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Four Month Retrospective 2020 Work So Far

A four month retrospective of work produced so far this year. There has been so much work, that I thought I would recap. The start of this year went well, then Covid 19 hit, (so far I am grateful not to have contracted it as I am self isolating) but I did get shingles and sciatica. Therefore precious little has been achieved this month. This four month retrospective looks at everything I have made from January to April with regard to art quilts and ebooks.

Four month retrospective
Kingfisher quilt for sale

Retrospective January 2020

I hit the ground running with some art quilts – the Kingfisher, Seagull, Rusty Scissors, There Are Always More Fish In The Sea (sold), Bird Art Quilt.

four month retrospective
Seagull art quilt for sale
art quilt
Rust Scissors art quilt for sale
Fish art quilt
There Are Always More Fish In The Sea Art Quilt Sold
Bird art quilt
Bird Art Quilt For Sale

I also completed one of my Inspiration ebooks – Reflections and Shadows was the first one of the year and thirteenth in the series.

Inspiration Reflections ebook
Inspiration Reflections ebook

Retrospective February 2020

Inspiration ebook number fourteen followed hot on its footsteps featuring Domes, Cupolas, Spires and Towers. Inspiration Madeira was also launched, the second of the travel ebooks.

Four Month retrospective
Inspiration ebook Domes
Travel Inspiration ebook Madeira
Travel Inspiration ebook

There was another flurry of art quilts, this time some digital ones – Fine Feathered Friend, Shapes and Church as well as more collage type, Fantastic Bird and Camellia Tea.

art quilt for sale
Fine Feathered Friend art quilt for sale
four month retrospective
Fantastic Bird collage art quilt for sale
Camellia tea art quilt
Camellia tea art quilt for sale
Church art quilt for sale
Church art quilt for sale
digital art quilt for sale
Shapes art quilt for sale

This month also saw the launch of my first book of knitting patterns inspired by the Peak District.

Hand Knitting Patterns
Hand Knitting Patterns

March Retrospective 2020

This month got off to a bang with a new ebook, charting the designs of my quilts so far. Each design is described and assessed by my cold and calculating eye!

Quilt Design ebook
Quilt Design ebook

The third travel inspiration ebook was launched – Marseille. Then the fourth – Lisbon. If that was not enough, the fifth one appeared too – Corfu.

Inspiration Marseille
Inspiration ebook Marseille
Four Month Retrospective
Inspiration ebook Lisbon
Inspiration Corfu
Inspiration ebook Corfu

April Retrospective 2020

There are still a few days to go. This month has already seen the launch of the sixth Travel Inspiration ebook – Athens.

Inspiration Athens four month retrospective
Inspiration ebook Athens

The scrappy quilt is almost finished and that will see the launch of a new Scrap Quilt ebook.

All ecourses are now on craftcourses.com as well as my own website. Did I do well? I certainly produced a lot of work, which is available on the website under quilts or ebooks and there are always the ecourses too.

I’ll see you in May. Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Day 16 quilting of the 31 day blog challenge

Day 16 quilting means I have past the half way mark in the blog challenge. Lots of news and tips today.

day 16 quilting
zigzag applique

Quilt Tip of The Day

I don’t know if it happens to you and I won’t blame my sewing machine, but take it from a lady whose sewing needle has gone in the opposite direction to what she thought when doing zigzag and turning corners, or even starting off, there is a way to know which way it will go. Like me, you probably have a machine, that depending on the selection the zigzag goes left or right. Yes, I have that. But sometimes, it still seems to have a mind of its own, and I know its me, I kept getting it wrong. So assuming there is someone else out there as crazy as me. Here is what to do if this keeps happening to you:

  1. Make sure you have selected the correct zigzag to go left or right as desired.
  2. Turning the corner, keep it true by stopping at the edge with your needle down (it does not really matter if you are on the outside or inside of the fabric
  3. Lift the foot
  4. Turn your fabric
  5. Put the foot down
  6. Lift the needle and you will see which way it is going to go
  7. Adjust, lifting the foot as necessary so that the needle will be insert on the outer edge of the fabric

No more ugly corners

day 16 quilting
turning the corner with zigzag stitch

New Products In Store

New Inspiration ebook Seven Clocks

I am so pleased to have finished my 12th Inspiration ebook in time for Christmas. These are manual pdf downloads so they make great last minute gifts for someone you forgot. I can send it to any email you give and it can be delivered on Christmas morning or any time you desire.

