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Creative Quilting and textiles, travel and inspiration

Creative quilting and textiles are two of the loves of my life. Knitting and photography are two others. Everything is an inspiration, it’s just the way you see it, or often don’t see it that makes all the difference. Learn to look anew.

Creative Quilting and Textiles

Often with a subject such as quilting and textiles, it’s all about interpreting that source of inspiration. Taking something ordinary and turning it into the extraordinary. It’s not about copying, it’s about you. What speaks to you? This is the essence of my latest ‘Creative Textiles’ programme that you can join here

A 12-month inspirational ecourse to learn wherever you are. Discover how to interpret your world and be more creative. It will help you build your own style by exploring different methods of interpretation. What could be better?

Creative quilting ecourse
Creative quilting ecourse

Inspiration

I have written a lot about inspiration from patterns to the more unusual sources. As well as ways to interpret those sources from drawing, photography, painting and more. For me it usually starts with a photo and I like to play with photo manipulation. However, the same source can be interpreted in so many ways. It’s all about seeing and working with what you have. Let’s look at this church doorway.

You could interpret it in many ways – play with a photo, slice, collage, manipulate, draw, paint, embroider and so on. What do you see? The columns and Norman style are obvious.

Pick up on the pattern on the doors. Isn’t that a glorious pattern? What could that become if we play with line? A few ideas follow from my half hour playing this morning in Photoshop.

The final is never truly final. I could change colour, placement, the central piece of work, the background, the size, shape and so on. This was just a 30 minute exercise to demonstrate the possibilities. I could now start to draw, make paterns, think about colour and so on.

pattern
pattern on the doorway
Interpreting a photo
Interpreting a photo
creative quilting
Creative quilting
creative quilting
adding colour
creative quilting
adding colour
creative quilting
simplifying
creative quilting
detail
creative quilting
a very stitchy interpretation
interpretation
detail
interpretation
outline
creative quilting
creative quilting and textile
creative quilting and textiles
final interpretation

Resources

I have written many books on inspiration from gardening to textiles, available as pdf ebooks to download. My latest ebook is about ready to launch looking back at the sources of my quilting inspiration, more next week.

On the theme of this particular topic, is Inspiration Book Seven, which can be purchased along with the other Inspiration ebooks here

They make excellent gifts. Doors of Tunisia is also of interest if you love doors.

Inspiration book 7
inspiration book 7
Art inspiration ebook
An Art inpsiration ebook

Learn more about photo manipulation in my ecourses, the shorter photo techniques ecourse is now on offer. These and more ecourses can be purchased here

creative quilting
creative quilting
creative textiles
creative textiles

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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New creative quilting ecourse for quilters

New creative quilting ecourse for all quilters interested in making quilts. Join this new 12 month ecourse now and enjoy a full 12 months of inspiration plus information and suggestions on how to use the inspiration.

I am so looking forward to welcoming people to this new style ecourse that will bring out and develop your creative side. The new creative quilting quilting ecourse shows you how to interpret a photo to create quilts that are unique to you. It’s more than just a photo, there is lots of information to help you along the way. It’s all about you, finding your voice and creating individual quilts that express your unique creativity.

The subjects can be used in many ways and I shall be highlighting those throughout the ecourse. It is suitable for any level of quilter as you will be adapting the inspiration to how you want it to be.

There will be a unique fb page that you can join to share work. You can spend as much or as little time on the projects as you wish. It’s a lovely way to start designing your own quilts without following what the teacher is doing and without copying.

I am a fully qualified and experienced teacher who has enjoyed bringing out the best potential in students.

creative quilting ecourse

My new quilt

I have also finished my new quilt and I am very happy with it. The pattern is now available, and the quilt is also available for sale on the link below with the kits. It was such a joy working on this quilt. I have also added new kits to the website.

