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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

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Day 31 quilting of 31 day blog challenge

Day 31 quilting – All good things come to an end and this is the final day of the 31 day blog challenge. However, it is not the end, but a beginning. The beginning of 2020, the beginning of new work, so tune in to the blog every Monday.

Looking Forwards

Day 31 quilting is a time to try and shape the future, how I want it to be. In 2016 I decided to make a living from teaching quilting, I know I made the right decision as a trained and qualified teacher with an eye for design, I am doing what makes me happy. Some of the quilts I made last year.

day 31 quilting
Karen Platt Original Quilts

The Unfinished

That first quilt is still there. It must be unpicked and finished. Good news is I found enough calico to finish the hand quilting one, so that will be launched shortly and the quilt along will happen. I also have a BOM planned, finally!

day 31 quilting
Quilt along

There is an Inspiration Travel ebook on Madeira that is also almost finished but was abandoned for three years. I also have one planned on Portugal. I have one other Inspiration ebook planned on Reflections.

Apart from those, in 2015 I planned a whole series of Inspiration books based on artwork inspired by historical themes. I hope to get round to publishing some of those in 2020.

Inspiration Travel Madeira
Inspiration Travel Book Two Madeira Gardens

Quilting Plans

I am concentrating on art quilts and colour this year. I hope to be teaching more, but I find venues in the UK reluctant to pay travel and there is nowhere locally to teach. I have made efforts to make this work.

day 31 quilting
quilt design Karen Platt

The quilt retreat should go ahead in June, which I am looking forward to. Join me for a great week of quilting and inspiration that will last a lot longer.

I have one unfinished ecourses for quilters almost ready to launch – Improve Your Quilting in 12 Easy Steps. I also have an Inspiration ebook on My Quilting Journey, so those will be coming next month.

day 31 quilting
ecourse by Karen Platt

Knitting

Also launching early in 2020 will be the Peak Collection of Knitting Patterns. I am also well on the way with other knitting pattern collections.

Discount

Day 31 quilting, the 20% off everything on the website is still running until midnight tonight. Happy New Year everyone.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Day 30 quilting of 31 day blog challenge

Day 30 quilting is a retrospective of the past six months’ work. It has been a very busy time for me. Perhaps my busiest for many years. I produced no less than 13 new quilts, 4 of those also as quilting patterns, 7 new inspiration ebooks and 3 new ecourses plus a quilting retreat. What a whopper! I have not included my knitting or art, I thought there was enough here already. Join me for a look in more detail.

Quilts

Day 30 quilting, here is a look at the 13 quilts, consisting of lap quilts, wall quilts, wall hangings and 4 quilt patterns. What an achievement. I had no idea I had made that many. Smaller projects do help the output. The ones with a dot are also patterns. They can all be seen online here

Dreamweaver quilt
Lonely Rivers Flow

  • Floral Tiles
  • Modern Scrap
  • Drunkard’s Path
    Eagle and Fish
    Indian Wedding Quilts (2)
    Art Landscape Quilts (3)
    Purple Landscape Quilt
    Quilted Sea Wall Hanging
  • Blue River as a pattern only
Day 30 quilting
Blue River Quilt Pattern
Day 30 quilting
Can’t Find My Way Home Quilt and Pattern
day 30 quilting
Modern Scrap Quilt and pattern
Day 30 quilting
Dreamweaver Quilt
Day 30 quilting
Tiled Quilt and pattern
Quilts to buy
Eagle and Fish Quilt
quilts for sale
Lonely Rivers Flow Quilt
Indian Wedding quilts
Indian Wedding Quilts
Art Quilt Triptych
Art Quilt Triptych
Quilted Sea wall hanging
Quilted Sea Wall Hanging
Day 30 quilting wall hanging
Quilted lavender wall hanging

Quilt Retreat

I launched my first quilt retreat, for June 2020 and there are still two places left, so please come and join me. There is a programme of activity or you can do your own thing. Just 3 miles from Whitby, we’ll be interpreting and enjoying the local are in high standard accommodation at an affordable price. What are you waiting for?

day 30 quilting Quilt Retreat Yorkshire
Quilt Retreat Yorkshire

eCourses

I also launched no less than three new ecourses. Two on quilting and one on contemporary stitch. This is what I love best, teaching. Sharing my skills. The ecourses can be seen here

day 30 quilting ecourse
Creative Quilting ecourse
Creative Stitch ecourse
Creative stitch ecourse
Day 30 quilting ecourse
Modern Quilting ecourse

Inspiration ebooks

I love making these and sharing all my inspirational photos and artwork or textiles with you. There were seven new ones in the past six months, you can see them all here

inspiration ebook seven clocks
Inspiration ebook seven Clocks
Inspiration ebook eight flaking paint
Inspiration ebook eight flaking paint
Inspiration ebook nine Trees
Inspiration ebook Nine Trees
inspiration ebook ten grids
Inspiration ebook ten grids
inspiration ebook eleven circles
Inspiration ebook eleven circles
Inspiration ebook twelve repetition
Inspiration travel Sahara
Inspiration Travel Sahara

Final Discount

Day 30 quilting, let’s send the old year off with a bang. Take 20% off everything on the website until end of 31st December 2019. Your help is very much appreciated because I am an independent and unfortunately, almost starving artist. Love to all who have supported me. Thank you for being there and thank you for joining me on this journey. Tune in tomorrow for what is coming up in the next six months.

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Day 29 quilting of 31 day blog challenge

Day 29 quilting is effectively the last day as tomorrow and New Year’s Eve the posts will be looking back at the past six months’ work (that will be a big retrospective) and then looking forward to the next six months (lots to tell). So it is my last chance to show the quilts I have been working on.

New Art Quilts

Going through the stash I found a landscape quilt I had finished a while ago that had not been put up on the website. So that is quilt one today. A slight departure from my usual style for landscapes.

day 29 quilting
New Karen Platt landscape quilt

Day 29 quilting also brings you my latest art quilt. I just need to back and bind it. I was in two minds as to leaving it and selling it for someone else to back and bind or use in a quilt, but I am not sure if that would appeal to buyers at all. You can perhaps see the changes I made since yesterday. Changes for the better I think. This could spark a series or larger art quilt. I really love this one.

day 29 quilting
New Karen Platt art quilt

Painting

Yes I get to day 29 quilting before speaking of my art. It all used to be on the website, but we thought it confused the message. It was on an art website for a while. I do love to paint and create art digitally, so I just need to find a home for it and get selling. I started this piece some months ago and am just getting round to finishing it. I also did an abstract watercolour but I am still playing with that.

acrylic painting
All set up to paint
watercolour painting
watercolour abstract in progress

Discount

Take 20 per cent off any quilt, art or otherwise on the website. Just email from the contact form and I’ll arrange the discount. Pop back tomorrow for a look back at the past six months’ work. Thanks for staying around.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019