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Lockdown Creativity – Drawing, Quilting and more

Lockdown creativity is about staying positive. Last week I started a new group on facebook called Stay At Home And Create, so if you want to join me, you’ll find it here. Over 50 members have already joined. Reduce stress, take your mind off the news and make something. Do it alone or with family and share on the fb page.

lockdown creativity
figs on the worktop

We are moving into drawing and painting fruit for Week 2. Here’s some ideas I have been working with. I am exploring ideas at this stage with a view to producing quilts, or a textile fabric book.

lockdown creativity
pears from my original painting
lockdown creativity
ideas developed in software
pear watercolour painting
another in the pear series

Work

Lockdown creativity for me has been limited as I developed shingles mid week. It could keep my creativity limited for some time. Financially it’s difficult for so many of us and I am one that relies on sales from my website and would appreciate any support people can offer at this time, particularly the online ecourses or ebooks so that I do not have to go out to post. Please take a look.

There is just one more block to go on my scrap quilt. Qaygo might be easier for me to quilt this. I might prefer to quilt in one go, but it definitely needs binding and sashing, which at the moment I do not have.

scrap quilting
scrap quilting

New ebook Travel Inspiration Corfu

I have finished ebook Five in the Inspiration travel series. It is a pictorial guide book to Corfu, where I enjoyed a fabulous holiday in 2017. The ebook has 250 photos including some art I created. It is available here

Inspiration travel ebook five Corfu

Join me next week for more textiles and quilting and more

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Teaching Online Time To Create At Home

Teaching online is what I have been doing for over three years. Following on from last week’s post Stay At Home Quilter, here’s more tips and ideas.

Teaching online ecourses
Creative quilting ecourse

Teaching Online

It’s over three years since I started teaching online. On the website are a number of ecourses for textiles and quilting, inspirational ebooks for all artists and tutorials so that people can learn wherever they live. All my work is exclusive and is written from scratch from my personal hands-on experience and to my knowledge is unlike any other course. Everyone who has taken an ecourse so far has recommended it.

inspirational ebooks
one of my inspirational ebooks

Gardening ebooks are also available exclusively on the website under ebooks.

gardening ebooks
one of my gardening ebooks

I have been a languages teacher for over 40 years. Online French and Spanish lessons (beginners any age and adult conversation) are now available alongside online primary Maths and English. If you fear your children might fall behind and need some lessons, you can contact me, or find me on firsttutors.com (very reasonably priced as they take no commission) and from next week on tutorful. I am a fully qualified and experienced teacher.

Teaching online is so important to me as I am unable to go out to work and this is a lifeline to me.

Facebook Videos

I have created three facebook videos so far on my timeline. These are free to watch. They do not contain the same level of teaching as the paid ecourses but they are a way of tapping into ideas for free. They are all about creating from home. Time to Create at home is all about occupying the mind with positive thoughts and there is no better way to do that than to create. I talked about drawing and choosing something close to hand. There were tips for drawing and I showed some simple samples that anyone can do.

It’s not a structured course, just ideas to keep the mind occupied that anyone can do and develop on their own. If enough people are interested I will create a group where work can be shared. Join in as I don’t want to stop owing to lack of interest.

teaching online
sample drawing not looking at paper
teaching online
developing the drawing into an idea for textiles

You can find out more on my fb page

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 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 24 quilting on 31 day blog challenge

Day 24 quilting, it is Christmas Eve and I finished my wonderful new quilt. My thoughts zoom ahead to the New Year, but there is one more week to go and that means another week of the 31 day blog challenge.

New quilt

My latest quilt design features just two fabrics. It is an easy design to create and you have some leeway with the actual quilting, to show off your skills or take it easy. It forms part of my new quilting ecourse Modern Quilting. Not all the designs are like this, I am looking at all aspects of modern quilting in this ecourse. If you cannot get out to lessons nearby an ecourse is ideal no matter where you live. You still get the opportunity to interact with others in a closed group on social media and share work. It is a great learning opportunity.

day 24 quilting
Day 24 quilting

Quilting Tip

Day 24 quilting tip: Mitred corners are one of those things that look difficult, but even beginners can easily achieve them. They make a quilt look more professional. I always do a how to in my quilting patterns that use them, but here is a quicky:

