Cable Knits From Nordic Lands by Ivar Asplund, softback published by Search Press. ISBN 9781782218142, price 14.99 available from www.searchpress.com
This book presents with a pleasant cover. It is subtitled ‘Beauty and Ingenuity In Over 20 Unique Patterns’. Without doubt there are some wonderful stitch patterns and anyone who enjoys aran-style, textured knits will find this book of interest. However, it has one big let-down for experienced knitters – the shaping of the garments leaves a lot to be desired. Mainly straight with straight sleeves, these garments tend to be bulky under the arms. A little know-how will mean you can change the shaping and this book is best bought as a small stitch guide. Step by step instructions, charts and stitch sampler.
Day 3 Quilting already (actually feels like day 30 :)) this is quite intense blogging. Writers love writing. Quilters love to quilt, so today I am going to start with a question
What Do You Love Most About Quilting?
I have already answered that in Day 1 and Day 2, for me it is the design. I know for many quilters it is actually sewing, which I sometimes like and sometimes hate depending on how smoothly it is going. I like straight stitches, honestly, and I love hand stitch. I must do more free-motion quilting because that is where the fun really starts. It took me a while to try it and I need lots of practice.
Day 3 Quilting let’s talk about quilting machines. They are just sewing machines that make life a little easier when quilting. I started on a very basic Singer Confidence, which I loved. It lasted 7 years until the computer bit went haywire. I donated it to a charity that mends and sends machines to Africa. I upgraded to something a little better. My main objective was a wider throat to take a full-size quilt. But, you’ll never guess, so far after 18 months, I have yet to make another full-size quilt. I am very much a wall hanging and lap quilt lady. The other thing is the ability to free-motion, which is a feature of many machines now.
Hello Quilters, here I am with day 2 of 31 day blog challenge for all you quilters out there.
More About Me
I started quilting seriously just 3 years ago. I am a fully qualified teacher and I now teach quilting. I also teach hand knitting and textiles. I am a bit of a computer whizz and love digital design. I love all styles of quilting from traditional through to modern. This is my fantastic job – designing and making quilts. I love it.
When I finally started quilting, I decided I had to design. I had looked at almost every book on how to quilt and it just was not happening for me. I did not get quilting at all. So I basically started teaching myself. I just sat down one day with some of my stash of fabrics and decided this is the day I quilt. I was already a designer, so the design aspect never bothered me. It was all that cut 10 of this, stitch it together, cut it up again malarkey that had me confused. I still love the design aspect the best. It really is a thrill for me. I start all my quilts from scratch. I do not use quilting design software.
Discount Day 2
Since we have been talking about design, I would love you to take one of my exciting quilting or textile design ecourses. The Christmas Countdown is in full swing now. The advent calendar discount today is 20% off all ecourses over 100 pounds, this includes all the longer ecourses : Creative Quilting, First Steps Patchwork and Quilting, Colour Confidence, Design in Quilting and Patchwork, Photoshop For Textiles. Each unique ecourse is written by me from my own experience and study. You will not find this content elsewhere. See all the ecourses by clicking through to the website
Come back tomorrow for more on quilting and another Advent Calendar discount.
Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019.
31 Day Blog challenge as set by a fellow quilter. On that website you can see all the other quilters who are taking part in this blog challenge. Welcome to Day 1 of the quilters’ blog challenge.
What I Hope To Do
I’ll be using the 31 Day Blog Challenge to give tips, techniques, wip, ufos and all things quilting so pop along every day to make sure you do not miss anything. At the same time I have an ‘advent calendar’ of discounts on items from my quilting website. Each discount will last one day only, the discounts vary from day to day. Some items are unique and one only, others are available to more than one purchaser. So keep tuned as we go through the next 31 days. I am currently working on 3 new quilts.
A little introduction for people who do not know me. I am a hands on quilter and teacher in the UK. I design all my quilts from scratch. I tend towards the more modern side of quilting, but enjoy all styles and techniques. I write my own patterns. I teach online, so it does not matter where you live. Quilts can also be purchased. You can see all my work so far on this page of my website.
