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:



Feathers, Feathers and More Feathers!

Many of you have written noticing that I have been rather quiet of late.  That is because I am working hard at finishing my Feather Mastery Workbook and also on my revamped online classes.

I anticipate finishing my Feather Mastery Workbook first.  All of the worksheets are being redrawn, redesigned, and new worksheets have been added.   I draw my feather illustrations and workbook sheets in Photoshop Elements.  Here is a sample feather drawing from the Workbook:

from Carla Barrett's Feather Mastery Workbook

from Carla Barrett’s Feather Mastery Workbook

The workbook is growing as I continue to draw and edit.  I get new ideas, which means I then need to write and complete another Lesson.

What are YOUR favorite feathers?     Hugs, Carla

Wine Harvest Freeform Beaded Pendant

Hello, been busy lately creating, so I thought I would share what I am working on.  This is the first in a series, which is making special wearable art pieces to match some of my clothing.

Freeform Beading by Carla Barrett

Freeform Beading by Carla Barrett


To the left is a pendant I call “Wine Harvest.”

The piece of clothing this was designed to match is actually 2 items: the jacket I am wearing in the blog header photo, and a purple sweater, too.


The colors in the piece changes- depending on the lighting and the background the pendant is laying on.  Here is the same pendant, and the colors have not been altered in any way.  I think the only difference is that I may have flipped the piece over:

By Carla Barrett

By Carla Barrett

The background in the top photo is my black Coach bag, and if anyone is into fashion, I found it in the men’s section of the local outlet store.  This messenger style bag is great- carries my wallet, some make-up essentials, and also room for my iPad and Kindle Fire, too.

The bottom background is my quartz kitchen counter, which provides a lovely backdrop to show off the beading.  Notice the color difference between both photos.  Actually, in person, the bottom color is most accurate.

Finishing:  I haven’t yet decided how I want to finish off the pendant, but until I do, I used 3 strands of yarn and tied it to the pendant and also the clasp on both sides.  I did this so I could wear the pendant immediately- like tomorrow.  🙂

The next color palette will be different, since I am choosing the colors by pulling out a top, sweater or jacket, then creating the piece inspired by the clothing.  Anyone want to play along?  If so, here is your challenge- go into your closet and pick out a dress, top or other item that you like.  Next, pull out your fibers and beads, paint and anything else to create a wearable jewelry to wear with the article of clothing.  Send me pictures, too, when done.

Have fun!  Carla

Modern Quilt Design

Just finished a nice modern quilt for Doug, and now I am drawing designs for the next modern quilt- one by Lyn Baker.  I will most likely draw up 4 or 5 designs for her quilt using Art & Stitch program.  Here is my first one- a design for the sashing part of Lyn’s quilt:

mod sashing 1 by Carla Barrett

mod sashing 1 by Carla Barrett

As you can see, this is a simple geometric design for a smaller border or sashing.  It has a nice modern vibe and will go with other parts of the quilt and designs I will be using.

Art& Stitch is a terrific program, it only took me a few minutes to import my quick sketch from Photoshop, then trace over the design using the Bezier Tool.   I first saved it in the ANS extension, then saved it with the extension used by my machine- an Intelliquilter.

Stay tuned!  Have several quilt images to share with you in the near future!  Carla

Art & Stitch: Designing a Series

As part of my ongoing practice after attending Theo & Loes van der Heyden’s Art & Stitch  workshop, I decided to show you how I drew a doodle and turned it into a series or quilting designs for my quilts.  If you are interested in learning how to do this, be sure to sign up for Theo and Loes workshop, too.

Let’s start with a doodle:

copyright 2013 Carla Barrett

copyright 2013 Carla Barrett

Then you combined 2 blocks to make this design:

copyright 2013 Carla Barrett

copyright 2013 Carla Barrett

Notice there is a cute little critter that emerged once the blocks combined?  I love the randomness of finding surprises like this.  Next, we will combine 2 triangles to make a block design:

copyright 2013 Carla Barrett

copyright 2013 Carla Barrett

Now add 3 more blocks to create a large block design:

copyright 2013 Carla Barrett

copyright 2013 Carla Barrett

We are just getting started!  Let’s make a border design to match the other blocks:

copyright 2013 Carla Barrett

copyright 2013 Carla Barrett

How about a wreath where the critters are looking inward:

copyright 2013 Carla Barrett

copyright 2013 Carla Barrett

Or, critters looking outward:

copyright 2013 Carla Barrett

copyright 2013 Carla Barrett

In order for this design to stitch out without jump stitches, all I needed to do is add a transition design:

copyright 2013 Carla Barrett

copyright 2013 Carla Barrett

Can you tell I am having fun?   By the way, my Birdy Designs are for a future post….








More Digitized Fun!

I promised I would share some designs drawn in Art & Stitch (ANS) software to practice what I learned in the workshop by Loes and Theo van der Heyden.  