Tiled quilt pattern
Tiled Quilt Pattern

Blog hop

Check out this blog hop that started last week. I am involved on 20 September 2019. Lots of great quilting blogs.

blog hop

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019. Blog hop image Sam Hunter designs.

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Quilting styles to love – embracing all kinds of quilting

I must admit it is rather odd to me that some choose sides in quilting, loving this and hating that. So I have decided this week to write in my blog about my love of quilting styles and how to embrace all that is quilting. Year in year out at the shows, the argument rages as someone somewhere comments ‘That’s not a quilt.’

Traditional Quilts

This is where it all began – the quilting style everyone understands. At first, frugally using materials to make into a quilt for warmth. I like to think of it as the prairie spirit. From this blocks and patterns were passed down and preserved for future generations. Some argue that it simply has to be traditional or it is not quilting. There are many types of quilts in this category from Baltimore or wholecloth quilts to all the traditional blocks such as wedding ring. Yet from the roots a craft can grow, and quilting has branched in many directions.

quilting styles
500 Traditional Quilts
quilting styles
Embraces traditional and modern blocks
Welsh quilting
Welsh quilting
quilting styles
Baltimore quilts

Modern Quilts

The modern movement began in the USA and has firm connections with traditional quilting. Quilting is not stuck in a time period, it is an evolving craft and I love modern quilts. Modern can show off those who have truly honed their free motion or quilting skills. It lets the quilting shine. Modern style tends to suit our more modern homes. It caters for our desire to wrap ourselves in a quilt as well as have one on the bed. They also look good on walls. What can be wrong with more quilts, used in innovative ways?

quilting modern
modern quilting
Improv quilting
Modern Improv

Contemporary Quilts

There is nothing wrong with innovation. Being a little bit (or even a lot) different is fine by me. I see an overlap with Modern quilts and sometimes it is hard to work out what fits in which category. Contemporary has taken traditional and given it a twist.

Quilting styles
Contemporary Quilts
Landscape quilts
Landscape Quilts

Art Quilts

This seems to be the biggest area of contention. People who do not understand art quilts say they are not quilts. You might not like them, but that does not mean they are not quilts. Textile quilts fall into the same brackets with the same pre-conceived ideas of what is a quilt and what is not. This encompasses a huge category from humble pictorial quilts, which are not the same as the fine art quilts that technically fall into this category, making a statement or some kind. Yet surely there is always something to love?

pictorial quilts
art quilts
quilting styles
art quilts
quilt collage
quilt collage

Life is short. Another well-known quilting argument is not about quilting styles as such but whether to hand or machine stitch. Embrace the quilts and love them all. Most quilts have merit and someone loves them. Perhaps quilters just need to embrace the whole craft instead of creating barriers.

I am almost ready to release ‘My Quilting Journey’ recording the quilts I have made. Follow me on fb

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Hand Dyeing Fabrics At Home For Quilting and Quilters

Hand dyeing fabrics at home is a fairly simple and straight forward process. It takes a few minutes and a bit of patience to do. All you need is a small space with a sink, a measuring jug, spoon (dedicated to dyeing, not for food use), some recycled containers, and a way to protect your surface against spills. Dyes of course, you also need some soda ash. To ensure you love the end result, it also takes some knowledge of colour mixing.

hand dyeing fabrics
two mixed greens

Procion Dyes

Hand dyeing my fabrics for a new quilt, I am going for a colour combination that I have not used before – greens and pinks. My design is computer generated, so I have to generate a design from it that I am happy I can replicate. I could print from the computer, but I want to make my own fabrics and use the design as inspiration. Greens can be tricky to mix in art, and I ordered up some new Procion dyes. These are cold water dyes. The process is included for this type of hand dyeing and many more in my design ecourse.

hand dyeing fabrics
hand dyeing fabrics for quilting

Colour Mixing

What I want to discuss here is the single greens you can purchase against mixing your own. There is a rule in art that you never use a bought green, but you mix your own. I was not dissatisfied with the results of the bought greens, but still I used my signature method for mixing the two, so they are not ‘out of pot’. However I was unconvinced that I had quite the right green I was looking for.