Today’s Special Discount
Every day there will be a different discount. The discount runs until the launch of the next blog post on the following day, so make sure you place your order without delay. Day 1 on the 31 Day Quilters’ Blog Challenge is 15% off a one and only unique quilt. The for sale price has been put on the website. The higher price was marked from when the item was listed to 30 November 2019, it will revert back to the full price on 2nd December when discount 2 is launched.
It really has been a bumper week with new work and it would have been even more splendid had not the dreaded carpal tunnel syndrome not visited. I am no stranger to this, but have kept it at bay for years. This week I overstepped the mark with new work quilting, knitting and on the computer (the worst for my wrist and hand). It is the scourge of all crafters, so a few tips if you are a sufferer. It is of prime importance to rest. Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. Exercise might help, they take time, clench a fist and release, splaying the fingers. Buy a wrist support. Do not try to keep on doing what you are doing. Rest, rest, rest.
Quilt a doodle do
I am loving my new work in the quilting arena. Just putting wonderful colours together. A colourful scrap quilt, something new out of next to nothing. It’s looking good and I am pleased. A quick and easy quilt to make. It was a bit like doodling with fabric.
Oh yes, I have fingerless mitts and flip tops. Can life get any more exciting? Love these. The pattern is going in the Peak Collection Knitting Pattern booklet – it’s nearly there. This will launch on my Ravelry Store.
Two ebooks almost finished. Inspiration Book 11 Pattern Circles with almost 300 images and Inspiration Book 12 Pattern Repetition with over 500 images. Now you know why I have the carpal tunnel syndrome 🙂 I promise I will get book 10 finished too, it got left behind. See all the inspiration books and more here
Starting next Sunday, 1st December 2019 I shall be taking part in a 31 day blog writing challenge organised by Muppin. Lots of quilt bloggers are taking part, so come and read all about lovely quilts and quilting. I’ve got some special offers too throughout December, so don’t miss the daily posts. There’ll be lots of inspiration taking you through to 2020.
From Quilt Design to Completion, this morning I finished designing the scrap quilt. Boy that feels good. It took a few twists and turns along the way but it is finished and I love it. Finishing a quilt design always brings euphoria! Or should that be sewphoria!
Progressing the Design
Last time I left you with the rectangles made and pondering where to go from there. It seems a lifetime has passed by. Many quilt ideas came and bit the dust since 31 October 2019. I spent a lot of time pinning things to the design wall and taking them down and re-pinning. From Quilt Design to Completion has been quite a journey. I kept an open mind throughout.
All design brings challenges and it is how we deal with those challenges that make or break the design. The particular challenge here was that I was dealing with different lengths and different widths of rectangle. Somehow I had to make it coherent. There were a few crazy ideas along the way.
Bringing It All Together
Eventually something always clicks. It might come immediately, or it might take weeks, but it always happens. Patience is a virtue. Once it falls into place, it is like a dream. Every scrap of that Eagle fabric was used. Each decision you make along the process affects the final design. I had to add more length and width and opted for bands of colour. I also chose a matching fabric in colour and theme for the main player.
The Finished Lap Quilt
Finally everything fell into place and the quilt was easy to finish. This unique quilt is on sale here, ready for one lucky buyer. The full instructions to make a quilt like this will be on sale in the quilts and patterns section of the website, so please take a look. You can also take the Design and Quilting ecourse to learn how to design your own quilts. Last of all check out the past blogs on this quilt and don’t forget to read the blog every Monday. Thanks for stopping by.
New Products In Store Quilts and ebooks including two new quilted wall hangings and two new Inspiration ebooks. If you are looking for Part 3 of the Scrap Quilt, give me another week and it will be finished. This week was all about getting some new products in store. I also completed two more knitting patterns for the Peak District Knitting Book I am writing. So it was a very productive week after what has seemed like being in the wilderness.
I know quilters who seem to make a quilt a day and I am much much slower, which worries me sometimes but maybe it is just tortoise and hare stuff. I started the ‘Indian Wedding’ quilts on 25 September 2019. They would both have been finished one month later, but I had no binding for the second one. Now completed, here they are in all their loveliness and they are for sale here. More photos on the listing.
