Pixeladies Live Near YOU!

Many of you know  my good friends, The Pixeladies.  Deb Cashatt and Kris Sazaki are amazing artists, authors, and instructors- and they are coming LIVE to a venue near you in 2014.

To refresh your memory about just how cool these two artists are, here is an example of a recent quilt, which was juried into Quilt National this year, appropriately titled, “American Still Life: The Weight of a Nation:”

by The Pixeladies

by The Pixeladies

Check out this wonderful quilt, titled “But What Does It Mean: The Language of Color 3,”  which is on display at Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center until January 5, 2014:

by The Pixeladies

by The Pixeladies

The Pixeladies extensively use Photoshop and technology in their work.   Now you can learn these same skills from them at a workshop.  Can you imagine spending two, three, or four days learning all the great ways you can use Photoshop in your sewing, quilting, and crafting projects –  and with the best two Photoshop instructors available?  Deb and Kris can translate Photoshop speak so you will get the most out of the class.  

The classes are tailored just a bit for each venue, but I’m sure you’ll find a workshop that’s just right for you. Pick from the following classes:

Kona, Hawaii (Feb. 5-7, 2013)  Designing Fabric with Photoshop Elements

New Smyrna Beach, FL (March 12-14, 2014) Photoshop Elements for Fiber Artists and Sewing Enthusiasts

Lake Tahoe, NV   (Nov. 2-7, 2014) Designing Fabric with Photoshop Elements

You can find more details on their website HERE , plus see more of their amazing text quilts, which is a technique unique to The Pixeladies.

Malaysian Batik

One of the side benefits to having a husband who travels internationally for work, is you can beg ask him to bring you back interesting items and fabric.batik3

Recently, he traveled to Penang, Malaysia, and the employees in his group were kind enough to scout out a handmade batik place for Joe to visit.  This is a company that does the traditional art of wax resist printing or painting, then dyeing the fabric to create batik.

First rule of thumb when asking for Malaysian batik is the pronunciation.  Here in the US, we pronounce this work as baa (sound a sheep makes) teak’ (like the wood).  The emphasis is on the second syllable.   In Malaysia, they pronounce it Baa’ (sound a sheep makes) tick (as in tick tock).  The emphasis is on the first syllable.

Once we had the correct pronunciation sorted out, the first few times I asked Joe to bring me back some batik, he picked up the imitation batik made for tourists.  The weave of the cotton was very loose, indicating low thread count per inch.  Also, anything with the words, “Malaysia” or “Penang” printed on it was another indication it was not what I wanted.  The last thing to look for is whether the print goes through to both sides or not.  Batik looks the same front and back due to the dying process.  When you work with fabric for a living, you tend to become fabric snobs and desire good quality materials.

This trip, Joe finally was able to find the real deal.   He didn’t know my taste, but what he brought back was fabulous!  Here is a sneak peek at some of the hand made batik he found:batikred

batik2batik4Now that he knows of a good location for batik in Penang, I will have lots of handmade batik prints in my future direct from the artisans who made it!  I will also educate him on choosing designs… the butterflies are great, but the helmet-looking image is odd not my taste.  (Carla note:  Thanks to wonderful blog readers who correctly informed me that the helmet looking image is in fact a “Wau,”  a type of Malaysian kite.)

Hope you have enjoyed this post about Malaysian batik.  Regards, Carla

Registration Opens on 1/2/13 For Designing Fabric eClass!

Hello from Carla,

I wanted to share that registration for The Pixeladies eClass on  Designing Fabric using Photoshop Elements opens tomorrow!    (Remember, too, that students wanting to repeat this class receive a 50% off invoice.)

Course Description and other information is HERE. Please watch the following How-to video if you need assistance in registering for classes.

To contact me, please click on the Contact link button above.  Thank you, and Happy New Year!

Quilt With Color

I thought I would show my experimental small quilt.   I purchased pigment paints a year ago, and I thought it was time to try them out.  Here are the pictures:

I used pigment powders and have been experimenting with using different mediums.  This brings out the child in me as I carefully paint within the lines.

Off to start my next one now.  Take care, Carla

Info About Next Session of eClasses

Just a quick message to let everyone know about upcoming eClasses I have scheduled for early 2013.

The following 3 class dates will be announced soon:

Quilt Whisperer eClass by Carla Barrett–  This class is all about learning Carla’s unique approach to how to design quilt tops for machine quilting.  Also learn some of Carla’s favorite quilting designs and how to find your own inspiration!

Fabric Design with Photoshop Elements* by The Pixeladies– The Pixeladies teach you how to design fabric for use in your art, art quilts and pieced quilts.

Tablet Design Class* by Carla Barrett- This eClass is jammed pack with methods for how to effectively use your tablet and PSE to design quilts, quilting, quilting motifs, zen doodle and more!

*this eClass has a prerequisite of Beginning Photoshop Elements eClass OR basic knowledge of Photoshop Elements or PS CS.

Side note- I decided to take a class break for this holiday season 2012 so teachers and students may enjoy their holiday season!  Keep watching for when I finish scheduling the 2013 eClass dates!

Thanks, Carla

StepOnPins.com: Registration Starts Tomorrow!

I am pleased to report that the new website, www.StepOnPins.com is ready for registration starting tomorrow for 2 Pixeladies classes.  Please keep reading for more details and links:

Classes at StepOnPins.com

Introduction to Photoshop Elements for Fiber Artists and Sewing Enthusiasts

Instructor: The Pixeladies

Registration begins on September 19, 2011.  Class begins on October 10-30, 2011.  Students to have access to all course material until May 1, 2011.