mixing colours
mixing colours to make green

I went back to my dyes and mixed more and was rather annoyed to find that the dyes I already had made a more suitable green for my project. I also made a more suitable pink with the dyes I already had than the ones I had purchased.

 
mixing pinks
mixing pinks

Alchemy

Mixing dyes is fun and if you measure dyes, you can replicate results exactly. I now have the 6 fabric colours I was hoping for to start my project. You do need a little colour knowledge though not to end up with something sludgy. Colour mixing is part of my online ecourse Colour for Quilters.

hand dyeing fabrics
the pinks and greens I hand dyed

Hand Dyed Fabrics

My hand dyed fabrics, are available to purchase exclusively here

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Six month retrospective – quilting, writing, inspiration

Six month retrospective – a look back at my textiles, quilting and writing work. A retrospective of all my work from 21 December 2018 to 21 June 2019.

It’s always good to look back over work and remind yourself of your achievements. I did this for the six previous months to 21 Dec 2018 also, and it popped up in my facebook feed. My immediate reaction was, I have not really done much since then. That is how it felt. So I checked. I am amazed. Here is my six month retrospective of all the work finished and completed in the last six months. Sit back and enjoy.

Quilts

It is odd that you can persuade yourself that the past six months have been a wilderness. I completed not one, not two, but five quilts. Yes five. That is a huge increase in production for me. After two years, I have obviously got the hang of things. Quilt patterns are Hydrangea and Sunflower wall hangings, Charm Quilt (recently featured in British Patchwork & Quilting Magazine – first feature in a quilting magazine), Snowflakes and my favourite Bells of St. Clements Quilt. All quilts are also for sale. Patterns and quilts are on sale on the website.

retrospective hydrangea quilt
Hydrangea quilt pattern
retrospective sunflower quilt
Sunflower Quilt Pattern
Retrospective Charm Quilt
Charm Quilt Pattern
Snowflakes Quilts
Snowflakes Quilt Pattern
quilt pattern
Bells of St Clements Quilt Pattern

Unique Quilting Fabrics

My work has given rise to the creation of digital fabrics for you to enjoy. I created original fabrics based on snowflakes, tiles and stained glass. They are all for sale on the website.

stained glass fabric

Quilting eCourses

Well I perhaps have been a bit slow on the introduction of new quilting ecourses, but the one that was launched is a whopper on the subject of Colour for Quilters (and any other artists). It was entirely written by me from hands on experience and study of the subject over many years.

quilting ecourses
Colour for Quilters ecourse

Inspiration ebooks

We all need inspiration from time to time and I have been building up a library of Inspiration ebooks from my own photos. The Inspiration ebooks are dedicated to themes, seasons or travel. Three new ones were launched in the past six months, bringing the total number to ten. Church Architecture, Spring and Summer are the new additions to the website.

Inspiration ebook churches
Inspiration for artists and quilters – churches
Inspirations ebook spring
Spring Inspiration ebook
Inspiration summer ebook
Summer Inspirations ebook

Finally, this period also saw the launch of a free brochure available for you to download for the ecourses and more. So all that remains is for me to tell you what is in the pipeline for the next six months. Many more quilts, I shall be concentrating on some pieced work as well as art quilts. The first BOM will be launched, more about that next week. I have a quilt going off to FOQ shortly. The Desert Inspirations ebook is almost ready to launch, as is the first travel inspiration book on Madeira. I think the next six months look very interesting. If nothing else it launches the talks at FOQ, another first. All my work is original.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Quilting blog modern quilts and modern quilting for everyone

Modern quilting. What is it? Is it for you?

I must admit I love most modern quilting, but the term is becoming very loosely used and almost describes everything that is not traditional.

