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

carlacolorquiltxmas

Free PDF Download:  carladoodle 1215

Postscript:  I decided to color mine:

 

carlabarrettcolor3

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New Tablet PC Purchase!

t901_twist_antenna_stylusThis post is for all the students and blog readers who write me about wanting a Tablet PC.  As mentioned in my post (seen below) my current Tablet PC, a very pricey Fujitsu T902 purchased about 3 years ago for about $2000 US, had the power cord disconnect.  It was not very robust a machine, as the cracks on the case reveal.  I decided it was time to get a new Tablet PC, so I started my research.

TCHICK copyo date, over the last 10 years, I have owned 3 Tablet PC Convertibles, which means they act as either a  PC laptop or notebook, and also have tablet functionality to allow me to draw on the Wacom digitizer monitor screen for art purposes.  My first one was the best, a Toshiba Portege, however, Toshiba stopped making Tablet PC Convertibles awhile back.  My second tablet PC was an HP Touchsmart tm2, but it never lived up to my Toshiba Portege.  It finally bit the dust during my AU trip and has been long discontinued.  I then purchased the Fujitsu T902, however, it is now out of action due to Ethan tripping over my power cord and disconnecting it.  I plan to get this repaired so the Fujitsu becomes my backup Tablet PC.

The last few years have seen rapid changes in the Tablet industry, and is very confusing to most people, even tech savvy readers.  I knew I wanted a Tablet PC, with enough system memory so it would run my favorite design/drawing programs like Photoshop Elements, Adobe Illustrator, and Art&Stitch digitizing software.  The digitizer needs to be by Wacom, mainly due to the better performance and precision.  This ruled out buying Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3, which instead has a digitizer called N-Trig.  I also wanted an Intel Processor, and my Operating System (OS) could be anything between 7-8.1, since Windows 10 isn’t out yet.

www.carlabarrett.com

I looked at all the current offerings, and trust me, there wasn’t all that many offerings which met my art and design needs.  I could have spent anywhere between $1-3K, but then decided to try something that I recommend to students in my Tablet Design classes.  That is to buy a slightly older, discontinued, highly rated,Tablet Convertible PC for a fraction of the original price.

So I went for it!!  The Tablet PC Convertible I bought has all the specs that my Fujitsu T902 had, but instead is a fraction of the price at $659 US.  I purchased a new, discontinued Lenovo Thinkpad x230.   Since I bought it from a reputable retailer, if I do not like it, I can easily return it.

Watch for my upcoming review.  It is supposed to ship to me in a few days.  Free shipping, even.  If this works out, I will have an affordable option to recommend for students.  🙂  Hugs from Carla

Swirly Texture

barbbirdYesterday, I posted this bird, a gift from my friend, Barb.  Someone asked me about the quilted design underneath the bird, so I thought I would share this simple freehand quilting design- with easy step-by-step directions for the beginning machine quilter.  Remember to practice by drawing it out numerous times until you are comfortable doing it.

how-to by Carla Barrett

how-to by Carla Barrett

 

Here is how nice it looks when quilted up:

Carla Barrett

Carla Barrett

Happy Quilting!  Carla

10 Ways to Create With a Tablet (for Quilters)

10waystabletMy “Digital Quilts” have created lots of interest lately, so I thought I would share 10 ways to create with a Tablet.  This technique is not just for Quilters, it is also perfect for Zen Doodlers, Embroidery artists, and anyone who likes to create.

For the examples shown in this post, you will need a Tablet capable of running Photoshop Elements (PSE), or similar program.  This means that the tablet you use can be a Wacom plug-in type of tablet, a Tablet PC, or a Tablet Slate.  If you have an iPad or Android tablet that uses “Apps,” then watch for a future post dedicated to creating with this type of tablet.  My tablet also has a stylist pen, which I highly recommend.

10 Ways to Create With a Tablet:

1planawcquilt1. Plan out a Whole-cloth Digital Quilt.   This is very rewarding and creative task to do with your tablet and only takes a fraction of time required to make a fabric quilt.  For example, I made the design shown above in about 15 minutes.  It just makes sense to save time planning your design out digitally rather than draw it out on paper or fabric.

Tablets, along with Photoshop Elements, are the perfect tools to draw, copy & paste design in quilt sections in order to make the entire quilt.   Did I mention that creating digital quilts this way is fun, too?

2wholeclothcolor2. Create a Colored Whole-cloth Digital Quilt.

Using a photo editing program like Photoshop Elements, you can quickly color the  whole-cloth quilt.  Best to work out your quilt color combinations digitally rather than start coloring or painting the fabric, only to discover you dislike your color scheme.

