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Drunkard’s Path Classroom Tutorial Back To School Blog Hop 2019

A huge welcome to my Drunkard’s Path Classroom Tutorial for the Blog Hop hosted and arranged by Sam Hunter’s Design Studio. I am a hands-on quilt designer and pattern writer with a big interest in textiles and knitting too. I am a fully qualified and experienced teacher.

Back To School Blog Hop

Drunkard’s Path Classroom

Do you struggle with curves? Can’t work out the best way to sew them? The struggle is over with my techniques and tips for perfect Drunkard’s Path curves. This easy way makes your quilting life a whole lot simpler. At the same time it gives you the wonderful versatility associated with the many ways of putting Drunkard’s Path shapes together.

Drunkard's Path Classroom
Drunkard’s Path gives easy curves

Cutting

Cutting accurately is important. My number one tip here is to keep as close to the template as you can. Holding your marker upright and not at an angle helps. The inner half circle can be cut with a rotary cutter. The outer can too, but much more care is needed. You might slice into the template. You can also use a pin to mark the fabric enough to see a clear line for cutting with scissors.

cutting fabrics
A template gives accurate results when cutting shapes

Templates

You can cut from card, mylar or paper but for a template that will be used over and over again, a good transparent template is ideal. The ones photographed here were free with a magazine and I have used them twice, but the amount of material left above the curve after the seams are joined is negligible and I believe a deeper margin is better.

templates
Templates
Templates
I’d like more arc around my circles than this template gives

Sewing Circles

Accuracy is necessary for the semi circle and the outer to match up. In the Drunkard’s Path camp we have pinners and non pinners. One thing of note is never to stretch the fabric. Some fabrics stretch more than others, so that is something to beware of when choosing fabrics and using a non pinning method. Larger templates are easier than small ones. It just gets fiddlier.

  1. As a beginner I suggest you pin. All you need is three pins.
  2. It is the way you pin it that matters.
  3. It is also when you remove those pins that matter.
  4. Find the centre of each part.

If after making x amount, you feel like going pin free, try it.

3-pin method
My 3 pin method

When you remove the pins is also important.

  1. Secure the first stitch and remove the first pin.
  2. Work to the centre pin and remove as you approach. Never stitch over a pin.
  3. Hold that last pin there until the very last second to keep the edges together.
Drunkard's Path Classroom
Remove the pins as you stitch the curve

The Fun Part

The fun in Drunkard’s Path comes in all the different ways of putting those pieces together, so use a design wall and play. Once you have them perfect, it makes play easy. You can join them in circles, half circles, diagonals, and so on to create great patterns.

Drunkard's Path Classroom
Drunkard’s Path Pattern
Drunkard's Path Classroom
Drunkard Path Pattern

For a list of other tutorials in the Back To School Blog Hop 2019 see the list here and many thanks to Sam Hunter for organising this and giving me the opportunity to be a part of it.

Share, with your friends, sign up to our newsletter at the bottom of the home page. My quilting blog comes out every Monday. You can follow my quilting page on Facebook for daily news and Instagram for great pics.

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Creating quilts as landscape wall hanging quilts

Creating quilts as landscape can be realistic or imaginary and abstract. I like to create quilts as landscape based on places I have been to or favourite scenes such as the sea. It’s a fun way to interpret holidays or day trips but you can also use photographs, as I do in my latest ecourse for quilters to develop your quilting skills without using any special software, just a photograph and your imagination and creative skill. You can see the ecourse online here. It takes a different photograph and subject each month and shows how to interpret it in different ways with useful and practical knowledge on techniques and design. A great way to learn how to use your own photos and create satisfying quilts. You can create quilts of any size with this unique ecourse.

Countryside landscape quilts

Recently I have been interpreting the wonderful Peak District and the walks I have made in the area into quilted landscapes and quilted pictures as part of the ecourse mentioned above. I am now working on different topics to extend the subject of the quilts. Creating quilts as landscape is a fun topic and can be interpreted in so many ways. You can also use a variety of materials that you would not use in bed or lap quilts. The quilts are for sale individually and I have also made a triptych, three landscape quilts to hang together. You can purchase them online here

Creating quilts as landscape

Blog Hop

Before the landscapes I was concentrating on Drunkard’s Path techniques and the blog as part of this hop will be revealed on 20th September 2019, so stay tuned. It’s a USA blog hop, so likely to be released in the evening UK time. Day 1 is here (1st September 2019)

blog hop

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Book review – Whitework Embroidery by Ayako Otsuka

