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Armchair Travel and Quilt Design Quilt BOM

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
My latest ebook in my travel series

Quilt Design

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.

Armchair travel London
Quilt design London by Karen Platt

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

designing quilts
Designing quilts in a sketchbook

Quilt BOM

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.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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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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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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Block of the Week – Register Your Interest

Now’s the time to register your interest in the Block of the Week, Indian Summer, introduced on Monday in the blog which has details of the schedule for release. I call it BOW for Block of the Week. Both the design, arrangement and fabric are unique.

Block of the Week Register
Block design by Karen Platt

This Block of the Week programme allows you to create a block each week to create the quilt. You work at your own pace and I have tweaked it a bit from other programmes.

  1. I prefer you to have everything delivered in one go, as fabrics will be specially hand dyed for you.
  2. This saves money on postage for you and also allows you to work at your own pace to finish the quilt. So if you have lots of spare time, or are a quiltaholic you could do a block a day. Alternatively, you can, of course, take longer.
Block of the Week register
Indian Summer Quilt designed by Karen Platt

What is included?

It’s a great way to quilt – it includes

  1. Fabrics to make the quilt top. Size 60 x 72″ with alternatives.
  2. Sashing and binding if appropriate to the quilt and selected as an optional extra
  3. Backing if you select it as an optional extra
  4. The instructions as a pdf, emailed to you (recommended method for clear pics and instructions that you can zoom into to make the text any size)
  5. Alternatives to make the quilt top unique to you. Many of the pieces are interchangeable.
  6. At the moment I am working on just one colourway.
  7. My unique tips as a quilt teacher
  8. Step by step photographic and written instructions with all the techniques you need.
  9. Me on hand online to help along the way
  10. Facebook secret group

How Long Will It Take To Make?

Your friends in the group will spur you on, as will I. The size above, created one block a week will be 12 weeks plus any sashing, borders, binding, backing, to be decided.

The blocks are aimed at all skill levels, starting with the easy ones and building confidence to something a little more challenging. Some can be cut and stitched in one hour (so if you have the time you can make more than one a day). Others have taken me two hours.

Block of The Week register
Indian Summer Block of the week quilt Karen Platt

How much does it cost?

PRICE: Approximately, to be finalised shortly. I am looking at around 140 to 160 gbp plus shipping. As it is one shipping cost, it should only add 10 pounds. I have seen BOMs at up to 300 gbp with shipping over the year of 60 gbp. It might be extra if there are borders and sashing. Remember you are not asked to commit today, just to register your interest. We do NOT charge a registration fee, and again I have seen costs of up to 20 gbp for that alone.

YOU CAN ADD:

A. Extra fabric

B. Printed instructions (photographic quality might not be good an I recommend the pdf)

C. Request different sizes such as wall quilt, single bed size, king bed size, cushion

D. Options of online lessons

Register Your Interest

Register your interest now by sending an email through the contact page WITH THE SUBJECT August BOW. Watch out for updates on here or on facebook. If you register interest, you will receive an email headed Karen Platt August BOW to pay for your fabrics and BOW quilt kit and pattern. You are under no obligation to purchase. Once you have paid and fabrics have been dyed for you, you have waived your right to a refund because the fabrics will have been specially dyed for you. You can also ask any questions about the BOM. You can also register on the form of the home page of the website.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Quilt BOW Block of the Week For All Quilters

A brand new quilting concept for me, Take a BOW. Quilt BOW block of the week quilt, designed by Karen Platt with quilting pattern, detailed instructions and guidance plus fabrics all posted to you.

Quilt BOW block of the week
Block of the Week Quilt

BOW Quilting

We have BOM block of the month so why not quilt BOW block of the week. Most blocks are complete in around an hour, so one of a week leaves you plenty of time to do other things and also means you finish your quilt without it hanging around all year.

I have designed a very special quilt for you. It is available exclusively through me and is based on my hand dyed fabrics but with lots of options. I have kept the cost as low as possible because some BOMs are very over-priced. You’ll have the option to save on postage too by having it shipped in one go.

hand dyed fabric
Showcasing some of the hand dyed fabrics

SIGN UP

As soon as it is released, sign up because there will be a cut off point. The timeline at the moment looks like this

1st July 2020 release date for sign up

30 July 2020 cut off date

1st – 21 August 2020 I hand dye the fabrics specially for you. There will be colourway choices. All fabrics and pure cotton.

16 – 30 August 2020 shipping takes place.

1 September 2020 the private fb group opens for purchasers only to join.

4 September 2020 you start making your quilt. If you make one block a week, it should take you 30 weeks plus sashing, binding, backing and actual quilting. But of course you can take longer, or you could even do it in 30 days. The choice is yours.

Quilt BOW Block of the week
Quilt BOW Block of the week

Design

I have designed this quilt specially with all levels of skill in mind. It is also very adaptable (suggestions in the instructions). The pattern is written with great detail and step by step photos. I have thought of all the little things that patten writers often forget.