In this class exercise, I started by drawing some feathers in a triangle block, then made a simple block motif by copying 4 times:

design by Carla Barrett

design by Carla Barrett

To be honest, it doesn’t ring my chimes yet.  So I decided to see what would happen when I copied more blocks designs together:


Yes, this block works for me now.  I like that you can take a ho-hum block design and turn it into a better design by playing with the program.    Once again, it only took me less than 10 minutes to create the block shown above.  I see lots of fun designs in my future!

Next up on my quilting table will be a lovely modern quilt by my friend Lyn Baker.  Lyn is a wonderful binding instructor and you can catch a class with her at High Sierra Quilters in Placerville, CA.  If you do not see a class on the website, but trust me, she has them regularly.  Contact Doug at the store if you need a binding lesson with Lyn.  Lyn is responsible for my huge improvement in my bindings.

Anyway, I plan to design some fun modern designs for Lyn’s quilt and then digitize them for practice.  I will be sharing my progress as I complete them.

Also, in my next ANS post, I will show you how I traced one of my birdy designs and made a quilting pattern out of the art.  Keep watching!

Feather Practice

I thought I would share a few of my feather quilting practice for anyone needing to learn or improve their feather skills.  I am starting with my freehand feather handout #1 (pdf), shown here:

barrettfeatherpractice1  (right click to download this pdf file)

practice sheet 1 by Carla Barrett

practice sheet 1 by Carla Barrett

Directions: Print out 5-10 copies of the handout, and trace over all gray lines.  Next practice in the spaces provided.  This practice sheet covers drawing a freehand feather, feathering a simple spine, a curved spine, filling a space with feathers, and turning a corner while feathering.

This is a first post in a series for improving feather technique.  If you like it, and want to encourage me to write more, please leave a message below.  Thanks, Carla Barrett

Catch Up! And Other Things…

I am pleased to announce that the first online Tablet Design Class was a huge success!  Wait until you see the fantastic homework that was turned in by the students- Wow!!  But, that is a future  post, so I will make you wait.  Here are a  few Creative Exercise samples I drew for the class:

A colored wholecloth quilting design:

A quilting design repeat:

Using colored images to help choose quilt design colors:

Practicing quilting fills:

This is just a sneak peek of a few exercises in the class.  All-in-all, I think I shot and edited over 35 videos for this class!  By the way, the next time I teach it will be in the Fall, 2012.  Post a comment to get on my class interest list.


Freeform Beaded Necklace-  The long awaited blog prize is almost ready to ship to the lucky recipient!!  This turned out very cool, I now need to make a second one for my own portfolio.

Want to see?

OK, here is the finished view of this freeform beaded necklace.  I named it, “Waves of Color:”

Any comments on this latest freeform beaded design?

More to come!  Now that class is over, my creative spirit is unleased!

Hugs, Carla



Last Few Days for Registration

A quick post to remind everyone that the Pixeladies Intro to PSE Class is filling fast- and that class will start next Monday at  We decided to offer this class once again, especially since this class fulfills the prerequisite for my April class on Tablet Design.

In preparation for the Tablet Design class, I am working hard on expanding my in-person Tablet Design class into a 3 week class with numerous video lessons with handouts, creative exercises, visuals, and lots of information about using your tablet, along with Photoshop Elements 10, to create quilting designs, draw and design quilt tops like I do, plus many other skills.  Here is a sample quilting design that I drew for Debbie Bainbridge’s quilt during a 2011 Quilt Whisperer class:

Mark your calendar- the registration for the Tablet Design Class will begin on March 15, 2012 at 9 am PST.

Last note:  Many of you blog subscribers may have noticed the 11 or so email notifications with the last post.  Apologies, however, this was a wordpress glitch.  I did notify wordpress about this and deleted all the extra posts.


Next Quilt Design Online Class Starts on Jan. 9th, 2012

Do you love quilting and quilting designs?  In my upcoming 3 week online class on quilting design, I teach my step-by-step process for how to more easily design quilts- no matter what your level is.

Quilt Whisperer Class Info and Course Description

How to Register for my Class

In class, you will learn how to take a cute quilt like this:

(quilt by Barbara Kiehn)

and learn how to design it like this example:

In addition to learning my method of “quilt whispering,” you also learn how to quilt sashings, borders and blocks using my favorite designs.

You also learn my favorite feather designs and variations, too.  Here is a sample from class:

We also discuss inspiration, and how to build your own quilting idea journal.  For instance,  my inspiration is from a yacht, the settee fabric:

   Next, is my quilting designs, inspired from the fabric:

More info is located at, where the class is being held.  Links are located at the top of this post.

By the way, I am also running a Free Blog Give-a-way Contest HERE.  The winner, who follows my 1-2-3 directions, will win their choice of one (1) custom Carla project, made especially for them, in their favorite colors.  Here are visuals of previous projects:

or or or or

Good Luck!  From Carla