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New Quilt Patterns instore now

snowflakes quilt patterns Karen Platt

I have just added exciting new quilt patterns to the store. Yes the Snowflakes and Polar Bears winter inspirations quilt is now written up with over 50 photos and complete step by step instructions. Everyone can do it, even beginners.

Since I started quilting, it has been my aim to build a library of unique quilt patterns, all my own design. This dream is slowly coming true. There are now three quilts patterns for sale in the pattern store. More will be added throughout the year.

This wonderful quilt is great as a wall quilt. The snowflake fabrics are available separately and there is a fabulous range of choices online.

I have two more new quilts to add next week. It has been a hellish week, so things got delayed but I am back on track now. I’ll be added the Charm quilt and the sunflower quilt patterns.

If you love making quilts from kits, we already have seven quilt kits under this same heading and I will be adding this new quilt pattern as a quilting kit too. The wonderful thing about kits is that you can get started straight away.

On the same page you can also see our finished quilts for sale too.

Last week I added the brand new International Quilt Textiles School Brochure – download yours for free here 

Start learning now with our unique and cost effective courses. You can also join me at quilt shows around the country where I shall be offering workshops on colour, and also scrap coasters and landscape quilts. My first appearance is in April, just about one month’s time at the British Stitch And Quilt Village. Sign up now for the workshops here, they take place on 12-14th April 2019. I look forward to meeting you.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019.

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Book Review Watercolour Flowers by Julie King

ISBN 9781782216261, hardback price 15.99, available from www.searchpres.com

This hardback book is a combination of watercolour flower painting instruction and pre-dawn sheets of artist quality paper. I am a fan of Julie’s beautiful watercolour renditions of flowers. The 6 projects include different techniques and you will use wet-on-dry and wet-in-wet, painting fine lines, gradated washes, glazing and stippling, mixing on the paper, lifting out, negative painting, highlights and shadows, textures with salt and more. The flowers included are Tulips, Hibiscus, Day Lily and Rudbeckia, Clematis, Sweet Pea and Rose. Find out how to use the book, set up for painting, materials, techniques, colour and mixing as well as how to frame your work. Each project has detailed instructions with step-by-step images. In an easy to see box, you’ll see at a glance the colours and the size of brush used. Excellent clear photos are used throughout. Recommended for the beginner finding it difficult to get to grips with drawing.

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Design Choices – Designing and Making Quilts

Design choices is all about visual effect. Does everything look right? Can we improve it? Everything we do is about choice – do we walk, take the car or bus, get a lift? Is it sunny or cloudy – do I need the umbrella? Just so when we design, everything comes down to choice.

Some design choices are easier to make than others. Some find making decisions very hard. Perhaps for them design is not the way to go and they need to find quilting patterns, mine are here (being added to all the time).

Yet I strongly believe that these design choices can be learned by everyone. Some need a course to learn, to others it comes more naturally. My Design in Quilting ecourse is perfect if you want to make sure you understand how to design quilts.

Did you know that choosing your fabrics is the first design choice you make? Those fabrics determine so much, so it is important to get it right. I add to my fabric designs regularly and also offer a range on undyed fabrics for quilters as well as a hand dyed fabric range. They can all be found on the supplies page.

Then there are the principles of design and how to apply them. Whilst it is more important to understand these for modern quilts or art quilts, the principles still apply to traditional quilting, but tend to be easier to apply. It all comes down to making decision after decision. Having a design wall helps immensely and I blogged about that when I made mine. They are cheap and easy to make and you can get everything on the wall and leave it there until you have made your choice. You can try out different fabrics, alter one aspect and see how it affects the rest and so on.

My latest quilt is finished and the pattern will be on sale this week.

Words, work and images copyright 2019 Karen Platt

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eCourses Brochure Patchwork and Quilting and Textiles

eCourses Brochure for all my ecourses is now ready to download for free from my website. Please feel free to share the eCourses brochure with friends and family. It has all the ecourses and ebooks for inspiration and new forthcoming ecourses too. As you can see I have adopted the title ‘International Quilting & Textiles School’ to embrace all the ecourses I teach.

You can browse offline and read all about each ecourse. Compare those prices with like for like, because these are the most affordable ecourses I know for patchwork, quilting and textiles anywhere. Each ecourse is unique and these are not a copy of a City & Guilds course because I have not taken one of those. My ecourses are all designed and written by me as a fully qualified teacher and hands-on artist in my chosen fields.

