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Festival of Quilts 2019 Part 6 More Exhibition Quilts

Festival of Quilts ended just a week ago and it seems like a lifetime ago. What joy the show brings with the biggest display of quilts in the UK and how hard everyone works to make it a success.

This is my final look at the quilts on display, with the makers’ names, so that you can have the pleasure of looking up your favourite makers and finding out more about them. I was prompted to write this series of blogs (it’s taken at least 9 hours to do so) as I felt incensed by all the social media posts that do not acknowledge the quilt maker. It is actually written into copyright law that the moral rights of creators of any art or craft are acknowledged. Despite this, even those that know do not always put the names with the quilts and ignorance has never been an excuse in law. For me it is essential to acknowledge the makers of these beautiful quilts. Some quilts take a long time to make, let’s celebrate the makers and find joy in their work. The quilt belongs to someone and it is common decency to give them their due, their moment in the spotlight.

I took a few photos where I could not read the label, and therefore have not shared. That’s how it should be – either we acknowledge the maker or in accordance with the law we keep the photos for personal reference, we do not share if we are not giving the makers’ names.

Aina Muze in the Eternal Thread exhibition, a quilt that used interesting fabrics. It was actually dated 2009.

Aina Muze
Aina Muze

Jenny Otto and Frances Meredith entered a two-person quilt called ‘Stonefields’ that I thought was sheer delight. There is a bunny in there. I long to make this kind of quilt, it is on my list to design one in the coming year.

Festival of Quilts
Jenny Otto and Frances Meredith

Magdalena Galinska and Agnieszka Wietczak entered ‘Promienie/Rays’ in the same category, which received a highly recommended from the judges. Striking design and colour.

Festival of Quilts
Rays

Tatiana Duffie’s ‘Bauble II’, a modern quilt, was a fabulous blend of immaculate piecing and quilting.

Festival of Quilts
modern quilt

Helen Butcher’s ‘Negative Space?’ was highly commended in the modern section. Soft greys with highlights. A lovely geometric medley.

Festival of Quilts
modern quilt

Sheena Roberts’ beautiful storm at sea quilt. I love this interpretation. Sorry my pic is a bit wonky, I was getting tired. It really stood out.

Sheena Roberts
Sheena Roberts

Lesley Brankin’s ‘Belonging’ was featured in the Guild’s Spotlight @ 40 and epitomises the joy of quilting and a great reason to belong to the Quilter’s Guild – the spirit of friendship.

Festival of Quilts
Lesley Brankin

I would like to finish this series of six blogs by mentioning the Guild’s page and membership. Why not join? It is not expensive and without them we would not have this show, so thank you to everyone involved again and my only question is ‘Why do we have to wait another year?’. Make sure you are at FOQ 2020. So much to see and do.

Words, images copyright Karen Platt, quilts copyright their respective makers.

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Festival of Quilts 3-D Quilts and Exhibition Galleries Part 3

Mary Palmer and Ann Kiely’s quilt ‘Who Will Tell The Bees’ was perhaps the most controversial quilt at the show. It won two awards. A long-armed quilt with fantastic quilting and a story to tell that many failed to understand. It was one of the most interesting art quilts.

competition quilts
Mary Palmer and Ann Kiely

There were some wonderful, but much photographed winners, so I am not going to include those. They can be seen on the official website where you can find details of next year’s show and how to enter a competition quilt.

Away from the competition quilts are the other entries – the 3D and exhibition galleries. The 3-D section is always of interest, not least Kathy Knapp’s work, which always amazes me. I am a huge fan of her work, she has a fb page. ‘Rose Red Fantasy’ was breathtaking in its detail.

quilted and embellished outfit
Kathy Knapp

Marijke van Welzen’s coat was based more on patchwork and stitch and was wonderful to see. Very wearable. When I started quilting, this was what I imagined I would do. Now, I am going to start now (I said that last year too).

Patchwork coat quilting
Marijke van Welzen

I have at least one stitchy friend who is an author of 3-d dolls. Kate Crossley’s work was very detailed, especially around the base.

Kate Crossley

Caroline Nixon’s beautifully eco-dyed and stitched coat was very eye-catching.

Eco dyeing
Caroline Nixon

In the ‘Natural Selection’ exhibition gallery, Fabienne Rey’s glorious stitch piece ‘Travelling Through The Land Of Nonsense’ was wondrously executed on plant dyed silks and eco prints. Priced at 1800gbp.

exhibition galleries
Fabienne Rey

I loved the simplicity of Deborah Pawle’s ‘Sand Dunes’ with natural hand dyed threads, priced at 300gbp

exhibition galleries
Deborah Pawle

As well as these pieces by Ross Belton, priced at 320gbp each

Ross Belton
Ross Belton

Roxanne Lasky’s amazing jacket was part of this Natural Selection gallery. Priced at 3,500 gbp it was made with recycled fabric and eco prints.

