Posted on

Drunkard’s Path Classroom Tutorial Back To School Blog Hop 2019

A huge welcome to my Drunkard’s Path Classroom Tutorial for the Blog Hop hosted and arranged by Sam Hunter’s Design Studio. I am a hands-on quilt designer and pattern writer with a big interest in textiles and knitting too. I am a fully qualified and experienced teacher.

Back To School Blog Hop

Drunkard’s Path Classroom

Do you struggle with curves? Can’t work out the best way to sew them? The struggle is over with my techniques and tips for perfect Drunkard’s Path curves. This easy way makes your quilting life a whole lot simpler. At the same time it gives you the wonderful versatility associated with the many ways of putting Drunkard’s Path shapes together.

Drunkard's Path Classroom
Drunkard’s Path gives easy curves

Cutting

Cutting accurately is important. My number one tip here is to keep as close to the template as you can. Holding your marker upright and not at an angle helps. The inner half circle can be cut with a rotary cutter. The outer can too, but much more care is needed. You might slice into the template. You can also use a pin to mark the fabric enough to see a clear line for cutting with scissors.

cutting fabrics
A template gives accurate results when cutting shapes

Templates

You can cut from card, mylar or paper but for a template that will be used over and over again, a good transparent template is ideal. The ones photographed here were free with a magazine and I have used them twice, but the amount of material left above the curve after the seams are joined is negligible and I believe a deeper margin is better.

templates
Templates
Templates
I’d like more arc around my circles than this template gives

Sewing Circles

Accuracy is necessary for the semi circle and the outer to match up. In the Drunkard’s Path camp we have pinners and non pinners. One thing of note is never to stretch the fabric. Some fabrics stretch more than others, so that is something to beware of when choosing fabrics and using a non pinning method. Larger templates are easier than small ones. It just gets fiddlier.

  1. As a beginner I suggest you pin. All you need is three pins.
  2. It is the way you pin it that matters.
  3. It is also when you remove those pins that matter.
  4. Find the centre of each part.

If after making x amount, you feel like going pin free, try it.

3-pin method
My 3 pin method

When you remove the pins is also important.

  1. Secure the first stitch and remove the first pin.
  2. Work to the centre pin and remove as you approach. Never stitch over a pin.
  3. Hold that last pin there until the very last second to keep the edges together.
Drunkard's Path Classroom
Remove the pins as you stitch the curve

The Fun Part

The fun in Drunkard’s Path comes in all the different ways of putting those pieces together, so use a design wall and play. Once you have them perfect, it makes play easy. You can join them in circles, half circles, diagonals, and so on to create great patterns.

Drunkard's Path Classroom
Drunkard’s Path Pattern
Drunkard's Path Classroom
Drunkard Path Pattern

For a list of other tutorials in the Back To School Blog Hop 2019 see the list here and many thanks to Sam Hunter for organising this and giving me the opportunity to be a part of it.

Share, with your friends, sign up to our newsletter at the bottom of the home page. My quilting blog comes out every Monday. You can follow my quilting page on Facebook for daily news and Instagram for great pics.

Posted on

New Quilts and Quilting Tutorials From Karen Platt

Autumn is well and truly here and last week I finished the new autumn quilt, so it is already to launch. If you do not have the pennies to buy a finished quilt, I have also created a new quilt tutorial to go with this new design. All the work has been designed by me and I created the quilt myself from scratch. I set myself a few headaches along the way, but solved them so that when you use the tutorial, you will not have any problems. I had so much fun designing and making this quilt and know that you will too. It is my first quilt pattern for sale on the website.

The quilt itself is for sale on the website. It is a one-off unique sample quilt I made, so there is only one – grab it while you can.

I have also designed and made a new landscape quilt. I am loving the colours of this one, called ‘Pebbles On The Beach’ and the original is on sale here. You can find my methods for making this type of quilt in my landscape quilt tutorial. The quilt that I made for that tutorial is also for sale here.

I have still to write my knitting pattern up, and will be uploading several patterns to Ravelry shortly.

