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Quilting My Heart Out

Wow what a bumper week, not one but six projects finished. One textile piece (not included today) and five art quilts. Plus some hand stitching done, knitting, writing and I am embarking on some voluntary work. Breathe. Quilting my heart out indeed and how joyful that was.

Digital Art Quilting

It was such fun working on my new art quilts. I just love the design process. First up was the church one, I have done this one once before but was very hesitant about the quilting. I have had much practice since then and this one went very well.

quilting my heart out
quilting my heart out church art quilt by Karen Platt

Next up was a Shapes design (actually there is more than one but I have only printed and stitched one so far), I am so in love with the colours and the threads matched very well.

quilting my heart out
quilting my heart out Shapes by Karen Platt

Along with those two sitting forgotten about in the same drawer was big bird. What took me so long to put this under the machine? He is chirping away merrily now.

Quilt design by Karen Platt
Fine Feathered Friend Quilt by Karen Platt

Fabric Collage Quilting

Also in that drawer was a few pieces left over from one of the tea quilts. So this is the third in the series, getting a bit bolder with my machine quilting now. I would not have attempted writing Camellia sinensis this time last year. (Note to self, the other two tea quilts are not on the website).

Tea quilt by Karen Platt
Camellia sinensis quilt by Karen Platt

Last but not least is another bird, Fantastic bird, an imaginary masterpiece! I did the background last week and the bird this week. Just love him. Hope you agree and that all these new pieces quickly find homes.

fantastic bird quilt by Karen Platt
Fantastic bird quilt by Karen Platt

Tune in next Monday for another bumper selection of work and find out if I was quilting my heart out again. There is a clue in there as to next week’s projects.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Old Textile Work and New

Old textile work was found in my drawer last week. I had discovered a few unfinished projects. This week I had planned new art quilts I had mentioned in last week’s blog. However, having been ill all week, I could not manage much at all.

Friday saw me scramble to get something done and I started my second project with the pink and green fabric. However it is feeling a bit like the other project and I want it to be different. I have an idea for it now.

art quilt
New project
art quilt
new project

Old Textile Work

First though I went back to the old textile work. In my drawer was a four year old project (does not feel that long ago). Based on a photo in Tunisia, and a subsequent drawing as well as an altered image idea. I had gathered all my fabrics only to shove it all in a drawer owing to the death of a loved one. Yesterday I managed to finish it. Not strictly a quilt as it has no wadding, this stitched picture is now complete. I think my object here was to use as many fabrics as I could and this packs in at least eight. Is that a record for a tiny piece?

old textile work
My altered image
old textile work
old textile work finished at last

No sooner have you finished one, that another old textile work beckons. This is one I lost confidence with. It was my very first piece of free motion stitching on a painting. So wobbly, but I think I can pull it together now.

old textile work
old textile work

Looking Ahead

There are still lots of art quilts to get down into fabric and stitch. I am also about to launch my next Inspiration ebook – Domes, Towers and Turrets. It’s been very exciting to work on this one and it is the last of the themes for the moment. There are 14 of them and 3 art/travel ones. Next up in February or March will be the original themes I started doing before I got waylaid. These are not just photos but textile work. More about that next time. Visit the website to see all my work.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Small Art Quilts Work For Sale

With my small art quilts I am moving on this week to new ways of creating art quilts. I am working with scraps, paint and digitally. However before I show you those, I want to show what I finished last week. No less than five small art quilts. I did not make any changes to the Seagull quilt but he is now on the website for sale as are all the quilts, just click the links. However, the Kingfisher quilt has a few new tail feathers. I also made a change to the Bird Quilt, he now has an eye and the gold pieces are couched onto the black. The skeleton leaf was causing problems but is now fixed. How? See the ecourse for modern quilts to learn this and many more techniques.

Seagull quilt
Seagull Quilt by Karen Platt
small art quilt
Kingfisher by Karen Platt 2020
small art quilt
Bird Quilt by Karen Platt

There Are Always More Fish In The Sea

Three fish to be exact. This was a small art quilt that I thought was finished, but I had a little niggle, the left hand side looked empty. I tried a buoy, but making it look as if it was submerged was difficult and I abandoned that idea. Then looking for something else, I came across a piece of silk rod that was perfect. Then to finish it off, in the same bag was a plied yarn. I am really happy with this now.

small art quilt
Fish quilt by Karen Platt

Rusty Scissors

This is the largest of these small art quilts. Inspired by the River Don and the cutlery industry in Sheffield, this quilt was made with my handmade rusted fabrics. It is a subtle palette and good viewed up close. It has the most quilting I have done to date. N.B. Yes I know stainless steel does not rust. You can see the quilt here

River Don quilt series
Rusty Scissors by Karen Platt

What’s New?

I am working on more ideas and hope to finish three pieces this week. There is a small scrap picture quilt. I have started the sky, not thought about the rest of it yet. I have ideas for four larger pieces, one based on my mother, the others city scapes. More about that next time.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Art Quilts Birds Added This Week

Art Quilts Birds added in my second week in January is three art quilts birds finished and two more I shall finish tomorrow. It’s looking good. These make superb wall quilts or wall decor.

