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New Knits, Quilts and Textiles Creative Design

This month I have created new knits, quilts and textiles. Obviously I am still not into the weekly swing of things as it has been a month since I blogged again. But hey, at least it isn’t waffle about nothing, it’s all about new work, new knits, quilts and textiles.

new knits
new knitwear design by Karen Platt

New Knits

I have two new knits that I designed and knitted this month. Yes my arm feels like it is going to drop off. The new knitting patterns will be in my ravelry store hopefully this week, so make sure you click the link and visit.

new knits
new knitwear design by Karen Platt

New Quilts

Ok I admit, technically that is not true, and I am abusing the word ‘new’ here as the patchwork was done some weeks ago, and I am just quilting the top now. I did not start straight away for two reasons

  1. not enough wadding
  2. no ideas were coming on the actual quilting design – which stitches and method to use

So I am glad to say that I made a start this week. Wow! I now have six quilt blocks quilted, and enough wadding for one more. The quilt design came quite easily, although there are still some obstacles with the more complicated quilt blocks, but I am on my way. In the end I decided qaygo, quilt as you go was the best for this quilt, and so far I have used straight stitch quilt designs that I have created myself. I am a bit out of practice.

quilting
quilting the patchwork top

New Textiles

Stretching the ‘new’ again as these bird textiles were started a few weeks ago too. Now they are all finished and will be on sale on the website. There is only one of each, so as soon as they are uploaded this week, dive in there quickly.

That’s all for now, join me again shortly.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Talking About Art – Karen Platt on Saatchi Art Online

Talking About Art is not an easy subject. Art, after all, is a personal creation and one where people either love your work, are indifferent or hate it. Even family members are not always supportive. You might work in a group or as I do in isolation. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

I create because, like most artists, I simply have to. It’s not just the urge to do it; it feeds my soul. I love the serendipity, the chance to explore and discover. What I choose to reveal and what remains hidden, on so many levels.

Talking about art
Zantedeschia copyright Karen Platt 2020

Painting As An Art Form

I do enjoy painting because I love texture and colour. My chosen medium is acrylic because I admit, although I strive, I am not a brilliant watercolorist and I cannot stand the smell of oils. I know they are oils that are less offensive these days. However, though much maligned in the beginning, I feel acrylics have come into their own as a versatile medium with many qualities. It gives me the expressive ability I need.

Talking About Drawing

I certainly do not do enough of it. With each artwork in any medium you improve as you do more. This is especially true of the skill of drawing. It takes practice. For me, drawing is all about mark making, so not just drawing objects, but making marks.

Is Digital Really Art?

Currently this is my favourite medium and one I believe I excel at (nothing like blowing your own trumpet!). In all its forms and disguises, it is art. Think of Hockney’s iPad creations. I love the possibilities of taking photographs and manipulating them into something different and extraordinary. Of course, you can create art from scratch digitally too, but I prefer manipulation to that. Some of my digital work informs traditional work. Some of it stands alone when I use my photographs and enhance them digitally in many ways. I enjoy creating large bodies of work digitally like my church series or Tunisian doors. I have developed some of my own techniques. I am very comfortable with this medium. You too can learn photographic techniques on this ecourse

talking about art
Tunisian Doors series

Exploring Mixed Media

You might be astonished that this was not covered on my art course. I am largely self taught and took an art and design course at the age of 50. The first art I had done ‘in class’ since I was 13. I have been a textile artist for many years and I enjoy using text, I am therefore gravitating to mixed media. It has great appeal.

Talking about art, I have started to upload my work onto Saatchi Art Online as the best platform for selling artwork. I have sold some artworks in the past at local exhibitions, so I am certain this is the place to be. I have uploaded over 50 digital artworks as limited edition prints. It’s now time to upload some paintings and other works. I feel there is a future for me in the art world.

I shall continue next week with art subjects.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Update On Textiles, Quilts, Knitting, Art

I realise it is five weeks since I have blogged, so thought it was time for an update. I have been doing things, it’s just that something beyond my control is affecting me financially and healthwise and I am not quite in my stride. But here’s an update on all the things that are keeping me occupied. I have a very tidy space now too.

Update Quilts

In August I saw my son for the first time since the first week in March. That lifted my spirits somewhat. However I have not quilted for eight weeks. My last pieced quilt is still hung on the design wall. Yesterday I took one, then another, then a third piece, trying to decide on the quilting and get on with it. They all went back on the design wall unquilted. So it is at the moment. I am not fretting, it will get done. I also stopped designing at the same time, even though I had begun a very wonderful theme, and one I definitely want to continue with at some point.

What’s New Textiles

I have not been idle. I had a good tidy out and now have a really tidy workroom, which means I cannot find anything, ha ha. Some of the bits and pieces I was tidying away whispered in my ear and I made 4 textiles pieces. I have always liked making wall art and these fabric pictures are wonderful to make.