Whitework Embroidery by Ayako Otsuka, softback published by Search Press. ISBN 9781782216896, price 14.99, available from www.searchpress.com

What a beautiful book this is. 30 gorgeous whitework embroidery designs for you to make. These interesting and varied designs use traditional stitches. The detailed techniques section is accompanied by step-by-step illustrations. The instructions show different types of whitework including drawn, counted and pulled. Two sampler patterns allow you to practice your skills. This book is suitable for beginner upwards. Handmade projects make perfect gifts and keepsakes and include table linens and items such as a teacosy, cushions, accessories, gifts for babies including a heirloom christening gown, and gifts for a wedding such as a ringbearer pillow. Embroiderers will find this book a pleasure to look at and practical with good projects and clear instructions. The projects are elegant. I have one niggle, all the photos are at the front followed by tools, materials, techniques and then the instructions and the back with only line drawings. I prefer clear photos with the project instructions.

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Book Review Painting Portraits in Acrylics by Hashim Akib

Painting Portraits in Acrylics by Hashim Akib, softback published by Search Press. ISBN 9781782215813, price 14.99 available from www.searchpress.com

Like most painters, I find painting portraits challenging. I found this book very interesting because for me it has a new approach. Treating the face like blocks. Akib tells us to beware of realism. This book enables you to master the essentials and capture the atmosphere, the character. It’s worth looking at no matter what your skill, for the treatment is quite different. Plenty of examples, male, female, young, old. Follow the 6 varied step-by-step projects. Faces, features and even full length portraits are covered. I particularly like the unusual expressions pages and the way they were presented. One thing of note, I found I liked the older style and not his new way of using very thick paint, but that is just personal preference and it is good to experiment and try different styles and ways of using paint. Also close-ups are not how the paintings will appear when viewed on a wall. I cannot believe it is 7 years since his last book, what a lot he has achieved.

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New creative quilting ecourse for quilters

New creative quilting ecourse for all quilters interested in making quilts. Join this new 12 month ecourse now and enjoy a full 12 months of inspiration plus information and suggestions on how to use the inspiration.

I am so looking forward to welcoming people to this new style ecourse that will bring out and develop your creative side. The new creative quilting quilting ecourse shows you how to interpret a photo to create quilts that are unique to you. It’s more than just a photo, there is lots of information to help you along the way. It’s all about you, finding your voice and creating individual quilts that express your unique creativity.

The subjects can be used in many ways and I shall be highlighting those throughout the ecourse. It is suitable for any level of quilter as you will be adapting the inspiration to how you want it to be.

There will be a unique fb page that you can join to share work. You can spend as much or as little time on the projects as you wish. It’s a lovely way to start designing your own quilts without following what the teacher is doing and without copying.

I am a fully qualified and experienced teacher who has enjoyed bringing out the best potential in students.

creative quilting ecourse

My new quilt

I have also finished my new quilt and I am very happy with it. The pattern is now available, and the quilt is also available for sale on the link below with the kits. It was such a joy working on this quilt. I have also added new kits to the website.

Tiled quilt pattern
Tiled Quilt Pattern

Blog hop

Check out this blog hop that started last week. I am involved on 20 September 2019. Lots of great quilting blogs.

blog hop

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019. Blog hop image Sam Hunter designs.

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Quilting styles to love – embracing all kinds of quilting

I must admit it is rather odd to me that some choose sides in quilting, loving this and hating that. So I have decided this week to write in my blog about my love of quilting styles and how to embrace all that is quilting. Year in year out at the shows, the argument rages as someone somewhere comments ‘That’s not a quilt.’

Traditional Quilts

This is where it all began – the quilting style everyone understands. At first, frugally using materials to make into a quilt for warmth. I like to think of it as the prairie spirit. From this blocks and patterns were passed down and preserved for future generations. Some argue that it simply has to be traditional or it is not quilting. There are many types of quilts in this category from Baltimore or wholecloth quilts to all the traditional blocks such as wedding ring. Yet from the roots a craft can grow, and quilting has branched in many directions.

quilting styles
500 Traditional Quilts
quilting styles
Embraces traditional and modern blocks
Welsh quilting
Welsh quilting
quilting styles
Baltimore quilts

Modern Quilts

The modern movement began in the USA and has firm connections with traditional quilting. Quilting is not stuck in a time period, it is an evolving craft and I love modern quilts. Modern can show off those who have truly honed their free motion or quilting skills. It lets the quilting shine. Modern style tends to suit our more modern homes. It caters for our desire to wrap ourselves in a quilt as well as have one on the bed. They also look good on walls. What can be wrong with more quilts, used in innovative ways?

quilting modern
modern quilting
Improv quilting
Modern Improv

Contemporary Quilts

There is nothing wrong with innovation. Being a little bit (or even a lot) different is fine by me. I see an overlap with Modern quilts and sometimes it is hard to work out what fits in which category. Contemporary has taken traditional and given it a twist.