New Inspiration ebooks
New products in store also includes lots of new ebooks. At just 7.99, these are superb value. Each ebook in the series features hundreds of photos you can use to inspire your own work, often with examples of my work too. They are downloadable pfds. The new titles are Flaking Paint and Trees. Existing titles include Skies, Rust, Lichen, Bark, Coast. I am working on three forthcoming titles concerning pattern. You can see all the ebooks here
I am doing very well putting the Peak District Knitting Pattern book together. So far I have a hat, scarf, shawl, stole. Next up is a pair of socks. This knitting pattern book will be sold on Ravelry, where I already have a few patterns (nowhere near all my patterns!)
Did I say I would finish that Scrap Quilt for next week???
Blended Embroidery by Brian Haggard, softback published by C&T Publishing. ISBN 9781617458095, price 23.99 gbp. Available in the UK from www.searchpress.com
Always great to see a new book from this author. I love his style. This book covers how to blend the old and new, something Brian does to perfection. It covers inspiration, fabrics, stitch and projects. The introduction gives the story of Etta Mae and her trousseau. Seek and Find is all about finding things you can use in your work – it’s like treasure hunting. The projects are very satisfying. The Lacemaker is a very special piece; a small quilt with a beautiful lace edge and embellishments. There is a scissor holder and matching pincushion; a fabulous table runner; photo pincushions and sachets; a sewing butler including another pincushion, scissor holder and bag. There is also a gallery of work. Such a wonderful textile and quilting artist with a unique look. I recommend this book for its style and embellishments that could be applied to your own work.
Quilt design solutions is the process you go through from start to finish when designing a quilt from scratch. Quit design is all about problem solving. It’s a bit like a jigsaw puzzle. This post follows on from the one last Monday, so check that out if you have not seen it. I have not progressed as much as I would have liked, but at least I have done something.
Last week we looked at the scrap pieces I had left to make this quilt. This week I have done some more sorting.
Quilt design solutions involves a lot of decision making. For this quilt I had various shapes and sizes. I have had to decide the best way forward. Although I loved the diamonds and toyed with the idea of working on point, I discarded that.
The semi-circles were also wonderful and would have added a lot to the design, but I did not feel they fitted in with the rest. So it all boiled to making those sort of triangle shapes into squares.
So my principle quilt design solution so far has been to decide on squares. Now everything is sewn into squares, I need to sort them again. I sorted according to size. I pressed each one. They have been pinned to the wall to see how many I have. A few more than you see here as I unpicked the top of the hexagons from the last quilt and added the semi-circle pieces as squares too.
My next task is to decide what comes next. Many options are still available to me. Drop by next Monday for the latest stage. Remember, you too can be a quilt designer – take my one year ecourse in Quilt Design here.
What does that mean? For me being a quilt designer means starting a new design from scratch. You can buy software, but the designs tend to look very similar, fresh and modern. Very attractive but I prefer to approach each quilt differently.
This latest quilt is one in which I am using the scraps left over from the previous two quilts.
How To Start
Being a quilt designer is not following a given formula for me, each quilt is different. For this quilt, I have my fabrics ready to hand. All I need do is make the best of them. I need to tap into my colour sense, but also my sense of space, placement, alignment etc. The elements and principles of design that I believe suit this individual quilt best of all. First I sort my scraps.
Working With What You Have
As a quilt designer, I am usually working with what I have as I do not have the financial resources to just go and buy new fabrics etc all the time. This is a scrap quilt, making the best of leftovers. So my colourway has already been set – it is basically blue with a hint of off white, sand and a touch of pink. That gives me a great basis to start with.
My first task is to sort shapes. Some of the pieces were cut from the hexagons of the previous two quilts. These could make good diamonds. I can also make various rectangles, squares and have some half circles. I have to bring all these factors together and decide on the best way forward. To that end, I always pin to my design board and leave overnight.
Beginners often get stuck at this point, but really you can let the pieces do the work for you. What are they suggesting? I will show you next week how I solved the problems and made decisions. Here is one of the finished quilts that provided all these scraps. It will be on sale of the website shortly.