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Day 3 Quilting of 31 Day Blog Challenge

Day 3 Quilting already (actually feels like day 30 :)) this is quite intense blogging. Writers love writing. Quilters love to quilt, so today I am going to start with a question

What Do You Love Most About Quilting?

I have already answered that in Day 1 and Day 2, for me it is the design. I know for many quilters it is actually sewing, which I sometimes like and sometimes hate depending on how smoothly it is going. I like straight stitches, honestly, and I love hand stitch. I must do more free-motion quilting because that is where the fun really starts. It took me a while to try it and I need lots of practice.

Quilting Machines

Day 3 Quilting let’s talk about quilting machines. They are just sewing machines that make life a little easier when quilting. I started on a very basic Singer Confidence, which I loved. It lasted 7 years until the computer bit went haywire. I donated it to a charity that mends and sends machines to Africa. I upgraded to something a little better. My main objective was a wider throat to take a full-size quilt. But, you’ll never guess, so far after 18 months, I have yet to make another full-size quilt. I am very much a wall hanging and lap quilt lady. The other thing is the ability to free-motion, which is a feature of many machines now.

Day 3 Discount

Today’s discount is a super 10 per cent off all ecourses under 100 pounds. These quilting ecourses will hone your skills so do not miss out, the discounts are running for one day only and the reduced price is marked on the website. They are Design and Create a Quilted Wallhanging, Digital Quilt Block Monthly, Fabric Design in Photoshop, Inspiration Monthly, Kaleidoscopes in Photoshop, Transform Your Photos Into Art Quilts, Cathedral Window Hand Quilting, One Block Wonder Quilts and New Photo Techniques For Quilters

Day 3 quilting
Quilted wallhanging
Day 3 Quilting
Digital Block Design
Day 3 quilting
Fabric Pattern design
Art prompts
Art Prompts
Kaleidoscope quilting
Kaleidoscopes for quilting
Transform Your Photos
Transform Your Photos Into Art Quilts
Day 3 quilting
Cathedral Window Hand Quilting

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Day 2 of 31 Day Blog Challenge

Hello Quilters, here I am with day 2 of 31 day blog challenge for all you quilters out there.

More About Me

I started quilting seriously just 3 years ago. I am a fully qualified teacher and I now teach quilting. I also teach hand knitting and textiles. I am a bit of a computer whizz and love digital design. I love all styles of quilting from traditional through to modern. This is my fantastic job – designing and making quilts. I love it.

Designing Quilts

When I finally started quilting, I decided I had to design. I had looked at almost every book on how to quilt and it just was not happening for me. I did not get quilting at all. So I basically started teaching myself. I just sat down one day with some of my stash of fabrics and decided this is the day I quilt. I was already a designer, so the design aspect never bothered me. It was all that cut 10 of this, stitch it together, cut it up again malarkey that had me confused. I still love the design aspect the best. It really is a thrill for me. I start all my quilts from scratch. I do not use quilting design software.

Discount Day 2

Since we have been talking about design, I would love you to take one of my exciting quilting or textile design ecourses. The Christmas Countdown is in full swing now. The advent calendar discount today is 20% off all ecourses over 100 pounds, this includes all the longer ecourses : Creative Quilting, First Steps Patchwork and Quilting, Colour Confidence, Design in Quilting and Patchwork, Photoshop For Textiles. Each unique ecourse is written by me from my own experience and study. You will not find this content elsewhere. See all the ecourses by clicking through to the website

day 2 of 31
Creative quilting ecourse
Day 2 of 31
Beginners Patchwork & Quilting ecourse
Day 2 of 31
Colour Confidence for Quilters
Day 2 of 31
Design in Quilting ecourse
Day 2 of 31
Photoshop for Textiles ecourse

Come back tomorrow for more on quilting and another Advent Calendar discount.

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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From Quilt Design to Completion

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!

quilt design

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.

from quilt design to completion
arranging by size

Challenges

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.

from quilt design to completion
I cannot believe I tried this one

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.

from quilt design to completion

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.

quilt design

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Quilt Design Solutions – Progressing A New Design

Where do all the bits fit?

Quilt design solutions is the process you go through from start to finish when designing a quilt from scratch. Quit design is all about problem solving. It’s a bit like a jigsaw puzzle. This post follows on from the one last Monday, so check that out if you have not seen it. I have not progressed as much as I would have liked, but at least I have done something.

Last week we looked at the scrap pieces I had left to make this quilt. This week I have done some more sorting.

Design Decisions

Quilt design solutions involves a lot of decision making. For this quilt I had various shapes and sizes. I have had to decide the best way forward. Although I loved the diamonds and toyed with the idea of working on point, I discarded that.