There are subcategories within modern quilts –

Contemporary – what I think of as the typical modern quilt. A quilt with bold design, bold use of colour and striking quilting. This style often has large areas of plain colour and almost always uses fmq – free motion quilting. The quilts fit into the modern home. I am concentrating on this style in my new ecourse on Contemporary Modern Quilts. I will be introducing simple modern lines with a twist. The ecourse will discuss design, elements and how to create fabulous modern quilts, with many examples.

Trad-Modern Quilts – these are a halfway house between traditional quilting and modern. So it might be an updated quilting block, a new colourway or something unusual to make it not quite traditional.

Now there also seems to be a category developing where anything that does not fit into any other category, is called modern. We have to be careful here because modern quilts are not the trashcan for quilts that cannot be categorised. I have seen some quite busy quilts with very definite traditional techniques recently called ‘modern’. We have to be careful not the dilute the term.

Techniques are one area that can help define modern quilts. Sometimes the techniques are traditional but the cutting is modern freeform. We can also introduce new fabrics that we would not put into a traditional quilt.

As designs go, as long as you are happy with the use of space and colour, you’ll crack designing modern quilts quite easily.

This style can be used for bed quilts, wall quilts, small accessories and projects and for table runners, bed runners and so on. It is a style that lends itself easily to interpretation. So have a go.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

modern quilting
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eCourses Brochure Patchwork and Quilting and Textiles

eCourses Brochure for all my ecourses is now ready to download for free from my website. Please feel free to share the eCourses brochure with friends and family. It has all the ecourses and ebooks for inspiration and new forthcoming ecourses too. As you can see I have adopted the title ‘International Quilting & Textiles School’ to embrace all the ecourses I teach.

You can browse offline and read all about each ecourse. Compare those prices with like for like, because these are the most affordable ecourses I know for patchwork, quilting and textiles anywhere. Each ecourse is unique and these are not a copy of a City & Guilds course because I have not taken one of those. My ecourses are all designed and written by me as a fully qualified teacher and hands-on artist in my chosen fields.

As an introductory offer, there is a 20 per cent discount on any ecourse booked and paid for before the end of March 2019. All the ecourses can be started straight away, there is no need to wait for an enrolment date and you’ll be pleased to hear there is no enrolment fee. All long ecourses have tutor input online (or we can Skype) and you have access to a fb closed group too.

I am also building the workshops in person with 6 more added this week for August 2019 at the West Country Quilt & Textile Show. If you know someone looking for a speaker, please ask them to get in touch. I have dates available this year and next. I can do talks, workshops or longer courses on a variety of patchwork and quilting topics.

I cannot show you the competition quilts yet, but the small miniature quilt is coming along. In work I can show you, I was pleased to finish a lap quilt this week. It went well. This quilt is part of my Beginners’ ecourse. 

The pattern for this quilt will be available next week.

Words, work and images copyright 2019 Karen Platt

quilting ecourses. brochure
beginners' charm quilt
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Quilting Finishing Techniques For Borders and Binding

finishing techniques quilting

Quilt Finishing Techniques. I see so many questions about this. What method do you use? As I am finishing a quilt, in fact two quilts this week, I thought I would take this opportunity to share my finishing methods.

I remember the days when I was baffled too as a beginner, but it really is quite simple. I tried several different methods of binding, but there is only one I use now. Here are my tips for the best professional finishing techniques for quilting.

BORDERS

Borders are somewhat easier to do than binding, although there is nothing difficult about either of these finishing techniques.

  1. Decide on the width in relation to the actual quilt.
  2. Decide how many borders.
  3. You can mix widths of borders, say one at 8cm wide and one at 2.5cm wide.
  4. You can also use different colours, but I would always choose colours that are in the quilt, even if in a tiny amount.
  5. Decide on straight or mitred. I prefer the latter. A bit trickier but not impossible by any means. Mitred corners take a bit more fabric.
  6. Cut on the grain.
  7. Do not stretch when attaching.
  8. Attach by machine, right sides together.
  9. Attach before quilting your sandwich.

