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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.

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Quilting My Heart Out

Wow what a bumper week, not one but six projects finished. One textile piece (not included today) and five art quilts. Plus some hand stitching done, knitting, writing and I am embarking on some voluntary work. Breathe. Quilting my heart out indeed and how joyful that was.

Digital Art Quilting

It was such fun working on my new art quilts. I just love the design process. First up was the church one, I have done this one once before but was very hesitant about the quilting. I have had much practice since then and this one went very well.

quilting my heart out
quilting my heart out church art quilt by Karen Platt

Next up was a Shapes design (actually there is more than one but I have only printed and stitched one so far), I am so in love with the colours and the threads matched very well.

quilting my heart out
quilting my heart out Shapes by Karen Platt

Along with those two sitting forgotten about in the same drawer was big bird. What took me so long to put this under the machine? He is chirping away merrily now.

Quilt design by Karen Platt
Fine Feathered Friend Quilt by Karen Platt

Fabric Collage Quilting

Also in that drawer was a few pieces left over from one of the tea quilts. So this is the third in the series, getting a bit bolder with my machine quilting now. I would not have attempted writing Camellia sinensis this time last year. (Note to self, the other two tea quilts are not on the website).

Tea quilt by Karen Platt
Camellia sinensis quilt by Karen Platt

Last but not least is another bird, Fantastic bird, an imaginary masterpiece! I did the background last week and the bird this week. Just love him. Hope you agree and that all these new pieces quickly find homes.

fantastic bird quilt by Karen Platt
Fantastic bird quilt by Karen Platt

Tune in next Monday for another bumper selection of work and find out if I was quilting my heart out again. There is a clue in there as to next week’s projects.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Book Review – Lace Knitting by Denise Samson

Lace Knitting by Denise Samson, softback published by Search Press. ISBN 9781782218135, price 14.99 available from www.searchpress.com

Lace Knitting can be romantic yet practical. In this book you’ll discover lace knitting techniques, charts and patterns with 30 projects to make and 40 stitches offering much inspiration. The lace stitch patterns are divided into edgings and panels (12); leaves (4); diagonals (7); overall (11); reversible (3) and twisted (3) . The projects include garments, accessories and household textiles. You’ll find small projects such as hats using one stitch. I particularly like the chid’s cardigan with lace heart pockets and the lace top with scallop motifs. There are two attractive sock patterns and the bed coverlet is a heirloom pattern. My top make is the Bolero, it is beautiful. I’m not sure that many knit dresses and this book includes a fair few. The introduction includes gauge and blocking as well as charts. If you need full written instructions, this book is not for you as it relies totally on charts. Also if you are not used to working out which needle to use to give a specific tension, this is not for you as needle size is not given at all. An interesting addition for any lovers of lace knitting. This book was first published in Norwegian and has also been published in the USA.

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The Only Inspiration You Need For Creative Work

Yes, I have read a blog ‘headlines that get clicked’ post! So click me now. The basis of any creative work is inspiration. It’s the one thing everyone wants to know about. Where does it come from and how do you get from that initial spark to the end product?

It’s Almost Magic

Yes, there is definitely something magical about it. As artists we see things differently. We see shapes instead of objects and so on. Sometimes even for creatives, getting to that end project can be difficult. That’s why we have unfinished work. The reasons are many – it did not work out as it did inside my head, I got waylaid, interrupted, lost my flow, could not find the product I needed. Much of my work these days is digitally manipulated using multiple photos for effect and therefore very personal in its source.

the only inspiration you need
digital manipulation of two of my own images

The Beginning Is the Same or Similar

Something always catches my eye. It can be something very ordinary or unusual. It does not matter. I do not spend my time thinking ‘must find something today’. I look until I see and a little spark is set alight. This might happen several times a month, week or even day. Often in the middle of the night, curse it. However, I am extremely grateful that there is a constant source, like a tap of water.

New Work

I have two stunning and rather different inspiration ebooks for you this week. They will get your creative juices going, so do click and make that purchase.