The semi-circles were also wonderful and would have added a lot to the design, but I did not feel they fitted in with the rest. So it all boiled to making those sort of triangle shapes into squares.

quilt design solutions
from triangle to square

Squares

quilt design solutions
squares assembled and pressed

So my principle quilt design solution so far has been to decide on squares. Now everything is sewn into squares, I need to sort them again. I sorted according to size. I pressed each one. They have been pinned to the wall to see how many I have. A few more than you see here as I unpicked the top of the hexagons from the last quilt and added the semi-circle pieces as squares too.

quilt design solutions
sorted into sizes

My next task is to decide what comes next. Many options are still available to me. Drop by next Monday for the latest stage. Remember, you too can be a quilt designer – take my one year ecourse in Quilt Design here.

quilt design solutions
pinned to the wall for the overnight test

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Seven Days of Design, quilts, knitwear and dry felting

Seven days of design – what Karen did last week. They say seven days is a long time in politics, but you can fit an awful lot of work into seven days.

My seven days of design was varied and interesting, it has been a good week. There is rarely a dull time as a designer and rarely a minute to spare. I divide my week into different media. Usually all in one day. This is mainly because I have to switch activity owing to avoiding painful repetitive syndrome that affects many crafters and textile artists.

For my work, check out the quilts and textiles pages

For my knitting patterns, see Ravelry

Quilt Design

My main area of work for almost three years now has been quilting. With my latest design I have taken another direction. My new quilt is inspired by a digital design that happened one morning out of the blue, unexpected and looking promising. I had to shelf it until I had finished other projects. Seven days of design involved selecting fabrics, size, colour, deciding on surface design, order of stitch and much more. It’s under wraps at the moment until finished (should be next week), but I can give you a sneak view.

seven days of design
Karen Platt Seven Days of Design Quilts

Knitwear Design

For years I designed knitwear and knitted up to eight hours a day. Now I am only able to knit one or two hours maximum. It is a real shame as it is my favourite craft. My designs these days are just using up wool I have. I had quite a lot of grey and cream and decided to put in a few odds and ends to make a fair-isle. Seven days of design involved stitch and pattern selection, colour, size and more. Like all good fair-isle, it is in fine yarn and takes about 100 hours to complete.

Karen Platt knitting
Karen Platt fair-isle

Dry Felting

I was considering selling my embellisher machine, but I still have rather a lot of supplies. So I decided to use them up in new designs. Seven days of design involved inspiration and research, arrangement, selecting fibres and colours amongst other things. I am finding inspiration in the Peak District for my landscapes.

Design inspiration Peak District
Design inspiration Peak District Karen Platt
Karen Platt dry felting embellisher
Karen Platt dry felting

More next week. Images, words and copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Blog Quilting News – New Quilt, Workshops and Blog Hop, Website Registration

All the quilting news in one place. This is just for this week, it is getting so busy here.

New Quilt

My first quilting news is that I have just finished the new quilt, the second in the River Series Quilt patterns. I am so struggling with double vision, but hoping to move on to another new quilt design today.

Karen Platt quilt pattern
Karen Platt quilt pattern

New Workshops

My most exciting quilting news is that I am leading many workshops at the West Country Quilt Show in Bristol from 29 August for three days. Check out the show and workshop details on their website

Thursday 29th August 2019, 12.30 pm I am teaching how to make a Landscape Quilt, at 14.00pm scrap coasters – I’ll be showing lots of examples and how to do them and at 15.00 pm I’m doing Cathedral Windows with a difference.

quilting news
Karen Platt Landscape Quilt
quilting news
Karen Platt scrap coasters
quilting news
Cathedral Windows with my stained glass fabrics

Friday 30th at 10.30am I am teaching the sunflower quilt – this can be a 12″ pictorial wall hanging or quilt block. The rest are as above all 3 sessions. 4 sessions in total today.

Karen Platt quilting news
Karen Platt Sunflower Quilt

Saturday 31st is the same times and topics at the Friday. 4 sessions in total.

I hope to meet many quilters. I will be providing fabrics and teaching instructions. The fabrics might differ slightly to those shown. The Landscape is a smaller version. If you want to bring your own fabrics or bring scraps for other quilters, that would be fine. The booking form is at the bottom of the page on their website.

New Blog Hop

Welcome to my first blog hop, arranged by Sam of Hunter’s Design. On 20th September as part of the hop. I’ll be doing ‘Drunkard’s Path Made Easy’.

New Website Registration

You can now register on my website, and receive discounts an extra special goodies and pre-notifications. The Sign up is at the bottom of the home page, so make sure you scroll down. As a special thank you there is a mini ‘Inspiration’ pdf booklet that will be emailed to you.

