Monday, 14 December 2015

A winner...

Thank you all for entering the giveaway...there can only be one winner...

Rachael it's you! Please email me your address and I can send you your copy of Modern Patchwork!

karen@karenlewistextiles.com

Monday, 7 December 2015

Modern Patchwork...a giveaway

I rarely get the opportunity to see American quilting magazines and I certainly have never been featured in one, so when the lovely Cheryl Arkison asked to feature me in her article on screen printing I was delighted.


The article features some of the best contemporary screen printers worldwide whose company I am honoured to be in. Both the Umbrella Prints ladies and Leslie Keating of Maze and Vale of Australia are 2 of my longtime favourite screen printers, so to be featured alongside them really is an honour. 


Celina Mancurti is another fave of mine with her stunning screen prints on linens and as for Leanne Fanny, a fellow Brit, I love her quirky style.

Cheryl's article is a great read and very informative about how to screen print and for screen printing to be given such a high profile in the magazine makes me very proud.


And because I was sent a copy of the magazine...actually 2 copies but more on that in a mo...I had the pleasure of sitting down and reading it. Modern Patchwork is a great quilting magazine full of fresh modern quilts, everyone I would love to make. I picked out my 4 favourites, which wasn't easy as I could have chosen all of them, and they are clockwise from top left:

Modern Curves Wall Quilt by Gosia Pawlowska
Impressionist Sunrise Quilt by Sharon Holland
Converging Hours Quilt by Lee Chappell Monroe
Crystal System Quilt by The Artist's House for Robert Kaufman


So about that second copy that I have...if you would like to win a copy of this great magazine just leave a comment below telling me what you love to see in a quilting magazine.
I will draw a winner this time next week...good luck!


Friday, 27 November 2015

Fabric Club 2016

Karen Lewis Textiles Fabric Club is into it's 3rd year...amazing!
With the release of my Blueberry Park Collection with Robert Kaufman, I was unsure whether to continue with the club but I have been told it is very different, by receiving new designs throughout the year with carefully put together colours, it makes it a perfect add on rather than an either or. 

2016 sees a slightly different slant on the club. For those of you familiar with it you will still get a carefully selected bundle of fabrics, screen printed onto Kona with varying designs but to add a bit of spice to the club I have asked some wonderful peeps to join me and curate a bundle each month.

What has resulted is 6 amazing bundles this coming year, each reflecting the personalities of these 6 fantastic people...oh and there's a surprise 7th coming as an extra later in the year...more about that as the year goes on.


First up in January is the awesome Giuseppe. 



Giuseppe is better known as Giucy Giuce on Instagram and is quite simply a rainbow delight and his chosen bundle is a true reflection of his colourful personality! I can't wait to print this up!


As ever Fabric Club bundles are limited so if you want a piece of the action go and sign up and order yours right here. You can sign up for the individual bundle or receive a discount by joining up for an annual subscription. Perfect Christmas present don't you think?!



Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Edinburgh Workshops...

Morning! Now I have remembered where my blog is and hot off from my visit to Edinburgh this weekend, I thought I would revisit and share all.

This is my second visit up to Edinburgh this year...boy those ladies like to print! I love my visits up to Edinburgh to Jo's wonderful shop, My Bearpaw. Firstly Jo is there...and her lovely husband Jonathan and it's such a treat to manage a weekend to visit them.

When I went up this time I had the extra treat of being met by Blueberry Park bundles as I entered the shop. Seriously I don't think I will ever tire of seeing my fabric out in the wilds.


Jo has an amazing clientele for workshops. She has worked really hard to build up a hugely successful vibe up there with people craving her workshops, so it was wonderful that she filled 2 days of attendees...with still a waiting list for more wanting to learn to print...I think I will be back again soon!


When you walk into My Bearpaw you don't realise the Aladdin's Cave space behind and with the walls covered with Jo's beautiful quilts, it is the most perfect inspiring space. The eagle eyed of you won't miss seeing the Blueberry Park Lone Star there...what a beauty and what a joy for me to see.


We set to work designing and cutting stencils to use in our printing. I love this part. I love the silence due to the utter concentration and being thoroughly absorbed. I love the following WOW moment...the moment when the designs everyone has worked on suddenly become alive!


I used to be a secondary school teacher in my former life and trust me those wow moments were few and far between. Screen printing workshops give that wow moment every single time and it is so wonderful to see. 


I love being surrounded by amazing people and seeing all their creativity coming out. I love that every single workshop is completely different from the one before. 



I love that every person comes up with something completely different from the next person...and I love that everyone is so enthusiastic about the thing that I am so passionate about and can not wait to do it again.