New Art Quilts

It’s always lovely to start new projects, but it’s even lovelier to finish them and that’s the goal for this year. All these art quilts form part of my new forthcoming ecourse and you can join me online. I am teaching all aspects of art quilts of every kind. It’s good for beginners up as the quilts start off easy and build your skills as you go. You’ll learn many different techniques.

Kingfisher Art Quilt

I have also started off small. I believe this is a great idea for beginners because small quilts are easier to handle. I have painted kingfishers in the past, so I had a reference of my own to work from for this quilt. He was fun to do and also fits into my River Don series. This is also a good design for using large scraps. This one is already up on the website for sale.

art quilts birds
art quilts Kingfisher

Seagull Art Quilt

My seagull was inspired by my own photos taken in Bridlington in 2015. I am not the most confident at drawing, but I did a whole sheet of seagull drawings before choosing three to make in fabric. The background to this one is a leftover from another art quilt.

art quilts
from drawing to fabric Karen Platt 2020
art quilts birds
the finished art quilts Seagulls

Bird Art Quilt

My bird came from a bought fabric that I could not resist. I put the finishing touches to this one this week. I am pleased with the outcome of all three. They use similar methods. Next week, I’ll be using a different way to make art quilts. So see you then, take care and happy quilting.

art quilts birds
art quilts birds

It was such a busy week, I also launched a new ebook. Reflections is also now available on the website. It features over 470 images and examples of my work too.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Day 31 quilting of 31 day blog challenge

Day 31 quilting – All good things come to an end and this is the final day of the 31 day blog challenge. However, it is not the end, but a beginning. The beginning of 2020, the beginning of new work, so tune in to the blog every Monday.

Looking Forwards

Day 31 quilting is a time to try and shape the future, how I want it to be. In 2016 I decided to make a living from teaching quilting, I know I made the right decision as a trained and qualified teacher with an eye for design, I am doing what makes me happy. Some of the quilts I made last year.

day 31 quilting
Karen Platt Original Quilts

The Unfinished

That first quilt is still there. It must be unpicked and finished. Good news is I found enough calico to finish the hand quilting one, so that will be launched shortly and the quilt along will happen. I also have a BOM planned, finally!

day 31 quilting
Quilt along

There is an Inspiration Travel ebook on Madeira that is also almost finished but was abandoned for three years. I also have one planned on Portugal. I have one other Inspiration ebook planned on Reflections.

Apart from those, in 2015 I planned a whole series of Inspiration books based on artwork inspired by historical themes. I hope to get round to publishing some of those in 2020.

Inspiration Travel Madeira
Inspiration Travel Book Two Madeira Gardens

Quilting Plans

I am concentrating on art quilts and colour this year. I hope to be teaching more, but I find venues in the UK reluctant to pay travel and there is nowhere locally to teach. I have made efforts to make this work.

day 31 quilting
quilt design Karen Platt

The quilt retreat should go ahead in June, which I am looking forward to. Join me for a great week of quilting and inspiration that will last a lot longer.

I have one unfinished ecourses for quilters almost ready to launch – Improve Your Quilting in 12 Easy Steps. I also have an Inspiration ebook on My Quilting Journey, so those will be coming next month.

day 31 quilting
ecourse by Karen Platt

Knitting

Also launching early in 2020 will be the Peak Collection of Knitting Patterns. I am also well on the way with other knitting pattern collections.

Discount

Day 31 quilting, the 20% off everything on the website is still running until midnight tonight. Happy New Year everyone.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Day 28 quilting of 31 day blog challenge

Day 28 quilting is the toughest day of my year as I mourn the loss of three loved ones on this day. I have come to dread this day. So I wanted to create some good memories instead of mourning the loss. I am launching my first Travel destination ebook to celebrate the life of my partner and Sahara tour guide, Ali. Ali departed this world in 2016. It has been very difficult to write this book, it is so full of memories. It includes images of the Sahara and the art I created including one quilt inspired by the wondrous colours of the desert.

Sahara

The ebook is now available exclusively here

Art Quilts

Day 28 quilting in the middle of the night, the best ideas come along. I have a fascination for birds, as do many quilt artists and artists in general. In my mind’s eye I saw a blackbird and knew just what to create. Several hours later as I entered my workroom and started looking for the fabrics to create my blackbird, I chose a plain black, a textured white and then a rust fabric. As I was assessing this I suddenly remembered a rusty fabric I have that has birds printed on it. That was the end of the blackbird for today. He will be coming home to roost though shortly.

Meantime, I changed some of the fabrics and a new art quilt was born. These small quilts make great wall art. I just have to finish the quilting. I am rather pleased with this project and already have an idea to use up the rest of this wonderful bird fabric.

day 28 quilting
the making of a new art quilt copyright Karen Platt 2019
day 28 quilting
the finishing touches copyright Karen Platt 2019

Today’s Discount

Take 20% off the new ebook – Sahara. Check back tomorrow for another discount.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Day 27 quilting of 31 day blog challenge

Day 27 quilting brings more stash and ideas for art quilts. I sorted through more fabrics and unfinished projects. This is necessary before I start something new.

