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

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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

 

 

 

Freeform Beaded Necklace

I just finished this beadwoven necklace last night:

freeform beaded necklace by Carla Barrett

freeform beaded necklace by Carla Barrett

In case you are a beader, I used several techniques to create this piece- freeform peyote, ladder stitch, right angle weave (RAW) stitch, fringe, tubular peyote and RAW stitches.

I first started creating the freeform pendant section, which first looked like this:

ffpendantsm

I next created the tubular RAW necklace strap, then decided that the focal point of the pendant was too weak, so then I decided to add some beaded Swarovski rivoli bling as my focal point:

freeform beaded necklace by Carla Barrett

freeform beaded necklace by Carla Barrett

Now I am planning my next one- a class sample beaded piece for my Freeform Beading and Quilting class.

Teaching in AU in October 2014!

Hello, I thought I would share the wonderful news that I will be traveling to Australia in October, 2014, to teach 7 classes at the Australian Machine Quilting Festival in North Terrace, Adelaide.   I have always wanted to visit Australia, so I was honored to be asked to teach at this event.

Here are the classes offered at this show:

smallestfrog

Avoiding The Oops! Learn what not to do before an oops- or how to fix the most common issues seen in machine quilting if you do.  After a decade of machine quilting, Carla has either made a mistake, repaired one, or seen issues at quilt shows.  This class is for beginning to intermediate machine quilters who want technical information presented in a fun way.

Freeform beaded purse by Carla Barrett

Freeform beaded purse by Carla Barrett

Freeform Beading for Quilters–  Join Carla Barrett for this innovative, exciting, beading embellishment class that introduces you to freeform beading and how to use this stunning technique for all your quilts!  No prior beading experience is necessary, though a pre-class handout on selecting beads, learning two simple stitches and supply list are provided to a create an optional small purse.  Warning!  This technique is very addictive, fun, and can be used to make jewelry to match, too!

Design for the Foothill Guild's Opportunity quilt by Carla Barrett

Design for the Foothill Guild’s Opportunity quilt by Carla Barrett

Quilt Whispering: Design Basics– If you have ever struggled to design a quilt top, then this is the class for you!  Learn Carla Barrett’s unique approach to more easily design any quilt, tips and tricks of designing, locating inspiration, and becoming a more confident machine quilting designer along the way.     Discover why thousands of students have taken the online version of this class to rave reviews!  Registered students may send a quilt top photo to Carla by September 1st, 2014 to be designed personally by her.

By the way, here is a photo where I have executed the above design:

Quilting by Carla Barrett

Quilting by Carla Barrett

Free motion quilting by Carla Barrett

Free motion quilting by Carla Barrett

Freeform Quilting- This class is for all free motion quilters, no matter which machine system you own or your skill level.  Carla teaches her unique method of Freeform Quilting, which can be successfully used as a fast edge-to-edge design, quick border design, or as a unique fill on any quilt.  This technique is also easily adaptable to match other designs used on the quilt, quilt design, or theme.  Come and discover your own freeform quilting style and how to effectively use it in your quilting!

quilting by Carla Barrett

quilting by Carla Barrett

 

Freeform quilting used as a border design for this oak leaf quilt.  Click to see the quilting design in larger format.

fabric crochet by Carla Barrett

fabric crochet by Carla Barrett

Fabric Crochet for Quilters-   Machine quilting and fabric crochet are a perfect combination!  No crochet experience needed for this class in combining quilting and fabric crochet to make a functional and stunning purse.  In addition, Carla will teach you some simple, yet effective embellishment and quilting ideas for finishing your purse.  Many fabrics and fibers can

Fabric crochet purse detail by Carla Barrett

Fabric crochet purse detail by Carla Barrett

be cut or stripped, then used in this project, including hand-dyed, batik, selvages, and recycled clothing.  Pre-class instruction in how to do two basic crochet stitches- the chain stitch and single crochet stitch will be provided to students, as well as how to choose fabric and what to bring!

 

Free Lace scarf by Carla Barrett

Free Lace scarf by Carla Barrett

Mokuba Free Lace Scarf-  Create a cool artsy scarf you can wear the same day!  This is an exciting project class using Mokuba Free Lace water soluble to make a scarf on a domestic machine, with information provided for how to use this product on longarm machines, too.  The techniques you learn are also transferable for creating 3-dimensional sculptures, wearable art, and art quilt embellishments, too!  Carla Barrett will share several methods for working with this unique product to acheive different looks or effects- from sheer to opaque.

Tablet Design Class project by Carla Barrett

Tablet Design Class project by Carla Barrett

Tablet Design Class for Quilters-  Have a Wacom style of tablet or Tablet PC, and want to learn how to design with it?  This course teaches you several methods of using your tablet, along with Photoshop Elements (version 7-current) to create a wide variety of quilting designs.  Carla will show you how to plan and design your quilt top image, draw quilting motifs, pantograph designs, wholecloth quilts, and more using your tablet device* and Photoshop Elements.