Quilting techniques
Quilting techniques

DATE FOR YOUR DIARY

Sign up 1st July 2020. The sign up will be on this page on my website. Watch out for the reminder on facebook and twitter @KTextileart

See you next week.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Quilt On Design Wall, Knitting On Needles

It’s been a busy week with a quilt on the design wall and a knitwear design on the knitting needles. Both had hung around a bit, but I have made good progress despite another week of poor health. I think I have that nailed down to really bad food sensitivities now. I have been writing more of my Better Without cookbook, and also my first ebook in the Stitches in Time series as well as designing two new ecourses.

knitwear design
my latest knitting project

Quilt Design

The quilt on the design wall is one you might have seen if you follow me on fb, Instagram (karenplatt_textiles) or twitter (if you don’t already please do). It sat there for 10 days with no progress whilst I battled food sensitivities. Not out of the woods yet, but I am hopefully getting on top of that. Friday, I picked up where I left off and the quilt is now looking well on its way. This will be in a new Scrappy Quilt ecourse along with other scrappy quilts I have designed, like this one. My ecourses can now be seen on the website or from Craft Courses.

quilt on design wall
New scrap quilt design

Knitting

I dug out the fair isle I had started last year with wool from the 90s. It is on fine needles and I have done other projects in between because it takes a long time to knit something like this. Not to mention concentration. It is now finished and I am really pleased with it. It looks fantastic on and since I bought the wool so long ago, it cost about 10 pounds. So I started another project with the leftover yarn (see first pic). There is no stopping me.

knitting
My latest fair isle knitwear design

What’s Coming Up?

Stay tuned next week for more quilting, knitting and new art posters and knitting patterns. I’ll be working on more quilts and writing.

quilt on design wall

Have a great week.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Plat 2020

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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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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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Quilting My Heart Out

Wow what a bumper week, not one but six projects finished. One textile piece (not included today) and five art quilts. Plus some hand stitching done, knitting, writing and I am embarking on some voluntary work. Breathe. Quilting my heart out indeed and how joyful that was.

Digital Art Quilting

It was such fun working on my new art quilts. I just love the design process. First up was the church one, I have done this one once before but was very hesitant about the quilting. I have had much practice since then and this one went very well.

quilting my heart out
quilting my heart out church art quilt by Karen Platt

Next up was a Shapes design (actually there is more than one but I have only printed and stitched one so far), I am so in love with the colours and the threads matched very well.

quilting my heart out
quilting my heart out Shapes by Karen Platt

Along with those two sitting forgotten about in the same drawer was big bird. What took me so long to put this under the machine? He is chirping away merrily now.

Quilt design by Karen Platt
Fine Feathered Friend Quilt by Karen Platt

Fabric Collage Quilting

Also in that drawer was a few pieces left over from one of the tea quilts. So this is the third in the series, getting a bit bolder with my machine quilting now. I would not have attempted writing Camellia sinensis this time last year. (Note to self, the other two tea quilts are not on the website).

Tea quilt by Karen Platt
Camellia sinensis quilt by Karen Platt

Last but not least is another bird, Fantastic bird, an imaginary masterpiece! I did the background last week and the bird this week. Just love him. Hope you agree and that all these new pieces quickly find homes.

fantastic bird quilt by Karen Platt
Fantastic bird quilt by Karen Platt

Tune in next Monday for another bumper selection of work and find out if I was quilting my heart out again. There is a clue in there as to next week’s projects.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Back To Quilting Art Quilts

It’s back to quilting after the break. It’s not quite a week since I finished doing every day of the 31 day blog challenge. I have had a very short rest and then started new work.

back to quilting
Bird 1 almost finished

Quilting

Back to quilting and I stitched two backgrounds and put them to one side. This morning I started another and I am determined to finish all three.

They go with the last one I made (see pic above), which still needs a couple of small things doing to it. I also found a fifth in the drawer, a piece that was cut off a longer quilt, which I now know how to use. So begins my year of art quilts, the main focus of this year along with colour. Check out the website for quilts

back to quilting
This piece developed nicely, it will be fishy
back to quilting
I am also liking this piece and have started stitching it

Inspiration

I have always said that inspiration can come from anywhere. I was having a sleepless night and I began to read a book of poetry. Right there, I found words that resonated and started off ideas for not one but three quilts. I don’t think I have quite the right fabrics for those yet, but nonetheless, it started off another train of thought about birds. So I looked through my sketches and found a kingfisher I had sketched some years ago and he has been the start of a new quilt.

Kingfisher
Kingfisher copyright Karen Platt 2017
kingfisher art quilt
I changed the background and he is ready to stitch

In turn this connects to my river series because the kingfishers are sometimes seen on the River Don.

“To everything, turn, turn, turn

There is a season turn, turn, turn 
And a time to every purpose 
Under heaven” Pete Seeger

Other Work

I am well into a series of art that might just become quilts. My knitting is doing well too. Launch of the Peak District Knitting Pattern Collection looks like February 2020. Next week will see the launch of my latest insiration Book 13, Reflections. All in all a very exciting beginning to 2020.

art print
art print

Words (except the quote), images and work copyright Karen Platt 2020