Through online lessons, videos, and webinars (real-time online meetings), you will learn the tools that allow you to perform magic with Photoshop. We will focus on selection tools, their function, and how to use them. We will introduce you to the wonderful world of layers. Working with layers is much easier than getting out the seam ripper!  Click here for more information

(Note from Carla: This class fulfills the prerequisite for my long awaited  Tablet Design Class learning how to draw on quilts using PSE and a tablet.  This is the last time I am offering this Beginning PSE class before my Tablet Design Class.  I will be finally scheduling the tablet class for early December.)

Designing Fabric with Photoshop Elements

Instructor: The Pixeladies

Registration begins on September 19, 2011.  Class begins on October 31-November 20, 2011.

Designing Fabric with Photoshop Elements!  Want to learn how to turn a photo into a border print, design fabric for that special occasion outfit, or create a unique fabric panel for a memorable quilt? In this course, we will work with filter galleries, blend modes, layer styles, and adjustment layers to help you go from ordinary to extraordinary. Click here for more information

Course Requirements: Student must know how to use the basic tools of Photoshop Elements and layers or have taken the beginning PSE class above. Consider taking the introductory course if you need to refresh your knowledge of PSE.


For more info, please post a comment or visit the new class website at www.steponpins.com.  The quiltwhisper.com forum will remain up and active.  Thank you, Carla Barrett

Sketches and Dresses

Thanks for all the comments regarding my last post about copyright and people who help themselves to my art work  This does tell me that people like my work, perhaps I should offer them for sale as cards, framed art, calendar, etc.?

Here is a quick sketch that I do not mind anyone “borrowing.”  LOL

Some days, I just have to draw, you know?

Creative wise, I think I will design a dress for my granddaughter, Kate.  My dear daughter-in-law showed me a pillowcase dress she was thinking of making, but I think I can improve on the pattern and make my own variation.  Here is my sketch:

So that means I need some new fabric.  I have a huge fabric stash, but I can’t bring myself to use fabric from the stash.  After all, what if I need them for something else- like a quilt?  LOL  Does anyone else think this way?

If my Kate dress comes out cute, I will write a tutorial.  I haven’t written a tutorial in awhile, so I guess it is time.  Off to the fabric store now!

Carla Tip: Quilting Design

Here is a good tip for beginning to intermediate freehand machine quilters:   Look for creative ways to fill blocks and spaces evenly by expanding the motif or fabric design into the blank space.

I was thinking about this today as I was quilting a Japanese theme quilt.  I had a kimono block to design, and I was pondering all the options I had to quilt the space:  1) I could quilt a unique fill in the space, 2) I could use bits and parts of a stencil, 3) borrow a texture quilting used elsewhere in the quilt, or 4) quilt the space by quilting along the fabric design.

Since this is a special memory quilt and the antique kimono fabric was fussy cut, I decided to go with #4 and quilt along with the fabric design.  Here is the first block:

Notice how I quilted in faux branches  to fill the space more evenly?    This next block uses different fabric, so I needed to custom fill the blank spaces with a different quilting lines and design:

Look closely to see that I quilted in faux cherry blossoms and branches, also a butterfly.   By quilting it this way, it makes the blocks more interesting- in addition to filling the space more evenly.

For uniformity, I designed and quilted the green and orange parts of the blocks the same throughout the quilt.  This design frames the block nicely and provide interesting texture.

Note that I still need to SID around both the square block and the kimono to finish and polish the block.  I do this as a last step.

Thanks to Barb (and Sally) for letting me use their quilt to illustrate this tip.  I do hope I have described it adequately for you.  Be sure to post a question if you have one.   Regards, Carla

Carla’s Etsy Find!

On my facebook account, which is listed by my name, Carla Barrett, I had a recent request to be friends from another artist, Puteri Noor.  I accepted, then went to view her work.

Puteri live in Malaysia and does wonderful, stunning silk and batik fabric paintings!  I will admit I loved them so much, I bought 4 pieces from her Etsy shop.   Here is a sampling:

and another:

The colors are so rich!  Here is another silk art:

I visited Puteri’s  Etsy store this morning and noticed that she is currently sold out.  However, be sure to look at her listing of textile art and you can contact her to make a custom piece to add to your quilting.

If you do this, tell her Carla sent you.  🙂   I love to showcase other artists and let my readers see such a rich variety of women creating art in our world.

WIP Thursday

Yesterday, my friend, Marge, came over so I could quilt her king comforter.  This has not just one, but two thick designer fabrics in the quilt sandwich.  It took two people to wrestle the quilting- which basically just  follows the pattern.

It came out looking pretty  good…here it is hanging on my dining table:



and the bottom side of the quilt:


This quilt also has another distinction: being the first quilt so big and fluffy that I hit the outside perimeter of the top roller and still move the machine.  So, for the machine quilters reading this, do you know how I resolved this dilemma??  LOL  I want to see how many problem solve like I do.


Current quilt:

I loaded Nancy’s quilt, another wedding ring quilt:


Here is a close up of the batik pattern:


Nancy Gwyn is a lovely dear friend who lives in North Carolina.  She is in her 80’s and has the sweetest spirit  and dear personality.  We first met years ago in a small quilt group that meets in Rescue, CA each week.  Anyway, Nancy is a role model and I sure hope I’m able to piece and quilt when I’m as young as Nancy!  BTW, here is the Carolina Lily quilt,  the Happy Quilt,  and the Finished Quilt that I’ve previously quilted for Nancy and blogged about.

Anyway, I’ll take pictures as I quilt this.


Coming Soon…. an Easter Story about Parsnip Pete!!  Hugs, Carla