This one is all about Clocks, and it goes in at number 7, making the total of 12 Inspiration ebooks. I have moved Churches (which was number 7 because that along with Tunisian Doors is an art Inspiration ebook of my work only, so slightly different to the others that contain original photos for inspiration as well as my work.

Inspiration ebook Seven Clocks

Coming shortly is the new Karen Platt Peak Collection of knitting patterns. It will be added to my Ravelry pattern store. I should finish the final design today. So more news about that in a few days. I am so pleased with all the new work I have completed in the last few weeks. It has been a very productive time for me.

Karen Platt knitwear design
latest Karen Platt knitwear design

Today’s Discount

Day 16 quilting discount is on the Inspiration Clocks ebook. Take 10 off for today only.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Day 15 quilting of 31 day blog challenge

Day 15 quilting is a big day as it is half way through the quilters’ blog challenge set by Muppin with over 60 quilters taking part. Are you still with me? Have you read the other fourteen blogs this month? Stay tuned for new work, inspiration, 6 month retrospective and what is coming up in 2020. There’s lots in store.

Quilt Shows

It is wonderful to see dozens of quilts hanging in one space for us to be wowed. None other than the amazing Festival of Quilts at the NEC, Birmingham, UK each year. The quilts are not juried so you get everything from beginners upwards entering. So it is a mixed bag, but there are some top quality designs and some designers have an exhibition there.

day 15 quilting
wonderful piecing

I love to see the variety of the designs. Some are cleverly pieced, others simple striking design, some traditional, some modern and everything in between. Some cause a stir. You can learn so much from just looking at them. Quilts are divided into categories and there is a 3-D category too.

One of Kathy Knapp‘s incredible wearables, her work is always so stunning. This is quilted art at its best.

Kathy Knapp
Kathy Knapp’s stunning work

The exhibitions this year featured Sandra Meech, Eszter Bornemisza and Michael James. Each one was fascinating for different reasons. Each one treats quilting in a different way, extolling the virtues of the versatility of quilting.

Sandra Meech
Sandra Meech
Eszter Bornemisza
Eszter Bornemisza
Michael James
Michael James

Where to see Quilts in the UK

The American Museum in Bath, Gawthorpe Hall, Chesire, regional Members’ meetings of the Quilters’ Guild.

Discount

Day 15 quilting offers you 10% off any of the supplies on the website for one day only. This includes undyed fabrics, dyed cotton scrim for art quilts, my popular hand dyed threads in silk, cotton, linen or wool and Bondaweb.

day 15 quilting
dyed scrim
day 15 quilting
linen threads

Words and images copyright Karen Platt, the work shown copyright the respective quiltmakers.

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Day 14 quilting of 31 day blog challenge

Day 14 quilting is about seasonal quilts. Being awake in the middle of the night is not my favourite thing. However, if it makes me too tired to quilt in the day, it does bring lots of inspiration in the middle of the night.

Day 14 quilting
Snowflake fabric designed by Karen Platt

Seasonal Quilts – Christmas

Do you make them? I guess the Xmas quilts are the most popular. I have not made any so far – because there is no room here to store things that are only used for a few days a year. I cannot deny though that I do have many Xmas design ideas, so who knows, maybe next year.

Day 14 quilting
Snowflake fabric designed by Karen Platt

Other Seasons

I have designed for other seasons such as seasons of the year though, not once but twice so far, so that is high in the popularity stakes for me. I have also designed unique ‘winter-themed’ snowflake fabric as you can see. As designing goes, seasons and other themes are a hit because of the motifs associated with them. Do you love this kind of quilt? They are often random designs, row quilts or block designs.

Snowflake fabric
Snowflake fabric quilting

Seasonal Colours

How about seasonal colours too? Colours are associated with seasons, silvers for winter, warm yellows for spring and Easter. I must say I prefer red and white, to red, green and white for Christmas.

Snowflake fabric
Snowflake fabric

Discount

Day 14 quilting discount is on the seasonal quilts and fabrics. You can buy a finished quilt, buy a kit or pattern or just buy fabrics (there are 16 snowflake fabrics) to make your own quilt. Take 20% off the advertised price (unless already reduced online) and contact me on the online form and let me know what you want so that I can send an invoice for the right amount. This discount is for today only. Back tomorrow with another blog and discount.

seasonal quilting fabrics
seasonal fabrics from Karen Platt

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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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