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Cutting, Piecing and Quilting This Week’s Diary

Cutting, Piecing and Quilting, repeat, repeat, repeat. It seems to be almost all I do but this week I did not quite keep up with the 5 projects that I finished last week.

I started off on target but lack of sleep and subsequent fatigue took their toll. I finished two and almost finished two others. So let’s take a look as I walk you through my quilting and work week.

cutting, piecing and quilting
Quilt design Karen Platt

Putting Together A Quilt

At the end of last week as I went live, I had a quilt on the design wall. It’s almost there, I am in the midst of quilting it, and it is looking good. I still have that feeling of wow it’s done and then remember I have to make a back and quilt it. So it was more cutting, piecing and quilting. I had hoped to finish but could not trust myself on the sewing machine for three days. (see image above).

Don’t worry I was still plenty busy. In between times, fabrics were chosen for the next two quilts. One is a scrap quilt and the other is a coat. Yes, I am finally getting round to making a quilted coat.

I did get one Cathedral Window Quilt finished with a border. This one has been around for a while waiting for me to figure out how to put the border on. It is going to hang in my hall way. I am so in love with that red bird fabric.

cutting, piecing and quilting
Cathedral Window Quilt designed by Karen Platt

All my larger hand dyed pieces of fabric in silk, cotton, cotton scrim, linen and muslin were sorted and went into my Etsy shop. I’d appreciate if you would take a look. I have had 122 sales, 43 five star reviews and over 600 people love my shop. I am sending out fabrics now. Good for quilting, textiles, mixed media.

hand dyed fabrics
Hand dyed fabrics by Karen Platt

Knitting

I have been knitting a dream project in alpaca and silk and I am loving it. I feel very luxurious. It’s not a commit to memory pattern I have designed for this one, but it’s worth doing even if you have to keep your eye on it.

Knitwear design
Knitwear design by Karen Platt

Embroidery

I finally picked up not one but three embroidery projects I have designed. I know, it’s like buses, they come in threes. Two were re-discovered in my drawer whilst looking for something else. The third is a brand new one. They are all exciting portraits and all slightly different. More of that next week. I put one of my embroideries into the #artistsupportpledge still looking for a buyer.

Inspiration ebook

Last of all today is Inspiration Travel Tunisia Part Three. Yes, I finished it today and like the others it has unique art inspired by my journeys included. I am thrilled to finish this three part guide book series.

Inspiration Travel Tunisia ebook
Inspiration Travel Tunisia Part Three

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Self Employed Designer Maker – Quilter, Textiles, Art

Self Employed Designer Maker – Quilter, Textiles, Art and the effect of lockdown. The Not So Merry Month of May Or the Not So Merry Year of 2020??? For me lockdown is a continuation of my somewhat solitary self-employed ‘lifestyle’ working as an artist in paint and fabric. I have no desire to break lockdown because I want to stay safe, but I do miss my forays into the real world. Just this morning I was reminiscing about my trip to Marseille in February, thank heavens I fitted that in. Only just over two months ago, it seems like a lifetime! Read the book here

Marseille
Marseille

Self Employed Quilter

As a Self Employed Designer Maker – Quilter, Textiles, Art, life has to go on. It is only work that keeps me sane. I finished a quilt that started life some time ago when I made blocks playing with striped fabrics, then put them away because I was not sure what else to do with them. The fabrics are from 2008. This week it came out of the box and is a finished project and a big hit over on Instagram. Maybe I’ll call it ‘Summertime And The Living Is Easy’.

Self Employed Designer Maker
Karen Platt quilt design

So what next? I have a joined together strip to quilt but no thread. I’ll get back to that soon.

Self employed designer maker
Joined up strips

I moved on to another project. Scrap quilts seems to be the overriding theme of 2020. I didn’t want to do blue again just yet and everyone loved the hot colours, that I thought I would still with orange and use up my yellows too. I had two butterfly fat quarters that had been around for a year or more.

scrap quilts
The beginning of a new quilt

Art

My art has taken a nose dive in the last couple of years. It’s mainly a twofold problem, affording more canvases and the space to keep them. I promised myself that I would create several pieces based on my time in Corfu in 2018. So I made a start at last. One finished, and one midway. I think I am capturing the mood at last.

