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Day 21 quilting of 31 day blog challenge

Day 21 quilting, the solstice. The longest night. The shortest day. The marking of winter. Yule tide and the Norse god Thor. Do you celebrate? Whilst I do not light fires, I do inwardly celebrate the returning of longer days. At each of the solstices the sun actually stays in one place for a while. The sun is at its lowest point for us in the northern hemisphere at 4.20 am on Sunday the 22nd. It is a huge difference of less than 8 hours in daylight time to the summer solstice. No wonder things start to look dark and depressing at this time of year. Yet inwardly we mark the significant step of the coming of spring. You can read more about it here

Winter Inspiration

One way of getting rid of winter blues, is to use this period of time for inspiration. Whether it is as a design subject for quilts or a way of having a ritual cleansing. Ridding yourself of everything old and unwanted and making way for the new.

I am engaged in a bit of that myself. Looking at the fabrics I have left, looking at what I have designed and how far I have come on my quilt journey and more importantly, where I want to go next. For me, it is a time to move forwards. I have also been through all my writing, checking what needs finishing and what needs to get going. I’ll talk more about this in the coming week. Some of my ice quilt designs:

day 21 quilting
quilt design Karen Platt
day 21 quilting
an alternative design
Karen Platt quilt design
designing winter quilts
day 21 quilting
one more arrangement

Two New Inspiration Books

Winter Inspiration is about to be launched highlighting my photos taken during winter for the past several years. The second launch is my Quilting Journey so far. In the latter you can read about the quilts I have made so far and how I designed them.

Today’s Discount

Day 21 quilting why not order an ebook for someone special? Did you know that the ebooks can be delivered straight to the email of the person you are ordering them for? This means they could be delivered on Xmas morning. An ideal last minute surprise gift, or great for someone you have overlooked. They are all full of colour images and inspiration sent as pdfs, so easy to read. At just 7.99 they make a wonderful gift. Take 20% off today only, making them even more of a bargain. All the ebooks can be seen here. You’ll find quilting ones, textiles, inspiration, artworks, publishing and gardening all covered.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Day 20 quilting of 31 day blog challenge

Day 20 quilting is the perfect time to look at some quilting books. As a designer I just love looking at other people’s patterns. I don’t make any of them, but it is a pleasure to see them and often sparks off a new, totally unrelated quilt design for me. It’s one way to find quilting inspiration.

Don’t forget you can also check my blog for book reviews, all these books and more will be reviewed. Check out the C&T Publishing website.

New Quilt Books

Ombre quilts only has six projects but it is a stunning book from Jennifer Sampou, published by C&T Publishing. Easy on the eye designs with soft colour palette.

day 20 quilting
Ombre quilts

Jelly Filled by Vanessa Goertzen is all about using those strip rolls to create modern designs. Hone your piecing skills. You get 18 quilt patterns in this one. It’s from Stash Books, an imprint of C&T Publishing.

day 20 quilting
Jelly Filled

Like your quilts funky? Look no further than Wild Wool & Colorful Cotton Quilts by Erica Carrow from C&T Publishing. Fun quilts, many on the medallion template but could be adapted to quilt in a row. This book uses applique.

day 20 quilting books
Wild Wool

Do you love historic quilts as much as I do? Friends, quilters, collectors and historic quilt lovers, sisters Lori Lee and Kay Triplett are here with another collection of fabulous quilts from the 16-1800s. Hidden Treasures is indeed a treasure trove of all we love in quilting. These pre-Civil War quilts are from the Poos Collection. This is a terrific collection of quilts. Quilt porn, what a feast for the eyes. Published by C&T Publishing.

quilting
Hidden Treasures

Discount

Day 20 quilting discount it has to be patterns, you can find them here. Take 20% of any quilt pattern for one day only. Check back tomorrow for another blog and another discount.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Day 19 quilting of 31 day blog challenge

Day 19 quilting says good morning quilters everywhere who are enjoying the blog. Welcome. If you are new, all the blogs are archived on the website. You can also join me on facebook to keep up to date with quilting and textiles. I post daily on quilting and textiles.

