Heart Feather Design

Here is another new design that will work perfectly for many types of quilts.  It is a rather girly design, and here it is used on a friend’s quilt:

Heart Feather quilting design by Carla Barrett

Heart Feather quilting design by Carla Barrett

When this one be comes available for purchase at Digitech Patterns, I promise to let you know.  In the mean time, I would love to hear what YOU are up to?  Take care, Carla

Lyn’s Quilt Finished!

I am finally done with Lyn’s beautiful and colorful modern quilt.  Lyn is one of my quilting friends, who taught me to improve my binding technique, so I wanted to do a nice quilting job for her in return.

Here is the quilt hanging on my dining room table:

lynquiltdone

For Lyn’s quilt, I wanted to maintain the visual impact of her colorful quilt, yet provide some interesting texture quilting in each colored block area.  I achieved this by using some freehand quilting designs of my own, also using some commercially purchased quilting designs, too, and finally, in some areas, I designed and digitized my own quilting designs , too.

LynBakerquilt1

In the image above, feature digitized quilting designs by a variety of designers, including one by Krista Withers in the blue area, this design by Jodi Robinson in the gold area, round pearl sashing in the light blue area by Jessica Schick, and the two designs in the red area are as yet to be identified.  I promise to edit when I find the designers for proper credit.

lynbakerquilt2

The photo above shows you a wider view of this quilt.  My eye was drawn to the red space with my sprocket design as it is was “poofing” up in the bottom left hand side, then I realized I had forgotten to stitch-in-th-ditch that block, so the quilt went back on my table to fix.  An easily correctable oops.  My fix makes the seam lay down nicely, as shown in this photo below:

SID example by Carla Barrett

SID example by Carla Barrett

lynbakermodernquilt3

I hope you enjoyed following me as I quilted Lyn’s quilt.  I am happy with the finished quilt, and know Lyn will be, too.  It lays very flat, so I was able to maintain my quilt sandwich tension correctly as well.  This means the quilt should hang very straight.

I have already started my next quilt, a lovely wallhanging for Teddie.  I promise to show you her lovely quilt when I am finished.  Meanwhile, have fun with your quilting projects!  Carla

Modern Sashing Design “Sprocket”

I thought I would share my modern sashing design for all the freehand quilters out there.  If you do not freehand quilt, but instead have a computerized quilting system, no worries, as  I plan to redraw in Adobe Illustrator to send to my favorite digitizer, the amazing Jessica at Digitech Patterns.

Here is the design,titled “Sprocket,” which is perfect for modern quilts:

design by Carla Barrett

design by Carla Barrett

Here is my visual for how to learn this design.

design by Carla Barrett

design by Carla Barrett

As with any design, practicing is the key to learning.  grab a piece of paper or a tablet, then start sketching!   Here is what it looks like quilted up:

sprocketquiltedHave fun and I hope you enjoy my modern design!  Carla

 

 

Designing a Modern Quilt

I wanted to talk a bit about my design approach to a color blocked modern quilt by a wonderful person named Lyn Baker.  Lyn is the binding queen and personally responsible for improving my binding technique.  Lyn’s quilt may be purchased in kit form from High Sierra Quilters here.  If interested, call Doug at the store and he will help you.

Modern quilts beg to be quilted with a nice mix of geometric, patterns and fun texture quilting.  I see modern quilts as having a more masculine “feel,” though there are certainly some feminine modern quilts being made.  Here is a good visual for how I approached Lyn’s quilt:

modern quilt by Carla Barrett using both freehand and digitized quilting

modern quilt by Carla Barrett using both freehand and digitized quilting

With Lyn’s quilt, I wanted to maintain the color blocked areas and simply enhance this quilt with some fun and interesting texture.  I purposely chose the thread to match each colored fabric area, meaning I had LOTS of thread changing as I worked.  The reason for this is to provide texture and let the geometric visual in the piecing and color become the star of the show.  The quilting merely enhances the piecing and provides a layer of interest to the viewer as they see the quilt up close.   If I had chosen contrasting thread, it would fight the piecing- and in not a good way.  Choosing thread with intent is something I love to do.

Many of the designs you see above are also repeated throughout the quilt, too.  Repeating designs is a great way to bring cohesiveness to your machine quilting designs, especially with modern quilts.

All the quilts I do have a nice mix of freehand designs, usually an original design thrown in, and also some commercial digitized designs.  In this quilt are some wonderful modern digitized designs by a variety of artists, including Janet Lee Santeusanio, Jessica Shick, Krista Withers, Jodi Robinson,  and a few others.

quilting by Carla Barrett

quilting by Carla Barrett

Not every area has to be quilted with fancier texture.  Note the simple freehand quilting in the detail photo, above, in the red and blue areas.  There is also freehand quilting in the black area, light blue, and the green area, as well.