Above is an example of what I colored digital quilt looks like.  Here is another colored digital quilt from a recent blog post:

Tablet Quilt by Carla Barrett

Tablet Quilt by Carla Barrett

 

3.  Experiment with Quilt Color Hues/Saturation.  Experimentation with Hues/Tones is very easy to do with a Tablet and takes hardly no time at all to do using a software program like PSE.  Here are 3 different colorways for the quilt shown under #2:

3hues

?'4. Design Your Quilt- Both Pieced and Applique Quilts.

You can also use your tablet to visually design your quilt top.  This method works for both pieced quilts and applique ones.  For instance, after my trip to the South Pacific, I designed this applique quilt with an island flair (shown on the left).

 

 

Below is a collaborative quilt design created with my friend, Lori.  We call it “Hairy Leg Quilt,” because I quilted hair in each block.  This example shows you how the design concept completed with my tablet, and the photo of the finished quilt block.

 

4designyourquilt

 

5. Plan Your Machine Quilting Design.  I have been drawing on quilt photos over the last decade with my tablet in order to plan out what I want to quilt before starting the quilt.

5quiltingdesignThe digital quilting plan becomes my visual road map for the overall design.  This is most helpful since stand-up quilters only work on small sections of the quilt during the quilting process.  It is easy to forget what you quilted at the top of the quilt when you get to the bottom border.

6panto6. Make a Pantograph or Edge-to-Edge design. 

In quilting, we call an edge-to-edge design which is similar across the quilt sandwich a “pantograph” design.   Here is a sample pantograph design drawn with my Tablet:

 

7tracedesign7. Trace a Design to use as a Motif.
A Tablet is also useful for tracing a copyright free image from a clip art book, or from the web.  This is especially useful for quilting themed quilts.  You can also take a picture of any object, or fabric and trace that design, too.  In my example, I took a stock retro image for an Astro themed quilt, traced it, then edited to make it more continuous for quilting.

8practicedrawing

 

8. Practice Drawing Freehand Quilting Designs.  Practice makes perfect, if we take the time to learn and draw new designs.

If you can draw it, you can quilt it, is one of my philosophies.

I use my Tablet to practice new motifs and quilting fills before freehand quilting them out.  Once again, the tablet wins hands down for convenience.

 

9. Create Zen Doodle Designs.  Many fiber artists are combining zen doodling with fabric to create interesting and cool art quilts.  This is another task where the Tablet wins out over paper.  If you slip and make an oops, you simply click the “undo” button and re-draw.  It is also a great way to use all your fabric quilting fill designs, too.  Here are 2 examples- a heart and a birdy head:9zendoodle

colorinspiration

b981c636164529fe75c19fdc540dbd4a10.  Easily Chose Color Palettes For Quilts and Other Projects.

I found this photo of Rarotonga, Cook Island online, and loved the colors.

So I created this custom palette (see below) using my tablet and PSE.  In PSE, you sample color using the eyedropper tool.  This is very easy to do.

colorpalette

 

Next step is to audition it on a quilt or whole cloth quilt design.  You want to experiment ahead of time to ensure you like the colors before putting time and energy into the quilt.

Below is what the quilt might look like using this palette.  If I wanted to change a color, then it is easy to do.

10example copy

 

These are my favorite 10 ways I use my Tablet PC and PSE together in my work.

I hope you have enjoyed a glimpse into a few of the wonderful things you can do with modern tablet technology combined with quilting.   Part of the photos and ideas are from my Tablet Design Class for Quilters.  Please note that if you live in Australia, I will be teaching this class in person at the AU Machine Quilting Festival in October, 2014.

Author of this post is Carla Barrett, a fiber, quilt and digital artist from Northern California.  Carla owns at least 6 or 7 types of tablets, and is considering her next tablet purchase. 🙂

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

 

 

 

Digital Quilts

Whenever I have a free moment, I like to get out my tablet PC and draw class samples.  In this case, I was drawing digital quilt examples for a class I am teaching in AU later in the year.

For technology minded blog readers, I drew and colored the following quilts in Photoshop Elements using my Fujitsu tablet convertible:

digital quilt by Carla Barrett

digital quilt by Carla Barrett

 

What is nice about Photoshop CS or PSE, is that with a 20 second adjustment, you may audition different color options for your quilt:

Digital Quilt by Carla Barrett

Digital Quilt by Carla Barrett

Digital Quilt by Carla Barrett

Digital Quilt by Carla Barrett

Here is another digital quilt design that I made, too:

digital quilt by Carla Barrett

digital quilt by Carla Barrett

Off to the quilt studio now….  Have fun creating!  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