Around the World Blog Hop- My Turn!

I was invited to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop by two amazing fiber, art quilt and digital artists, The Pixeladies, also known individually as Deb Cashatt and Kris Sazaki.   Years ago, I was asked to do the quilting on one of their art quilt projects, and through this collaboration, we became friends.  Recently, I visited their studio and got to see all their stunning works in progress.  If you are unfamiliar with their incredible work, and art quilts created with fabric text, click now to visit their gallery page.

The format for the Around the World Blog Hop is a series of questions that I answer, so here we go:

What are you working on right now?  I tend to work on multiple projects at the same time.  On any given day, you will find me machine quilting in my studio, then working on my Tablet PC laptop drawing and designing, and finally, working on a freeform beading or crochet project.  So, in that spirit, here is what I am working on currently:

Quilting by Carla Barrett

Quilting by Carla Barrett

Machine Quilting- I recently borrowed back the above quilt (previously quilted a few months ago, titled Bold Beauty),  to share with students in Australia. The picture above shows you the back of the quilt. This quilt has won many awards in Montana for the owner, Teddie Egeline, including Best of Show and Judges Choice at the Montana State Fair.  Anyway, while in AU, I noticed a couple of places that need fixing, specifically, color repair of some white marking pen oops previously discussed in a post here.

whitemarkI realized that to be more archival, I should have heat set the repair.  So now I will go back over the lines with several shades of Inktense pigment pencils and once dry, heat set them.  After this repair, I plan to work on 2 quilts- one by applique artist Jill Rixman, and also one by my friend, Doug Hodder.

 

freeforminprogFreeform Beading and Freeform Crochet- Currently, I have two different projects in progress, though both are freeform.

The first one is a freeform beaded purse, so I am working on the freeform peyote embellishment.  I have just started to bead a 18mm Swarovski crystal, which will be a focal point element of this project.  My color palette is magenta, purple and blue.

My current freeform crochet project is a bit different from my usual freeform crochet work.  I like the combination of my random freeform combined with some more traditional freeform scrumbles, so I decided to take a Craftsy Freeform Crochet class with the talented Myra Wood to learn her process.  Below is a picture of my class homework so far.  These are “scrumbles” in progress as I learn her technique.

Scrumbles in Progress

Scrumbles in Progress

How does your work differ from others of its genre?  With regards to my machine quilting work, I plan out my quilting lines using a Tablet PC laptop in Photoshop Elements.  This allows me ease of editing and planning, communicating effectively with collaborators, as well as provide me with a road map to follow during the quilting process.  I also will design a special motif, border or fill to use on each quilt using a digitizing software called Art & Stitch.  I also will use my tablet to draw a quilting cartoon from time to time, too.  See more what you can do with a Tablet in this post here.

10waystabletHow does your creative process work?    As mentioned earlier, I use my Tablet PC to sketch out machine quilting designs (like the example above).  I also use my Tablet PC to create custom quilting designs that I can then stitch out on a quilt.  My process is as follows:

Copyright 2014 Carla Barrett

Copyright 2014 Carla Barrett

First, I draw with my stylist on my Tablet PC monitor in Photoshop Elements.  Once I like the design, I will import my design into Adobe Illustrator and  Art&Stitch digitizing software, converting the artwork from a raster drawing to vector artwork.

On the left is a custom design drawn for Teddie Egeline’s quilt, Bold Beauty.  This is a screenshot taken of the finished vector art.

In Art&Stitch, I finish editing the art, adding stitches and saving it in a computerized quilting format that my system can read- which for my Intelliquilter is “.iqp.”   The design is next imported to my machine and then I further manipulate the design to fit my border.  Here is a screenshot from my Intelliquilter tablet showing you how I used this design to create an interesting custom border:

iqpdesign

I love to leave spaces for freemotion quilting because I love the look of freehand work.  The curlycues in the image above will be filled with my freehand feathers.  Once quilted out and the freehand work added, the finished design and border looks like this:

carladesignboldbeauty

I also used my Scroll-Heart Design in other areas on the quilt, too:

scrollhearttri

If you have any questions about my process, I would be happy to answer them.  Just leave your question in a comment, below.  If you would like to know more about buying a Tablet, I do have a 4 part series on purchasing a Tablet for artwork here.  If you would like to know more about working and creating with Art & Stitch software, please see this post.

Before I close, I would like to nominate a very talented machine quilting artist for this Around the World Blog Hop:

Judi Madsen, quilting artist, author, teacher and designer.  During my teaching trip to AU earlier this month, I met Judi a couple of times as my class was ending and hers was due to begin.  Her freehand machine quilting work is young, vibrant, and has a modern vibe.  Be sure to visit  Green Fairy Quilts blog to see Judi’s stunning work.

Take care, Carla

WIP Friday

beadtriToday, I thought I would share some works-in-progress.  The first item is a beaded triangle that will eventually become part of a larger pendant and necklace.  I used 2 stitches- peyote and brick stitch- to create each side of the triangle before connecting them together.

 

IMG_3648This next image allows you to understand the steps for how I created each triangle side.  First you use peyote stitch to bead a flat peyote 9 beads tall by 6 beads wide.  Then, I used brick stitch to bead points on the top and the bottom.  You then sew this shape into a tube to make the finished triangle.

