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Dressmaking and Quilting Dresses and Quilted Coats

Dressmaking and Quilting is how I spent last week. I have been making dresses and quilting coats. This is my work in progress.

Quilted Coats

Mainly this has been a hand stitching project this week. I am near completion on the back of this new quilted coat but far from finished. This particular coat will feature in the forthcoming ‘Quilted Coats ecourse’. It is a piece of fabric that lends itself well to embellishments such as hand stitch, beading and yoyos. The latter are my new found joy.

dressmaking and quilting
Hand stitched and embellished quilted coat. A Karen Platt design.

The pattern will be available in the new ecourse and this is the third quilted coat to be included. I have not decided if it is the last.

The second quilted coat is still in construction. I finally bought the thread for it and I have also cut the linings for the front. I just have to be brave enough to start quilting now. It takes courage!

dressmaking and quilting
Second Quilted Coat

Dressmaking

It almost seems strange to do dressmaking without quilting, but I have sewn a dress and almost finished a second one. I am very proud of my topstitching around the neck. I did not really have the confidence, but then thought ‘go for it’ and it was a success. This is William Morris Moda fabric.

dressmaking and quilting
My William Morris dress

The front of the second one was stitched together quite some time ago. When I had finished the other one, made with a pattern, albeit altered to fit; I realised how to finish the second one. The back was finished today. So there is just the neckline, armholes and hemline to do. A doddle.

dressmaking and quilting
Second dress almost complete

I am not a natural dressmaker, so this is quite an achievement. The dresses join the one I made last year, which I am wearing today. Each design is different. This week I discovered a wonderful quilted dress on Instagram, so maybe I might make a quilted dress.

Next Plans

Usually people want to know what Karen did next (Ha ha! What Katy did next was a favourite childhood book). Should I reveal all? It might be nothing more than finishing projects – after all there is the blue dress and quilted coats to finish. There is also the blue velvet coat that goes with that blue dress that I seem to have been making forever.

Will I have time to start something new? Tune in next week to see if I have a new project in my dressmaking and quilting life. I might just have.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2021

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Quilted Coats Progress Making Clothes

Quilted coats progress seems slow. I am currently making two quilted coats at once – one machine stitched and one hand stitched. Obviously, the machine stitched version is coming along more quickly and nearing quilting stage.

Hand Stitched Quilted Coat

I imagined this as mid-calf length however, I seem to have hit a stumbling block. Would I wear this as a coat? I love the individual hexagons but I keep asking myself does it look better as a lap quilt or even a wall quilt? I asked Instagram followers and those that commented were in favour of the quilted coat. Still I dither. The background fabric you can see is the lining, the only one I could still buy enough of and not the one I wanted.

quilted coats progress
Quilted coat

The image above is not the final layout as I won’t know where everything fits until I have made the last hexagon. My eye is not seeing this as a coat. If it does end up being a coat, I am now thinking knee length.

quilted coats progress
Fabulous hexagons

Machine Stitched Quilted Coat

Quilted coats progress seems much easier with this jelly roll quilt. Not only has it been a doddle to stitch, I love it. For the lining I chose some William Morris metallic fabric. I am going to make this coat reversible so that I can wear it either way. It makes me think of day and night.

The whole of the outer is complete. The back and front linings are done. All I need do now is the sleeves. I need to shape the sleeves and neckline in order to quilt. I am going for a quilting design that will keep the coat supple and not stiff.

quilted coats progress
Coat outer back
quilted coats progress
Coat lining back

Hand Dyeing

I have been looking through the ecourse I started writing some years ago. I have now been hand dyeing fabrics for many many years and this ecourse is now reaching fruition. Keep tuned with the blog for the launch. See more ecourses here

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2021

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Design Decisions For Making and Creating

Design decisions is about the decisions we make along the way when we are making and creating. For me this is a process that follows a particular pattern – research, ideas (at least three), more research, possibilities, elimination, following the one idea to a conclusion. The final make.

With every project there are design decisions and processes to follow. That’s why given a theme, every artist or creator can come up with something different. That’s what makes it so interesting.

Let’s take a look at what I am working on at the moment – two separate quilted things. I call them things at the moment because they might not end up as what I think they are.

