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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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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

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Quilting Know How Pinning Your Quilt

Quilting Know How Pinning brings you good quilting practices you need to know to make professional looking quilts. Last week I talked about some of the practices and this week I am taking a closer look at pinning your quilt.

Preparation – Pinning

Quilting Know How Pinning this week shows you how to get rid of those ‘tucks’ that appear in poorly quilted work. Recently I made two One Block Wonder quilts with panels. I have always been able to keep my quilting flat, right from the beginning. It was a box I ticked proudly.

Then disaster struck. As I quilted the first panel, I got tucks. I realised the fabric was perhaps a little stretchy, the border a little tight to the rest of the quilt but most importantly I had been meagre with the pins. I was desperate not to make the same mistake with the second panel. I made sure my border was perfect. But I did something else that made all the difference – Pinning.

Quilting Know How Pinning
Puckers happen when a quilt is not well pinned

Quilting Know How Pinning is all about using enough pins. I am a sparse pinner! This time, I took the time to pin thoroughly. I wanted this to look right. It worked. I stitched one way, adjusted my pins and stitched the other way.

Quilting Know How Pinnng
Pin well for a flat quilt

It is fabulous when you get it right, but a disaster if you get it wrong. It is simpler to get small projects flat. Large quilts are usually the problem. Having the space to lay out a large quilt can be problematic and result in your quilt not being flat. Follow my tips:

  1. Take as much time as it takes
  2. Never rush
  3. Leave it and come back to it if you have to
  4. Smooth and pin from the centre
  5. Check as you go
  6. Before you start to quilt ensure the back is also flat
  7. Start to quilt in the centre
Quilting Know How Pinning
Check the back is flat

Quilts pucker when washed and that is ok, that is what they are meant to do. This is entirely a different thing to the uneven surface of a badly pinned quilt. See our tutorials online here

Words, Images and Work Copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Quilting in Practice – Fabric, Stitch, Pinning

Quilting in Practice – Fabric, Stitch, Pinning – yes I am talking about what really matters this week – the devil really is in the details when it comes to quilting. It takes a lot to get it right every time. Starting with good fabric is a very good place to start.

Accurate piecing

Quilting in Practice

FABRIC

Fabric – so many times I see people mention cheap fabric and I cringe. Honestly it makes me ill. Quilting takes hours and you enjoy it for sure, but quality is much better than quantity when it comes to quilting. I had a tingle down my spine when last week, for the first time, I actually saw some fabric in that famous supermarket that begins with A. I took one look at it, and left it on the shelf. Just not quality fabric and therefore not something I would quilt with. Having said that, price, whilst usually an indication of quality, is not always the case when it comes to digitally produced fabrics. I was rather disappointed with some I bought from the USA a while back. If you are not familiar with the brand of fabric, go somewhere you can see and feel it. My favourite brands? Liberty, Moda and Kona solids.

quilting in practice
Good quality Moda fabrics

STITCH

My quilting still does not live up to what is in my mind. Piecing, I have my accuracy pretty good except when I am tired. But top quilting, the bit that matters, the bit you can see? It is a learning curve. I still get my quilt sticking on the corners. I also get so tense it is unreal. After an hour of quilting I feel like I have gone ten rounds in a boxing ring. Confidence is everything. I have improved so much in three years. Concentration is a must. What? You mean I have to make even more and more quilts??? For all my existing work, click online here

Karen Platt quilts
My latest quilt – that panel was a real pain

PINNING

How important is pinning! When we gain confidence, we happily piece straight pieces and even binding without pins. Pins go in sideways too not lengthways as in dressmaking. Seams need to be nested too, correct pinning helps immensely. For top quilting, it’s definitely a case of the more pins the merrier. I have pins that are long and thin and bend like Beckham, pins that are long and thicker and leave big holes and oh, those stick in your fingers and thumbs curved quilting pins that I really loathe. It is like doing battle with a thorny bush, you never escape without bleeding fingers.

Quilting in Practice
Simple straight seams can be stitched without pinning
More complicated shapes often need pinning

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Creative Quilting and textiles, travel and inspiration

Creative quilting and textiles are two of the loves of my life. Knitting and photography are two others. Everything is an inspiration, it’s just the way you see it, or often don’t see it that makes all the difference. Learn to look anew.

Creative Quilting and Textiles

Often with a subject such as quilting and textiles, it’s all about interpreting that source of inspiration. Taking something ordinary and turning it into the extraordinary. It’s not about copying, it’s about you. What speaks to you? This is the essence of my latest ‘Creative Textiles’ programme that you can join here

A 12-month inspirational ecourse to learn wherever you are. Discover how to interpret your world and be more creative. It will help you build your own style by exploring different methods of interpretation. What could be better?

Creative quilting ecourse
Creative quilting ecourse

Inspiration

I have written a lot about inspiration from patterns to the more unusual sources. As well as ways to interpret those sources from drawing, photography, painting and more. For me it usually starts with a photo and I like to play with photo manipulation. However, the same source can be interpreted in so many ways. It’s all about seeing and working with what you have. Let’s look at this church doorway.

