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.
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.
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.
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 25 quilting is such a special day, Christmas Day. For me Christmas is a time to count your blessings and help those in need.
In The Quilting Room
Remember I said I had a tidy work table? Yes, here is the space on 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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
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)
Festival of Quilts ended just a week ago and it seems like a lifetime ago. What joy the show brings with the biggest display of quilts in the UK and how hard everyone works to make it a success.
This is my final look at the quilts on display, with the makers’ names, so that you can have the pleasure of looking up your favourite makers and finding out more about them. I was prompted to write this series of blogs (it’s taken at least 9 hours to do so) as I felt incensed by all the social media posts that do not acknowledge the quilt maker. It is actually written into copyright law that the moral rights of creators of any art or craft are acknowledged. Despite this, even those that know do not always put the names with the quilts and ignorance has never been an excuse in law. For me it is essential to acknowledge the makers of these beautiful quilts. Some quilts take a long time to make, let’s celebrate the makers and find joy in their work. The quilt belongs to someone and it is common decency to give them their due, their moment in the spotlight.
I took a few photos where I could not read the label, and therefore have not shared. That’s how it should be – either we acknowledge the maker or in accordance with the law we keep the photos for personal reference, we do not share if we are not giving the makers’ names.
Aina Muze in the Eternal Thread exhibition, a quilt that used interesting fabrics. It was actually dated 2009.
Jenny Otto and Frances Meredith entered a two-person quilt called ‘Stonefields’ that I thought was sheer delight. There is a bunny in there. I long to make this kind of quilt, it is on my list to design one in the coming year.
Magdalena Galinska and Agnieszka Wietczak entered ‘Promienie/Rays’ in the same category, which received a highly recommended from the judges. Striking design and colour.
Tatiana Duffie’s ‘Bauble II’, a modern quilt, was a fabulous blend of immaculate piecing and quilting.
Helen Butcher’s ‘Negative Space?’ was highly commended in the modern section. Soft greys with highlights. A lovely geometric medley.
Sheena Roberts’ beautiful storm at sea quilt. I love this interpretation. Sorry my pic is a bit wonky, I was getting tired. It really stood out.
Lesley Brankin’s ‘Belonging’ was featured in the Guild’s Spotlight @ 40 and epitomises the joy of quilting and a great reason to belong to the Quilter’s Guild – the spirit of friendship.
I would like to finish this series of six blogs by mentioning the Guild’s page and membership. Why not join? It is not expensive and without them we would not have this show, so thank you to everyone involved again and my only question is ‘Why do we have to wait another year?’. Make sure you are at FOQ 2020. So much to see and do.
Words, images copyright Karen Platt, quilts copyright their respective makers.
Mary Palmer and Ann Kiely’s quilt ‘Who Will Tell The Bees’ was perhaps the most controversial quilt at the show. It won two awards. A long-armed quilt with fantastic quilting and a story to tell that many failed to understand. It was one of the most interesting art quilts.
There were some wonderful, but much photographed winners, so I am not going to include those. They can be seen on the official website where you can find details of next year’s show and how to enter a competition quilt.
Away from the competition quilts are the other entries – the 3D and exhibition galleries. The 3-D section is always of interest, not least Kathy Knapp’s work, which always amazes me. I am a huge fan of her work, she has a fb page. ‘Rose Red Fantasy’ was breathtaking in its detail.
Marijke van Welzen’s coat was based more on patchwork and stitch and was wonderful to see. Very wearable. When I started quilting, this was what I imagined I would do. Now, I am going to start now (I said that last year too).
I have at least one stitchy friend who is an author of 3-d dolls. Kate Crossley’s work was very detailed, especially around the base.
Caroline Nixon’s beautifully eco-dyed and stitched coat was very eye-catching.
In the ‘Natural Selection’ exhibition gallery, Fabienne Rey’s glorious stitch piece ‘Travelling Through The Land Of Nonsense’ was wondrously executed on plant dyed silks and eco prints. Priced at 1800gbp.
