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Designing Textiles From Scratch Textile Designer

Designing textiles from scratch is not always as easy as you might think. Not only do you need a great idea, you need to be able to follow it through to a finished object or even a series.

You need to know how to transfer your ideas from your head or from sketches on paper to something concrete and practical or decorative.

There are many techniques, many fabrics that you can use, so sometimes it is hard to make a start. Often we start and get stuck.

My design ecourses can help you negotiate your way through design, this one is on textiles

Moving Through Mud

Designing textiles from scratch is sometimes like moving through mud. You can get bogged down with indecision, stuck with an idea that will not flow or find it impossible to bring things to fruition.

However if you are like me, I only get stuck when I am faced with a decision on how to proceed, usually based on a lack of technique. So it was with my current jacket project. I had started fine and sat and stitched each evening until I had made 80 hand stitched diamonds. Joined them together in rows.

Then came the crunch: What comes next?

Decisions, decisions

I am not bad at decisions, I usually sort things fairly quickly. However, for every designer there comes a time when they get truly stuck. Was this the right decision? Would that have been better? Will this work? Is my technique bad?

I made a decision to use a type of folded patchwork around the edge, I have not got there yet, and might never. First I started on a central panel for the back to liven things up a bit.

I cut enough pieces for five different patchwork shapes. Then I lost a piece, stitched a piece a bit off centre and lost interest. All along there was a nagging doubt. Was it what I wanted?

Having finished another project, I returned to this design problem yesterday. I laid out the pieces and thought does it look right? Part of me said yes, part said no. No decision there. Then I thought once more, what else can I do? I could stitch some more diamonds but that was not what I wanted. I stared at it for a few minutes and decided it was worth finishing.

Designing textiles from scratch
Designing Textiles from scratch

The pieces are all just about stitched in place now. Of course I need odd shapes to attach in between them at the sides. I draw my own templates. Then I still have to make a decision on what goes around the edge, not to mention quilting it.

It might take a while yet, but I am on the move. Meantime I cut the fabric for jacket number three.

African fabrics
Designing textiles from scratch

Knitting

Designing textiles from scratch
Designing textiles from scratch

I also finished a sleeveless top. I was hoping to have the pattern uploaded to Ravelry today, but it will still take a day or two. It will be my 10th knitting pattern on there.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2021

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Quilting and Textiles Blog Fabric Book

In my quilting and textiles blog I like to show you what I have been working on during the week. This has been a week of continuing (slowly) with the scrap quilt and making the fabric book based on the Stay At Home theme of fruit and vegetables. I have been creating fabric pears. You can ask to join the group here. I also managed some knitting and finished two small Cathedral Windows Quilts.

Stay at home and create
fabric book

My quilting and textiles blog is a good way to get to know my work and to support me through my online shop. Bear in mind that during the coronvirus outbreak I am staying in, so you can still buy products online as long as they can be emailed – i.e. ebooks or ecourses. There is lots to keep you going through this crisis.

Quilting

It is a quick mention for quilting this week as owing to not feeling well, I have been a lot slower and still have 5 more blocks to make. I have been thinking of different ways with stripes. However I did finish two Cathedral Window Quilts with buttons. You can access my Cathedral Windows tutorial here.

Cathedral Windows quilt
Cathedral Windows Quilt
Cathedral Windows Quilt
Cathedral Windows Quilt

Knitting

For the first time in years I am knitting in lace. I have designed a textured lace knit in cotton. It is knitting up quite quickly.

knitting pattern
knitting pattern

Textiles

My textiles fabric book is looking great. It is finished, but I might make a cord with beads to finish off the spine. I made each page using different stitches and techniques. The centre page is in last week’s blog. I am really pleased with this work. It was great to use up some of my stash of green fabrics and threads.

quilting and textiles blog
pears
quilting and textiles blog
pears fabric book
fabric textile book
fabric book

Catch up next week when I hope to have some garden themed work to show you; the quilt finished and more besides. Stay occupied, positive and please stay home and safe.

quilting and textiles blog
fabric book

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Designing Your Own Quilt

Designing your own quilt does not seem to occur to most quilters. Think of the millions of quilters around the world and how few actually design. It can also be said that some designers do not quilt, that goes for other textile areas too like knitting.

I am a hands-on designer and quilter. I do prefer the design aspect. I respect that you think you might not have the skills to design your own quilt, but those skills can be learned. Wherever you live, take a look at my ecourses

Top five skills designing skills (but remember they can be learned!)

1. Creativity

2. Understanding fabric, texture and placement

3. Strong sense of colour

4. Sewing skills

5. Problem solving

If you can piece and follow quilting patterns, chances are you can design your own quilt. Being a quilt designer is a bit like being a juggler. You also have to add in a bit of you, a bit of magic, something that makes your work stand out from the crowd. This comes with practice.

Of course you can design with software these days, which eliminates some of the skills, but learning to design is a fascinating subject and one I urge you to try. Designing your own quilt is so satisfying.

If you need a certificate, your choices are a University or C&G course. As funding is being withdrawn, I believe some of the C&G courses are ending shortly. Typically a University design degree will cost around 10,000 pounds. A C&G course Level 1 costs around 900 pounds for the academic year (i.e. not a full year). Both of these give you recognised qualifications.

My own Quilting Design course is a full 12 months for under 500 pounds and includes more than C&G Level 1. As a fully qualified and trained teacher, I develop my own ecourses
and teach in person too. I also offer a good range of shorter courses and skill-based courses. New courses are being added all the time.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2018