Quilting

Day 19 quilting is showing you my progress with the new quilt. I have now completed all white ‘squares’ and am on the quilting around the edges. I am using ivory not white as I find white to be a very stark contrast. I managed one section yesterday, so three more corners to do then four small areas to finish off. Then it only leaves the binding. This quilt is nearing completion. I am finding it tough going. To be honest, this type of quilting is just not me. I ned something far more expressive artistically than piecing in this way but I have been teaching mainly beginners, so all my work has been in that direction.

day 19 quilting
quilting the top
day 19 quilting
quilting the top

Textiles

I have been a textile artist far longer than I have been a quilter. Creating textiles is such fun because you have so many more techniques and materials available to you. I have created some art quilts that are as much textiles as quilt. I think this is the way I am heading for 2020, so keep tuned for a new body of work taking a new direction. The image below is one of the designs I am working on. I am thinking of these as ‘me quilts’.

day 19 quilting
Copyright Karen Platt 2019

Today’s Discount

On day 19 quilting take 20% off my Textiles ecourse. This is the first ecourse I wrote was on textiles. It is such fun to learn textile techniques with me as your etutor. You will learn so much from this to use in your own creative work. Check back in tomorrow for progress, quilting ideas and tips and another discount.

Karen Platt textiles ecourse
Karen Platt textiles ecourse

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Day 18 quilting of the 31 day blog challenge

Day 18 quilting takes a look at things that go wrong and makes suggestions for putting them right. Quilt tips and more. Join me on Instagram, find me karenplatt_textiles

Quilts need to be flat

When you make your quilt sandwich ( a quilt usually consists of 3 parts: the quilt top, the wadding or batting, and the backing) it needs to be flat. Sometimes this is easy, sometimes it is challenging. It takes time, careful pinning and checking.

day 18 quilting
Flat at the front, but the back was not right and need attention

I used to think that it was tricky, but my first few quilts gave me no problems. However recently, I switched from crawling on the living room floor (my biggest space) to making the sandwich on my work table. Whilst this was better for my knees and back, it seems to not have worked so well for me.

For my latest quilt, I went back to the living room floor. I have never known a fabric like this one, it wanted to walk. If I got one bit straight, it pulled something else out of whack. I straightened it several times, got the three pieces pinned together, only to find problems on the back.

day 18 quilting
even those small puckers need to be straightened out

I took this to the work room and unfolded, unpinned where necessary and made sure it was all straight before proceeding. This is of extreme importance, flat front and flat back, otherwise you have puckers when you quilt. It is just a matter of patience and time to get it right and makes for a professional looking quilt.

day 18 quilting
Much better, flat and ready to quilt

Quilt Tip

Day 18 quilting tip is for quilting the sandwich. In general it is good advice to quilt circles or wavy lines, stippling even on squares and vice versa. However, my approach is often to ‘freeform’. By that I mean, I just take the needle where it wants to go and approach each square individually. It makes for an interesting quilt. I have used this method in both my hand and machine quilting.

quilting
quilting the top

Today’s discount

Day 18 quilting discount is 20% off the Design in Quilting and Patchwork ecourse, so there has never been a better time to do this. Learn how to design your own quilts in 2020.

Check back tomorrow for more quilting.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Day 17 quilting of the 31 day blog challenge

Day 17 quilting is off to a start with a bang. Where I am up to with my new quilt and a very special addition to my ecourses are setting my workroom alight today.

day 17 quilting
back of the quilt

Quilting

I quilted some of my new quilt, so day 17 quilting is all about showing you what I achieved. If you have been reading all the blogs, you’ll remember that I made an error in the placement of the first block on this new quilt and therefore the design changed. So I ended with the placement of 9 blocks, with gaps in between, making it ideal to quilt.

The fabric was a killer for making the sandwich, it just wanted to walk across the floor. I have never had a fabric behave like this before. Eventually, I got the sandwich flat and quilted away. One happy quilter.

I then started my quilting and decided to quilt all the blue squares first. Now all there is is the white squares and surround to finish off. I made up my own straight line quilting pattern.

day 17 quilting
front of the quilt

New ecourse Creative Stitch

I am so thrilled to announce my new ecourse, which can be joined at any time no matter where you live as it is online. But why wait? Join me in January for a bumper 2020 hand embroidery ecourse. It is all about contemporary stitch. A 12 month ecourse looking at stitch, design and more.

