoyed a fabulous holiday in 2017. The ebook has 250 photos including some art I created. It is available here

Inspiration travel ebook five Corfu

Join me next week for more textiles and quilting and more

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Book Review Stitch, Fabric & Thread by Elizabeth Healey

Stitch, Fabric & Thread by Elizabeth Healey, softback published by Search Press. ISBN 9781782212850, price 14.99 available from www.searchpress.com

A veritable feast of stitchery. This books presents more than 40 inspiring exercises to free your creative mind. Different techniques are explored including quilting, printing, dyeing, couching, needlelace and more inspired by cultures around the world. Includes a stitch gallery and templates. Features on boro, Gee’s Bend quilters and Dorset buttons. Small projects throughout to try out your new skills. Love the embroidered circles of felt and the raised stitch and pleats and folds sections, the rag book and mola. Crammed full of ideas.

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Fair-Isle Knitting by Monica Russel

Fair-Isle Knitting by Monica Russel, softback published by Search Press. ISBN 9781782215806, price 14.99 available from www.searchpress.com

This book offers three separate things – instructions on techniques; 45 stitch designs and 14 knitting patterns under the umbrella Fair-Isle. You can choose to knit from charts or written instructions. It’s a very loose look at fair-isle, that people often mistake as just colour knitting. It borders on folk and intarsia instead of true fair-isle. The patterns use a variety of yarn including Jamesons shetland, which comes in a fabulous range of colours, but this author sadly has no colour sense at all. Some of the samples have had the yarn stretched tight at the back too, a rookie error with fair-isle. The projects, assuming you think about the colours, are better than the sample stitch patterns but still too many are just coloured knitting methods and not fair-isle. A big disappointment if you are expecting what the title says. There is so little in this book about real fair-isle knitting.

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Teaching Online Time To Create At Home

Teaching online is what I have been doing for over three years. Following on from last week’s post Stay At Home Quilter, here’s more tips and ideas.

Teaching online ecourses
Creative quilting ecourse

Teaching Online

It’s over three years since I started teaching online. On the website are a number of ecourses for textiles and quilting, inspirational ebooks for all artists and tutorials so that people can learn wherever they live. All my work is exclusive and is written from scratch from my personal hands-on experience and to my knowledge is unlike any other course. Everyone who has taken an ecourse so far has recommended it.

inspirational ebooks
one of my inspirational ebooks

Gardening ebooks are also available exclusively on the website under ebooks.

gardening ebooks
one of my gardening ebooks

I have been a languages teacher for over 40 years. Online French and Spanish lessons (beginners any age and adult conversation) are now available alongside online primary Maths and English. If you fear your children might fall behind and need some lessons, you can contact me, or find me on firsttutors.com (very reasonably priced as they take no commission) and from next week on tutorful. I am a fully qualified and experienced teacher.

Teaching online is so important to me as I am unable to go out to work and this is a lifeline to me.

Facebook Videos

I have created three facebook videos so far on my timeline. These are free to watch. They do not contain the same level of teaching as the paid ecourses but they are a way of tapping into ideas for free. They are all about creating from home. Time to Create at home is all about occupying the mind with positive thoughts and there is no better way to do that than to create. I talked about drawing and choosing something close to hand. There were tips for drawing and I showed some simple samples that anyone can do.

It’s not a structured course, just ideas to keep the mind occupied that anyone can do and develop on their own. If enough people are interested I will create a group where work can be shared. Join in as I don’t want to stop owing to lack of interest.

teaching online
sample drawing not looking at paper
teaching online
developing the drawing into an idea for textiles

You can find out more on my fb page

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Stay At Home Quilter Working From Home

It’s not a new thing for me, I have been a stay at home quilter for many years and textile artist before that. I have been practising real social distancing, 2-3 metre between me and the next individual and I am holed up over 98% of the time indoors.

stay at home quilter
fabrics to use in my self isolation

Occupying My Time

As a workaholic, working from home has always suited me. I am however struck by and alarmed by the misconception of social distancing. It is time to stay at home people, whether your government recommends it or not.

I start my day with an exercise programme. I keep moving through the day – this is important. There is no iron next to my sewing machine, I have to get up and move. There is no kettle, I have to go to the kitchen.

Fresh air is important so I choose a quiet time of the day for a walk ensuring I keep my distance. Stay safe.

I am staying in contact with people on social media so I do not feel isolated. I am not panicked nor fearful, I believe strongly in stopping the spread of the virus. Follow me on Fb, Instagram where I can be found as KarenPlatt_Textiles and Twitter

What did I Make This Week?

I have a new launch. I have released my inspirational guide to Lisbon and created new artwork for it, one of which is used as the front cover. That’s the fourth in the travel inspiration ebooks.

travel inspiration Lisbon
travel inspiration Lisbon

I have also been improv quilting, creating blocks. I am happy with these although they seem to take about 45 mins each, which seems a long time. It’s a great way of using up fabric scraps and scrap quilting.

stay at home quilter
stay at home quilter

Talking of scraps, I also gathered some tiny bits of fabric and created a fabric and thread bowl.

stay at home quilter
stay at home quilter

Lessons Online

Apart from my quilting ecourses online, allowing you to be a stay at home quilter too, I am now also teaching French and Spanish online. I am a fully qualified and experienced languages teacher teaching children and adults. You can find me on this website

stay at home quilter
stay at home quilter

Words work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Quilt Those Scraps Quilting

Quilt those scraps! When inspiration evades you, or you have too many scraps, just sit down and quilt. It doesn’t really matter if you make a project or not, just make a start.

