Armchair travel and quilt design has been featuring big in my work this year. I have just released Travel book Ten on Yorkshire, my home county and one that I love very much. Armchair travel and quilt design allows you to see places you cannot get to, or to plan your trip and be inspired to create quilts from your journey. This latest book in the travel series has over 500 photos including artwork I made inspired by my journeys. You can purchase the Yorkshire travel ebook here and you can see all the travel books and other inspiration ebooks here
Armchair travel can inform your quilt design. You can create a quilt from your journey. Take anything that inspired you on your journey and turn into a quilt design. My quilt ecourse on design can help you do just that. The quilt below was inspired by my journeys to London. I have made many quilts inspired by my journeys – walks to the local river, an icy winter and much more.
Last week I was talking about designing a new quilt, and I have made a start. The new designs are a series based around a theme, that involves inspiration from many sources that I have encountered on my travels. I made a start with my new sketchbook. I am hoping this will lead to several things:
the new quilts
an ebook of patterns
an ecourse of techniques
a series of Zoom interactive quilting lessons
You can still sign up for the BOM until the end of the week.
That’s all for now. It has been a hectic week of sewing. More next week.
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.
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.
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 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.
Artist Support Pledge is the brainchild of Matthew Burrows on Instagram. It’s all about exposing artists to new markets using the hashtag #artistsupportpledge. Anyone can buy the artists’ work. Work can be 200 gbp and under. When an artist has taken 1000 gbp they pledge to buy from another artist. It’s a great idea to get artists through Covid 19 and to help them and allow them to help other artists at the same time. Follow me on Instagram karenplatt_textiles
Work For Sale
Under this banner of Artist Support Pledge I have already put quite a few small art quilts, textiles such as my embroidered portraits and some digital posters too. Today I thought I would add the last four quilts I have made. You can use the contact form on this website to buy as they are not yet listed anywhere. Any finished quilt listed under the heading quilts on the website that is under 200 gbp is also included.
Pink Feathers, my latest quilt is offered for 175 gbp plus p&p. 75 x 95 cm (30 x 38 inches). The back has some pink squares. See above.
Orange Butterflies, a wall quilt with 2-d butterflies. It is 75 gbp plus p&p. 64 cm square. (Approx 25 inches square).
Stripey Bullseye another wall quilt is 95 gbp plus p&p. 76 x 78 cm (just over 30 x 31 inches).
New Kid On the Block is 195 gbp plus p&p. Each block is different. 75 x 130cm (30 x just over 52 inches).
All quilts are cotton, they are all machine pieced and quilted. The binding is machine stitched to the front and hand stitched to the back. They have cotton wadding. Each one is unique and designed by me.
A great way for you to support artists through the Artist Support Pledge and for me to support artists whilst making a living from my art. I know I have found it tough during lockdown and since I am vulnerable, I am staying at home as much as possible, so I really need and appreciate the support.
Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020.
With my small art quilts I am moving on this week to new ways of creating art quilts. I am working with scraps, paint and digitally. However before I show you those, I want to show what I finished last week. No less than five small art quilts. I did not make any changes to the Seagull quilt but he is now on the website for sale as are all the quilts, just click the links. However, the Kingfisher quilt has a few new tail feathers. I also made a change to the Bird Quilt, he now has an eye and the gold pieces are couched onto the black. The skeleton leaf was causing problems but is now fixed. How? See the ecourse for modern quilts to learn this and many more techniques.
There Are Always More Fish In The Sea
Three fish to be exact. This was a small art quilt that I thought was finished, but I had a little niggle, the left hand side looked empty. I tried a buoy, but making it look as if it was submerged was difficult and I abandoned that idea. Then looking for something else, I came across a piece of silk rod that was perfect. Then to finish it off, in the same bag was a plied yarn. I am really happy with this now.