As an introductory offer, there is a 20 per cent discount on any ecourse booked and paid for before the end of March 2019. All the ecourses can be started straight away, there is no need to wait for an enrolment date and you’ll be pleased to hear there is no enrolment fee. All long ecourses have tutor input online (or we can Skype) and you have access to a fb closed group too.

I am also building the workshops in person with 6 more added this week for August 2019 at the West Country Quilt & Textile Show. If you know someone looking for a speaker, please ask them to get in touch. I have dates available this year and next. I can do talks, workshops or longer courses on a variety of patchwork and quilting topics.

I cannot show you the competition quilts yet, but the small miniature quilt is coming along. In work I can show you, I was pleased to finish a lap quilt this week. It went well. This quilt is part of my Beginners’ ecourse. 

The pattern for this quilt will be available next week.

Words, work and images copyright 2019 Karen Platt

quilting ecourses. brochure
beginners' charm quilt
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Quilting Finishing Techniques For Borders and Binding

finishing techniques quilting

Quilt Finishing Techniques. I see so many questions about this. What method do you use? As I am finishing a quilt, in fact two quilts this week, I thought I would take this opportunity to share my finishing methods.

I remember the days when I was baffled too as a beginner, but it really is quite simple. I tried several different methods of binding, but there is only one I use now. Here are my tips for the best professional finishing techniques for quilting.

BORDERS

Borders are somewhat easier to do than binding, although there is nothing difficult about either of these finishing techniques.

  1. Decide on the width in relation to the actual quilt.
  2. Decide how many borders.
  3. You can mix widths of borders, say one at 8cm wide and one at 2.5cm wide.
  4. You can also use different colours, but I would always choose colours that are in the quilt, even if in a tiny amount.
  5. Decide on straight or mitred. I prefer the latter. A bit trickier but not impossible by any means. Mitred corners take a bit more fabric.
  6. Cut on the grain.
  7. Do not stretch when attaching.
  8. Attach by machine, right sides together.
  9. Attach before quilting your sandwich.

BINDING

Binding finishing techniques is what gets most people, they just do not know how to bind. There are many ways to bind, but by far the best for a professional finish and worth taking the extra effort is:

  1. Always cut on the bias. Make your own binding.
  2. Join strips together on the diagonal.
  3. Machine stitch, right sides together to the front of the quilt
  4. Hand stitch to the back of the quilt.
  5. Do not stretch.
  6. Attach after quilting your sandwich, making sure that the wadding goes into the border.
  7. Narrow binding is often best.

I include finishing details in my tutorials and quilt patterns which can be purchased here

You can often see images of my work on my facebook page

Work, words and images copyright Karen Platt 2019.

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Exhibition Quilts at UK Quilt Shows

Exhibition quilts have the power to fill one with dread. Whilst visitors marvel and judges may criticise or praise, the intrepid quilter takes her skills in her hands, hopefully meets the deadline and achieves what she set out to do.

The world of exhibition quilts is one I said I never would enter. Some exhibition quilts are gobsmackingly amazing. What on earth has made me decide to enter quilts this year?

You think I have the answer? Not absolutely sure I do. I think it was a mad moment but then I have had months to think about it, so I am fooling anyone who believes that. To be honest, I found the art category at FOQ 2018 slightly underwhelming. I found myself thinking I can do this.

Of course, that is just stage one. I have the design created already. I have changed it a dozen times in my mind’s eye. I have settled on the subject, how I want it to look, down to the fine details of fabrics and threads. The problem is can I quilt it?

I have not entered the FOQ one yet, but expect to before the deadline. Before I make my final decision, I have entered another quilt show entirely. I encourage everyone to do this if they are thinking of entering FOQ. Try somewhere else first – a smaller show preferably in the previous year. Less pressure is always good.

I have entered the Miniature Quilts section of the British Stitch and Quilt Village show at Uttoxeter racecourse 12-14th April. Make a date in your diary. This one too is already designed and I know definitely how to quilt this one. Just have to make sure it does not measure more than is allowed.

I am not sharing work prior to the competitions. So I shall keep you entertained in other ways. I will still be quilting other designs. Talking of which, I have now designed the back of the Snowflake quilt. Not quite like the image, I will be using my tea dyed not rust dyed fabric. There will be snowflakes. I need to get a move on and finish this one now. The spring one is also just about designed and ready to start.

The other winter quilt is already available as a kit.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

snowflake quilt
winter quilt kit
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Speaking at Quilting Shows 2019

speaking

Speaking engagements are my excitement for this week. Get booking please ladies and any men out there. First engagement of the year is 12-14th April 2019 at the British Stitch and Quilt Village at Uttoxeter, so please grab your space now to hear my take on colour in quilts. I am speaking at the same time each day.