I also got the embellishing machine out. It was either that or throw out all the merino wool. So I made a start with a shawl. I have lots of merino and silk to use up in this way. I also have a pile of ribbons to use.

Update Textile Work
The Cosy Cottage
New Work Textiles
The Setting Sun
Update textile pictures
Fields of Daisies
Fabric pictures
Golden Fish
Update textiles
Update Textiles – Embellished shawl

Update Art

I have also been creating digital work to go with the inspiration travel books. That has kept me busy too. It’s good to look through old photos and create new pieces inspired by them. It was great fun creating work around one of my favourite places on earth, St. Ives, since it has been very frustrating not being able to travel there. Check out the travel inspiration ebooks here and have some armchair travel fun.

I even picked up my paint brushes and daubed a couple of canvases, but those are not finished.

I also dug out the gelli plate and printed off half a dozen pieces.

gelli plate printing
Gelli plate printing

What’s Been On My Knitting Needles

I seem to have knitting fever, at least I have finished quite a few projects in the last five weeks. I still have to spread out my knitting, a little a day, otherwise my whole arm suffers. Just when I think I have used all the yarn, I find more.

Alpaca cardigan
Alpaca cardigan
Handknitting
Handknit with unusual neckline
Update knitting
Update Knitting, my latest design

I have also watched a lot of cricket scoreboards – whatever gets you through the night 🙂 and far too much Netflix for my own good!

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Mark Making For All Craft and Art

Mark making is an important part of all art and craft. It takes your art from ordinary to extraordinary. From the earliest marks made by man to contemporary art, mark making distinguishes a person’s art or craft.

At an early age, we draw without fear. But many of us lose that ability. Get in touch with your inner artist. I want you to free your expression, get rid of the fear and discover the pleasures of mark making.

mark making
mark making

eCourse Creative Mark Making

I have today launched my new ecourse for Creative Mark Making. Find your unique voice and discover your potential. This ecourse is 10 months long and is suitable for all abilities without any previous experience. It is also suitable for any discipline – art or craft.

It consists of research, exercises, techniques and projects to help you achieve your goals. You will discover new ways of looking at objects, using different media and surfaces to explore your hidden artistic abilities. You’ll make marks intuitively.

There is a also a private facebook for those taking the ecourse. I am a fully qualified (DfE) and experienced teacher.

The ecourse is aimed at everyone who wants to develop their work from beginner up.

mark making
mark making

For more details please see eCourse Mark Making on the ecourses page. You might also want to look at the other ecourses whilst you are on there. I specialise in textiles, art, craft, and design.

Watch out for more new ecourses this month – Stitched Textiles and Hand Knitting. All these ecourses are unique to me and cannot be found elsewhere. They are written from scratch from my 40 years’ experience. They represent value for money for anyone who wants to learn skills and techniques.

stitched textiles
stitched textiles

Tune in every Monday for the latest blog.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Armchair Travel and Quilt Design Quilt BOM

Armchair travel and quilt design has been featuring big in my work this year. I have just released Travel book Ten on Yorkshire, my home county and one that I love very much. Armchair travel and quilt design allows you to see places you cannot get to, or to plan your trip and be inspired to create quilts from your journey. This latest book in the travel series has over 500 photos including artwork I made inspired by my journeys. You can purchase the Yorkshire travel ebook here and you can see all the travel books and other inspiration ebooks here

Armchair travel
My latest ebook in my travel series

Quilt Design

Armchair travel can inform your quilt design. You can create a quilt from your journey. Take anything that inspired you on your journey and turn into a quilt design. My quilt ecourse on design can help you do just that. The quilt below was inspired by my journeys to London. I have made many quilts inspired by my journeys – walks to the local river, an icy winter and much more.

Armchair travel London
Quilt design London by Karen Platt

Last week I was talking about designing a new quilt, and I have made a start. The new designs are a series based around a theme, that involves inspiration from many sources that I have encountered on my travels. I made a start with my new sketchbook. I am hoping this will lead to several things:

the new quilts

an ebook of patterns

an ecourse of techniques

a series of Zoom interactive quilting lessons

designing quilts
Designing quilts in a sketchbook

Quilt BOM

You can still sign up for the BOM until the end of the week.

That’s all for now. It has been a hectic week of sewing. More next week.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Planning A New Quilt Designing and Making

After all the excitement of the new BOM launch, it could have felt a little flat this week. If you missed the BOM, it is online for registration until the end of the month. Please join in.

planning a new quilt

I took a couple of days respite when I returned to unfinished sewing projects. I made two blouses and am making a dress. But after a couple of days my mind wandered to what’s next and I started planning a new quilt design.