Creative Stitch ecourse
New ecourse Creative Stitch

Discount

Today’s discount is on this wonderful new Creative Stitch ecourse, so join me today with 10% off a saving of over 32 pounds. I look forward to welcoming you on the ecourse. Let’s make 2020 Creative Stitch year. I’ll see you tomorrow for another discount and blog.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Day 16 quilting of the 31 day blog challenge

Day 16 quilting means I have past the half way mark in the blog challenge. Lots of news and tips today.

day 16 quilting
zigzag applique

Quilt Tip of The Day

I don’t know if it happens to you and I won’t blame my sewing machine, but take it from a lady whose sewing needle has gone in the opposite direction to what she thought when doing zigzag and turning corners, or even starting off, there is a way to know which way it will go. Like me, you probably have a machine, that depending on the selection the zigzag goes left or right. Yes, I have that. But sometimes, it still seems to have a mind of its own, and I know its me, I kept getting it wrong. So assuming there is someone else out there as crazy as me. Here is what to do if this keeps happening to you:

  1. Make sure you have selected the correct zigzag to go left or right as desired.
  2. Turning the corner, keep it true by stopping at the edge with your needle down (it does not really matter if you are on the outside or inside of the fabric
  3. Lift the foot
  4. Turn your fabric
  5. Put the foot down
  6. Lift the needle and you will see which way it is going to go
  7. Adjust, lifting the foot as necessary so that the needle will be insert on the outer edge of the fabric

No more ugly corners

day 16 quilting
turning the corner with zigzag stitch

New Products In Store

New Inspiration ebook Seven Clocks

I am so pleased to have finished my 12th Inspiration ebook in time for Christmas. These are manual pdf downloads so they make great last minute gifts for someone you forgot. I can send it to any email you give and it can be delivered on Christmas morning or any time you desire.

This one is all about Clocks, and it goes in at number 7, making the total of 12 Inspiration ebooks. I have moved Churches (which was number 7 because that along with Tunisian Doors is an art Inspiration ebook of my work only, so slightly different to the others that contain original photos for inspiration as well as my work.

Inspiration ebook Seven Clocks

Coming shortly is the new Karen Platt Peak Collection of knitting patterns. It will be added to my Ravelry pattern store. I should finish the final design today. So more news about that in a few days. I am so pleased with all the new work I have completed in the last few weeks. It has been a very productive time for me.

Karen Platt knitwear design
latest Karen Platt knitwear design

Today’s Discount

Day 16 quilting discount is on the Inspiration Clocks ebook. Take 10 off for today only.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Day 15 quilting of 31 day blog challenge

Day 15 quilting is a big day as it is half way through the quilters’ blog challenge set by Muppin with over 60 quilters taking part. Are you still with me? Have you read the other fourteen blogs this month? Stay tuned for new work, inspiration, 6 month retrospective and what is coming up in 2020. There’s lots in store.

Quilt Shows

It is wonderful to see dozens of quilts hanging in one space for us to be wowed. None other than the amazing Festival of Quilts at the NEC, Birmingham, UK each year. The quilts are not juried so you get everything from beginners upwards entering. So it is a mixed bag, but there are some top quality designs and some designers have an exhibition there.

day 15 quilting
wonderful piecing

I love to see the variety of the designs. Some are cleverly pieced, others simple striking design, some traditional, some modern and everything in between. Some cause a stir. You can learn so much from just looking at them. Quilts are divided into categories and there is a 3-D category too.

One of Kathy Knapp‘s incredible wearables, her work is always so stunning. This is quilted art at its best.

Kathy Knapp
Kathy Knapp’s stunning work

The exhibitions this year featured Sandra Meech, Eszter Bornemisza and Michael James. Each one was fascinating for different reasons. Each one treats quilting in a different way, extolling the virtues of the versatility of quilting.

Sandra Meech
Sandra Meech
Eszter Bornemisza
Eszter Bornemisza
Michael James
Michael James

Where to see Quilts in the UK

The American Museum in Bath, Gawthorpe Hall, Chesire, regional Members’ meetings of the Quilters’ Guild.

Discount

Day 15 quilting offers you 10% off any of the supplies on the website for one day only. This includes undyed fabrics, dyed cotton scrim for art quilts, my popular hand dyed threads in silk, cotton, linen or wool and Bondaweb.

day 15 quilting
dyed scrim
day 15 quilting
linen threads

Words and images copyright Karen Platt, the work shown copyright the respective quiltmakers.

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Day 14 quilting of 31 day blog challenge

Day 14 quilting is about seasonal quilts. Being awake in the middle of the night is not my favourite thing. However, if it makes me too tired to quilt in the day, it does bring lots of inspiration in the middle of the night.

Day 14 quilting
Snowflake fabric designed by Karen Platt

Seasonal Quilts – Christmas

Do you make them? I guess the Xmas quilts are the most popular. I have not made any so far – because there is no room here to store things that are only used for a few days a year. I cannot deny though that I do have many Xmas design ideas, so who knows, maybe next year.