Thank you Jo for having me and thank you to all 20 of you ladies for being so amazing and enthusiastic and I can't wait to come up again!



Monday, 23 November 2015

Quilting From Every Angle Giveaway...

Since posting about Nancy's awesome book last week I managed to finish the Desert Bloom Medallion quilt top. I am so pleased with how it has turned out. 


Now I have the decision to make as to whether to turn it into a wall hanging or keep going, adding some more borders to turn it into a quilt for our bed.  may leave it hanging for a while to see.


In the meantime you are probably wondering who won my giveaway....drum roll please...

Number 12...Farm Quilter!

Congrats, I will be emailing you with details of how to get the digital copy.
Thanks to everyone for entering and I hope you have been enjoying the rest of the blog tour. x


Thursday, 12 November 2015

Quilting From Every Angle...



Title: Quilting from Every Angle
Author: Nancy Purvis
Publisher: Interweave
ISBN: 978-1-63250-086-1


Welcome to Day 3 of Nancy's book tour!

I am delighted and honoured to have been asked by Nancy to be a part of her book tour...have you seen the list of incredible quilters on there?!

I have known Nancy for quite some time via Instagram and have had the pleasure of having her and her lovely family come and visit me. I have long since been a fan of Nancy's work. She is on my Top 10 favourite quilters...actually higher than that but I don't want her blushing too much.

Nancy's style is bold, graphic but with a limited colour scheme...exactly what I am drawn to in a quilt design.




Nancy's book, Quilting From Every Angle, is a true reflection of her style and is consequently one of my favourite quilting books ever. I do love a good quilt book but in truth they are normally lovely eye candy full of wonder but with maybe 1-2 projects that I would actually want to make. Quilting From Every Angle is full of quilts I want to make...every single one of them.




Not only is the book full of quilts that I would love to make but it is a great resource too. I love the initial chapter, Inspired Quilting. It is so interesting to read about where Nancy gets her inspiration from and also to read invaluable tips on where we should look to for quilting and colour inspiration. Nancy goes on to give such great information on techniques she uses...I am definitely going to give glue basting a try...thanks Nancy!

The projects themselves are written in a very clear way with fantastic diagrams to go alongside. Actually I have to admit to sometimes just using the diagrams to construct the quilt I made, they were that good. What can I say I am a visual learner...words baffle me!
Because I truly love all the projects in the book I struggled to choose one to make for this review but I settled on the Desert Blooms Medallion Quilt, mainly because I have always wanted to make a Medallion quilt so this was the perfect opportunity.


I was inspired by Nancy's colour scheme to make this quilt as I thought the bold design could take it and would highlight the details of each border to the best effect. 

Unfortunately with my recent house move completing the quilt centre and first border was as far as I got but having said that I think it stands alone beautifully and would make a lovely mini for the wall as it is. I will finish it however as I want to see how it looks in full.


If you haven't yet got your hands on a copy of Nancy's book you really should. I am also pleased to let you know that I am having a giveaway here of a digital copy for one lucky reader. Just leave a comment here to be in with a chance of winning. I will draw a winner next Friday, 20 November. Good luck!

Don't forget to follow the rest of the blog tour, where there are other chances to win a copy of the book. Details of all the wonderful peeps are here...

11/10- Michelle Wilkie of Factotum of Arts
11/11- Hillary Goodwin of Entropy Always Wins
11/12- Karen Lewis of Karen Lewis Textiles
11/13- Anna Graham of Noodlehead
11/16- Rachel McCormack of Wooden Spoon Quilts
11/17- Tara Larson of Rad & Happy 
11/18- Jennifer Mathis of Ellison Lane
11/19- Holly Hughes of Holly Gets Quilty
11/20- Nicole Daksiewicz of Modern Handcraft
11/23- Pat Bravo of Pat Bravo Fabric Design and Jesse Maloney of Art School Dropout
11/24- Astrid Slagle of Red Red Completely Red
11/25- Holly DeGroot of Bijou Lovely
11/26- Christopher Thompson of The Tattooed Quilter
11/27- Spoonflower

In the meantime if you would like to purchase a signed copy of Nancy's book then go right here.

Also just to mention, as in all books some errata aren't picked up in the editing process. To be kept up to date with errata that have been rectified go here.

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the rest of the tour!

p.s. I have to apologise for Nancy's pictures being so small...when I enlarged them they were too blurry...I need to find a way to fix that so you can really see how wonderful they are.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Copenhagen...

Hello from Copenhagen...or rather hej!

