Posted on

Day 11 quilting of the 31 Day Blog challenge

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.

Day 11 quilting
quilting

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.

day 11 quilting

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.

Discount

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

day 11 quilting

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

Posted on

Day 8 quilting of the 31 day blog challenge

Inspiration

Day 8 quilting starts with Inspiration today. The question I am asked most is ‘Where do you get your inspiration?’ The answer I usually give is not the one people want to hear, for it is most often ‘Anything and everything from a manhole cover to another artist.’ This often as not is met with a blank stare.

However it is true. I do get my inspiration in that way. I not only quilt but I also do textiles, hand knitting and painting. I find the same is true for all of them, inspiration is ubiquitous. So here are my top tips on Day 8 quilting for you to find inspiration for your creativity

  1. Look with an artist’s eye
  2. Observe
  3. Never copy
  4. Try different mediums
  5. Try different ideas
  6. Keep a sketchbook
inspiration ebook
bark was used in my textile work

Inspiration ebooks

Day 8 quilting brings you lots of inspiration. Since it is the question I am asked so frequently and many find inspiration so hard, you can now access my photos for use in your work. The inspiration ebooks are packed with my photos and also my work to inspire you. They help you to concentrate on a theme, access good photos, see my work.

inspiration ebooks
I created a quilt using my sky images

Quilting from Photos

My work is usually based on my photos and how I interpret them. If you looked at the ecourses earlier in the 31 day blog, you’ll have found the one on Quilts from Photos. Sometimes I print the manipulated photos direct to fabric, other times I interpret a photo in the traditional way of quilting.

day 8 quilting
Quilt inspired by a photo
day 8 quilting
I used my images of ice to inspire a Polar Bear quilt

Day 8 Discount

There is a special offer of 20% of all inspiration ebooks including the one I am launching today. A photographic resource, see them all here

Book One Skies, Book Two Rust, Book Three Bark, Book Four Lichen, Book Five Coast, Book Six Stone and Strata, Book Seven Churches, Book Eight Flaking Paint, Book Nine Trees, Book Ten Grids, Book Eleven Circles, Book Twelve Repetition

Inspiration photographic resource
Inspiration Photographic resource

Join me tomorrow for another blog in the 31 day blog challenge.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

Posted on

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

Posted on

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

Posted on

Quilt Designer – Designing A New Design From Scratch

Quilt Designer

What does that mean? For me being a quilt designer means starting a new design from scratch. You can buy software, but the designs tend to look very similar, fresh and modern. Very attractive but I prefer to approach each quilt differently.

This latest quilt is one in which I am using the scraps left over from the previous two quilts.

How To Start

Being a quilt designer is not following a given formula for me, each quilt is different. For this quilt, I have my fabrics ready to hand. All I need do is make the best of them. I need to tap into my colour sense, but also my sense of space, placement, alignment etc. The elements and principles of design that I believe suit this individual quilt best of all. First I sort my scraps.

Quilt designer
Quilt designer sorting scraps
quilt designer
larger scraps

Working With What You Have

As a quilt designer, I am usually working with what I have as I do not have the financial resources to just go and buy new fabrics etc all the time. This is a scrap quilt, making the best of leftovers. So my colourway has already been set – it is basically blue with a hint of off white, sand and a touch of pink. That gives me a great basis to start with.

Sorting Shapes

My first task is to sort shapes. Some of the pieces were cut from the hexagons of the previous two quilts. These could make good diamonds. I can also make various rectangles, squares and have some half circles. I have to bring all these factors together and decide on the best way forward. To that end, I always pin to my design board and leave overnight.

Quilt designer
Cut from the hexagons of the previous quilt
quilt designer
various shapes sorted from the scraps

Making Decisions

Beginners often get stuck at this point, but really you can let the pieces do the work for you. What are they suggesting? I will show you next week how I solved the problems and made decisions. Here is one of the finished quilts that provided all these scraps. It will be on sale of the website shortly.

quilt designer
One of my finished quilts

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

Posted on

Quilting Know How Pinning Your Quilt

Quilting Know How Pinning brings you good quilting practices you need to know to make professional looking quilts. Last week I talked about some of the practices and this week I am taking a closer look at pinning your quilt.

Preparation – Pinning

Quilting Know How Pinning this week shows you how to get rid of those ‘tucks’ that appear in poorly quilted work. Recently I made two One Block Wonder quilts with panels. I have always been able to keep my quilting flat, right from the beginning. It was a box I ticked proudly.

