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Stay At Home Quilter Working From Home

It’s not a new thing for me, I have been a stay at home quilter for many years and textile artist before that. I have been practising real social distancing, 2-3 metre between me and the next individual and I am holed up over 98% of the time indoors.

stay at home quilter
fabrics to use in my self isolation

Occupying My Time

As a workaholic, working from home has always suited me. I am however struck by and alarmed by the misconception of social distancing. It is time to stay at home people, whether your government recommends it or not.

I start my day with an exercise programme. I keep moving through the day – this is important. There is no iron next to my sewing machine, I have to get up and move. There is no kettle, I have to go to the kitchen.

Fresh air is important so I choose a quiet time of the day for a walk ensuring I keep my distance. Stay safe.

I am staying in contact with people on social media so I do not feel isolated. I am not panicked nor fearful, I believe strongly in stopping the spread of the virus. Follow me on Fb, Instagram where I can be found as KarenPlatt_Textiles and Twitter

What did I Make This Week?

I have a new launch. I have released my inspirational guide to Lisbon and created new artwork for it, one of which is used as the front cover. That’s the fourth in the travel inspiration ebooks.

travel inspiration Lisbon
travel inspiration Lisbon

I have also been improv quilting, creating blocks. I am happy with these although they seem to take about 45 mins each, which seems a long time. It’s a great way of using up fabric scraps and scrap quilting.

stay at home quilter
stay at home quilter

Talking of scraps, I also gathered some tiny bits of fabric and created a fabric and thread bowl.

stay at home quilter
stay at home quilter

Lessons Online

Apart from my quilting ecourses online, allowing you to be a stay at home quilter too, I am now also teaching French and Spanish online. I am a fully qualified and experienced languages teacher teaching children and adults. You can find me on this website

stay at home quilter
stay at home quilter

Words work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Quilt Those Scraps Quilting

Quilt those scraps! When inspiration evades you, or you have too many scraps, just sit down and quilt. It doesn’t really matter if you make a project or not, just make a start.

It has been a very rough week for me, getting my foot and leg to behave (tendonitis) and coping with digestive problems that knocked me out. It was not until Saturday that I felt well enough to sit in front of the sewing machine and stand long enough to cut fabric.

quilt those scraps
scrap fabrics

Scrap Quilting

Quilt those scraps. There must be a hundred ways to do it. You can gather together fabrics by colour, pattern, size. You can put together a colour scheme, or throw in the kitchen sink. The most important thing is to make a start and get going.

Quilting scraps serves two purposes. It can get you over the doldrums and it can reduce your scrap stash. Have you noticed how that multiplies?

Check out my scrap quilt tutorial, it was made with scraps from just one fabric. If you love that original quilt, it is for sale, but hurry as there is only one here

quilting tutorial
tutorial

Wonky Line Scrap Quilting

Making wonky lines is fun. It’s a fairly quick way to use up scraps. Just find scraps of the same or similar length and stitch together, cutting some strips at an angle. I think these always look better with a limited colour scheme, but hey it’s scraps, so anything goes.

quilt those scraps
scrap quilting

Wonky Log Cabin

An old take on the even older traditional log cabin block. Instead of all pieces being equal width, you cut some wonky ones. It’s a bit more challenging than the Wonky Line method. Again it is quick and uses up a bundle of scraps in no time. Each block you make can be different, so you don’t need too much of the same material. Just have fun and experiment.

log cabin with scrap fabric

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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Small Art Quilts Work For Sale

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.

Seagull quilt
Seagull Quilt by Karen Platt
small art quilt
Kingfisher by Karen Platt 2020
small art quilt
Bird Quilt by Karen Platt

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.

small art quilt
Fish quilt by Karen Platt

Rusty Scissors

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

River Don quilt series
Rusty Scissors by Karen Platt

What’s New?

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.

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

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Day 30 quilting of 31 day blog challenge

Day 30 quilting is a retrospective of the past six months’ work. It has been a very busy time for me. Perhaps my busiest for many years. I produced no less than 13 new quilts, 4 of those also as quilting patterns, 7 new inspiration ebooks and 3 new ecourses plus a quilting retreat. What a whopper! I have not included my knitting or art, I thought there was enough here already. Join me for a look in more detail.