Design One

If you have been reading the blog, you are familiar with the fact that I have been making quilted jackets, and now I am moving onto quilted coats. With this first design, the hexagons show off the fabric design, Moda Voysey, to perfection. I am now looking at arrangement.

design decisions for making
Design decision for making – layout

I could lay these hexagons out in lights to darks, or in an alternate arrangement. Or in like fabrics.

design decisions for making
layout

At some point in the design process, an element of doubt often creeps in. Did I make the right choices? Should that have gone there? The overnight test is a wonderful invention! My doubt with this is, as much as I love the fabrics, do I want to wear them in a coat?

Design Two

If you need longer than an overnight test, some perspective can be achieved by waiting for things to fall into place. So I started another design, not only for the reason that Design One is handstitched and therefore slow, but to consider how I felt about those fabrics as a coat.

design decisions for making
coat design two

I am already much further on with this design. Pin onto a design wall if you can. If you have ever wondered why, look at the two photos here. Pinned to the wall gives you a much better impression of where you are really at with design and colour.

design decisions for making
design wall

eCourses

Want to learn more about design? You can join one of my ecourses here. They are written for you to develop your own creative way, not by copying, but by understanding the processes involved. They are all unique and written by me as a fully qualified teacher and practising artist, textile artist and quilter. You can start anytime and receive tutor input. Take a look now.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2021

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Quilting A New Project Lap Quilt Wall Quilt

Quilting a new project is such an exciting thing to do. There is something extra special about starting something new. My new project is one made from fabrics joined together years ago that I lost interest in. The fabrics are lovely for children, but I really do not know what possessed me to buy them. It was my first foray to the quilting show FOQ and I completely lost it. I came home with so many bags, I got stuck on the aisle in the coach. I also found that the bags were too heavy to carry. I ended up removing the belt from my raincoat, threading all the bags onto it and hauling it over my shoulder. I never did that again, honest.

Quilting A New Project
Quilting A New Project

An Easy Starting Point

So I had a starting point. Colour-themed fabrics already joined in strips. For quilting a new project that can be a bonus or a headache. For years these pieces had remained in the ‘don’t know what to do with that’ pile. That’s thankfully small! Then I saw this block with just two colours and thought, my joined strips would look great in that.

Quilting A New Project
Quilting A New Project

Contrast Fabric

Then the contrast was a problem. I had some blue but it did not look right. It lingered for almost a month. Then I found an off white. It goes with everything and is not as stark as white. One of my golden rules is to never make too stark a contrast. This block forms part of my Beginners Quilting ecourse, so come and join the fun.

contrast fabric
contrast fabric

Almost There

So I am almost there and enjoying every second of it. When the shops re-open I shall be able to buy the blue threads I need to finish two more projects. The tunic I showed last week now has a front and back. Just the sleeves to do.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2021

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Quilting Hand Stitched Clothes and Wearables

Quilting hand stitched clothes was one of my intentions when I started quilting a few years ago and I am now making my own quilted clothes. The work of Kathy Knapp is awe-inspiring as well as inspirational. Highly desirable wearables that do not look too quilt-like but are made in the same way as a quilt is the way forwards.

Using Scraps

An ideal way to use fabric scraps is the art of quilting hand stitched clothes. Small shapes from scraps can be joined using English paper piecing (EPP). We all seem to have more scraps than we can manage. EPP has blossomed into techniques such as millefiori. Small pieces are used to create stunning patterns. Depending on the size of your project, you’ll use quite a lot of them when making quilted clothes.

English Paper Piecing

I have a curious way of making EPP. Instead of gluing (yuk) or tacking (time-consuming), fabric shapes are pinned to card or paper templates. This makes the process quicker. Templates are unpinned as I go and I therefore use less templates too. Wrong sides together, the pieces are whip stitched. It is quite forgiving as long as you are fairly precise.

I enjoy the rhythm and restfulness of quilting by hand. Good light is essential. A magnifier is useful too.

quilting hand stitched clothes
Quilting Hand stitched clothes

Current Project

Octagons and kites are being used in my current project. The kites are joined in fours, making shapes that join onto the octagons. The octagons are quite large, so the project, although hand sewn, is coming together quite fast. The templates came free with a quilting magazine. Free downloads are also available on websites.

At the moment it’s more every day wearables than outstanding art. This is a tunic in the making.

Quilting hand stitched clothes
Quilting Hand Stitched Clothes

What’s Next?