Designing A New Quilt

Planning a new quilt always starts with design for me. Sometimes I have an idea based around a theme, like when I made the Ice Polar Bear quilt. Sometimes it is based on colour, as when I made the oranges and lemon quilt. Or it is using a technique like the Drunkard’s Path quilt. This time it is based on a long-standing idea that I started some years ago. I am not quite ready to reveal it but I will reveal the process below.

orange and lemons quilt
Oranges and Lemons quilt
planning a quilt
Rivers Flow quilt

Research For Design

This is often the bit that most people miss out but it is so important to do the research and explore all angles in order to come up with something new and different. To understand more about this process, take a look at my quilt design ecourse. As I said the research for this idea goes back years. So far I have over 500 bits of research and probably a similar number of my own photos. Since I have so much, it makes planning a new quilt that much easier. I can see what has gone before, what I can adapt and develop. I can start to pick and choose instead of being limited in any way. Research opens up the possibilities and therefore improves any design process.

Planning

Planning is all about preparation and exploration. I bought two brand new spanking sketchbooks and I am making a start with drawing, painting and more. My idea is going in the direction of a BOM again but I have identified 20 possible quilts in this series. I am so looking forward to doing this. My theme embraces an idea that occurs in many countries across the world with many interpretations. I shall be able to use many quilting techniques and designs in these planned quilts.

planning a new quilt

More next week, stay tuned.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Indian Summer Quilt Block Of The Week Programme

Yes, it is launch day for the Indian Summer Quilt. This Block of Week quilt, or Block of the Month if you prefer, is now ready for registration and payment. Sign up anytime from today until registration closes on 30 July 2020. Please read the last three blogs for more information and see the product listing to purchase.

Indian Summer Quilt
Indian Summer Quilt Designed by Karen Platt

30 Joyful Quilt Blocks In The Indian Summer Quilt

The Indian Summer Quilt Block of the Week programme consists of 30 blocks pieced and put together by yours truly. There are one or two traditional blocks and others I have designed specially for this quilt. The whole arrangement is designed by me using my unique hand dyed fabrics that form part of the programme. Please respect the designer and make a purchase. This is my livelihood and the only means of supporting myself.

You too can enjoy making each block and creating a quilt to treasure.

On the programme, you will receive all fabrics at once to save huge amounts on postage costs. You’ll have access to a fb group, so you are not working alone if you want to see how others are doing.

hand dyed fabrics
Karen Platt hand dyed fabrics

Register Now For The Block of The Week Quilt Programme

The BOW (Block of the Week Programme) runs from September 2020 for thirty weeks. You can do it quicker or slower. You could have your quilt finished in time for Xmas. It would make a great gift or one to keep all to yourself. Registration and payment can now be taken on the product listing. N.B. Registration and purchasing may close early if the programme is full. To make sure you are not disappointed, sign up today. This is a great quilt for skill levels from beginners up as the programme starts with easy blocks and then builds your skills.

Indian Summer Quilt
Karen Platt Block of the Week Quilt

In the next week I shall be looking at the sashing, borders, quilting and binding options.

Until then happy quilting.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt

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Quilt Design Dreams Block of the Week

Achieving my quilt design dreams with my Block of the Week BOW quilt is so fulfilling. I am bursting at the seams with joy! I have stuck to my objectives and so far I am half way through the design and creating the quilting blocks. Interest in making this patchwork block quilt has been pouring in. I am thrilled with what’s happening. Don’t forget to register your interest. As soon as registration ends, I’ll start hand dyeing your fabrics, specially for you.

Quilt design dreams
Designing a quilt block

15 Quilt Blocks so far

My quilt design dreams told me to create a Block of the Week so that people who need guidance can create a fairly complicated look easily in just an hour or two a week. I have created 15 quilt blocks so far, half way through the design. There are 5 super easy ones, some a little bit harder, and some that might challenge one or two of you. Each one is a great way to build your quilting skills. I’ve got a great balance of blocks in my gorgeous, colourful hand dyed fabrics. Tomorrow’s block is designed, just waiting for me to make it. The next one too. I am designing as I go to make sure they all fit together well.

I am hoping that by next Monday I can launch Indian Summer Block of the Week quilt as a product. I am on target. I have had an idea for the next one BOM too. Check out the last two blogs for more on how to take part and what to do.

Quilt design dreams
Designing a Quilt block

What else?

I have been rather exhausted but have still almost managed to finish the big fair-isle knitted wrap. It’s going to need a backing. Earlier in the week I was still getting some hand stitch on the jacket too. Have not done any for four days. There are not enough hours in the day.

Quilt design dreams
Designing a patchwork quilt block

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020.

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Block of the Week – Register Your Interest

Now’s the time to register your interest in the Block of the Week, Indian Summer, introduced on Monday in the blog which has details of the schedule for release. I call it BOW for Block of the Week. Both the design, arrangement and fabric are unique.