I loved the simplicity of Deborah Pawle’s ‘Sand Dunes’ with natural hand dyed threads, priced at 300gbp
As well as these pieces by Ross Belton, priced at 320gbp each
Roxanne Lasky’s amazing jacket was part of this Natural Selection gallery. Priced at 3,500 gbp it was made with recycled fabric and eco prints.
Part Four is coming soon with more exhibition gallery work. Words and images copyright Karen Platt. Copyright of quilts/artworks is with the respective makers.
Achievement is indeed the buzz word for January 2019. Each week of this New Year has brought fantastic news.
Achievement is my kind of success and involves markers along the way to the ultimate goal. I have always given 100% plus to whatever I do and it is great to see some recognition.
Talks at Quilting Shows
My first talks on Colour For Quilters are at the British Quilt & Stitch Village 2019 in April. I am speaking on each day at that event at Uttoxeter racecourse – 12-14th April.
I have just heard that on 4th August 2019, I shall be giving two talks at the ultimate quilt show – FOQ (Festival of Quilts) at the NEC, Birmingham, UK. The first is on Quilt Design, the second on the same day is on Colour. This is preliminary notice, actual dates and times are to be confirmed.
I am thrilled. Feeling very lucky. Book your tickets now and I’ll see you on the day. How do I top that achievement?
I have made great progress with my latest Winter Inspirations quilt. The snowflakes are being added now. Perhaps just one more round of motifs and it will be finished. It is a quilt as you go, so once I have the top done, there will not be much more quilting when I add the backing.
I was gathering scraps today and might fit in a scrap quilt next. I am mindful now of getting my FOQ design finished. It will be great to have a quilt hanging when I am speaking there.
My sewing machine needs to go off for its annual service, but I really need it now. If it were not for so many projects, I might just think of starting my millefiori quilt, which will be by hand.
Finally I am knitting a textured sleeveless top. Enjoying making up my own stitch pattern too.
Opening on Saturday 26th at the Montgomery Theatre cafe, Sheffield I have an exhibition of art and framed quilts on show until Friday 20th February 2019.
There are traditional or modern quilts and there are quilts that transcend craft and become art.
“I don’t get it,” he said, “who buys these things? Why would you put a quilt on the wall?”
So I took him along to The Festival of Quilts, and he got the hanging of quilts on walls as decoration, but he is still not convinced about the money side. Isn’t this just a craft that people do when they retire? Aren’t they just given away for free?
I have said it before, that I came to quilting because so many friends said my digital art would make great quilts. I have still to use my digital art in that way, but now I am free to explore. Like knitting, quilts stand at the crossroads of art and craft. Original design alone does not make it an art form. Using art and design principles, like those I teach in the ecourses helps to distinguish a quilt as a piece of art. It’s also about breaking the mold of functionality and thinking outside the box.
Making money from any craft or art is never easy, but it is possible. I am hoping to make my mark on the quilting world for my innovative ideas and creative use of this medium.
A quilt artist uses traditional quilt techniques but also employs non-traditional ones such as digital or painting, dyeing or stamping, has a message or something to say. Modern quilting is big business.
You can find inspiration for modern quilting and other textiles in my ebooks
Small Art quilts by Deborah O’Hare, softback published by Search Press. ISBN 9781782214502, price 17.99 available from www.searchpress.com
Subtitled ‘Explorations in Paint & Stitch’, this book explores the flourishing textile art quilt movement. This is ‘art quilt’ as in creating pictures on fabric and using wadding as a sandwich, not the Art Quilt Movement that uses quilting to make a statement. It explains techniques by hand and machine to guide you through the process. Step-by-step instructions reveal the techniques offering guidance for every level of skill. Close-up photography shows the detail wonderfully. Find out all about the materials for art quilting, inspiration, using photos, design, colour, painting on fabric and creating small art quilts then embellishing them. Finishing techniques and some templates are included. Another good addition to the Textile Artist series. Sadly nothing new, painting techniques have been covered in many books on textiles, but lovely work.
