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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
From Quilt Design to Completion, this morning I finished designing the scrap quilt. Boy that feels good. It took a few twists and turns along the way but it is finished and I love it. Finishing a quilt design always brings euphoria! Or should that be sewphoria!
Progressing the Design
Last time I left you with the rectangles made and pondering where to go from there. It seems a lifetime has passed by. Many quilt ideas came and bit the dust since 31 October 2019. I spent a lot of time pinning things to the design wall and taking them down and re-pinning. From Quilt Design to Completion has been quite a journey. I kept an open mind throughout.
All design brings challenges and it is how we deal with those challenges that make or break the design. The particular challenge here was that I was dealing with different lengths and different widths of rectangle. Somehow I had to make it coherent. There were a few crazy ideas along the way.
Bringing It All Together
Eventually something always clicks. It might come immediately, or it might take weeks, but it always happens. Patience is a virtue. Once it falls into place, it is like a dream. Every scrap of that Eagle fabric was used. Each decision you make along the process affects the final design. I had to add more length and width and opted for bands of colour. I also chose a matching fabric in colour and theme for the main player.
The Finished Lap Quilt
Finally everything fell into place and the quilt was easy to finish. This unique quilt is on sale here, ready for one lucky buyer. The full instructions to make a quilt like this will be on sale in the quilts and patterns section of the website, so please take a look. You can also take the Design and Quilting ecourse to learn how to design your own quilts. Last of all check out the past blogs on this quilt and don’t forget to read the blog every Monday. Thanks for stopping by.
Quilting in Practice – Fabric, Stitch, Pinning – yes I am talking about what really matters this week – the devil really is in the details when it comes to quilting. It takes a lot to get it right every time. Starting with good fabric is a very good place to start.
Quilting in Practice
Fabric – so many times I see people mention cheap fabric and I cringe. Honestly it makes me ill. Quilting takes hours and you enjoy it for sure, but quality is much better than quantity when it comes to quilting. I had a tingle down my spine when last week, for the first time, I actually saw some fabric in that famous supermarket that begins with A. I took one look at it, and left it on the shelf. Just not quality fabric and therefore not something I would quilt with. Having said that, price, whilst usually an indication of quality, is not always the case when it comes to digitally produced fabrics. I was rather disappointed with some I bought from the USA a while back. If you are not familiar with the brand of fabric, go somewhere you can see and feel it. My favourite brands? Liberty, Moda and Kona solids.
My quilting still does not live up to what is in my mind. Piecing, I have my accuracy pretty good except when I am tired. But top quilting, the bit that matters, the bit you can see? It is a learning curve. I still get my quilt sticking on the corners. I also get so tense it is unreal. After an hour of quilting I feel like I have gone ten rounds in a boxing ring. Confidence is everything. I have improved so much in three years. Concentration is a must. What? You mean I have to make even more and more quilts??? For all my existing work, click online here
How important is pinning! When we gain confidence, we happily piece straight pieces and even binding without pins. Pins go in sideways too not lengthways as in dressmaking. Seams need to be nested too, correct pinning helps immensely. For top quilting, it’s definitely a case of the more pins the merrier. I have pins that are long and thin and bend like Beckham, pins that are long and thicker and leave big holes and oh, those stick in your fingers and thumbs curved quilting pins that I really loathe. It is like doing battle with a thorny bush, you never escape without bleeding fingers.