Corfu art
Painting inspired by Corfu

Writing

Tunisia Part two is well underway. If you missed Part One, it is on the website with all the other ebooks. If you missed it, take a look at last week’s blog post, which was a retrospective of all work so far this year. I have done quite a lot.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Textile and Art Inspiration Work Completed

Textile and art inspiration is still to be found in lockdown. Some of us are more housebound than others. Yet others have been housebound for many years through illness. Still in our surroundings or photos we can find inspiration in so much. Using your home or surroundings as inspiration is a very good place to start.

What Has Inspired Me This Week?

I am often housebound, through illness and even lack of money. How these things impact upon me and others is poorly understood. I use my artistic tendencies to stay occupied and inform my textile and art inspiration. This last few weeks I have been following a free online course with Future Learn. I also use my travels in the past to inform my work. This is not only an abundant source of inspiration but also lifts my spirit immensely and gives me hope to travel again.

Tunisia

I was fortunate enough to live in Tunisia for a time. Not only did I research Tunisian carpets and shawls to write a book, Textiles of Tunisia, but I also wrote about travels in the Sahara. Now I am happy to be launching Tunisia, the travel guide. This is only Part One, Part Two will follow shortly. As with all my inspiration ebooks, this one also includes exclusive artwork that is for sale. So my travels inspire my art. You can see one example on the front cover. This ebook is now available on the website , your purchase makes the world of difference to me as an independent artist.

textile and art inspiration

Quilting

Having a long term project that I can work on each day helps enormously. Quilting the scrap quilt was fun. I can procrastinate over quilting, torn between straight line, free motion and so on. I thought hearts were very appropriate to this quilt, given the situation with Covid19 and the increasing number of deaths worldwide. This won’t go on sale until I feel it is safe to go out and post it, but if you do want to purchase, please contact me. It is a two-sided quilt.

textile and art inspiration

Leftover threads

With my leftover threads and tiniest scraps of fabric, I made another thread bowl. These are an inspiration in themselves, a way to use every last bit of waste and turn it into something useful. Waste not want not.

textile and art inspiration

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Four Month Retrospective 2020 Work So Far

A four month retrospective of work produced so far this year. There has been so much work, that I thought I would recap. The start of this year went well, then Covid 19 hit, (so far I am grateful not to have contracted it as I am self isolating) but I did get shingles and sciatica. Therefore precious little has been achieved this month. This four month retrospective looks at everything I have made from January to April with regard to art quilts and ebooks.

Four month retrospective
Kingfisher quilt for sale

Retrospective January 2020

I hit the ground running with some art quilts – the Kingfisher, Seagull, Rusty Scissors, There Are Always More Fish In The Sea (sold), Bird Art Quilt.

four month retrospective
Seagull art quilt for sale
art quilt
Rust Scissors art quilt for sale
Fish art quilt
There Are Always More Fish In The Sea Art Quilt Sold
Bird art quilt
Bird Art Quilt For Sale

I also completed one of my Inspiration ebooks – Reflections and Shadows was the first one of the year and thirteenth in the series.

Inspiration Reflections ebook
Inspiration Reflections ebook

Retrospective February 2020

Inspiration ebook number fourteen followed hot on its footsteps featuring Domes, Cupolas, Spires and Towers. Inspiration Madeira was also launched, the second of the travel ebooks.

Four Month retrospective
Inspiration ebook Domes
Travel Inspiration ebook Madeira
Travel Inspiration ebook

There was another flurry of art quilts, this time some digital ones – Fine Feathered Friend, Shapes and Church as well as more collage type, Fantastic Bird and Camellia Tea.

art quilt for sale
Fine Feathered Friend art quilt for sale
four month retrospective
Fantastic Bird collage art quilt for sale
Camellia tea art quilt
Camellia tea art quilt for sale
Church art quilt for sale
Church art quilt for sale
digital art quilt for sale
Shapes art quilt for sale

This month also saw the launch of my first book of knitting patterns inspired by the Peak District.

Hand Knitting Patterns
Hand Knitting Patterns

March Retrospective 2020

This month got off to a bang with a new ebook, charting the designs of my quilts so far. Each design is described and assessed by my cold and calculating eye!

Quilt Design ebook
Quilt Design ebook

The third travel inspiration ebook was launched – Marseille. Then the fourth – Lisbon. If that was not enough, the fifth one appeared too – Corfu.