You could interpret it in many ways – play with a photo, slice, collage, manipulate, draw, paint, embroider and so on. What do you see? The columns and Norman style are obvious.

Pick up on the pattern on the doors. Isn’t that a glorious pattern? What could that become if we play with line? A few ideas follow from my half hour playing this morning in Photoshop.

The final is never truly final. I could change colour, placement, the central piece of work, the background, the size, shape and so on. This was just a 30 minute exercise to demonstrate the possibilities. I could now start to draw, make paterns, think about colour and so on.

pattern
pattern on the doorway
Interpreting a photo
Interpreting a photo
creative quilting
Creative quilting
creative quilting
adding colour
creative quilting
adding colour
creative quilting
simplifying
creative quilting
detail
creative quilting
a very stitchy interpretation
interpretation
detail
interpretation
outline
creative quilting
creative quilting and textile
creative quilting and textiles
final interpretation

Resources

I have written many books on inspiration from gardening to textiles, available as pdf ebooks to download. My latest ebook is about ready to launch looking back at the sources of my quilting inspiration, more next week.

On the theme of this particular topic, is Inspiration Book Seven, which can be purchased along with the other Inspiration ebooks here

They make excellent gifts. Doors of Tunisia is also of interest if you love doors.

Inspiration book 7
inspiration book 7
Art inspiration ebook
An Art inpsiration ebook

Learn more about photo manipulation in my ecourses, the shorter photo techniques ecourse is now on offer. These and more ecourses can be purchased here

creative quilting
creative quilting
creative textiles
creative textiles

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Quilting Work In Progress Quilt Magic

Quilting work in progress is all about the projects on the go. Looking at what I have been working on but what is not yet finished. It’s true, occasionally projects fall by the wayside and do not get finished for one reason or another. I have become pretty good at completing projects and trying not to start another one until the project I have started on is finished.

Quilting Work In Progress – OBW

It was only on the 25th September 2019 that I decided to use up some fabric bought in 2017, two years ago. I had initially bought a panel and some fabric for One Block Wonder (OBW) quilt. When the fabrics arrived, they had been put in the to do drawer. I was unsure they would work.

Quilting work in progress
Fabric bought for OBW

Last week, I decided to find out. As I looked at the panel, I cut some off either side. It needs a border. I cut the detached pieces into large triangles. This will form the border around the panel.

quilting work in progress
the cut down panel and first hexagons

The next day, when I started cutting my 6 pieces needed for OBW, I found that I was short. I racked my brain to think what I could do and the solution was simple. It was a 12 inch repeat, that I had cut as 24 inch repeats, as that is what the ladies who wrote the OBW books recommend. But that 12 inch repeat still meant I had the required 6 identical pieces to make my hexagons. Phew.

Cutting hexagons
Cutting 6 repeats

When selecting this eagle fabric, I had put the fabric into the OBW design helper and it looked great. However I had done that with fabrics before and it had not quite the effect I had hoped for. Like my others, this fabric was pretty much one colour – a problem for OBW. You can see my OBW quilts and the way I work in my ecourse tutorial and on quilts for sale.

quilting work in progress

Yet the cuts have been great and I am more than pleased with the 57 different blocks I have made. I think this looks terrific. Next one up? Another panel that goes with this one. Yes, I have a matching pair.

quilting work in progress
Progress so far

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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2020 Quilt Retreat Quilting and Design in North Yorkshire

2020 Quilt Retreat

2020 quilt retreat
Whitby Abbey copyright Karen Platt 2019
Whitby
Caedmon cross
North Yorkshire coast
Whitby North Yorkshire coast

2020 Quilt Retreat in North Yorkshire, right on the coast, opposite a beach and a few miles (walking distance) to Whitby and a short bus ride to other fantastic coastal villages countryside. That is a wow, and when you add 7 days accommodation (6 nights) and no less than 18 tutorials to get you inspired and quilting, you are going to be running on sea air. Sew away days by the sea. Believe me, this is going to be the perfect retreat. Plenty of time to relax for those who want to chill, plenty of time to quilt and plenty of time to enjoy the surroundings.

Staithes
Staithes will be just a up the road
seaside inspiration rust
seaside inspiration rust
seaside inspiration North Yorkshire
seaside inspiration

Fabulous things to do and see, great teaching, wonderful surroundings, like-minded people and a comfortable holiday home for the week. Get away from it all and quilt. Who would not want to escape to a quilt retreat? Visit dramatic Whitby Abbey and translate it into a quilt. Learn how to transform the coast into landscape quilts. Discover how to really make a stained glass quilt without that ugly black tape that is supposed to represent the solder. It always looks so wrong.

quilt retreat coastal walks
quilt retreat coastal walks
quilt retreat
quilt retreat coastal inspiration
quilt retreat
quilt retreat costal walks