A wardrobe clearout produced a pile of clothes that I no longer wear. They are all beautiful fabrics. So it’s scissors and seam ripper fun time. The plan is to produce wearables. The fabrics have been colour coded. Devore velvet, silk, jacquard, embroidered pieces; all just waiting for new creations.

An ecourse is planned, see all the quilting ecourses

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2021

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Modern Quilts 100 Designs eCourse Learn Something New

Modern Quilts 100 Designs eCourse Learn Something New. In 2019 I wrote the ecourse for all types of quilting. This arose as the result of being in a group online where many quilters seemed confused by the quilting categories.

Modern quilts ecourse
Modern quilts ecourse

Modern Quilts

The first ecourse looking at individual categories is modern quilting ecourse. This differs from the overview in the other ecourse. This new modern quilting ecourse has an original format that includes modern quilts 100 designs, alternative colourways and 10 layouts.

In other words it concentrates on ensuring you understand the modern quilting category and that you see plenty of samples and gather the knowledge to make a modern quilt or indeed, design your own.

This modern quilts ecourse is unique. It consists of

100 quilt designs designed by Karen Platt

Alternative Colourways for those who find colour a challenge

10 layouts with more suggestions

Tips, Techniques and Ideas to ensure that you build your skills and have everything you need to understand modern quilting. If you want a head start in modern quilting, purchase the ecourse now from the website

modern quilts
Modern quilt design

BUMPER START TO THE YEAR

By the end of week five of 2021, this is my third new introduction of the year. Gosh, I need a holiday 🙂 Of course, I started writing this ecourse and designing the quilts from 2019 onwards, so it has not magically appeared, it has been two years in the making.

Modern quilt
Modern quilt

In addition I have been knitting and quilting other projects, more about that next week. I am close to finishing two quilted jackets. Join me next week to see what I have been working on. You can also follow me on Instagram karenplatt_textiles (this includes all my work – quilting, textiles, travel and gardening) and on facebook

Hand knitting
Hand Knitting

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2021

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Planning A New Quilt Designing and Making

After all the excitement of the new BOM launch, it could have felt a little flat this week. If you missed the BOM, it is online for registration until the end of the month. Please join in.

planning a new quilt

I took a couple of days respite when I returned to unfinished sewing projects. I made two blouses and am making a dress. But after a couple of days my mind wandered to what’s next and I started planning a new quilt design.

Designing A New Quilt

Planning a new quilt always starts with design for me. Sometimes I have an idea based around a theme, like when I made the Ice Polar Bear quilt. Sometimes it is based on colour, as when I made the oranges and lemon quilt. Or it is using a technique like the Drunkard’s Path quilt. This time it is based on a long-standing idea that I started some years ago. I am not quite ready to reveal it but I will reveal the process below.

orange and lemons quilt
Oranges and Lemons quilt
planning a quilt
Rivers Flow quilt

Research For Design

This is often the bit that most people miss out but it is so important to do the research and explore all angles in order to come up with something new and different. To understand more about this process, take a look at my quilt design ecourse. As I said the research for this idea goes back years. So far I have over 500 bits of research and probably a similar number of my own photos. Since I have so much, it makes planning a new quilt that much easier. I can see what has gone before, what I can adapt and develop. I can start to pick and choose instead of being limited in any way. Research opens up the possibilities and therefore improves any design process.

Planning

Planning is all about preparation and exploration. I bought two brand new spanking sketchbooks and I am making a start with drawing, painting and more. My idea is going in the direction of a BOM again but I have identified 20 possible quilts in this series. I am so looking forward to doing this. My theme embraces an idea that occurs in many countries across the world with many interpretations. I shall be able to use many quilting techniques and designs in these planned quilts.

planning a new quilt

More next week, stay tuned.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Indian Summer Quilt Block Of The Week Programme

Yes, it is launch day for the Indian Summer Quilt. This Block of Week quilt, or Block of the Month if you prefer, is now ready for registration and payment. Sign up anytime from today until registration closes on 30 July 2020. Please read the last three blogs for more information and see the product listing to purchase.

Indian Summer Quilt
Indian Summer Quilt Designed by Karen Platt

30 Joyful Quilt Blocks In The Indian Summer Quilt

The Indian Summer Quilt Block of the Week programme consists of 30 blocks pieced and put together by yours truly. There are one or two traditional blocks and others I have designed specially for this quilt. The whole arrangement is designed by me using my unique hand dyed fabrics that form part of the programme. Please respect the designer and make a purchase. This is my livelihood and the only means of supporting myself.