Notice that I also varied my quilting density, though the overall quilting is balanced.  This was done for added interest, as well.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing Lyn’s quilt and hearing some of my thoughts behind why I designed it the way I did.  In my mind’s eye, I see the quilt at a distance, with the bright colored blocks grabbing the viewer’s attention.  As the viewer walks up to the quilt, they see the interesting texture quilting designs in each space.   Happy Quilting!  Carla

Modern Maze Quilting Example

I promised you a picture of what my Modern Maze quilting design looks like quilted up.  This is a freehand design, so it is not perfect.  I finally came to a large enough area on Lyn’s quilt to audition and see how this new design works out:

freehand quilting and design by Carla Barrett

freehand quilting and design by Carla Barrett

I like it.  Once I practiced, I found I could do it freehand with no problem.  Here is the drawing and how to illustration for this design:

modern maze quilting design by Carla Barrett

modern maze quilting design by Carla Barrett

design by Carla Barrett

design by Carla Barrett

I think this design would also work out real well as an edge to edge quilting design.  It actually is a very forgiving design to quilt.  As an aside, I stitch in the ditch (SID) my blocks last.  I always do this as a finishing technique for crisp delineation between the colored blocks.

Back to the studio!  I really need to finish this quilt for Lyn, then start a new quilt by Teddie.  The next quilt also has a wonderful black background too, with bright pretty colors.

Enjoy your day!  Hugs, Carla

 

 

 

Carla’s Modern Maze Fill

Good Day to you!  I was quilting a modern quilt and was practicing some freehand designs for this particular quilt.  I promise to show you pictures when I am done.

Anyway, I often use my tablet to practice freehand designs, so I was practicing and found I like this design (see below.)  To help you figure out how to quilt or draw this, I have broken sections down by color:

design by Carla Barrett

design by Carla Barrett

Here is what this looks like in black and white, version 1

modern maze quilting design by Carla Barrett

modern maze quilting design by Carla Barrett

Here is a slight variation:

Modern Maze fill design by Carla Barrett

Modern Maze fill design by Carla Barrett

Off to now quilt this freehand pattern, so I will let you know how I like it once quilted up.  Promise!

Open Call for Quilting Mistake Images!

smallestfrogLet’s face it- we are imperfect people who make lots of mistakes in life. After all, if we were perfect, life would be perfectly boring, right?

So I am in the midst of class development for a new machine quilting class I start teaching in the Fall, called “Avoiding The Oops.”  I realized that I need more photos to illustrate some of the common machine quilting issues seen by quilters.  While I can replicate many common errors for class samples, it would be helpful if any readers had a photo to share on this topic.

Hence my “Open Call” for photos showing any type of quilting oops.  I promise you will be fully credited for your photo, if used.  To send me photos, just click on the contact link, above, and I will write you back.  Or, just leave me a comment and I will get back to you.  If I use your image, I promise to send you my helpful and thorough class handout for this class when I am finished.

copyrightbadkittyWriting this class has been fun!  Once you start listing all the various errors that can be made in quilting, you realize, from the growing length of my list, just how easily it can be to make an oops- no matter how experienced you are.

What is a quilting “oops?’  Trust me, you know it when you see it, quilt it, or view it at a quilt show.   Quilt show judge comments are another good source of quilting “issues,” that you may wish to share, too.

Carla Quilting Oops Tip- When I was a brand new quilter, way back a decade ago, one of my first lessons learned the hard way was to clean my machine head thoroughly and frequently as I worked on a quilt.  Why, you might ask?  What went wrong?

I had a client quilt that happened to be very scrappy.  It had only one or two white areas, but in quilting, Murphy’s Law often comes into play.  I knew enough as a new quilter to clean out my bobbin case frequently, and wipe down most surfaces.  I forgot to wipe under the machine head though, right next to the needle, which had a build up of oily lint.  You guessed it, this greasy oily lint decided to float down onto the quilt top, landing on the white space, leaving a mess once you touched it.

How to Fix?  First thing I grabbed was some cornstarch to soak up the oil.  Once dry, I carefully vacumned up the cornstarch, taking care not to stretch the area.  This didn’t work, so next step was some Dawn detergent, carefully applied with a q-tip.  Another failure, so on to grease removal product B, C, D, and E.  All failures.

The solution for this quilt was to remove quilting from the white fabric and surrounding area, then to carefully remove the triangular piecing with the oily stain, and to use this piece to cut a new white fabric piece.  There was no need to offload the quilt from the frame, the fix was completed while the quilt was loaded.

This new clean white fabric piece was carefully sewn back in, making sure the batting also had no oil/grease residue.  Then the space was requilted.  I kept the stained piece to show the client my oops, and then the fix- in the spirit of full disclosure.

The best part is that my fix was flawless!  You could not tell that there had been an oops, or a repair.  I used the same technique to restore the space as taught to me by a quilt restorer friend.  Anyway, I never repeated this oops again.  Plus, I learned to keep my machine head and surrounding area clean and pristine, too!

Thanks in advance for anyone contributing to my Quilting Oops list and photo gallery.  Regards, Carla