Last summer a lovely Danish lady called Maja came to one of my screen printing workshops at my home in Leeds. It was the start of a wonderful friendship that led to a seed of an idea being formed to come over to Copenhagen to run some workshops. Together the 2 of us, along with the lovely Ruth, a British export to Sweden planned and organised a weekend of workshops in Maja's home town.

And what a weekend it was! The whole weekend was just perfect, from the venue, to the gathering of creative peeps and even to the weather.


Maja lives in a group of apartments that has a fantastic meeting room that was just the most perfect light filled, roomy space that I have ever had the pleasure to teach in. Not only was the room itself perfect but so was the location. It is positioned overlooking one of the many canals in Copenhagen and a short stroll from Copenhagen Street Food on Paper Island where we went for lunch each day. You can see photos of it if you scroll down and as you can see the idyllic weather made the weekend even more special and spot on.


Over the course of the 2 days we had a gathering of 16 different wonderful creative ladies. Some had come over from UK...thank you Di!...others from Norway, Sweden and Denmark itself. I was quite overwhelmed by the uptake of the workshops and it was so special meeting all these lovely ladies.


I love teaching workshops. It is one of my favourite things. I get such a buzz from being able to pass on my love for screen printing and get an equal buzz from seeing all the unique amazing work that gets produced each day. Every workshop is always so different...a completely different group of people...and on this occasion speaking different languages...all with one thing in common...the love of learning a new craft.


Teaching a whole day workshop is such a joy. It gives time for everyone to get to know each other, chat, make new friends, get inspired by being together and seeing the progress that happens in that one day is just a joy.


My hubby, Matthew, came with me on this little jaunt and spending time together exploring this stunning city was a treat. Maja's hubby, Mikael kept Matthew entertained whilst Maja and I were busy 'working'. Boat trips, beer drinking jaunts seemed to be the order of the day. I am actually really grateful to Mikael for being such a fantastic host and giving Matthew such a wonderful time and insight to Copenhagen from a local's perspective and the fact that the 2 of them hit it off was such a bonus.


Our later in the day flight home yesterday meant we had a little time to explore Copenhagen further. Assisted by our local tour guide Maja, we got the river boat across to the Design Museum. It was full of the inspiring Danish design that we love and would expect and it didn't disappoint. Danish furniture contains such iconic pieces that are so familiar that it was a delight to see some of the originals. The textile pieces from various eras were obviously a pleasure to see and totally inspirational.


Being back home now and flicking through the photos remembering the amazing few days we have just had with such wonderful hosts, new friends, shows the trip as it was...one of life's highlights. I feel incredibly lucky that not only did I experience this but even more so that I can call this work.


Tuesday, 16 June 2015

July Fabric Club...

It's that time of the month again...getting ready for the next Fabric Club edition.

I love producing my Fabric Club bundles. It gives me an excuse to play around with fabric and paint colours just for the hell of it, rather than trying to pick fabrics for a certain project. That is fun too, but this is just full on play with no strings attached.


This month I wanted to do something a little bit different and use coloured ink a bit more, rather than simply printing in white. That's always good too, but I was in the mood for something different.

 I had chosen a Baby Blue Kona to print on, to go with some orange and peach colours, and wanted a grey blue ink to print on top of it. Normally I am drawn to the teal and sea colours in the blue spectrum but they were too loud competing with the orange.
I started off with Wedgewood, one of my favourite pre mixed grey blues, but it was a little bit light and a little bit bright. A hint of grey later and I had turned it into the most gorgeous grey blue that can hold its own perfectly with the loud orange, without competing with it.


And so now with the perfect freshly printed blue panels, I am itching to devise a project to sew with it for!

July Fabric Club bundles are available to order on the website, so if you like what you see click here and order yours now. This is just a little bit of what will be in the bundle...

the rest...for now...is a surprise!



Saturday, 30 May 2015

Scandinavian Oakshott...

Several week ago I was sent this fab bundle of the Scandinavia collection by Oakshott. I had been chatting to Michael and we both agreed we would love to see how my prints would work over Oakshott shot cotton fabrics.

I printed over them before I had thought out what I was going to do...that's normally my way...I used my Flowerbed design as I wanted to print a design that would leave a lot of the beautiful Oakshott fabric showing through.


I kept them on my desk a while until I was sure what I wanted to do with them. They were far too precious to make a mistake and cut into with the wrong decision. I have done that too many times before.

As soon as I came across this beautiful Kaleidoscope block in Joyce Gieszler's book Then and Now Quilts, I kneew this would be perfect.