I shall be showing you how to get the best from the wonderful scenery, the history, the architecture and historical figures and demonstrate how you can make your own personal quilts by following my steps to interpretation. I’ll be on hand 9-5 to teach and inspire. We’ll have the chance to visit several places and soak up the atmosphere of this wonderful coast. I have kept the price low for what you are getting. So join me now. So click here to read more and register your interest today. There is only room for around half a dozen people and if it’s not booked quickly, the accommodation will be taken by someone else. Just drop me a line, I will take bookings when we have enough people. Don’t miss your place. Also great for photographers and artists.

quilt retreat coastal villages
quilt retreat coastal villages
North Yorkshire Moors
inspiring scenery
garden inspiration
local garden

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Drunkard’s Path Classroom Tutorial Back To School Blog Hop 2019

A huge welcome to my Drunkard’s Path Classroom Tutorial for the Blog Hop hosted and arranged by Sam Hunter’s Design Studio. I am a hands-on quilt designer and pattern writer with a big interest in textiles and knitting too. I am a fully qualified and experienced teacher.

Back To School Blog Hop

Drunkard’s Path Classroom

Do you struggle with curves? Can’t work out the best way to sew them? The struggle is over with my techniques and tips for perfect Drunkard’s Path curves. This easy way makes your quilting life a whole lot simpler. At the same time it gives you the wonderful versatility associated with the many ways of putting Drunkard’s Path shapes together.

Drunkard's Path Classroom
Drunkard’s Path gives easy curves

Cutting

Cutting accurately is important. My number one tip here is to keep as close to the template as you can. Holding your marker upright and not at an angle helps. The inner half circle can be cut with a rotary cutter. The outer can too, but much more care is needed. You might slice into the template. You can also use a pin to mark the fabric enough to see a clear line for cutting with scissors.

cutting fabrics
A template gives accurate results when cutting shapes

Templates

You can cut from card, mylar or paper but for a template that will be used over and over again, a good transparent template is ideal. The ones photographed here were free with a magazine and I have used them twice, but the amount of material left above the curve after the seams are joined is negligible and I believe a deeper margin is better.

templates
Templates
Templates
I’d like more arc around my circles than this template gives

Sewing Circles

Accuracy is necessary for the semi circle and the outer to match up. In the Drunkard’s Path camp we have pinners and non pinners. One thing of note is never to stretch the fabric. Some fabrics stretch more than others, so that is something to beware of when choosing fabrics and using a non pinning method. Larger templates are easier than small ones. It just gets fiddlier.

  1. As a beginner I suggest you pin. All you need is three pins.
  2. It is the way you pin it that matters.
  3. It is also when you remove those pins that matter.
  4. Find the centre of each part.

If after making x amount, you feel like going pin free, try it.

3-pin method
My 3 pin method

When you remove the pins is also important.

  1. Secure the first stitch and remove the first pin.
  2. Work to the centre pin and remove as you approach. Never stitch over a pin.
  3. Hold that last pin there until the very last second to keep the edges together.
Drunkard's Path Classroom
Remove the pins as you stitch the curve

The Fun Part

The fun in Drunkard’s Path comes in all the different ways of putting those pieces together, so use a design wall and play. Once you have them perfect, it makes play easy. You can join them in circles, half circles, diagonals, and so on to create great patterns.

Drunkard's Path Classroom
Drunkard’s Path Pattern
Drunkard's Path Classroom
Drunkard Path Pattern

For a list of other tutorials in the Back To School Blog Hop 2019 see the list here and many thanks to Sam Hunter for organising this and giving me the opportunity to be a part of it.

Share, with your friends, sign up to our newsletter at the bottom of the home page. My quilting blog comes out every Monday. You can follow my quilting page on Facebook for daily news and Instagram for great pics.

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Creating quilts as landscape wall hanging quilts

Creating quilts as landscape can be realistic or imaginary and abstract. I like to create quilts as landscape based on places I have been to or favourite scenes such as the sea. It’s a fun way to interpret holidays or day trips but you can also use photographs, as I do in my latest ecourse for quilters to develop your quilting skills without using any special software, just a photograph and your imagination and creative skill. You can see the ecourse online here. It takes a different photograph and subject each month and shows how to interpret it in different ways with useful and practical knowledge on techniques and design. A great way to learn how to use your own photos and create satisfying quilts. You can create quilts of any size with this unique ecourse.

Countryside landscape quilts

Recently I have been interpreting the wonderful Peak District and the walks I have made in the area into quilted landscapes and quilted pictures as part of the ecourse mentioned above. I am now working on different topics to extend the subject of the quilts. Creating quilts as landscape is a fun topic and can be interpreted in so many ways. You can also use a variety of materials that you would not use in bed or lap quilts. The quilts are for sale individually and I have also made a triptych, three landscape quilts to hang together. You can purchase them online here

Creating quilts as landscape

Blog Hop

Before the landscapes I was concentrating on Drunkard’s Path techniques and the blog as part of this hop will be revealed on 20th September 2019, so stay tuned. It’s a USA blog hop, so likely to be released in the evening UK time. Day 1 is here (1st September 2019)

blog hop

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019