This is the largest of these small art quilts. Inspired by the River Don and the cutlery industry in Sheffield, this quilt was made with my handmade rusted fabrics. It is a subtle palette and good viewed up close. It has the most quilting I have done to date. N.B. Yes I know stainless steel does not rust. You can see the quilt here
I am working on more ideas and hope to finish three pieces this week. There is a small scrap picture quilt. I have started the sky, not thought about the rest of it yet. I have ideas for four larger pieces, one based on my mother, the others city scapes. More about that next time.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Top Quilting Tips
Do you have lots of UFOs? Here are my top tips for finishing work:
When you design it yourself, you know you can make it and finish it
Choose what interests you
Challenge yourself every so often but within reason
Stick close to your ability but learn something new
Set aside a time each day or each weekend to quilt
Only move onto a new project when you have finished the last (that’s a tough one!)
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.
Day 17 quilting is off to a start with a bang. Where I am up to with my new quilt and a very special addition to my ecourses are setting my workroom alight today.
I quilted some of my new quilt, so day 17 quilting is all about showing you what I achieved. If you have been reading all the blogs, you’ll remember that I made an error in the placement of the first block on this new quilt and therefore the design changed. So I ended with the placement of 9 blocks, with gaps in between, making it ideal to quilt.
The fabric was a killer for making the sandwich, it just wanted to walk across the floor. I have never had a fabric behave like this before. Eventually, I got the sandwich flat and quilted away. One happy quilter.
I then started my quilting and decided to quilt all the blue squares first. Now all there is is the white squares and surround to finish off. I made up my own straight line quilting pattern.
New ecourse Creative Stitch
I am so thrilled to announce my new ecourse, which can be joined at any time no matter where you live as it is online. But why wait? Join me in January for a bumper 2020 hand embroidery ecourse. It is all about contemporary stitch. A 12 month ecourse looking at stitch, design and more.
Today’s discount is on this wonderful new Creative Stitch ecourse, so join me today with 10% off a saving of over 32 pounds. I look forward to welcoming you on the ecourse. Let’s make 2020 Creative Stitch year. I’ll see you tomorrow for another discount and blog.
Day 16 quilting means I have past the half way mark in the blog challenge. Lots of news and tips today.
Quilt Tip of The Day
I don’t know if it happens to you and I won’t blame my sewing machine, but take it from a lady whose sewing needle has gone in the opposite direction to what she thought when doing zigzag and turning corners, or even starting off, there is a way to know which way it will go. Like me, you probably have a machine, that depending on the selection the zigzag goes left or right. Yes, I have that. But sometimes, it still seems to have a mind of its own, and I know its me, I kept getting it wrong. So assuming there is someone else out there as crazy as me. Here is what to do if this keeps happening to you:
Make sure you have selected the correct zigzag to go left or right as desired.
Turning the corner, keep it true by stopping at the edge with your needle down (it does not really matter if you are on the outside or inside of the fabric
Lift the foot
Turn your fabric
Put the foot down
Lift the needle and you will see which way it is going to go
Adjust, lifting the foot as necessary so that the needle will be insert on the outer edge of the fabric
No more ugly corners
New Products In Store
New Inspiration ebook Seven Clocks
I am so pleased to have finished my 12th Inspiration ebook in time for Christmas. These are manual pdf downloads so they make great last minute gifts for someone you forgot. I can send it to any email you give and it can be delivered on Christmas morning or any time you desire.
This one is all about Clocks, and it goes in at number 7, making the total of 12 Inspiration ebooks. I have moved Churches (which was number 7 because that along with Tunisian Doors is an art Inspiration ebook of my work only, so slightly different to the others that contain original photos for inspiration as well as my work.
Coming shortly is the new Karen Platt Peak Collection of knitting patterns. It will be added to my Ravelry pattern store. I should finish the final design today. So more news about that in a few days. I am so pleased with all the new work I have completed in the last few weeks. It has been a very productive time for me.
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.
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.
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.
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