Quilts

Day 30 quilting, here is a look at the 13 quilts, consisting of lap quilts, wall quilts, wall hangings and 4 quilt patterns. What an achievement. I had no idea I had made that many. Smaller projects do help the output. The ones with a dot are also patterns. They can all be seen online here

Dreamweaver quilt
Lonely Rivers Flow

  • Floral Tiles
  • Modern Scrap
  • Drunkard’s Path
    Eagle and Fish
    Indian Wedding Quilts (2)
    Art Landscape Quilts (3)
    Purple Landscape Quilt
    Quilted Sea Wall Hanging
  • Blue River as a pattern only
Day 30 quilting
Blue River Quilt Pattern
Day 30 quilting
Can’t Find My Way Home Quilt and Pattern
day 30 quilting
Modern Scrap Quilt and pattern
Day 30 quilting
Dreamweaver Quilt
Day 30 quilting
Tiled Quilt and pattern
Quilts to buy
Eagle and Fish Quilt
quilts for sale
Lonely Rivers Flow Quilt
Indian Wedding quilts
Indian Wedding Quilts
Art Quilt Triptych
Art Quilt Triptych
Quilted Sea wall hanging
Quilted Sea Wall Hanging
Day 30 quilting wall hanging
Quilted lavender wall hanging

Quilt Retreat

I launched my first quilt retreat, for June 2020 and there are still two places left, so please come and join me. There is a programme of activity or you can do your own thing. Just 3 miles from Whitby, we’ll be interpreting and enjoying the local are in high standard accommodation at an affordable price. What are you waiting for?

day 30 quilting Quilt Retreat Yorkshire
Quilt Retreat Yorkshire

eCourses

I also launched no less than three new ecourses. Two on quilting and one on contemporary stitch. This is what I love best, teaching. Sharing my skills. The ecourses can be seen here

day 30 quilting ecourse
Creative Quilting ecourse
Creative Stitch ecourse
Creative stitch ecourse
Day 30 quilting ecourse
Modern Quilting ecourse

Inspiration ebooks

I love making these and sharing all my inspirational photos and artwork or textiles with you. There were seven new ones in the past six months, you can see them all here

inspiration ebook seven clocks
Inspiration ebook seven Clocks
Inspiration ebook eight flaking paint
Inspiration ebook eight flaking paint
Inspiration ebook nine Trees
Inspiration ebook Nine Trees
inspiration ebook ten grids
Inspiration ebook ten grids
inspiration ebook eleven circles
Inspiration ebook eleven circles
Inspiration ebook twelve repetition
Inspiration travel Sahara
Inspiration Travel Sahara

Final Discount

Day 30 quilting, let’s send the old year off with a bang. Take 20% off everything on the website until end of 31st December 2019. Your help is very much appreciated because I am an independent and unfortunately, almost starving artist. Love to all who have supported me. Thank you for being there and thank you for joining me on this journey. Tune in tomorrow for what is coming up in the next six months.

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Day 28 quilting of 31 day blog challenge

Day 28 quilting is the toughest day of my year as I mourn the loss of three loved ones on this day. I have come to dread this day. So I wanted to create some good memories instead of mourning the loss. I am launching my first Travel destination ebook to celebrate the life of my partner and Sahara tour guide, Ali. Ali departed this world in 2016. It has been very difficult to write this book, it is so full of memories. It includes images of the Sahara and the art I created including one quilt inspired by the wondrous colours of the desert.

Sahara

The ebook is now available exclusively here

Art Quilts

Day 28 quilting in the middle of the night, the best ideas come along. I have a fascination for birds, as do many quilt artists and artists in general. In my mind’s eye I saw a blackbird and knew just what to create. Several hours later as I entered my workroom and started looking for the fabrics to create my blackbird, I chose a plain black, a textured white and then a rust fabric. As I was assessing this I suddenly remembered a rusty fabric I have that has birds printed on it. That was the end of the blackbird for today. He will be coming home to roost though shortly.

Meantime, I changed some of the fabrics and a new art quilt was born. These small quilts make great wall art. I just have to finish the quilting. I am rather pleased with this project and already have an idea to use up the rest of this wonderful bird fabric.

day 28 quilting
the making of a new art quilt copyright Karen Platt 2019
day 28 quilting
the finishing touches copyright Karen Platt 2019

Today’s Discount

Take 20% off the new ebook – Sahara. Check back tomorrow for another discount.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Day 20 quilting of 31 day blog challenge

Day 20 quilting is the perfect time to look at some quilting books. As a designer I just love looking at other people’s patterns. I don’t make any of them, but it is a pleasure to see them and often sparks off a new, totally unrelated quilt design for me. It’s one way to find quilting inspiration.

Don’t forget you can also check my blog for book reviews, all these books and more will be reviewed. Check out the C&T Publishing website.

