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Book review Cable Knits From Nordic Lands by Ivar Asplund

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.

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Day 3 Quilting of 31 Day Blog Challenge

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.

Quilting Machines

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.

Day 3 Discount

Today’s discount is a super 10 per cent off all ecourses under 100 pounds. These quilting ecourses will hone your skills so do not miss out, the discounts are running for one day only and the reduced price is marked on the website. They are Design and Create a Quilted Wallhanging, Digital Quilt Block Monthly, Fabric Design in Photoshop, Inspiration Monthly, Kaleidoscopes in Photoshop, Transform Your Photos Into Art Quilts, Cathedral Window Hand Quilting, One Block Wonder Quilts and New Photo Techniques For Quilters

Day 3 quilting
Quilted wallhanging
Day 3 Quilting
Digital Block Design
Day 3 quilting
Fabric Pattern design
Art prompts
Art Prompts
Kaleidoscope quilting
Kaleidoscopes for quilting
Transform Your Photos
Transform Your Photos Into Art Quilts
Day 3 quilting
Cathedral Window Hand Quilting

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Day 2 of 31 Day Blog Challenge

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.

Designing Quilts

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

day 2 of 31
Creative quilting ecourse
Day 2 of 31
Beginners Patchwork & Quilting ecourse
Day 2 of 31
Colour Confidence for Quilters
Day 2 of 31
Design in Quilting ecourse
Day 2 of 31
Photoshop for Textiles ecourse

Come back tomorrow for more on quilting and another Advent Calendar discount.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019.

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Day 1, 31 Day Blog Challenge

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.

31 day blog challenge 2019
my new scrap quilt design

Day 1

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.

31 day blog challenge 2019
working with variations on one block

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.

discount on quilt
This fab quilt is discounted today

#31dayblogchallenge2019

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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New Work Quilting, Inspiration and ebooks

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.

wrist brace

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.

new work
Quilt in progress

Knit wit

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.

new work
new knitting pattern

New ebooks

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

new work
Inspiration ebook circles
new work
Inspiration ebook repetition

Coming Up

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.

blog challenge December 2019

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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From Quilt Design to Completion

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!

quilt design

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.

from quilt design to completion
arranging by size

Challenges

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.

from quilt design to completion
I cannot believe I tried this one

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.

from quilt design to completion

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.

quilt design

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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New Products In Store Quilts and ebooks

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.

new products in store
back of the quilts

New Quilts

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 products in store
Indian Wedding Quilt
new products in store
Indian Wedding Quilt

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

new products in store
Inspiration Book 8 Flaking Paint
Inspiration ebook nine Trees
Inspiration ebook nine Trees

Knitting Patterns

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!)

new products in store
new knitting patterns

Did I say I would finish that Scrap Quilt for next week???

Words, work and copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Book Review Blended Embroidery by Brian Haggard

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.

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Quilt Design Solutions – Progressing A New Design

Where do all the bits fit?

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.

Design Decisions

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.

quilt design solutions
from triangle to square

Squares

quilt design solutions
squares assembled and pressed

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.

quilt design solutions
sorted into sizes

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.

quilt design solutions
pinned to the wall for the overnight test

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Quilt Designer – Designing A New Design From Scratch

Quilt Designer

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.

Quilt designer
Quilt designer sorting scraps
quilt designer
larger 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.

Sorting Shapes

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.

Quilt designer
Cut from the hexagons of the previous quilt
quilt designer
various shapes sorted from the scraps

Making Decisions

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.

quilt designer
One of my finished quilts

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019