Inspiration Marseille
Inspiration ebook Marseille
Four Month Retrospective
Inspiration ebook Lisbon
Inspiration Corfu
Inspiration ebook Corfu

April Retrospective 2020

There are still a few days to go. This month has already seen the launch of the sixth Travel Inspiration ebook – Athens.

Inspiration Athens four month retrospective
Inspiration ebook Athens

The scrappy quilt is almost finished and that will see the launch of a new Scrap Quilt ebook.

All ecourses are now on craftcourses.com as well as my own website. Did I do well? I certainly produced a lot of work, which is available on the website under quilts or ebooks and there are always the ecourses too.

I’ll see you in May. Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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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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The Only Inspiration You Need For Creative Work

Yes, I have read a blog ‘headlines that get clicked’ post! So click me now. The basis of any creative work is inspiration. It’s the one thing everyone wants to know about. Where does it come from and how do you get from that initial spark to the end product?

It’s Almost Magic

Yes, there is definitely something magical about it. As artists we see things differently. We see shapes instead of objects and so on. Sometimes even for creatives, getting to that end project can be difficult. That’s why we have unfinished work. The reasons are many – it did not work out as it did inside my head, I got waylaid, interrupted, lost my flow, could not find the product I needed. Much of my work these days is digitally manipulated using multiple photos for effect and therefore very personal in its source.

the only inspiration you need
digital manipulation of two of my own images

The Beginning Is the Same or Similar

Something always catches my eye. It can be something very ordinary or unusual. It does not matter. I do not spend my time thinking ‘must find something today’. I look until I see and a little spark is set alight. This might happen several times a month, week or even day. Often in the middle of the night, curse it. However, I am extremely grateful that there is a constant source, like a tap of water.

New Work

I have two stunning and rather different inspiration ebooks for you this week. They will get your creative juices going, so do click and make that purchase.

Domes are exquisite architectural features along with cupolas, turrets and towers. I have included 580 images plus twenty of my work created with these images. The ebook, a pdf sent to your email, can be found here

The only inspiration you need

I also finished my Madeira ebook this week, which consists of two halves – a travel diary of where I went and the gardens visited with over 800 photos plus a directory of plants growing on the island. It is the second inspiration travel ebook and is available as a pdf here

The only inspiration you need

Join me next Monday to find more inspiration and what I am working on, until then

Words, work and 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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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 21 quilting of 31 day blog challenge

Day 21 quilting, the solstice. The longest night. The shortest day. The marking of winter. Yule tide and the Norse god Thor. Do you celebrate? Whilst I do not light fires, I do inwardly celebrate the returning of longer days. At each of the solstices the sun actually stays in one place for a while. The sun is at its lowest point for us in the northern hemisphere at 4.20 am on Sunday the 22nd. It is a huge difference of less than 8 hours in daylight time to the summer solstice. No wonder things start to look dark and depressing at this time of year. Yet inwardly we mark the significant step of the coming of spring. You can read more about it here

Winter Inspiration

One way of getting rid of winter blues, is to use this period of time for inspiration. Whether it is as a design subject for quilts or a way of having a ritual cleansing. Ridding yourself of everything old and unwanted and making way for the new.

I am engaged in a bit of that myself. Looking at the fabrics I have left, looking at what I have designed and how far I have come on my quilt journey and more importantly, where I want to go next. For me, it is a time to move forwards. I have also been through all my writing, checking what needs finishing and what needs to get going. I’ll talk more about this in the coming week. Some of my ice quilt designs:

day 21 quilting
quilt design Karen Platt
day 21 quilting
an alternative design
Karen Platt quilt design
designing winter quilts
day 21 quilting
one more arrangement

Two New Inspiration Books

Winter Inspiration is about to be launched highlighting my photos taken during winter for the past several years. The second launch is my Quilting Journey so far. In the latter you can read about the quilts I have made so far and how I designed them.

Today’s Discount

Day 21 quilting why not order an ebook for someone special? Did you know that the ebooks can be delivered straight to the email of the person you are ordering them for? This means they could be delivered on Xmas morning. An ideal last minute surprise gift, or great for someone you have overlooked. They are all full of colour images and inspiration sent as pdfs, so easy to read. At just 7.99 they make a wonderful gift. Take 20% off today only, making them even more of a bargain. All the ebooks can be seen here. You’ll find quilting ones, textiles, inspiration, artworks, publishing and gardening all covered.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019