Domes are exquisite architectural features along with cupolas, turrets and towers. I have included 580 images plus twenty of my work created with these images. The ebook, a pdf sent to your email, can be found here

The only inspiration you need

I also finished my Madeira ebook this week, which consists of two halves – a travel diary of where I went and the gardens visited with over 800 photos plus a directory of plants growing on the island. It is the second inspiration travel ebook and is available as a pdf here

The only inspiration you need

Join me next Monday to find more inspiration and what I am working on, until then

Words, work and copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Crewel Twists by Hazel Blomkamp

Crewel Twists by Hazel Blomkamp, softback published by Search Press. ISBN 9781782217770, price 14.99 available from www.searchpress.com

Crewel twists

Jacobean embroidery designs with a twist. Fresh projects are the core of this interesting embroidery design book. Interesting stitch and beads contribute to these fascinating modern designs. Creative freeform crewel embroidery to entice anyone who loves stitch. Contents include: Introduction, Materials, Stitch Gallery and Beading Techniques, Thread conversion chart, template designs, needle-made lace and creative traditional work. Clear technique and stitch images accompany the stitch gallery. Each stitch project shows the materials needed including fabrics, needles, threads and beads. The designs look quite complicated but since instructions are given for all component parts, you could, for example, just work one flower. Beautiful designs from an accomplished embroiderer.

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Old Textile Work and New

Old textile work was found in my drawer last week. I had discovered a few unfinished projects. This week I had planned new art quilts I had mentioned in last week’s blog. However, having been ill all week, I could not manage much at all.

Friday saw me scramble to get something done and I started my second project with the pink and green fabric. However it is feeling a bit like the other project and I want it to be different. I have an idea for it now.

art quilt
New project
art quilt
new project

Old Textile Work

First though I went back to the old textile work. In my drawer was a four year old project (does not feel that long ago). Based on a photo in Tunisia, and a subsequent drawing as well as an altered image idea. I had gathered all my fabrics only to shove it all in a drawer owing to the death of a loved one. Yesterday I managed to finish it. Not strictly a quilt as it has no wadding, this stitched picture is now complete. I think my object here was to use as many fabrics as I could and this packs in at least eight. Is that a record for a tiny piece?

old textile work
My altered image
old textile work
old textile work finished at last

No sooner have you finished one, that another old textile work beckons. This is one I lost confidence with. It was my very first piece of free motion stitching on a painting. So wobbly, but I think I can pull it together now.

old textile work
old textile work

Looking Ahead

There are still lots of art quilts to get down into fabric and stitch. I am also about to launch my next Inspiration ebook – Domes, Towers and Turrets. It’s been very exciting to work on this one and it is the last of the themes for the moment. There are 14 of them and 3 art/travel ones. Next up in February or March will be the original themes I started doing before I got waylaid. These are not just photos but textile work. More about that next time. Visit the website to see all my work.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Small Art Quilts Work For Sale

With my small art quilts I am moving on this week to new ways of creating art quilts. I am working with scraps, paint and digitally. However before I show you those, I want to show what I finished last week. No less than five small art quilts. I did not make any changes to the Seagull quilt but he is now on the website for sale as are all the quilts, just click the links. However, the Kingfisher quilt has a few new tail feathers. I also made a change to the Bird Quilt, he now has an eye and the gold pieces are couched onto the black. The skeleton leaf was causing problems but is now fixed. How? See the ecourse for modern quilts to learn this and many more techniques.

Seagull quilt
Seagull Quilt by Karen Platt
small art quilt
Kingfisher by Karen Platt 2020
small art quilt
Bird Quilt by Karen Platt

There Are Always More Fish In The Sea

Three fish to be exact. This was a small art quilt that I thought was finished, but I had a little niggle, the left hand side looked empty. I tried a buoy, but making it look as if it was submerged was difficult and I abandoned that idea. Then looking for something else, I came across a piece of silk rod that was perfect. Then to finish it off, in the same bag was a plied yarn. I am really happy with this now.

small art quilt
Fish quilt by Karen Platt

Rusty Scissors

This is the largest of these small art quilts. Inspired by the River Don and the cutlery industry in Sheffield, this quilt was made with my handmade rusted fabrics. It is a subtle palette and good viewed up close. It has the most quilting I have done to date. N.B. Yes I know stainless steel does not rust. You can see the quilt here

River Don quilt series
Rusty Scissors by Karen Platt

What’s New?