It has been a very rough week for me, getting my foot and leg to behave (tendonitis) and coping with digestive problems that knocked me out. It was not until Saturday that I felt well enough to sit in front of the sewing machine and stand long enough to cut fabric.

quilt those scraps
scrap fabrics

Scrap Quilting

Quilt those scraps. There must be a hundred ways to do it. You can gather together fabrics by colour, pattern, size. You can put together a colour scheme, or throw in the kitchen sink. The most important thing is to make a start and get going.

Quilting scraps serves two purposes. It can get you over the doldrums and it can reduce your scrap stash. Have you noticed how that multiplies?

Check out my scrap quilt tutorial, it was made with scraps from just one fabric. If you love that original quilt, it is for sale, but hurry as there is only one here

quilting tutorial
tutorial

Wonky Line Scrap Quilting

Making wonky lines is fun. It’s a fairly quick way to use up scraps. Just find scraps of the same or similar length and stitch together, cutting some strips at an angle. I think these always look better with a limited colour scheme, but hey it’s scraps, so anything goes.

quilt those scraps
scrap quilting

Wonky Log Cabin

An old take on the even older traditional log cabin block. Instead of all pieces being equal width, you cut some wonky ones. It’s a bit more challenging than the Wonky Line method. Again it is quick and uses up a bundle of scraps in no time. Each block you make can be different, so you don’t need too much of the same material. Just have fun and experiment.

log cabin with scrap fabric

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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New ebooks Quilting and Travel ebooks

New ebooks, two new ebooks have launched today in addition to my long list of ebooks already on the website. I had been writing my new quilting ebook for some months, dipping in and out, adding more quilts. This wonderful new ebook includes all the quilts I have made from 2015 when I made tentative steps in quilting, to 2019 as a fully fledged quilt designer.

However it is not just a pictorial book of my quilts, it is much more than that. It is a book to help quilters design their own quilts. It has over 130 images of inspiration, notes and guidelines on design and the finished quilt plus a critique of each quilt. Each of these areas are important if you are to become a successful quilt designer. It shows quilts of many kinds and how to design them.

So I hope that you will join me in my new project, the quilting ebook can be purchased here

quilting journey

It’s a great achievement to finish one new ebook, but I actually finished two! The second new ebook is my book of my journey to Marseille. It’s a step by step guide to where I went, what I saw, and how I felt about it all. Follow me and discover Marseille, not just the city but the coast and museums. This new ebook contains over 300 photos. So even if you are not planning a trip, but enjoy armchair travel, you can sit back and enjoy the photos. I spent a week in France’s second city and discovered all it has to offer. I now want to share this with you. This ebook can be purchased here

travel inspiration Marseille

Next week I hope to show you some quilting, if I can stand on my leg to cut and sew, but that’s another story. If not, it’s knitting and writing, I might just finish the Improve Your Quilting ecourse x

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Knitting Patterns The Peak District Collection

Knitting Patterns a new collection of patterns inspired by the Peak District and available exclusively on the website.

knitting patterns
The cover of my new knitting pattern booklet

Knitting Patterns

This collection of knitting patterns was inspired by the colours and textures of the Peak District. 10 knitting patterns are included in ebook pdf format only from the website, click the link to see all 10 patterns. I have really enjoyed designing and making up my patterns for you to enjoy too. The patterns include shawls, a stole, hats, mitts and scarves plus a cardigan and bolero. They are all patterns for women. I have concentrated on wraps because the weather often suddenly changes in the Peak and it is good to wear layers or have a stole, hat and gloves with you.

knitting patterns
scarf and matching hat
knitting patterns
part of one of the shawl patterns

The range of patterns was inspired by the Peak District from a walk along Stanage Edge one day last year. The yarns used made me think of the Peak in all its glory, no matter what the season.

stole knitting patterns
It’s always good to have a wrap with you in the Peak, this stole is a real winner

A variety of stitches is used in the projects and there is something for beginners and intermediate knitters too.

The second collection of exclusive designer knitwear is already underway, inspired by Cornwall. I have four books planned with all the knitting already done.

Textiles

A number of textile pieces were also finished this week. The hearts were one of the first things I made. I have some felted ones I am thinking of using in a project.

hearts
You’ve gotta have heart, miles and miles …

This green piece is all about texture and is based on lichen. This is part of a series. It was loved on Instagram.

textile art
My textile inspired by lichen

This circles piece is part of my work inspired by The Sahara. Most of the work in this series is already online and shown in the Sahara inspiration ebook.

textile art
Sahara inspired textile

My mother textile piece did not get worked on at all, I am still pondering. I think it is taking on a new direction.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Book Review How To Make Cloth Dolls by Jan Horrox

How To Make Cloth Dolls by Jan Horrox, softback published by Search Press. ISBN 9871782217862, price 14.99 available from www.searchpress.com

Thorough step by step instructions to make six colourful character dolls including Titania and Morwenna, a fairy, nymph, mermaid and steampunk doll with some alternatives too. You’ll find detailed instructions to make each doll plus equally detailed instructions on basic techniques and advice on fabrics and tools. Use a wide range of fabrics to make beautiful dolls. Fabulous close ups of the dolls and techniques used to sculpt the face and body. Some of the dolls are jointed. The doll pattern pieces are full size.

If you do not own the previously published books, this is a great book on doll making. A stunning book with great photos and instructions. Take your doll making into an art form with Jan’s methods. She has deservedly earned a reputation amongst doll makers.