Classes and Sailing

Happy New Year from the Bahamas!  My husband, Joe, and grandson, Ethan, and I have rejoined our sailboat, MAHI, starting Year 2 of our cruising adventure.  We are starting out from Great Harbour Cay in the Berry Islands as soon as the weather allows.

We have a blog at if you are interested in following along for our adventure.

Meanwhile, my good friends, the Pixeladies, have just released their online class schedule for the first half of 2017. 

They are teaching their popular Photoshop Elements: Essentials 1 & 2 classes again.  Photoshop Elements is the program I design in and make my digital quilts with, like this quilt:

The big news is they’ve finally put their design class on the schedule. I say finally because back in the day when I hosted their classes on Feathered Fibers, they taught a great design class. I can’t tell you how good they are at helping people develop their own creative voices.  I highly recommend their classes!

Whether you’re a beginner or more advanced, you’ll really appreciate the quick teacher feedback. You can find more information on their website:

Okay, I’m off for more sailing, but I still plan on keeping my toes in the fiber waters!   Also have a bead stash on board, so I leave you with this 3-D starfish:

In The Eye of Hurricane Matthew

13055593_822737844536849_3752359197648275515_nMany of my longtime quilting friends may be aware that I took a break from quilting and teaching to buy a cruising sailboat called MAHI, and go find a pretty, tropical beach to relax.  We did that over the last year, leaving our boat in the Bahamas for hurricane season.

Right now, we are waiting to learn the fate of our boat at Great Harbour Cay Marina in the Berry Islands, Bahamas.  This is a beautiful little island that captured our hearts.  My husband, Joe, is with the boat, hunkered down in a 13244729_260233400994542_8432691162465993232_nconcrete structure in the marina area with a group of boating friends.  Please pray for his safety, the safety of our friends, and Bahamian people, plus anyone else affected by this horrible storm.  We hope we do not lose our boat to the hurricane, as well.

If you are curious, I am doing Hurricane Update Posts on my boat blog HERE, and on my Facebook page at  If you cannot see my posts on Facebook, just friend me.

Last, a shout out to other quilters affected by this horrible storm!  Hugs, Carla


Photoshop Elements Organizer eClass

CARLASCREENDoes your computer screen look like the one on the left?  Confession time: that is what my screen looks like now.   It is rather embarrassing to admit this.

I have decided it is time to organize all the images on my desktop and in my folders, so have signed up to take the Photoshop Elements (PSE) Organizer course by my friends, The Pixeladies.  Won’t you join me so we can hang out in the classroom together?

Here is one article on the topic that will show you how easy it will be to organize by facial recognition:  

seabiscuitI will also learn how to organize all my sailing shots, like this one of a sea biscuit.

Knowing Deb and Kris like I do, this will be but one tip among many.  I am looking forward to it!    I had the pleasure of visiting with The Pixeladies last week, and had a studio tour of what they are working on.  I was blown away with their works in progress, including some wearable fiber piece.  Click HERE to see their gallery page of past work.

Long time blog readers know I love PSE as a design tool to create many of my designs, including this whole cloth digital quilt, shown below.  Now I can finally learn more about the organizer part of this program.


copyright 2014 by Carla Barrett

13482941_700572440100513_5258495292675427050_oSpeaking of using PSE, I recently had a baby quilt to do for my friend, Barb.  Using PSE, I drew out a simple fish design for her quilt, then imported into Art & Stitch to digitze and save in an extension read by my Intelliquilter.   Here is the very simple fish panto:

To sign up for the class, just head over to The Pixeladies website.  Regards, Carla

Back Home From Sailing Adventures!

Been having a great time on our sailboat, but because it is hurricane season, we parked the boat in a safe location and flew home for the summer.  That is a good thing since I have been having withdrawals from my longarm and other art supplies.

I took up photography while we were on the boat, so I wanted to show you a slideshow of few of my favorite images:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Now I need a good way to organize and stow all the 1,000’s of images I took.  Luckily, my good friends, The Pixeladies, are having an eClass starting soon on organizing all your images using Photoshop Elements.  I am going to take it, and I hope you will join me in this class.  Stay tuned, I will tell you more in tomorrow’s post!

Hugs, Carla

Merry Christmas from Carla

Here is a freebie digital quilt download (link below) for all you coloring as therapy fans.  The size is 8 1/2 by 11.  Merry Christmas from Carla.  Let me know if you would like to see more coloring pages by leaving a comment.  XOXO  Carla


Free PDF Download:  carladoodle 1215

Postscript:  I decided to color mine:



Digital Quilt

Since my quilting machine is home in California and I am on the boat in Florida, I miss creating.  Luckily, I have my tablet PC with me, so I created a digital quilt.