Then disaster struck. As I quilted the first panel, I got tucks. I realised the fabric was perhaps a little stretchy, the border a little tight to the rest of the quilt but most importantly I had been meagre with the pins. I was desperate not to make the same mistake with the second panel. I made sure my border was perfect. But I did something else that made all the difference – Pinning.

Quilting Know How Pinning
Puckers happen when a quilt is not well pinned

Quilting Know How Pinning is all about using enough pins. I am a sparse pinner! This time, I took the time to pin thoroughly. I wanted this to look right. It worked. I stitched one way, adjusted my pins and stitched the other way.

Quilting Know How Pinnng
Pin well for a flat quilt

It is fabulous when you get it right, but a disaster if you get it wrong. It is simpler to get small projects flat. Large quilts are usually the problem. Having the space to lay out a large quilt can be problematic and result in your quilt not being flat. Follow my tips:

  1. Take as much time as it takes
  2. Never rush
  3. Leave it and come back to it if you have to
  4. Smooth and pin from the centre
  5. Check as you go
  6. Before you start to quilt ensure the back is also flat
  7. Start to quilt in the centre
Quilting Know How Pinning
Check the back is flat

Quilts pucker when washed and that is ok, that is what they are meant to do. This is entirely a different thing to the uneven surface of a badly pinned quilt. See our tutorials online here

Words, Images and Work Copyright Karen Platt 2019

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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

Posted on

Achievement is the Buzz Word for January 2019

Achievement is indeed the buzz word for January 2019. Each week of this New Year has brought fantastic news.

Achievement is my kind of success and involves markers along the way to the ultimate goal. I have always given 100% plus to whatever I do and it is great to see some recognition.

Talks at Quilting Shows
My first talks on Colour For Quilters are at the British Quilt & Stitch Village 2019 in April. I am speaking on each day at that event at Uttoxeter racecourse – 12-14th April.

I have just heard that on 4th August 2019, I shall be giving two talks at the ultimate quilt show – FOQ (Festival of Quilts) at the NEC, Birmingham, UK. The first is on Quilt Design, the second on the same day is on Colour. This is preliminary notice, actual dates and times are to be confirmed.

I am thrilled. Feeling very lucky. Book your tickets now and I’ll see you on the day. How do I top that achievement?

Quilting
I have made great progress with my latest Winter Inspirations quilt. The snowflakes are being added now. Perhaps just one more round of motifs and it will be finished. It is a quilt as you go, so once I have the top done, there will not be much more quilting when I add the backing.

I was gathering scraps today and might fit in a scrap quilt next. I am mindful now of getting my FOQ design finished. It will be great to have a quilt hanging when I am speaking there.

My sewing machine needs to go off for its annual service, but I really need it now. If it were not for so many projects, I might just think of starting my millefiori quilt, which will be by hand.

Knitting
Finally I am knitting a textured sleeveless top. Enjoying making up my own stitch pattern too.

Art
Opening on Saturday 26th at the Montgomery Theatre cafe, Sheffield I have an exhibition of art and framed quilts on show until Friday 20th February 2019.

Words, images and work copyright Karen Platt 2019

achievement knitting

achievement winter quilt

achievement art exhibition

Posted on

Progress and only two weeks into the New Year

Progress is sometimes hard to come by. No matter how hard you try progress can be elusive. This happens in all walks of life and it certainly happens in textiles.

Sometimes it’s that the ideas will not come (never suffer with that one), often it’s not having the right materials and occasionally you are stumped in great need of a technique that you do not know.

Experimenting can help overcome this – trying out different things and thinking outside the box.

This second week of January 2019, I spent launching a brand new, exciting range of snowflake fabrics. There are a total of 16 mix n match fabrics in my new permanent range. I am delighted with these.

I also made great progress with my latest Winter Inspirations quilt at last. I am trying to ignore another idea I have had for a second winter quilt until much later in the year. This one has not followed my initial sketches too closely. I tried out an idea that does not work either, but I have a final design. I am hoping it comes together quickly now and will be added to the website by the end of the month.

I was more than pleased to return to hand quilting this week and a UFO that has been sitting there for a few months. I am hand stitching a patchwork jacket using a running stitch. The wadding is silk and the front is a patchwork of fabrics with a blue lining.

I finished a cardigan and hat and started knitting a cabled waistcoat. I have altered the basic stitch pattern to make it unique to me. I think this really is the last of my Rowan lightweight double knitting wool bought in the 1990s!

Enjoy your creative projects, whatever you are making. See you soon when I will be telling you of my first speaking engagement at a quilt show in April.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019