  1. Cut your binding the required width and longer than need be to allow for the mitred corners
  2. Sew your binding with a quarter inch seam to the front of the quilt, stopping one quarter inch before the end
  3. When all 4 pieces are attached, take a binding buddy ruler (I use a June Tailor one and would not be without it) make sure it is aligned correctly and cut
  4. Join the mitres

It really is that simple

day 24 quilting
mitred corners
quilting mitred corners
using a Binding Buddy ruler
mitred corners
mitred corners for a professional finish

Discount

Day 24 quilting discount the quilt has been put on sale with a huge 45 pounds discount, there is only one, so first come, first served. Check back tomorrow for another discount and blog.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Day 11 quilting of the 31 Day Blog challenge

Day 11 quilting introduces my latest quilt finished early evening yesterday as I hand stitched the binding to the back. A beautiful make for all quilters. I am really pleased with my latest quilt design. This quilt design also forms part of my new modern quilting ecourse. A special discount is available for quilters today see below.

Day 11 quilting
quilting

New Modern Scrap Quilt

Yesterday I finished my latest quilt. A new modern scrap quilt design. It started with scraps of my most colourful quilts and I made large triangles. Since it’s a modern quilt, it was also all about the quilting. This is the most quilting I have ever done on a quilt to date. I found it very enjoyable. The border and quilting are quite time consuming, and just those alone took me 11 hours. Another new quilt is already on my work table.

day 11 quilting

What’s Your Quilting Speed?

I am not the fastest quilter I admit. My speed is just under half on my dial and I quilt without a pedal. When using my walking foot I keep a steady pace. Accuracy is more important to me than speed. I slow down on large projects to ensure the quilt does not stick on the end of the machine and catch me unawares.

Discount

Day 11 quilting discount is 20% off the original quilt for sale. There is only one unique original Karen Platt quilt, there will never be another exactly the same. Plus 20 per cent off the quilting pattern. Plus 10 per cent off the new modern quilting ecourse. Join me to learn all about modern quilting in a 12 month ecourse that gives exercises, techniques and design ideas for all types of modern quilting. So if you love improv, modern, contemporary or art quilts, come and have fun, we start in January 2020. These discounts run until 18 December 2019

day 11 quilting

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Day 3 Quilting of 31 Day Blog Challenge

Day 3 Quilting already (actually feels like day 30 :)) this is quite intense blogging. Writers love writing. Quilters love to quilt, so today I am going to start with a question

What Do You Love Most About Quilting?

I have already answered that in Day 1 and Day 2, for me it is the design. I know for many quilters it is actually sewing, which I sometimes like and sometimes hate depending on how smoothly it is going. I like straight stitches, honestly, and I love hand stitch. I must do more free-motion quilting because that is where the fun really starts. It took me a while to try it and I need lots of practice.

Quilting Machines

Day 3 Quilting let’s talk about quilting machines. They are just sewing machines that make life a little easier when quilting. I started on a very basic Singer Confidence, which I loved. It lasted 7 years until the computer bit went haywire. I donated it to a charity that mends and sends machines to Africa. I upgraded to something a little better. My main objective was a wider throat to take a full-size quilt. But, you’ll never guess, so far after 18 months, I have yet to make another full-size quilt. I am very much a wall hanging and lap quilt lady. The other thing is the ability to free-motion, which is a feature of many machines now.

Day 3 Discount

Today’s discount is a super 10 per cent off all ecourses under 100 pounds. These quilting ecourses will hone your skills so do not miss out, the discounts are running for one day only and the reduced price is marked on the website. They are Design and Create a Quilted Wallhanging, Digital Quilt Block Monthly, Fabric Design in Photoshop, Inspiration Monthly, Kaleidoscopes in Photoshop, Transform Your Photos Into Art Quilts, Cathedral Window Hand Quilting, One Block Wonder Quilts and New Photo Techniques For Quilters

Day 3 quilting
Quilted wallhanging
Day 3 Quilting
Digital Block Design
Day 3 quilting
Fabric Pattern design
Art prompts
Art Prompts
Kaleidoscope quilting
Kaleidoscopes for quilting
Transform Your Photos
Transform Your Photos Into Art Quilts
Day 3 quilting
Cathedral Window Hand Quilting

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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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

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New creative quilting ecourse for quilters

New creative quilting ecourse for all quilters interested in making quilts. Join this new 12 month ecourse now and enjoy a full 12 months of inspiration plus information and suggestions on how to use the inspiration.