If you missed the Festival of Quilts blogs – there is a 6 part series for 2019 highlighting many of the quilts on display. Just scroll on the menu to the right on the blog page to catch up.

Words, images and work copyright Karen Platt 2019. See you mext Monday.

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Quilting The River Series Quilts Inspired By The River Don

Quilting the River Series Quilts is a joy. I am so enjoying the process. My work involves several aspects that have become natural to me – researching, designing, finished product. If I can involve another medium I do – so photography, painting, printing and hand stitch also appear in my work. So far I have completed one quilt. The fabric is cut for a second and there are several more at design stage. I shall stop when I have completed all the ones I think are worth taking to final product. I am talking about quilt design on Sunday 4th August at the Festival of Quilts NEC. You can book your place here and quote WT57 for a discount.


The First Quilt

Quilting the River Series Quilts has led me to explore the river on foot, take photos and drawings to get a feel of the river. I have so far visited four areas of the river and recorded each walk. I have written them up in an ebook that will form part of the exhibition of work. The first quilt is a big step forward and I chose to keep it simple. The blues represent the river and the rust represents the industry that was once a huge part of the river. It has simple quilting too. It will also be featured in my Beginners’ Quilting ecourse here.

quilting the river series

Quilting The River Series

The Second Quilt

The second quilt is also about the flow of the river. It is in all blue (at the moment). I am still cutting the fabrics. It uses a traditional quilt block – The Drunkard’s Path. Through the inspiration of the river, I am finding different ways to interpret it in quilts.

quilting the river series
Cutting fabric for the second wuilt


Quilting Patterns

Almost all my quilts are available as patterns and some are available as kits too. The first quilt is hand dyed and kits are available. The second is made from scraps. In addition I sell many of my finished sample quilts. Patterns, kits and finished quilts can all be found on the website

quilting pattern
quilting pattern

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Quilting Blog Hands-on Quilt Designer

In the quilting blog this week is my progress with the FOQ 2019 quilt, appearances and workshops.

Quilting Progress

For the FOQ quilt it was a case of leave it until I realised what was bugging me about it. That took 6 days. Never think designing a quilt happens in minutes and is then just sewn together perfectly. What is on paper, if you are designing from scratch, often changes when you are stitching when you realise a) it does not work b) it would work better another way or c) something else entirely will work better.

Something had been bugging me about the quilt since the second section. I just could not see what it was. When I finally realised I kicked myself, not only because I had not followed my gut feeling about piecing, but because I had to unpick. There might be six letters in that word but it really is a four-letter word to quilters. It not only means tedium, but is time consuming. However, it is all done now and the next section is also pieced. Just the final section to go and I am there. I have two ideas for that running around my head. I might not use either of them.

What’s New

Whilst I was waiting for things to click, I started cutting another quilt. I am playing with ways to piece this.

quilting
piecing
quilting piecing
quilting blog

Quilting Workshops

Finally I believe the workshop bookings are open at the West Country Quilt Show, so you can book any three of the workshops I am offering.

Quilters’ Guild Members Discount

If you are a member of the Quilter’s Guild, you’ll also see I am offering 10% off purchases online. You can also see my online page on there and ask about booking me for a talk or workshop in your region. You can see all my work on my website here

Join me next week for the quilting blog, when I hope to have that FOQ quilt nearing completion.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Quilt Design Abandoning A Design

Abandoning a design at making stage seems to be my thing when it comes to competition quilts. It’s not something I normally do, nor would recommend. I know many quilters have UFO’s, quilts they have not finished, but for me, as a designer, I’m not into abandoning a design. Yet each time I have designed for competitions, it has happened.

So my FOQ quilt is the latest victim. I love my idea, but it is rather complicated and there are silences in the quilt room – no whirr of the machine, no progress. I loved the hand quilted section, and this will be used in another quilt. Everything else was not gelling and I realised this morning that although the difference in scale still meant that the hand quilted section matched up with the machine quilted ones eventually, when I came to do the top quilting, it was not going to look right. There were also numerous problems yet to solve. So I called it a day, having thought of another idea to pursue.

abandoning a design

I have already made a start on the new quilt and four small blocks have been joined into one. Although this is a much simpler design than the one I wanted to enter, at least it will not cause long periods of no progress. And there is a lot to be said for that. The fabrics will not be wasted. If I work at this a few hours a day, it will be finished in 10 days maximum. So that’s perfect too and I can get back to the quilting I want to do.

quilt design

However, it has left me wondering if this is really for me or if this is my last quilt competition entry. Only time will tell, but I have not made a very auspicious start. Designs for sale are here

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019