This would make a lovely quilt!  Until I have time to create one, I will have to stick to digital quilts.  🙂   Regards, Carla

Inktense Question- Pigment Sticks

I often receive questions about some of my free tutorials.  I write back to people when internet connection allows, since I am off on new adventures these days (see  Sometimes, my response back may be buried in the old post, or my email reply bounces back to me- both which happened in this case.

inktensedoneHelene wrote a question about using Inktense blocks on her vintage linen:

“Dear Carla, I have some white vintage linen placemats and napkins that are embroidered that I would like to to use the Inktense Fabric Paints on to bring them more to life.  What I have are the blocks not pencils.  Can I still paint using the block sticks and if so, would you recommend using a paintbrush and just wetting it and infusing it with the color from the sticks?”

suppliesHere was my reply:

“Hi Helene, I am not home at the moment, but I happen to have bought some of those Inktense block sticks myself. You can use them on fabric in a number of ways- including if you dip your fine brush in a fabric medium, then onto the pigment ink block, then paint onto the fabric. I suggest you perfect this technique first with scrap fabric until mastered. In other words, your instinct was spot on!

I always like to start with my lightest color and clean the brush for blending with other colors. Play around with diluting the fabric medium just a bit with water for a more sheer look. Again, all experimentation would be with scrap fabric. I would also heat set the colored fabric, but test it first before your main project.

You can also buy a grating jar- which is a jar with both a cover and a grating lid. I bet Derwent has a number of videos to assist you. When I wrote my tutorial many years ago, there were not that many “how to” work with this product on fabric. I get you can find many more now. Good luck!! Carla”

With any project such as this, my only concern is that the technique be perfected before attempting on the vintage linen.  That is the best advice I can provide.  If you use the grating jar, then again, experiment with the saturation of the pigment powder to water or fabric medium.

Regards, Carla

New Designs!

Digitech has some new designs of mine available here.   I thought I would share some of the designs with you.  The first one is called Fiji:


This was inspired by my love of tropical locations.  Next up is a set I designed for my friend, Denise, for her baby quilt:



The next set was created by doodling.  Check out that cool border design:


Last one to share today is a modern design for a quilt, very whimsical:


Hope you have enjoyed this sneak peek into some of my newest designs.  I am still drawing away while I am off sailing.    Regards, Carla

New Blog To Follow Our Adventures!

Wanted to announce the new blog, titled, “Sailing on Mahi,” where you can follow our adventures if you wish.  Basically, we retired early, bought a blue water capable boat, will move aboard and travel the world on board Mahi, our Taswell 43 cutter rigged sailboat.


I also have a Facebook page HERE, too, if you want to see where we are and follow our adventures.  Plan to seek out quilting arts as we travel and write about sewing projects to improve the interiors.  Will also sew on projects above deck, too.  Taking some beading supplies along, too.  You know I just have to create!

Also bringing along the Tablet PC and programs so I can continue to draw designs to be sold at Digitech Patterns.  This gal is going to try to piece and quilt with my industrial strength Sailrite machine.  🙂

I hope you will visit and follow the new blog and “like” my page on Facebook.  Hugs from Carla

Sailboat Quilt Project

One of the hardest things about going traveling by sailboat is missing your dear friends and family.  Barbara Kiehn is one friend I will especially miss.  She and I have collaborated on many award winning quilts over the years, long time blog readers may remember a few of them:

carlainthegarden41egypt6baby tulip2


I decided that Ethan needs a new quilt for his new cabin berth, but time is short, so I asked Barb to help me design and put it together.  Yesterday was our work day at her house, and we were able to finish the sailboat blocks.  Of course, there is more work to do on this scrappy, red, white and blue quilt, so I will work on it whenever I can get a free minute.

Here are a picture of the blocks only, today I cut and fuse the flags at the top of the mast like shown in the top left block:

Sailboat block in progress

Barb and decided to make these topsy turvy sailboats, plus there will be scrappy pieced sashings in between each block.  Here is a sample from Barb’s quilt for what topsy turvy setting looks like:


So that is my WIP sailboat project for the boat.  Thank you shout out to Barb for her help, lunch yesterday, and for being such a wonderful friend.   Regards, Carla