New Quilt Books

Ombre quilts only has six projects but it is a stunning book from Jennifer Sampou, published by C&T Publishing. Easy on the eye designs with soft colour palette.

day 20 quilting
Ombre quilts

Jelly Filled by Vanessa Goertzen is all about using those strip rolls to create modern designs. Hone your piecing skills. You get 18 quilt patterns in this one. It’s from Stash Books, an imprint of C&T Publishing.

day 20 quilting
Jelly Filled

Like your quilts funky? Look no further than Wild Wool & Colorful Cotton Quilts by Erica Carrow from C&T Publishing. Fun quilts, many on the medallion template but could be adapted to quilt in a row. This book uses applique.

day 20 quilting books
Wild Wool

Do you love historic quilts as much as I do? Friends, quilters, collectors and historic quilt lovers, sisters Lori Lee and Kay Triplett are here with another collection of fabulous quilts from the 16-1800s. Hidden Treasures is indeed a treasure trove of all we love in quilting. These pre-Civil War quilts are from the Poos Collection. This is a terrific collection of quilts. Quilt porn, what a feast for the eyes. Published by C&T Publishing.

quilting
Hidden Treasures

Discount

Day 20 quilting discount it has to be patterns, you can find them here. Take 20% of any quilt pattern for one day only. Check back tomorrow for another blog and another discount.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Day 19 quilting of 31 day blog challenge

Day 19 quilting says good morning quilters everywhere who are enjoying the blog. Welcome. If you are new, all the blogs are archived on the website. You can also join me on facebook to keep up to date with quilting and textiles. I post daily on quilting and textiles.

Quilting

Day 19 quilting is showing you my progress with the new quilt. I have now completed all white ‘squares’ and am on the quilting around the edges. I am using ivory not white as I find white to be a very stark contrast. I managed one section yesterday, so three more corners to do then four small areas to finish off. Then it only leaves the binding. This quilt is nearing completion. I am finding it tough going. To be honest, this type of quilting is just not me. I ned something far more expressive artistically than piecing in this way but I have been teaching mainly beginners, so all my work has been in that direction.

day 19 quilting
quilting the top
day 19 quilting
quilting the top

Textiles

I have been a textile artist far longer than I have been a quilter. Creating textiles is such fun because you have so many more techniques and materials available to you. I have created some art quilts that are as much textiles as quilt. I think this is the way I am heading for 2020, so keep tuned for a new body of work taking a new direction. The image below is one of the designs I am working on. I am thinking of these as ‘me quilts’.

day 19 quilting
Copyright Karen Platt 2019

Today’s Discount

On day 19 quilting take 20% off my Textiles ecourse. This is the first ecourse I wrote was on textiles. It is such fun to learn textile techniques with me as your etutor. You will learn so much from this to use in your own creative work. Check back in tomorrow for progress, quilting ideas and tips and another discount.

Karen Platt textiles ecourse
Karen Platt textiles ecourse

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Day 18 quilting of the 31 day blog challenge

Day 18 quilting takes a look at things that go wrong and makes suggestions for putting them right. Quilt tips and more. Join me on Instagram, find me karenplatt_textiles

Quilts need to be flat

When you make your quilt sandwich ( a quilt usually consists of 3 parts: the quilt top, the wadding or batting, and the backing) it needs to be flat. Sometimes this is easy, sometimes it is challenging. It takes time, careful pinning and checking.

day 18 quilting
Flat at the front, but the back was not right and need attention

I used to think that it was tricky, but my first few quilts gave me no problems. However recently, I switched from crawling on the living room floor (my biggest space) to making the sandwich on my work table. Whilst this was better for my knees and back, it seems to not have worked so well for me.

For my latest quilt, I went back to the living room floor. I have never known a fabric like this one, it wanted to walk. If I got one bit straight, it pulled something else out of whack. I straightened it several times, got the three pieces pinned together, only to find problems on the back.

day 18 quilting
even those small puckers need to be straightened out

I took this to the work room and unfolded, unpinned where necessary and made sure it was all straight before proceeding. This is of extreme importance, flat front and flat back, otherwise you have puckers when you quilt. It is just a matter of patience and time to get it right and makes for a professional looking quilt.

day 18 quilting
Much better, flat and ready to quilt

Quilt Tip

Day 18 quilting tip is for quilting the sandwich. In general it is good advice to quilt circles or wavy lines, stippling even on squares and vice versa. However, my approach is often to ‘freeform’. By that I mean, I just take the needle where it wants to go and approach each square individually. It makes for an interesting quilt. I have used this method in both my hand and machine quilting.

quilting
quilting the top

Today’s discount

Day 18 quilting discount is 20% off the Design in Quilting and Patchwork ecourse, so there has never been a better time to do this. Learn how to design your own quilts in 2020.

Check back tomorrow for more quilting.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019