Unfinished Projects

On Day 27 quilting, I want to make it clear that certainly for me, it is not all about bed quilts. Many of my projects are wall quilts or lap quilts. Three years ago when I started quilting for a living, I made a decision that I would quilt jackets and coats. I have been rather slow in this area. It will receive more attention in 2020. I dug out the jacket I am making, I know I started the second front but have not found that yet. This is top of my list for finishing.

day 27 quilting
hand quilted jacket

Art Quilt

I tried out an idea for an art quilt. Whilst I do not dislike it, it was lacking something and so I put it to one side to think about it. I have many ideas buzzing around in my head.

day 27 quilting
testing ideas for an art quilt

Improv Quilting

Whilst I ponder that art quilt, I sorted a bag of scraps. You can see that I ended up with strips, skinny strips, pre-cut triangles and some odd shapes. I started putting together improv strips, for a possible scrap quilt. I am feeling a bit at odds with it all today.

scrap quilt
colour coordinated scraps
day 27 quilting
Improv quilting

Sahara

I have been fortunate enough to travel to the Sahara more than once. In 2014 I started writing about the places I had visited and the art I had made, including textile art. Unfortunately in 2016 my partner died and it all became too painful. However, even though three years on, it still caused me much pain and tears, it is almost finished and ready to launch, so look out for that. I hope to launch it on what would have been Ali’s birthday on the 28th December.

hand stitched textile
Hand painted fabric, machine and hand stitched original Sahara desert textile

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Day 26 quilting of 31 day blog challenge

Day 26 quilting is about starting new projects. In the coming week I shall be creating some art quilts, looking back at my progress and achievements and looking forwards to what is coming in 2020. I know some of you are busy with celebrations, but a blog only takes a few minutes to read and can be a few minutes peace in your day.

Sorting Fabrics

Day 26 quilting, it was time to look at what I had. Yes, little Miss No Stash, has quite a bit of fabric. Some unused for years, but most of this is leftovers. Some of it is already earmarked for projects or work in progress (wip). The Cathedral Windows projects (there are 3 of those here) are all unfinished. The orange one is supposed to be a sewing machine cover. The bear one is sort of finished, but needs something else. I cannot even remember what the tiny triangles one is. These are all from 3 years ago and need finishing. There is still an awful lot of fabric here and this is not all of it.

Day 26 quilting
Unfinished work and stash

Projects in Mind

When you look at your stash like this, it helps if you have projects in mind, or if your stash suggests projects. The neutral fabrics were part of my autumn quilt. I started making a jacket with the leftovers, so I need to make sure I keep some back for that. The butterfly fabrics were bought for that quilt but not used. They might just spark an idea for an art quilt. What I am looking for to get started are my neutral fabrics (many of them hand dyed) to start an art piece.

day 26 quilting
Leftover fabrics for a jacket

The silks were bought for different reasons. I bought the plain brights and a pack of textured ones at a show many many years ago. Some have been used. The orange and neutral silks were bought to make dresses. You can perhaps tell that much of this stash was bought with textiles in mind and some of my creations will be very textile orientated but quilted pieces. Stay tuned tomorrow when I shall reveal more.

day 26 quilting
silk fabrics
textiles
textiles

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Day 25 quilting of 31 day blog challenge

Day 25 quilting is such a special day, Christmas Day. For me Christmas is a time to count your blessings and help those in need.

Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas to all, peace on earth

In The Quilting Room

Remember I said I had a tidy work table? Yes, here is the space on day 25 quilting.

day 25 quilting

I am gathering together all the stash and thinking about where to go next. My leaning for 2020 is towards art quilts and modern quilts but I still have the gorgeous Voysey fabrics, which yearn for a traditional quilt and bed sized no less.

day 25 quilting
Voysey fabrics

When Is a Stash Not A Stash?

When it is in my workroom! I often say I don’t believe in stash anymore. Yet, when I gather all my fabrics together – there is a stash. However, I no longer buy fabrics just because I like them, to build a stash because I find there is usually something missing and fabrics can sit there forever waiting for the right quilt. There is always another fabric. They need a lot of storage space and fabrics out in the open can get dusty or fade. So I now only buy with a particular quilt in mind. Still got quite a bit to use up.

I am also mindful of the environmental costs of new fabric, so I am trying to reduce that. Digital fabric printed at home is one way to go, no huge amounts of water used there at all. Buying or using pre-loved fabrics is another way.

Art Quilts

Part of my art quilt endeavours will be to use what I have and make something of it. I have done all the simple landscape quilts and it is time to move on and really explore the possibilities of art quilts. This gorgeous fabric I designed is an art quilt just by itself.

Digital Dahlia fabric
My digital dahlia fabric

Today’s Discount

Day 25 quilting, why not join me on a voyage of discovery? Art quilts are covered in my new ecourse Modern Quilting and you can take 20% off today. Drop me a line using the contact form to arrange the 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