You too can enjoy making each block and creating a quilt to treasure.

On the programme, you will receive all fabrics at once to save huge amounts on postage costs. You’ll have access to a fb group, so you are not working alone if you want to see how others are doing.

hand dyed fabrics
Karen Platt hand dyed fabrics

Register Now For The Block of The Week Quilt Programme

The BOW (Block of the Week Programme) runs from September 2020 for thirty weeks. You can do it quicker or slower. You could have your quilt finished in time for Xmas. It would make a great gift or one to keep all to yourself. Registration and payment can now be taken on the product listing. N.B. Registration and purchasing may close early if the programme is full. To make sure you are not disappointed, sign up today. This is a great quilt for skill levels from beginners up as the programme starts with easy blocks and then builds your skills.

Indian Summer Quilt
Karen Platt Block of the Week Quilt

In the next week I shall be looking at the sashing, borders, quilting and binding options.

Until then happy quilting.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt

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Quilt Design Dreams Block of the Week

Achieving my quilt design dreams with my Block of the Week BOW quilt is so fulfilling. I am bursting at the seams with joy! I have stuck to my objectives and so far I am half way through the design and creating the quilting blocks. Interest in making this patchwork block quilt has been pouring in. I am thrilled with what’s happening. Don’t forget to register your interest. As soon as registration ends, I’ll start hand dyeing your fabrics, specially for you.

Quilt design dreams
Designing a quilt block

15 Quilt Blocks so far

My quilt design dreams told me to create a Block of the Week so that people who need guidance can create a fairly complicated look easily in just an hour or two a week. I have created 15 quilt blocks so far, half way through the design. There are 5 super easy ones, some a little bit harder, and some that might challenge one or two of you. Each one is a great way to build your quilting skills. I’ve got a great balance of blocks in my gorgeous, colourful hand dyed fabrics. Tomorrow’s block is designed, just waiting for me to make it. The next one too. I am designing as I go to make sure they all fit together well.

I am hoping that by next Monday I can launch Indian Summer Block of the Week quilt as a product. I am on target. I have had an idea for the next one BOM too. Check out the last two blogs for more on how to take part and what to do.

Quilt design dreams
Designing a Quilt block

What else?

I have been rather exhausted but have still almost managed to finish the big fair-isle knitted wrap. It’s going to need a backing. Earlier in the week I was still getting some hand stitch on the jacket too. Have not done any for four days. There are not enough hours in the day.

Quilt design dreams
Designing a patchwork quilt block

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020.

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Day 22 quilting of 31 day blog challenge

Day 22 quilting, means I am two thirds of the way through this epic blog challenge. I got so carried away I did not realise. This has become natural to me now, to get up and write the blog each day. Today is all about checking finished quilts that had not been uploaded to the website and getting that done. Not my favourite task, but it won’t sell if no-one sees it.

Latest Additions

Not as much missing as I imagined. Guess who has a very tidy workroom now? All ready for the next episode in my quilting adventure.

The pattern for this one was up, but not the actual quilt, which is for sale as a one-off. So grab it while you can. It is rather a favourite of mine.

Day 22 quilting

For some reason, I finished this one but it did not get listed in any format at all. There will be a pattern for this too, but for today, I’ll just list the quilt itself. Again an original one-off. Another one I am fond of too. This quilt forms part of my River Series of quilts, based on the River Don as it flows from the Pennines to Goole.

day 22 quilting
original quilt for sale

Top Quilting Tips

Do you have lots of UFOs? Here are my top tips for finishing work:

  1. When you design it yourself, you know you can make it and finish it
  2. Choose what interests you
  3. Challenge yourself every so often but within reason
  4. Stick close to your ability but learn something new
  5. Set aside a time each day or each weekend to quilt
  6. Only move onto a new project when you have finished the last (that’s a tough one!)

Today’s discount

On day 22 quilting we have looked at original quilts today, so take 20% discount on any of the original quilts for sale. Some are already marked down, if they are not, please contact me, and I will do the discount for you. If they are marked down at 20% or more already, there is no further discount. Check back tomorrow for another discount. Some discounts end shortly, so do not miss out.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019