At the moment my next speaking engagement is not until August 4th at the Festival of Quilts, where I speak twice on the same day, once on colour and once on design. So you can have a double whammy. Booking is not open yet, but keep your eyes on the website.

I have some more lined up, to be confirmed. Don’t forget you also have the fantastic opportunity to come to India with me, on a Colouricious holiday. The chance of a lifetime. I need 9 more people for this to go ahead, so please book on the Colouricious website today. 11 months to go, we leave on 7 January 2020.

I finished January with a sort of ho-hum week. Everything is hanging in the balance. People who were supposed to come back to me have still to do so. I wait with bated breath to see if it all comes to fruition. In anticipation, I had a lot of writing to do – contracts and so on. Lots of contacting to do, for if they don’t come through, trying to find someone who does. All under wraps and I have everything crossed to make it happen. I am hoping next week is the one.

Apart from the flurry of writing, I am hand stitching the calico quilt. When I am not doing that, I am writing up the pattern for it. Sore finger into the bargain – the only negative of hand quilting. The machine stitched quilt is ready to start again since the snowflake panels are now cured and ready to heat set then attach.

I am almost there with a hand knitting pattern too, just the last armhole bands and that pattern needs writing up too.

I took photos of the painting exhibition and I must find space for my paintings on my website again because I have given up on Artfinder, it just does not work for me. They have changed their costs twice, in their own favour of course.

Words, images and work copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Book Review A Perfect World in Ribbon Embroidery by Di van Niekerk

Book Review A Perfect World in Ribbon Embroidery & Stumpwork by Di van Niekerk, softback published by Search Press. ISBN 9781844482313, price 14.99 available from www.searchpress.com

It is always a pleasure to see Di van Niekerk’s wonderful work. Find new ideas and techniques that appeal to embroiderers and quilters alike. 17 panels introduce you to the techniques. There is a stitch gallery too. Each of the 60 design elements are shown with clear step-by-step photographs. Embroider the whole sampler as one, or choose motifs separately. Suitable for beginners upwards. Everything you need to know to create beautiful embroidered panels in a beautifully illustrated book. Includes instructions to embroider fantastic flowers and creatures such as dragonflies, bees and birds.

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Artist Exhibition Until February 21st 2019

Artist Exhibition Until February 21st 2019. There has been so much good news this month and it continues. On 26th January 2019, my first exhibition of paintings for some time opened up at the Montgomery Theatre Gallery on Surrey Street, Sheffield.

I must admit that the paintings nearly did not get hung. In my excitement of finding somewhere to exhibit, I forgot about the practicalities of hanging my own work. I have never had to hang it before. When the ladder was brought into the room, fear crept into my heart. I have never been very good on ladders. This ladder had very thin rungs and the thought of holding a painting and attaching it to the hanging system whilst clinging to the ladder had my heart in my mouth.

My gung-ho spirit nevertheless saw me climbing the ladder but I went as far up as I dare and I could not reach the hanging system. I climbed down with a heavy heart and having no clue what to do. So I had to go back into the office and say that I just could not hang the paintings. Fortunately a young man came to my rescue and I shall forever be in his debt. Phew. Even if I say so myself the exhibition looks wonderful.

The Montgomery is found on Surrey Street in the city centre and is open 10-4pm normally, but check with the theatre and ask if the gallery is open if you are travelling especially to see it. I am willing to meet people there if they want to say hello. All work is for sale. The Gallery is upstairs. On Saturday 2nd February the cafe is open serving drinks and cake, so that sounds like a great time to pop in.

I am hoping to have some more brilliant news for you next week. There is something in the pipeline that I am hoping will come through.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Book Review Quilting On The Move By Alistair Macdonald

Book Review Quilting On The Move By Alistair Macdonald, softback published by Search Press. ISBN 971782214489, price 7.99 available in the UK.

Part of the Love To Sew series, this book is all about English Paper Piecing for hand quilting. There is a brief introduction, materials and tools section, basic techniques, projects and templates without a seam allowance but actual size. There are 18 projects in all, suitable for beginners upwards. The beauty of EPP is that it is entirely portable and easy to do anywhere in a few minutes grabbed here and there. I found the photos slightly on the dull side, and unclear on the bias binding attachment images. The basic techniques section only covers making hexagons, bias binding and inserting a zip. Good projects include a hobby bag (looks more like a pencil case to me), tea cosy, pincushion, make-up bag, man’s scarf, table runner, peg bag, tablet case and so on. All small projects using hexagons and other shapes.