Discover different ways to quilt. Here’s my exclusive guide to quilting to help beginners upwards decide which types and styles of quilting they want to try.
Check out the eCourses page regularly for new courses and why not ask your quilting group to host me as a speaker.
Quilts are made of 3 parts, often referred to as a sandwich
The quilt top
The wadding or batting in the middle
The pieced top is usually referred to as patchwork
The quilting is stitching by hand or machine usually through all 3 layers
A quilt is normally a bed sized quilt, but these days there are far more uses of quilting in wall hangings, clothes, home accessories including anything from mug rugs and coasters to cushions and sewing machine covers plus quilt sizes ranging from mini to King Size bed quilts.
There are different types of quilts
Block quilts have existed from the 1800s at least and are still extremely popular today. There are many traditional and modern block patterns. Take a look at our Block Design eCourse.
Applique is also a traditional quilting technique.
Historical methods of quilting include Cathedral Window Quilting and Japanese Folded Patchwork. Take a look at our eCourses on these two subjects.
Whole cloths or traditional hand stitch quilts are heirlooms. They take a long time to make, but are worth it. See our modern slant on a hand stitched calico cloth quilt in the eCourses section of the website.
Modern or Contemporary
With the advent of freeform quilts – informal designs and free motion machine quilting, this art form has really taken on a free spirit again. We offer a number of eCourses on modern methods of quilting including design eCourses and tutorials using traditional hand stitch methods or computer design.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of some methods of putting a quilt together:
A method of adding cut shapes to quilts to the surface of the quilt top. There are several types of applique. This can be done n formal blocks or informal designs.
Technical ability: Confident beginners to Advanced
Technique: there are various techniques of machine or hand stitching shapes to the quilt top some more complicated than others. You need to find a way of cutting and piecing the shapes to the surface. Hawaiiian quilts are a form of appliqué. There is also reverse appliqué – Mola is a form of reverse applique. Broderie Perse is another type of appliqué.
A freeform design that conveys a beautiful image or a message. This type of quilt is usually a wall hanging and can use traditional or modern methods.
Technical ability: Intermediate up
Techniques: often involves multiple techniques including appliqué, free—motion or hand stitching, embroidery, hand-dyed fabrics, text and more
As challenging as you want it to be, a chance to show off your ability
Improvisational quilts are ones which are not bound by rules and often include freehand cutting and innovative piecing.
Landscape quilts are art quilts that mimic the landscape, they often rely heavily on stitch and using the right fabrics.
Photo quilts use your own photos, transferred to fabrics.
Repetitive blocks are an easy way to create harmony. Blocks are often referred to as units. They are used in traditional quilting.
Technical ability: Beginners to Advanced depending on the complexity involved. Simple blocks can be made using geometric shapes.
Technique: accurate straight stitch quarter inch seam. Piecing can be more challenging depending on the design and include matching points
Versatile including anything from two colour simple striped blocks up to the exhilarating challenge of Double Wedding Ring or Dear Jane quilts or Sampler Quilts which contain different blocks.
Attic Windows Quilts are another type of block involving an optical illusion using a frame to give the effect of windows.
Simple blocks are an excellent introduction to traditional quilting.
Cathedral Window Quilting
A type of quilting that requires no wadding, so is often referred to as a patchwork method
Technical ability: Beginners to Intermediate
Technique: Accurate hand stitching. Can also be machine stitched, but I do not find it any quicker. Accurate cutting and folding to ensure all the ‘blocks’ are the same size
Design can be varied to offer challenges
A style of irregularly-pieced quilting. Shapes can be random or follow a design pattern. Embellishments are usually added including buttons, beads and embroidery. Unusual fabrics such as velvet and lace might be introduced.
Technical ability: Confident beginner up
Technique: Accurate piecing of different shapes.
You need expert knowledge on how fabrics behave and if they will behave the same when washed.
English Paper Piecing or EPP for short
An easy way to achieve precision. If you are struggling with accurate seams, inset seams or matching up shapes – this is the way to do it.