I am working on more ideas and hope to finish three pieces this week. There is a small scrap picture quilt. I have started the sky, not thought about the rest of it yet. I have ideas for four larger pieces, one based on my mother, the others city scapes. More about that next time.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Art Quilts Birds Added This Week

Art Quilts Birds added in my second week in January is three art quilts birds finished and two more I shall finish tomorrow. It’s looking good. These make superb wall quilts or wall decor.

New Art Quilts

It’s always lovely to start new projects, but it’s even lovelier to finish them and that’s the goal for this year. All these art quilts form part of my new forthcoming ecourse and you can join me online. I am teaching all aspects of art quilts of every kind. It’s good for beginners up as the quilts start off easy and build your skills as you go. You’ll learn many different techniques.

Kingfisher Art Quilt

I have also started off small. I believe this is a great idea for beginners because small quilts are easier to handle. I have painted kingfishers in the past, so I had a reference of my own to work from for this quilt. He was fun to do and also fits into my River Don series. This is also a good design for using large scraps. This one is already up on the website for sale.

art quilts birds
art quilts Kingfisher

Seagull Art Quilt

My seagull was inspired by my own photos taken in Bridlington in 2015. I am not the most confident at drawing, but I did a whole sheet of seagull drawings before choosing three to make in fabric. The background to this one is a leftover from another art quilt.

art quilts
from drawing to fabric Karen Platt 2020
art quilts birds
the finished art quilts Seagulls

Bird Art Quilt

My bird came from a bought fabric that I could not resist. I put the finishing touches to this one this week. I am pleased with the outcome of all three. They use similar methods. Next week, I’ll be using a different way to make art quilts. So see you then, take care and happy quilting.

art quilts birds
art quilts birds

It was such a busy week, I also launched a new ebook. Reflections is also now available on the website. It features over 470 images and examples of my work too.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Back To Quilting Art Quilts

It’s back to quilting after the break. It’s not quite a week since I finished doing every day of the 31 day blog challenge. I have had a very short rest and then started new work.

back to quilting
Bird 1 almost finished

Quilting

Back to quilting and I stitched two backgrounds and put them to one side. This morning I started another and I am determined to finish all three.

They go with the last one I made (see pic above), which still needs a couple of small things doing to it. I also found a fifth in the drawer, a piece that was cut off a longer quilt, which I now know how to use. So begins my year of art quilts, the main focus of this year along with colour. Check out the website for quilts

back to quilting
This piece developed nicely, it will be fishy
back to quilting
I am also liking this piece and have started stitching it

Inspiration

I have always said that inspiration can come from anywhere. I was having a sleepless night and I began to read a book of poetry. Right there, I found words that resonated and started off ideas for not one but three quilts. I don’t think I have quite the right fabrics for those yet, but nonetheless, it started off another train of thought about birds. So I looked through my sketches and found a kingfisher I had sketched some years ago and he has been the start of a new quilt.

Kingfisher
Kingfisher copyright Karen Platt 2017
kingfisher art quilt
I changed the background and he is ready to stitch

In turn this connects to my river series because the kingfishers are sometimes seen on the River Don.

“To everything, turn, turn, turn

There is a season turn, turn, turn 
And a time to every purpose 
Under heaven” Pete Seeger

Other Work

I am well into a series of art that might just become quilts. My knitting is doing well too. Launch of the Peak District Knitting Pattern Collection looks like February 2020. Next week will see the launch of my latest insiration Book 13, Reflections. All in all a very exciting beginning to 2020.

art print
art print

Words (except the quote), images and work copyright Karen Platt 2020