Quilting styles
Contemporary Quilts
Landscape quilts
Landscape Quilts

Art Quilts

This seems to be the biggest area of contention. People who do not understand art quilts say they are not quilts. You might not like them, but that does not mean they are not quilts. Textile quilts fall into the same brackets with the same pre-conceived ideas of what is a quilt and what is not. This encompasses a huge category from humble pictorial quilts, which are not the same as the fine art quilts that technically fall into this category, making a statement or some kind. Yet surely there is always something to love?

pictorial quilts
art quilts
quilting styles
art quilts
quilt collage
quilt collage

Life is short. Another well-known quilting argument is not about quilting styles as such but whether to hand or machine stitch. Embrace the quilts and love them all. Most quilts have merit and someone loves them. Perhaps quilters just need to embrace the whole craft instead of creating barriers.

I am almost ready to release ‘My Quilting Journey’ recording the quilts I have made. Follow me on fb

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Quilting landscapes and pictorial kits and workshops

Quilting Landscapes

Quilting landscapes is something I regularly do in between larger projects. For me, it clears my mind to create a small landscape. These involve using different fabrics that I cannot really use in bed quilts and adding bits of ribbon, wool, felt and perhaps even a button or two. Anything that makes the landscape come alive.

The landscape workshops at shows are to make a seascape, concentrating on blue fabrics and sandy coloured ones for the beach.

I am teaching landscape quilts every day at the upcoming West Country Quilt Show 29-31 August 2019 and will be sharing my methods with attendees who book the workshop either through their website or on the day. All in all there are 11 workshops at the show, all lasting one hour each. So there is something to suit everyone at different times of the day.

quilting landscapes
Quilt landscapes, cutting fabrics for workshops

Pictorial Quilts

I am also teaching my sunflower mini quilt or block. This also uses a variety of fabrics and is a fun project. Today I was block printing sunflowers for the background fabric. I have been cutting all the pieces in readiness for the workshops. Have great fun making a sunflower with me.

Block printing fabric
Block printing fabric

Kits

Kits for these projects and others can also be found on my website. The original quilts are for sale too.

Sneak peek

I know you are probably wondering what happened to my new quilt design. It has taken so long to cut the workshop fabrics, that I have not had time to work on it this week. I also had to find matching thread, which took some time, but I am now ready to finish it.

Not ready to reveal it all yet, but here is a cheeky look.

Karen Platt quilt
Karen Platt quilt

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Book Review Machine Quilting For Beginners by C.S. Vagts

Machine Quilting For Beginners by Carolyn S. Vagts, softback published by Annie’s Quilting. ISBN9781590128602, price 12.99 available in the UK from www.searchpress.com

A step by step guide to free motion quilting. Going from very basic to feathers and more challenging designs. Most quilters I meet want to learn or to improve their free motion quilting. There is one thing to learn – practice. This book helps you do just that. With clear photos and directional diagrams, it will take you through simple lines, hoops, leaves, swirls and doodles to beautiful feathers and curlicue designs. It includes basics, exercises and using guides. The basics section contains all you need to know about fabric, thread and setting up your machine. The free-motion exercises increase in difficulty, taking you from easy to expert in 20 steps. So feasibly you could go from beginner to expert in less than 3 weeks. Chances are you might need to practice a little more. The final section is about using rulers to mark your work. The work shown is not perfect and I believe that we have to let go of perfect when we free-motion. A handy guide to learning free-motion quilting.

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Book Review Quilts With An Angle Sheila Christensen

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.

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Seven Days of Design, quilts, knitwear and dry felting

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

For my knitting patterns, see Ravelry

Quilt Design

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.

seven days of design
Karen Platt Seven Days of Design Quilts

Knitwear Design

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.

Karen Platt knitting
Karen Platt fair-isle

Dry Felting

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.

Design inspiration Peak District
Design inspiration Peak District Karen Platt
Karen Platt dry felting embellisher
Karen Platt dry felting

More next week. Images, words and copyright Karen Platt 2019