Meantime I am also working on a new Inspiration book – Autumn. The Churches Inspiration book is finished but waiting for me to finish off the textiles. Keep checking back and meantime why not check out the existing Inspiration Series? So much to inspire for art, textiles and more. These are all manual downloads as pdfs so that you can enjoy the photos. So much to keep me busy.

Am I doing anything else? Yes, I found an embroidery I started some months ago – that will be finished soon too.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2018

Posted on

Retrospective of Quilting Becoming A Professional Quilter

learn quilting Karen Platt

Retrospective of my quilting life so far. My professional quilt life began just 21 months ago but the retrospective goes back much further to my humble beginnings.

I never thought of being a professional quilter. I don’t have any connections. Heck I could not even follow a quilting pattern, nor sew a straight line. That’s the very reason I know I can teach you how to quilt. I did it the hard way – I taught myself.

I am a professional, fully qualified and experienced teacher. I had always been interested in making things. I still am rarely seen without knitting needles and have designed my own patterns since the early 90s. For the past ten years I have dabbled with hand dyeing yarn, threads and fabric.

At the same time I became a self-published author of gardening books. I was very successful, particularly in the USA and Australia. I became a professional gardening speaker, speaking up and down the west coast of America.

About ten years ago I went back to college to study art and design. Chiefly I wanted to learn to draw. The year before I had studied ceramics and fallen in love with it, but there was no way I could afford nor house a kiln. So I was thinking of doing fine art. Then I became very interested in digital art and I have had some success in that field. I developed unique ways of manipulating photos. My interest in photography extends to decades ago. As does my interesting in painting and art.

After that I took a morning course in Japanese Folded Patchwork and fell in love with this hand sewing method. I was developing textiles at the time but my interests have always been broad.

In late 2011 I went to a stitch show and bought some fabric for quilting. I had no idea what to do with it. I eventually put it together for tiny pram quilts and made lots of mistakes. That was final then. I’d never make it as a quilter. Quilting books completely baffled me. However I had not bought one lot of fabric, I had bought four lots falling in love with the colours. This fabric languished for some years. In 2012 I thought it was a shame not to use the fabric and started a quilt, but got stuck and it became a UFO.

I continued to sell gardening books, paint and create digital art. I did an art residency.

In 2013, I made four quilted place mats. I found them difficult to do and I forget how many hours they took me. I moved house and it became more difficult to dye. I was still living from the sales of my gardening books and had more to write. I lived in Tunisia for much of the time producing art and writing gardening books. I also wrote a book on Tunisian textiles. I was making embroideries and textile art and still do.

My interest in digital art deepened and everyone keep saying the designs would make great quilts. I kept thinking, maybe, but I am no good at quilting. It was not until late 2015 I tried to quilt again, making a knitting needle holder. It was a hobby I was struggling with. I had at least three garden writing projects on the go. I was approached by a publisher to write for them also. I made a couple of bags and a couple of dresses. I would tense up every time I did sewing, waiting for something to go wrong.

Dramatically in late 2016/early 2017 through no fault of my own, I was left without the means to earn a living. I was told my stock of books had been destroyed. I had no money to replace them. I took stock of what I could do, and my immediate thought was stitch. I set out to become a professional quilter.

I learned to do Cathedral Window Quilting and wrote my own tutorials for quilting. I started to design my own stained glass fabrics for it. It was a slow process, being hand quilted but I was still so wary of sewing machines. By March 2017, I taught my first quilting classes. I developed online classes for people to take wherever they live. I moved into landscape quilting on the machine, designing my own quilts and writing up tutorials. I took the advice of friends and turned some of my digital designs into quilts also.

It was not until August 2017 that I finished my first bed-sized quilt, that UFO started five years earlier. I used my talents in design and colour to get me through. My challenge was mastering my sewing machine. I did and my latest design features free-motion sewing. Perseverance got me there in the end.

I developed more tutorials and ecourses including design. I challenged myself to make three kaleidoscope quilts this year, to prove that my skills are there.

My next stage is to use my own fabric designs to continue my quilting journey with my own quilting designs. So there you have it a retrospective of my bumpy quilting journey that might never have happened if circumstances had not forced it. Design is still my driving factor but I don’t hate sewing any more, I have embraced it. I don;t get stuck any more, I have perfected my sewing skills. I am making quilts for sale. I did FOQ 2018 to dip my toes into the quilting market.