Roxanne Lasky
Natural Selection
Roxanne Lasky

Part Four is coming soon with more exhibition gallery work. Words and images copyright Karen Platt. Copyright of quilts/artworks is with the respective makers.

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Final Thoughts on FOQ 2019 Beautiful Quilts

My final thoughts on FOQ 2019

  1. Terrific displays on quilts of all shapes, sizes, levels so inspiring
  2. Some quilts are better than others – after all this is not a juried show and quilters have different abilities
  3. Some awards seem as baffling as ever and some very deserving quilts get left out
  4. I still believe judges are poor on colour sense
  5. Talking for the first time at the show was fantastic
  6. Jenny Doan is definitely the world’s most famous quilter
  7. Wonderful stands of fabrics etc and if only I could have carried it all home
  8. It makes you spend more than you intend – those two packs of Voysey fat quarters were irresistible
  9. Exhausting but exhilarating. If you were not there, why not?
  10. I want it to last more days and I think we need a spring and winter FOQ, once a year is not enough

Judges comments on my quilt were all that my quilting was average and piecing needs attention. One judge (you get 3) said interesting use of fabrics and circles. (It was those fabrics that caused the problems). One said I did not have enough contrast!!! As you will know if you follow my work or blog, this was not the quilt I intended to enter and a lot of things went wrong. In fact, even though I had paid the entry fee, I almost did not send it in. People’s comments have been very kind. The pattern is available now. Absolutely everything I did in this quilt was new to me. Karen Platt ‘Can’t Find My Way Home’

Karen Platt Quilts
Can’t Find My Way Home Karen Platt

So what did I think was fabulous? Here are some of the ones I loved, and some that were not photographed by many others. Jeltje and Friends, Follow Your Dreams Quilt (although with slight reservations on colour). Price tag 6,000 gbp.

FOQ2019
Jelte and Friends

Nibelungenquilter Group Quilt Anna’s Birthday Roses

FOQ2019
Group quilt

The truly astonishing skill of Sandy Chandler ‘Fusion’

FOQ2019
Amazing quilt

Ditto, amazing skill of Robyn Fahy (Dogwood Daisys)

FOQ 2019
Robyn Fahy

Bowled over by the piecing skills (tiny pieces) Alison Gardiner ‘Who Was Sarah Monument?’

FOQ 2019
Tiny log cabin blocks

Excellent use of colour and fabric making this one of the best bargello quilts I have seen. Maria Cosmos ‘Get With The Flow’

Bargello Quilt
Fantastic Bargello Quilt

Joanne Holomeij ‘Slightly Blue Christmas’. Good design and use of monochrome.

I loved the use of fabric and clever quilting in this pictorial quilt. Beverly Rebelo ‘Cinderella and The Ugly Sister’

FOQ 2019
Cinderella

Interesting concept, I believe the transition between top and bottom needed to be more gradual. It received a Judges’ Choice. Anna Williams ‘Log Cabins In The City’.

FOQ 2019

I am still recovering, so there will be a Part 2.

Words and photos copyright Karen Platt 2019. My design copyright Karen Platt 2019, all other designs and quilts copyright of their respective makers.

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Exhibition Quilts at UK Quilt Shows

Exhibition quilts have the power to fill one with dread. Whilst visitors marvel and judges may criticise or praise, the intrepid quilter takes her skills in her hands, hopefully meets the deadline and achieves what she set out to do.

The world of exhibition quilts is one I said I never would enter. Some exhibition quilts are gobsmackingly amazing. What on earth has made me decide to enter quilts this year?

You think I have the answer? Not absolutely sure I do. I think it was a mad moment but then I have had months to think about it, so I am fooling anyone who believes that. To be honest, I found the art category at FOQ 2018 slightly underwhelming. I found myself thinking I can do this.

Of course, that is just stage one. I have the design created already. I have changed it a dozen times in my mind’s eye. I have settled on the subject, how I want it to look, down to the fine details of fabrics and threads. The problem is can I quilt it?

I have not entered the FOQ one yet, but expect to before the deadline. Before I make my final decision, I have entered another quilt show entirely. I encourage everyone to do this if they are thinking of entering FOQ. Try somewhere else first – a smaller show preferably in the previous year. Less pressure is always good.