Technical ability: Beginners
Technique: easy accurate piecing using whip stitch
Challenging depending on the design but easy to accomplish accuracy. Hexagons are a favourite of EPP
Bonus: portable. These days you can repeat your template easily in software and print out as many templates as you need in the size you want. Templates are removed once the top is completed.
Foundation Paper Piecing or FPP for short
Fabric is stitched to paper or muslin forming foundation pieces. It’s another accurate paper piecing method. When you look at perfect points – this is the way it is done. Patterns that look complicated can be achieved easily with this method from triangles to picture quilts. The paper pieces are numbered for piecing.
Technical ability: Confident beginners to Intermediate
Technique: accurate machine piecing
Easy to accomplish complicated designs.
Japanese Folded Patchwork
This is known as patchwork even though it does have a type of wadding, though it is usually felt
Technical ability: Beginners
Technique: Accurate hand stitching. Accurate cutting of circles to ensure all the ‘blocks’ are the same size.
A style of quilting that traditionally uses the clothing of someone you wish to remember or to give to someone as a keepsake. Photo quilts can also be a type of memory quilt.
Modern or Contemporary Quilting
Emphasis on bold colours, design, use of space enhanced by quilting stitches. These quilts often look equally good on the wall as on a bed.
Technical ability: Confident beginner up
Technique: can be as simple as lines breaking up negative space to challenging designs with multiple techniques.
One Block Wonder Quilts or OBW for short
A way of cutting and arranging fabric to produce a stunning look from just one fabric
Technical ability: Intermediate to Advanced
Technique: Accurate cutting of triangles with points
Challenging to find a fabric that will work. Challenges accuracy of cutting through several layers of fabric. Takes more fabric than other quilts. Can be boring to piece but can produce stunning results from fabrics you would not normally use BUT not every fabric works. See the tutorial on OBW from my own hands-on experience
Pre-cuts – squares, layer cakes, jelly rolls
Like strip quilting but you can cut into shapes
Technical ability: Beginners to Intermediate
Technique: accurate straight stitch quarter inch seam. Piecing can be more challenging if you cut your squares into triangles.
Lots of examples in the Quilting for Beginners eCourse
Quilt As You Go or Quaygo (or QAYG) for short
A simplified way of working on one block at a time, piecing onto wadding then quilting before you move on to the next block. Blocks are then joined together to form the quilt with minimal quilting of the whole quilt because the quilting has already been done.
Technical ability: Beginners
Technique: quilting on smaller pieces as you work that avoids having to do extensive quilting on the whole quilt.
Bonus: can be fitted into small sessions and you feel as if you have accomplished something because you have a pieced and quilted block.
These are quilts using traditional methods but including non-traditional materials such as denim. The seams are exposed on the front. They are assembled differently to traditional quilts.
Raw Edge Quilts
A type of quilting with exposed raw edges.
Japanese quilting with precise stitches that form designs. Special sashiko cotton is available in different colours. The fabric is usually dark blue (indigo). Sashiko quilts traditionally have no padding.
Scrap or Scrappy Quilts
A quilt that uses leftover bits, often in small pieces to make a quilt.
The selvedge (selvage) is normally cut off the fabric as it does not behave like the rest of the fabrics as it is woven differently. However recently, people have started putting selvedges together to form accessories or quilts. Nothing is wasted.
Strip quilting is an easy method and you can use pre-cut strips
Technical Ability: Beginners
Technique: accurate straight stitch quarter inch seam
Challenge yourself with a Bargello strip quilt. You could also try different ways to cut up strips once sewn together.
Seminole Patchwork is another type of strip quilting.
An Italian style of quilting that is ‘stuffed’ with padding to add dimension to the design, a bit like stumpwork.
Technical Ability: Intermediate
Technique: raised areas are formed by inserting padding
This guide is free for personal use only. The contents are not to be copied nor shared nor distributed in any way.
Copyright Karen Platt 2018