Click the link for ecourses

Click the link for fabrics

Click the link for quilts

My ravelry store

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2018
quilting retrospective Karen Platt

quilting retrospective Karen Platt

quilting dyeing retrospective Karen Platt

knitting retrospective Karen Platt

quilting retrospective Karen Platt

quilting textiles retrospective Karen Platt

quilting textiles retrospective Karen Platt

quilting retrospective Karen Platt

quilting retrospective Karen Platt

quilting retrospective Karen Platt

quilting textiles retrospective Karen Platt

quilting retrospective Karen Platt

quilting retrospective Karen Platt

quilting retrospective Karen Platt

quilting retrospective Karen Platt

quilting retrospective Karen Platt

quilting retrospective Karen Platt

quilting retrospective Karen Platt

quilting retrospective Karen Platt

quilting retrospective Karen Platt

quilting retrospective Karen Platt

quilting retrospective Karen Platt

quilting retrospective Karen Platt

Posted on

Festival of Quilts 2018

quilting design Festival of Quilts

The Festival of Quilts 2018 is fast approaching. It’s all systems go here as I prepare for my stand C5. I am finding it very exciting but nerve-wracking.

From one aspect, I am totally prepared – I will finish at least three quilts. From another aspect, these are totally not what I thought I would be doing. They are all OBW quilts. This has actually been a huge learning curve. I got waylaid by OBW, which at one point I termed One Block Nightmare. I have mastered it now, enough to write my own take on it. Maybe one day I will do another, but not now.

I am hoping to have time to inject ‘something of me’ into the work on the stand. I am essentially a designer. I make to try things out I am far more interested in the design than the quilt – colour, form, texture than producing a finished product. I originally designed 6 new quilts for the show – none of which are made yet.

Design spills over in my desire to create fabulous fabrics too. This is the week to get my paints out and create some unique fabrics for the show. I am so looking forward to this.

The other aspect of my work is to bring modern design into hand stitched quilts – this is a long process as I am doing all the hand stitching. I manage about two hours a day. Yes, I have sore fingers!

Finally, my output is to teach you what I know. I do that in my online freebies, through this blog, tutorials and my ecourses. Nothing gives me more pleasure than passing my knowledge on to people who want to learn. Come and meet me at the Festival of Quilts 2018, on Stand C5 and sign up for an ecourse or buy some fabulous unique fabrics, a kit or finished product.

The brand new quilting and patchwork ecourse for beginners is just been launched today at the special introductory and FOQ show price.

words and images copyright Karen Platt 2018
quilting design Festival of Quilts

Posted on

Welcome to the New Website

Welcome to the new website. This is now my new home for all things quilting and textiles. You’ll find quilting talk, professional tips, ecourses, ebooks, kits, patterns, supplies and finished quilts. Mark this page to follow my professional practice making and designing quilts. We welcome beginners to advanced quilters.

We aim to provide the information and know-how no matter what stage you are at in your quilting. We are an education based practice that provides tips and the knowledge you need to create wonderful quilts from designing your own to technique know-how. Our ecourses and ebooks contain all my hands-on experience. I am a fully qualified and experienced teacher with a background in education and I have been a designer since the early 1990s. I launched my first quilting ecourse in 2017 and a textile design ecourse in 2016. I also provide Inspiration Books for all designers. The focus is on enabling you to become a better quilter and to reach your potential. Tutorials start at just 10 pounds, techniques courses at 30 pounds and we have longer courses for design.

I work with both traditional and modern techniques of quilting, including using computer design. I aim to push the boundaries and make you think again just what quilting is all about.

Supplies include non-woven fabrics such as Lutradur, Evolon and Zeelon, Bondaweb, undyed threads for stitching and undyed as well as hand dyed fabrics and digital fabrics. Quilting patterns, kits and finished quilts – just check out the categories on the website. The eCourses and eBooks are my main focus.

You’ll also find my finished textile art. My digital art and paintings have found a new home on Artfinder

Other fabrics and makes can be found in my Etsy shop including more fabrics and rust-dyed fabrics.