I have entered the Miniature Quilts section of the British Stitch and Quilt Village show at Uttoxeter racecourse 12-14th April. Make a date in your diary. This one too is already designed and I know definitely how to quilt this one. Just have to make sure it does not measure more than is allowed.

I am not sharing work prior to the competitions. So I shall keep you entertained in other ways. I will still be quilting other designs. Talking of which, I have now designed the back of the Snowflake quilt. Not quite like the image, I will be using my tea dyed not rust dyed fabric. There will be snowflakes. I need to get a move on and finish this one now. The spring one is also just about designed and ready to start.

The other winter quilt is already available as a kit.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

snowflake quilt
winter quilt kit
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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!)

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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

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Festival of Quilts – Best in Show – My Choice

Designer Kaleidoscope Quilt Karen Platt

Festival of Quilts – these quilts were the best in the show for me. My choice not that of the judges. I often look at the winners and think why? Every person deserves recognition for entering – it is a huge feat to make a show quilt, so well done to everyone who entered. Apparently there were 700 quilts hung at this year’s exhibition. That’s quite some eye candy. I did not see them all, let alone photograph them all. Some I did photograph were not there for judging anyway – they were in the galleries.

I am going to start with one of those galleries, because the very best quilts I saw at the show were the work of Shizuko Kuroha, a Japanese quilt artist whose quilts are undoubtedly an art. Her gallery was simply amazing.

For me, nothing quite compared, even though many of the quilts were fantastic, Shizuko’s quilts were the highlight of the show. However, there were many I liked.

I loved this quilt but designers’ names were still hidden during the judging process, hence I do not know the maker. It was the roses that did it for me.

This was another I just fell in love with, this time it was the colour and quilting that stood out for me.

The Cairo tentmakers were there this year and with my strong connections to Islamic architecture, ceramics and calligraphy, I could not resist.

If you have never seen the Cairo tentmakers, enjoy this documentary

I love Susan Briscoe’s book on the 1718 coverlet, so was very excited to see the interpretations at the show. My choice was not the same as the judges however. This was my favourite by Jennifer Fletcher:

Two favourites at the show were not wall or bed quilts but art quilts, the peacock by Nikki Parmenter, an incredible artist. In my humble opinion this kind of quilting simply does not get enough media cover at the shows.

The other was the incredible work of Kathy Knapp. It just took my breath away.

The show is very heavily traditional based and there were wholecloth quilts that were stunning. Sandy Chandler’s Cachemire was amazing. It is often difficult at the show, especially if you have never used one, to know what has been long armed and what has been made in the traditional way. Sandy is a longarm quilter.

I loved Phillippa Naylor’s miniature quilt, such tiny pieces, all so very neat.

I could go on and on, but I will make the last image one of my own (the main image above), shown on my stand for the very first time. Visitors comments were ‘amazing, brilliant, fantastic, impressive’. My OBW quilt tutorial can be found online.

If you are thinking of exhibiting next year, why not join my design ecourse, wherever you live, this course is taken online at your own pace with tutor involvement and will help iron out the problems facing many quilters – colour, options, balance, arrangement and all aspects of quilt design.

Next week the blog will be all about my first year as a professional quilting tutor.

Words, images copyright Karen Platt 2018. Quilts copyright the individual makers.

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Festival of Quilts Countdown 4

Quilting Progress
It seems like not much to report this week but progress has been made – it’s just that I was quilting and finishing quilts rather than, for me, the most exciting part of designing new ones.

As I post this Monday morning – Two black OBW quilts are completely finished. The third one, the pink quilt, is finished on the machine quilting front. I still have the binding to do.

I also started hand stitching a few more hexagons. I’ve gone through no they do not join, to yes they do, back to no they do not. I know how to get this to work, but I am exploring a different design for them.

Behind the Scenes
Apart from quilting, taking a trade stand involves a lot more behind the scenes work. Thinking about the design of the space, how to hang quilts, pricing up products. Remembering to order everything and have ready all types of hanging etc. This takes up so much time. This week I designed and had printed the leaflets. You can see all ecourses and tutorials here

What will this week bring?
With just under three weeks to go, I am tempted to finish another quilt. The first one that I designed for the show. This was going to be my showcase so it would be nice to finish it. First task with that is cutting more hexagons or as I said above, changing the design. This is a multi-technique quilt to give your skills a workout. Also on the work schedule are all the wall hangings that need finishing and mounting. That’s a priority too. I am also working on either a BOM, Quilt challenge or something that people can sign up to. I shall be designing this next week. I am thinking about a competition too – this is a great opportunity for visitors. It’s all working out so well. Stand C5 9-12th August at the NEC.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2018