Block of the Week Register
Block design by Karen Platt

This Block of the Week programme allows you to create a block each week to create the quilt. You work at your own pace and I have tweaked it a bit from other programmes.

  1. I prefer you to have everything delivered in one go, as fabrics will be specially hand dyed for you.
  2. This saves money on postage for you and also allows you to work at your own pace to finish the quilt. So if you have lots of spare time, or are a quiltaholic you could do a block a day. Alternatively, you can, of course, take longer.
Block of the Week register
Indian Summer Quilt designed by Karen Platt

What is included?

It’s a great way to quilt – it includes

  1. Fabrics to make the quilt top. Size 60 x 72″ with alternatives.
  2. Sashing and binding if appropriate to the quilt and selected as an optional extra
  3. Backing if you select it as an optional extra
  4. The instructions as a pdf, emailed to you (recommended method for clear pics and instructions that you can zoom into to make the text any size)
  5. Alternatives to make the quilt top unique to you. Many of the pieces are interchangeable.
  6. At the moment I am working on just one colourway.
  7. My unique tips as a quilt teacher
  8. Step by step photographic and written instructions with all the techniques you need.
  9. Me on hand online to help along the way
  10. Facebook secret group

How Long Will It Take To Make?

Your friends in the group will spur you on, as will I. The size above, created one block a week will be 12 weeks plus any sashing, borders, binding, backing, to be decided.

The blocks are aimed at all skill levels, starting with the easy ones and building confidence to something a little more challenging. Some can be cut and stitched in one hour (so if you have the time you can make more than one a day). Others have taken me two hours.

Block of The Week register
Indian Summer Block of the week quilt Karen Platt

How much does it cost?

PRICE: Approximately, to be finalised shortly. I am looking at around 140 to 160 gbp plus shipping. As it is one shipping cost, it should only add 10 pounds. I have seen BOMs at up to 300 gbp with shipping over the year of 60 gbp. It might be extra if there are borders and sashing. Remember you are not asked to commit today, just to register your interest. We do NOT charge a registration fee, and again I have seen costs of up to 20 gbp for that alone.

YOU CAN ADD:

A. Extra fabric

B. Printed instructions (photographic quality might not be good an I recommend the pdf)

C. Request different sizes such as wall quilt, single bed size, king bed size, cushion

D. Options of online lessons

Register Your Interest

Register your interest now by sending an email through the contact page WITH THE SUBJECT August BOW. Watch out for updates on here or on facebook. If you register interest, you will receive an email headed Karen Platt August BOW to pay for your fabrics and BOW quilt kit and pattern. You are under no obligation to purchase. Once you have paid and fabrics have been dyed for you, you have waived your right to a refund because the fabrics will have been specially dyed for you. You can also ask any questions about the BOM. You can also register on the form of the home page of the website.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Quilt BOW Block of the Week For All Quilters

A brand new quilting concept for me, Take a BOW. Quilt BOW block of the week quilt, designed by Karen Platt with quilting pattern, detailed instructions and guidance plus fabrics all posted to you.

Quilt BOW block of the week
Block of the Week Quilt

BOW Quilting

We have BOM block of the month so why not quilt BOW block of the week. Most blocks are complete in around an hour, so one of a week leaves you plenty of time to do other things and also means you finish your quilt without it hanging around all year.

I have designed a very special quilt for you. It is available exclusively through me and is based on my hand dyed fabrics but with lots of options. I have kept the cost as low as possible because some BOMs are very over-priced. You’ll have the option to save on postage too by having it shipped in one go.

hand dyed fabric
Showcasing some of the hand dyed fabrics

SIGN UP

As soon as it is released, sign up because there will be a cut off point. The timeline at the moment looks like this

1st July 2020 release date for sign up

30 July 2020 cut off date

1st – 21 August 2020 I hand dye the fabrics specially for you. There will be colourway choices. All fabrics and pure cotton.

16 – 30 August 2020 shipping takes place.

1 September 2020 the private fb group opens for purchasers only to join.

4 September 2020 you start making your quilt. If you make one block a week, it should take you 30 weeks plus sashing, binding, backing and actual quilting. But of course you can take longer, or you could even do it in 30 days. The choice is yours.

Quilt BOW Block of the week
Quilt BOW Block of the week

Design

I have designed this quilt specially with all levels of skill in mind. It is also very adaptable (suggestions in the instructions). The pattern is written with great detail and step by step photos. I have thought of all the little things that patten writers often forget.

Quilting techniques
Quilting techniques

DATE FOR YOUR DIARY

Sign up 1st July 2020. The sign up will be on this page on my website. Watch out for the reminder on facebook and twitter @KTextileart

See you next week.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020