Tablet Design Plan by Carla Barrett

Tablet Design Plan by Carla Barrett

 *To register for this class, you will need is one of the following types of tablets:  a Wacom (or similar) brand of plug-in tablet for your laptop, or a Tablet PC (which is a tablet laptop or slate tablet capable of running Photoshop Elements).   Your tablet set-up must have Photoshop 8,9,10, or 11 installed. Please note that this class is not for iPad or Android tablets.  For more info about tablet types, please visit https://featheredfibers.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/buying-a-new-pc-tablet/

If you live in AU, I hope you will attend this show, take one of more of my classes, and come meet me!

Btw, in 2014, I will also be teaching in the midwest MQX, too.  That is info for a later post.  Have fun creating!  Carla

Recycled T-shirt Scarf Tutorial

tshirtscarftutorial

I had an hour of free time last night, so I decided to recycle one of Joe’s old t-shirts and make myself a scarf out of it.  This project was fast, easy, and only took me less than an hour start to finish (not counting the paint drying time).

Supply List:  tshirtsupplylist

 

 

 

Tip: Cut off the t-shirt hem and under the arms as directed in the photo above.  Notice how the t-shirt material curls and rolls as you tear?  You will want to paint on the top side, which may mean you turn the shirt inside out before painting

Once the above items were gathered, I laid down the plastic trash bag to protect my kitchen counter and just started painting.  In the photo below, I used some purple, blue and silver metallic fabric paints.  I work very fast, so it took me only 10 minutes to paint the t-shirt.  Note that I used an inexpensive foam paint brush and some fabric paint I had on hand.

tshirtpaintThe painted t-shirt was then taken outside to my garden faucet.  I scrunched up the shirt and lightly soaked it to blend the paint.  I used my fingers to blend any white areas or would simply rub the damp fabric to saturate the t-shirt fabric.  Here is what my painted fabric looks like after wet blending the paint:

paintanddry

Next, I hung up the fabric outside until dry.  Notice that I left the hem on, knowing I would tear it off later.

tshirthang

Tip: Once your fabric is dry, I recommend you heat set it, depending on your brand of fabric paint.  If you are not sure, go ahead and heat set the fabric to prevent color bleed.

The next step is to cut and tear the fabric into strips.  Here is a helpful illustration to show you visually what I plan to do next:

tshirtscarftearingguidecutstrip

I found that by snipping through the side seam first, then tearing until reaching the other side (about an inch away), you could then use the scissors to cut your t-shirt strips to create a long loop.  Here is another visual for you:

tearstrips

 

Here is what your loop will look like:

tshirtstrip1

To make the t-shirt fabric roll nicely, you just need to stretch it gently.  Here is what my finished strips looked like once I bundled them together and used other rolled t-shirt strips to tie them into a lovely scarf:

tshirtscarf3

At this point, you could embellish your scarf, add beads or tie charms to it.  Braiding some of the strips is another option to try. Really, how you finish it off is up to you.  I used the leftover strips to make dangling bits and for added texture.

If you make one, I would love to see it!  My contact info is above.  Hope you enjoyed this free tutorial.  If so, go ahead and leave me a comment.  Regards, 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

New Images of Fabric Crochet Purses

Lauren also took digital images of my work, too..  I love how she captured detail images of my fabric crochet purses, so I thought I would share some of these with you.    I started crocheting with fabric many years ago- inspired by generations of women who created rag rugs using old clothes for practical reasons.  I remember that the first one I made was during a Lori and Carla Creative Adventure Week, so Lori may have taught me how to crochet with fabric or vice versa.

I have taught my crochet purses/bags as a class many years ago at High Sierra Quilters, and plan to offer this technique, along with my embellishment techniques, in the future as an online eClass:

Some images of my Autumn fabric crochet purse.  The colors in this purse are quite striking and it is an easy beginner project:

crochetbagdetail

Notice how well the fabric has held up over the years.  Below are some embellishment details of the front: crochetbag1

The leaves feel and look like suede, but instead are made with one of my techniques:

crochetbagleaf

Above is the back of the purse.  Her is another color way using different colors:

browncrochetbag

Notice the embellishment flower on the front?  Here is a detail shot of the flower and beaded center:

crochetbrownbagflower

I have also made this bag using spring color fabrics, here is an older image I took many years ago:crochetpurse2

 

Commercial fabric was used in the bag, shown above, and I was starting to experiment with various types of bag closures.

Here is the very first one I made, I used mostly hand-dyed fabrics: crochetpurse

 

 

Anyway, I hope you will consider taking this class when I convert it to become an online class or if I decide to teach it again at quilt stores or shows.  Take care and have fun creating!  Carla