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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

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Day 12 Quilting of the 31 Day Blog Challenge

Day 12 quilting brings a new day another blog. Having finished one quilt this week, it’s straight on with one more. There are two I am hoping to finish before Xmas. I have gone back to a WIP. This one was started in September this year. I made several blocks but realised I had no background fabric, so it was put on hold. I am now ready to finish it.

Day 12 quilting
Day 12 quilting

Progress So Far

I thought my last quilt, finished on Monday this week would be a quickie, but it turned out to take more hours than imagined (often that way for me!). Many more hours. However, I am certain this could be a quick weekend make (or midweek for me.) Don’t quilters just love those projects? Start and finish in a few days!

day 12 quilting
rearranging cut blocks

On Point

It’s an on point design, but a cheat’s one! As a designer I love using different techniques in every quilt I design. Squares are cut, rejoined to make different patterns and stitched on point. I loved re-arranging the squares. Blocks like this have lots of possibilities. I chose an ivory background because I do think in many cases bright bleached white is too strong a contrast and besides, everyone uses it. So far this is looking very good. Like the last quilt design, it will be sold as the original quilt and pattern.

day 12 quilting
on point

Inspiration

Day 12 quilting brings you more inspiration. Take 10 per cent off the advertised price of any of my Inspiration ebooks. Each one is filled with photos to inspire that you can use. They also give examples of my work. Just send a message from the website with the subject Inspiration ebooks and I’ll send a Paypal invoice for the correct amount. There are a dozen ebooks to choose from. This one concentrates on the work I created from church architecture. This discount runs for one day only.

Inspiration ebook
Inspiration ebook

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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New Work Quilting, Inspiration and ebooks

It really has been a bumper week with new work and it would have been even more splendid had not the dreaded carpal tunnel syndrome not visited. I am no stranger to this, but have kept it at bay for years. This week I overstepped the mark with new work quilting, knitting and on the computer (the worst for my wrist and hand). It is the scourge of all crafters, so a few tips if you are a sufferer. It is of prime importance to rest. Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. Exercise might help, they take time, clench a fist and release, splaying the fingers. Buy a wrist support. Do not try to keep on doing what you are doing. Rest, rest, rest.

wrist brace

Quilt a doodle do

I am loving my new work in the quilting arena. Just putting wonderful colours together. A colourful scrap quilt, something new out of next to nothing. It’s looking good and I am pleased. A quick and easy quilt to make. It was a bit like doodling with fabric.

new work
Quilt in progress

Knit wit

Oh yes, I have fingerless mitts and flip tops. Can life get any more exciting? Love these. The pattern is going in the Peak Collection Knitting Pattern booklet – it’s nearly there. This will launch on my Ravelry Store.

new work
new knitting pattern

New ebooks

Two ebooks almost finished. Inspiration Book 11 Pattern Circles with almost 300 images and Inspiration Book 12 Pattern Repetition with over 500 images. Now you know why I have the carpal tunnel syndrome 🙂 I promise I will get book 10 finished too, it got left behind. See all the inspiration books and more here

new work
Inspiration ebook circles
new work
Inspiration ebook repetition

Coming Up

Starting next Sunday, 1st December 2019 I shall be taking part in a 31 day blog writing challenge organised by Muppin. Lots of quilt bloggers are taking part, so come and read all about lovely quilts and quilting. I’ve got some special offers too throughout December, so don’t miss the daily posts. There’ll be lots of inspiration taking you through to 2020.

blog challenge December 2019

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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Six month retrospective – quilting, writing, inspiration

Six month retrospective – a look back at my textiles, quilting and writing work. A retrospective of all my work from 21 December 2018 to 21 June 2019.

It’s always good to look back over work and remind yourself of your achievements. I did this for the six previous months to 21 Dec 2018 also, and it popped up in my facebook feed. My immediate reaction was, I have not really done much since then. That is how it felt. So I checked. I am amazed. Here is my six month retrospective of all the work finished and completed in the last six months. Sit back and enjoy.

Quilts

It is odd that you can persuade yourself that the past six months have been a wilderness. I completed not one, not two, but five quilts. Yes five. That is a huge increase in production for me. After two years, I have obviously got the hang of things. Quilt patterns are Hydrangea and Sunflower wall hangings, Charm Quilt (recently featured in British Patchwork & Quilting Magazine – first feature in a quilting magazine), Snowflakes and my favourite Bells of St. Clements Quilt. All quilts are also for sale. Patterns and quilts are on sale on the website.

retrospective hydrangea quilt
Hydrangea quilt pattern
retrospective sunflower quilt
Sunflower Quilt Pattern
Retrospective Charm Quilt
Charm Quilt Pattern
Snowflakes Quilts
Snowflakes Quilt Pattern
quilt pattern
Bells of St Clements Quilt Pattern

Unique Quilting Fabrics

My work has given rise to the creation of digital fabrics for you to enjoy. I created original fabrics based on snowflakes, tiles and stained glass. They are all for sale on the website.

stained glass fabric

Quilting eCourses

Well I perhaps have been a bit slow on the introduction of new quilting ecourses, but the one that was launched is a whopper on the subject of Colour for Quilters (and any other artists). It was entirely written by me from hands on experience and study of the subject over many years.

quilting ecourses
Colour for Quilters ecourse

Inspiration ebooks

We all need inspiration from time to time and I have been building up a library of Inspiration ebooks from my own photos. The Inspiration ebooks are dedicated to themes, seasons or travel. Three new ones were launched in the past six months, bringing the total number to ten. Church Architecture, Spring and Summer are the new additions to the website.

Inspiration ebook churches
Inspiration for artists and quilters – churches
Inspirations ebook spring
Spring Inspiration ebook
Inspiration summer ebook
Summer Inspirations ebook

Finally, this period also saw the launch of a free brochure available for you to download for the ecourses and more. So all that remains is for me to tell you what is in the pipeline for the next six months. Many more quilts, I shall be concentrating on some pieced work as well as art quilts. The first BOM will be launched, more about that next week. I have a quilt going off to FOQ shortly. The Desert Inspirations ebook is almost ready to launch, as is the first travel inspiration book on Madeira. I think the next six months look very interesting. If nothing else it launches the talks at FOQ, another first. All my work is original.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019