Day 14 quilting
Snowflake fabric designed by Karen Platt

Other Seasons

I have designed for other seasons such as seasons of the year though, not once but twice so far, so that is high in the popularity stakes for me. I have also designed unique ‘winter-themed’ snowflake fabric as you can see. As designing goes, seasons and other themes are a hit because of the motifs associated with them. Do you love this kind of quilt? They are often random designs, row quilts or block designs.

Snowflake fabric
Snowflake fabric quilting

Seasonal Colours

How about seasonal colours too? Colours are associated with seasons, silvers for winter, warm yellows for spring and Easter. I must say I prefer red and white, to red, green and white for Christmas.

Snowflake fabric
Snowflake fabric

Discount

Day 14 quilting discount is on the seasonal quilts and fabrics. You can buy a finished quilt, buy a kit or pattern or just buy fabrics (there are 16 snowflake fabrics) to make your own quilt. Take 20% off the advertised price (unless already reduced online) and contact me on the online form and let me know what you want so that I can send an invoice for the right amount. This discount is for today only. Back tomorrow with another blog and discount.

seasonal quilting fabrics
seasonal fabrics from Karen Platt

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Day 13 Quilting of 31 Day Blog Challenge

Day 13 quilting is very appropriate for the Nightmare on Downing Street, and that is all I will say here about the mess the UK is in and the corruption and lies that have brought us here. Very personally adversely affected for more than one reason. If you can visit the website today and actually buy anything, no matter how small, it will help, thank you. I am one of the 50s women who has lost 6 years of her state pension, thanks to the Tories, with no notification that I was not retiring at 60.

What Am I Working On?

Day 13 quilting and it was fun in the quilt room designing a new quilt. I had it all arranged on the quilt design wall. Then folded my fabric to find the centre, placed and appliqued my first block, then wham. I realised I had positioned it in the wrong place.

Day 13 quilting
the design wall

Undo or Re-design?

That was a quick re-design for me. I hate unpicking. It is one of the things I hate most about quilting, so I always try to get things right first time because unpicking is a real turn off. In all I stitched 5 blocks in place, it probably only needs 7, but the bobbin ran out and it was time for a rest. The bonus is I now have an unused design planned 🙂

day 13 quilting
day 13 quilting

Day 13 Discount

Day 13 quilting discount is on my textile work. I have created a large number of textile pieces from embroidered portraits to textile jewellery. All work is original, designed and handmade by me. Take 20 per cent off any item on the textiles pages. Just drop me a quick email and I’ll send an invoice marked with the 20% off the retail price. Thank you for all your support, much appreciated.

textiles embroidered portrait
hand embroidered copyright Karen Platt 2019
textiles portrait
Textiles copyright Karen Platt
textiles Karen Platt
Sahara hand stitched copyright Karen Platt
textile jewellery
hand stitched textile jewellery copyright Karen Platt

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Day 12 Quilting of the 31 Day Blog Challenge

Day 12 quilting brings a new day another blog. Having finished one quilt this week, it’s straight on with one more. There are two I am hoping to finish before Xmas. I have gone back to a WIP. This one was started in September this year. I made several blocks but realised I had no background fabric, so it was put on hold. I am now ready to finish it.

Day 12 quilting
Day 12 quilting

Progress So Far

I thought my last quilt, finished on Monday this week would be a quickie, but it turned out to take more hours than imagined (often that way for me!). Many more hours. However, I am certain this could be a quick weekend make (or midweek for me.) Don’t quilters just love those projects? Start and finish in a few days!

day 12 quilting
rearranging cut blocks

On Point

It’s an on point design, but a cheat’s one! As a designer I love using different techniques in every quilt I design. Squares are cut, rejoined to make different patterns and stitched on point. I loved re-arranging the squares. Blocks like this have lots of possibilities. I chose an ivory background because I do think in many cases bright bleached white is too strong a contrast and besides, everyone uses it. So far this is looking very good. Like the last quilt design, it will be sold as the original quilt and pattern.

day 12 quilting
on point

Inspiration

Day 12 quilting brings you more inspiration. Take 10 per cent off the advertised price of any of my Inspiration ebooks. Each one is filled with photos to inspire that you can use. They also give examples of my work. Just send a message from the website with the subject Inspiration ebooks and I’ll send a Paypal invoice for the correct amount. There are a dozen ebooks to choose from. This one concentrates on the work I created from church architecture. This discount runs for one day only.

Inspiration ebook
Inspiration ebook

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019