BINDING

Binding finishing techniques is what gets most people, they just do not know how to bind. There are many ways to bind, but by far the best for a professional finish and worth taking the extra effort is:

  1. Always cut on the bias. Make your own binding.
  2. Join strips together on the diagonal.
  3. Machine stitch, right sides together to the front of the quilt
  4. Hand stitch to the back of the quilt.
  5. Do not stretch.
  6. Attach after quilting your sandwich, making sure that the wadding goes into the border.
  7. Narrow binding is often best.

I include finishing details in my tutorials and quilt patterns which can be purchased here

You can often see images of my work on my facebook page

Work, words and images copyright Karen Platt 2019.

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On the 7th day of January 2019

January new ecourse

I keep reminding myself that we are still in the first week of January 2019 and this is not a race. January is not known for go-getters! I’m out of the starting blocks and winning the race.

Notwithstanding, I have so far designed over 20 new fabrics. 17 of them are snowflake designs. Not all quite uploaded yet but I am getting there. As if that is not enough for one week’s work, I have also designed the Winter Inspirations quilt and what I have done so far is looking fantastic. This quilt, following on from the Summer Inspirations and Autumn Inspirations quilts, consists of several techniques. It is part of my Quilt As You Learn patterns. There is little more inspiring or confidence building than learning as you quilt. The patterns are a mix of tutorial and step by step photographic and written instructions. I am aiming to have this new quilt finished by the end of the month.

The fabrics have been designed for this quilt, although I am not using every design. They are available to buy with or without the pattern. Earlier in the week I designed some new rust inspired fabrics. I am also designing other new fabrics for the quilt above.

Elsewhere I went out to an exhibition in Lincoln. The Land, Sea and Air exhibition, I found a little disappointing.

My own exhibition of mainly paintings with some small textile pieces that are framed is at The Montgomery 25th January – 21st February 2019. It is in the cafe, which is open to the public at all times the Montgomery is open, whether the actual cafe is serving drinks or not. All works on show are available for sale.

The Colour ecourse has been launched and is a fantastic course for anyone who wants to learn about colour for quilters and textile artists. Learn how colours go together, what is right and wrong and most importantly something that no course tackles to my knowledge, how to go beyond the colour wheel.

More next week, stay creative.
Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Best of 2018 Review

Best of 2018 Review. Yes there were good things about 2018 but it was more of a year that did not go according to plan.

What was the plan? With the ugly three-headed monster known as Brexit looming, I planned to travel. Big time. Travel like I had never travelled before. See as many places as I could. Workwise I had travel plans – travel means inspiration.

What went wrong? Through no fault of my own, I had next to no travel money, so I made it to the one place I had pre-booked – Lisbon. I for one am sincerely hoping that Brexit can still be blown away and I retain my freedom of movement.

I introduced so many new ecourses, tutorials and even quilt patterns that I began to feel like a one-woman factory churning out inspiration by the bucket load to an audience that is increasing day by day. I am feeling a positive flow of energy to my work.

My new website launched this year and an Instagram account. Both looking good and receptive people building daily. Phew – but this is like a job within a job. I want to design and I find myself wrapped up in social media. It’s tricky.

So let’s look at a few highlights. The current New In page of the website is looking fantastic with my new range of quilting fabrics. There are now seven inspirations ebooks. There are now several quilts and patterns for sale. I have just launched the Colour For Quilters ecourse. This extends my work done between 1996 – 2018 on colour in gardening. Colour is my thing. I am still dyeing and now printing my own fabrics.

Do I have plans for 2019? It’s more work for little miss workaholic and I aim to build that audience and get positive vibes and sales with new products. There’s everything to play for. See you on the other side. Stay tuned for more exciting textiles and quilts.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2018 (just!)