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25682The next project is a wholecloth quilt featuring my own designs in it.  Here are two pictures- the first shows you how I digitized some designs, then quilted them onto the black fabric.  Next, I sketch in some freehand quilting ideas in order to quilt it.  As soon as I post this, I plan to go quilt the rest of the center.

 

66714Hmmm… the picture is upside down, but it gives you an idea for how I work.  The marking is done using Crayola white chalk, which is a very affordable marking tool.  I quilt the design freehand, then use a paintbrush to brush off the chalk marks.  Easy as can be!

I do hope you have enjoyed seeing my two works in progress today.    Enjoy your weekend!  Carla

 

Quilty WIP

Confession time!  Remember that fall I took when I was racing to the homespun yarn booth at the Troy, NY Farmer’s Market?   Oops! I re-injured my elbow and lower back.  This has put a bit of a damper on how many hours I can be creative and work in a given day.  Bummer!

Thus said, here is what I am working on, quilting wise.  First up is a new slash therapy quilt in a different color scheme.  Here is a part of my quilt-in-progress:

newquilt

I also have made some progress on Nancy’s quilt.  Here is the first border:

nancy border copy

In case you are curious, the lovely floral part of the border design is a stencil by Hari Walner.  I have added some freehand “a la Carla” to complete the space and give it some visual punch!

Tomorrow, I get to babysit Jack, I can’t wait to spend some quality time with him!  Here he was last weekend, tolerating his stroller:

Jack in stroller

Keep watching to see my progress!  It is ice to be quilting and piecing again!

Hugs, Carla

Egyptian Border

barbeq2I’ve almost finished the first border on this quilt.  Check out my motif and the stylized straight feathers:

barbeq11

I still need a bit more quilting in my cornerstone design.  The gold areas have hieroglyphic quilting in them, quilted after this picture was taken.  You can see my chalk markings, I sketch my ideas right on the quilt top.

I’ll keep plugging away on this quilt.  It’s slow going because I quilt part time nowadays.  Plus I have a lot of straight line and stitch-in-the-ditch quilting to do.  This is called “ruler work,” and I like to take my time and do it right.

The motif in the pictures above was hand drawn by me, then  made into a stencil so I can replicate it on this quilt.  I have developed a new and easy technique for making your own stencils for quilting or other projects.   Hmmm…  guess I had better add that one to my book, right?   LOL!

Hugs, Carla

Handmade Holiday Gifts

This month, I’ve decided to write some more tutorials to celebrate the season.   These will be gifts you can make yourself to give to friends, family, teachers, etc.  My first one is almost finished, all I have left is to photograph the individual steps for the visuals.  All of them will be geared for beginners.

How’s that for a teaser?  LOL  I’ve decided to make some of my gifts this year.  Not only is it economy friendly,  you are giving of yourself to others: your time, effort, etc.

Speaking of gifts, I did finish my first one yesterday.  It is a freeform crochet scarf for someone, and I love the colors in this one:

freeform-present

For new visitors to my blog, I already have a tutorial on how to make this present.  You can also click on the birdy link on the right side for a list of all my free tutorials.

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Quilting Update:  I just ordered some black batting for a number of quilts I need to do.  Since I can’t start the Egyptian quilt until the batting arrives, I’m starting another kimono quilt that looks like this:

kimono-wall-hanging

That’s all for now!  Hugs, Carla

Next Quilt Up

The quilt I just loaded onto my longarm table is this bargello heart quilt:

I just pieced the backing- which is a medium shade of the salmon color fabric.  I’ve drawn out the quilting plan, but I want to work on it a bit before I start the quilting.  Check back and I will show you my prelim quilting plan for this particular quilt, also discuss design challenges with a bargello quilt such as this and how I overcome them. Carla note: Quilting Plan is HERE.

Been busy making all the travel details for my October Kauai trip.  Thanks to Lori and everyone else who recommended what to do and places to see.  I can’t wait to go!!

So far I like the roomba… it did miss one of two spots, so I will see if it gets those places tomorrow.  So far, so good!!

A big welcome to all the new blog readers- I had a banner traffic day yesterday with about 1700 hits!  That’s a lot of hits in one day for a smaller blog like mine.

Enjoy your day!  Carla

Weekend already?

Wow! The week went fast! This morning I’m off to the metal arts class, I think the lecture is on soldering. For the studio portion of the class, I’ll start making my first project. It will be a mixed media piece combining metal with fiber.

Quilt project- If you have been watching the changes from day to day, sorry, no pictures today. I spent the day yesterday doing SID work on the quilt and providing texture to the applique blocks. I am now about 95 percent finished- so I will finish it after my class today.

I will take some overall pictures before it goes back it Jayne. You might remember the last quilt I did for Jayne was the wedding ring one quilted last January.

Both of these quilts will go to her children. I had the pleasure to meet her son and DIL in February at the Folsom Quilt show. it is nice to know that your work is appreciated.

Btw, The opposite of this are horror stories of women who give quilts to their offspring, only to visit them and see it used in the doghouse. Anyone have a good story to share about this topic?? Or, is this simply an old wife tale to scare new machine quilters?? LOL

Off to school!! Hugs, Carla