I am so looking forward to welcoming people to this new style ecourse that will bring out and develop your creative side. The new creative quilting quilting ecourse shows you how to interpret a photo to create quilts that are unique to you. It’s more than just a photo, there is lots of information to help you along the way. It’s all about you, finding your voice and creating individual quilts that express your unique creativity.

The subjects can be used in many ways and I shall be highlighting those throughout the ecourse. It is suitable for any level of quilter as you will be adapting the inspiration to how you want it to be.

There will be a unique fb page that you can join to share work. You can spend as much or as little time on the projects as you wish. It’s a lovely way to start designing your own quilts without following what the teacher is doing and without copying.

I am a fully qualified and experienced teacher who has enjoyed bringing out the best potential in students.

creative quilting ecourse

My new quilt

I have also finished my new quilt and I am very happy with it. The pattern is now available, and the quilt is also available for sale on the link below with the kits. It was such a joy working on this quilt. I have also added new kits to the website.

Tiled quilt pattern
Tiled Quilt Pattern

Blog hop

Check out this blog hop that started last week. I am involved on 20 September 2019. Lots of great quilting blogs.

blog hop

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019. Blog hop image Sam Hunter designs.

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Quilting styles to love – embracing all kinds of quilting

I must admit it is rather odd to me that some choose sides in quilting, loving this and hating that. So I have decided this week to write in my blog about my love of quilting styles and how to embrace all that is quilting. Year in year out at the shows, the argument rages as someone somewhere comments ‘That’s not a quilt.’

Traditional Quilts

This is where it all began – the quilting style everyone understands. At first, frugally using materials to make into a quilt for warmth. I like to think of it as the prairie spirit. From this blocks and patterns were passed down and preserved for future generations. Some argue that it simply has to be traditional or it is not quilting. There are many types of quilts in this category from Baltimore or wholecloth quilts to all the traditional blocks such as wedding ring. Yet from the roots a craft can grow, and quilting has branched in many directions.

quilting styles
500 Traditional Quilts
quilting styles
Embraces traditional and modern blocks
Welsh quilting
Welsh quilting
quilting styles
Baltimore quilts

Modern Quilts

The modern movement began in the USA and has firm connections with traditional quilting. Quilting is not stuck in a time period, it is an evolving craft and I love modern quilts. Modern can show off those who have truly honed their free motion or quilting skills. It lets the quilting shine. Modern style tends to suit our more modern homes. It caters for our desire to wrap ourselves in a quilt as well as have one on the bed. They also look good on walls. What can be wrong with more quilts, used in innovative ways?

quilting modern
modern quilting
Improv quilting
Modern Improv

Contemporary Quilts

There is nothing wrong with innovation. Being a little bit (or even a lot) different is fine by me. I see an overlap with Modern quilts and sometimes it is hard to work out what fits in which category. Contemporary has taken traditional and given it a twist.

Quilting styles
Contemporary Quilts
Landscape quilts
Landscape Quilts

Art Quilts

This seems to be the biggest area of contention. People who do not understand art quilts say they are not quilts. You might not like them, but that does not mean they are not quilts. Textile quilts fall into the same brackets with the same pre-conceived ideas of what is a quilt and what is not. This encompasses a huge category from humble pictorial quilts, which are not the same as the fine art quilts that technically fall into this category, making a statement or some kind. Yet surely there is always something to love?

pictorial quilts
art quilts
quilting styles
art quilts
quilt collage
quilt collage

Life is short. Another well-known quilting argument is not about quilting styles as such but whether to hand or machine stitch. Embrace the quilts and love them all. Most quilts have merit and someone loves them. Perhaps quilters just need to embrace the whole craft instead of creating barriers.

I am almost ready to release ‘My Quilting Journey’ recording the quilts I have made. Follow me on fb

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019