It is a paper pieced pattern which is a process I have actually grown to love. Once you get your head around the back to front piecing it really is quite ok. What's more, being a rather slap dash piecer I would never ordinarily get such precise piecing without paper piecing. As long as you follow the lines you can't go too far wrong.


Joyce's layout with the Kaleidoscope blocks is so lovely to watch as secondary and tertiary patterns emerge.
The next decision was how to quilt this mini. IG peeps gave great suggestions but they were either beyond my quilting skills, or took too long with suggestions of hand quilting...I'm way too impatient to see something finished for that.


I settled on the idea of a matchstick spiral to accentuate the general circular pattern that the design made. This turned out to be a good decision as the spiral shape not only kept the quilt nice and taught, preventing it getting misshapen, and also flattened any suspect piecing.


Final decision was binding...I printed up the remainder pieces of Oakshott with my new Smock Top design. Not being able to decide which to use I just printed up the lot...the remainder will always come in handy for other projects I am sure.


After some umming and ahhing, possibly making it scrappy and using a bit of each, I eventually decided to keep it neutral and use the Uppsala. I was so pleased I did. It is such a gentle, but interesting, non threatening colour.

I only had a small piece of the fabric so I used Kerry's fab tutorial for single fold binding. I think I may be a convert to this method...it used half the fabric...what's not to love?


All in all this was a thoroughly enjoyable project. I don't often use other people's patterns, but I really loved doing this one. I had reduced it from the original template to make a wall hanging and I am thinking about enlarging the template next time to make a wonderful double bedsize throw. My Robert Kaufman collection is due to land here any day now and I am thinking this pattern would be perfect to showcase them.

As for the original bundle of Scandinavia shot cottons...what a dream they were to print on and sew with...I will certainly be doing that again.








Friday, 1 May 2015

Beyond Measure...

Hello!
It's a week later and I am blogging...hurrah!
Miracles do happen!

You may have seen these beautiful wood turned pin cushions that I have been waxing lyrical over on Instagram.

This is one of those projects that I am so honoured to be part of.

I first met Grace, the owner of a new stunning online store, Beyond Measure, at GNCCF late last year.
We chatted a lot and Grace was keen to use my fabrics in her new pincushions. I wasn't sure at the time what they were going to be like but was more than happy to sell her some panels and waited to see how they turned out.

If I tell you I could have fainted on the spot when I first saw the pin cushions, it would have been no exaggeration or lie. Then when I received one...I couldn't help myself...I ordered one on the spot...they came to life so much more. The wood turned base and lid, made by an artist in the Czech Republic, is so tactile and beautiful, you don't want to let it out of your hand.
If ever there was something that was both beautiful and useful this was it.

Not unsurprisingly Grace can't make these quickly enough. This current lot she has in stock are from these 3 panels that I printed up for her last week. I actually need one of each.



Go check them out in her shop here and while you are at it see all the other special items Grace has sourced for her gorgeous shop. She certainly has a good eye. Everything is so stylish. 

...and you can currently get £2.50 off shipping by using the code 'post40' on orders over £4until May 10

...but be quick...these pincushions don't hang around for long!


Wednesday, 22 April 2015

News...

Hello!

I know I know, my blogging is quite catastrophic! 
I am not going to lie...I won't ever get back to blogging how I used to but I will do my upmost to blog weekly and keep you up to date with news and what is going on around these parts.

I do post regularly on Instagram to give you snippets of what I am up to but I do know a lot of you would like more insight and I promise to do that at least weekly.
There I have said it!
As ever, work life is full of exciting projects and wonderful things.

I wanted to share with you a couple of exciting projects I have recently been involved with.

The first is this gorgeous rattle by The Milk Collective
Paula and Jaz, the clever ladies behind this fab brand, contacted me a while ago to ask if I could screen print some of their designs. I love it when unexpected things come up. It is so inspiring.

I prepared a screen and printed up the panels and they made this wonderful rattle. 
How cute! 
The Milk Bottle is available to pre order now on their website and they are offering 15% off with the code MILKBOTTLE at the checkout.


I am currently working with Martina of Ava & Neve, a beautiful online fabric store based in Australia. Martina mainly stocks Liberty fabrics but also has a penchant for hand printed and wanted to stock my fabrics to work alongside.
We have worked together to produce 2 collections that will work well with the Liberties she stocks.

I am so very excited to be in Australia and hope the fabrics will be really successful for Martina. So if you are that side of the world and want to be kept up to date with Pre Orders go and leave your details with Martina.


So with my promise of blogging weekly, I guess I will see you here next week!