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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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

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

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.

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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

 

 

Freeform Beaded Project Started

OK, here is the start of the freeform beading project I am creating for my blog prize winner.  She chose “jewel tone” color palette and I started by creating a 5 color jewel tone “bead soup” mixture.  Here is a photo revealing the first 3 bead soup mixtures created:

I extended the above color palette, and you can see the direction the project is taking:

(click for larger image)

I envision a lovely jewel tone blended necklace, with colors blending from one color to another.  I will continue to add more freeform beading until the main part of the necklace is completed.

The side straps will be more structured, perhaps in a darker color palette so that the focal point is the center section I show in the above photo.   It helps if you are able to “see” the finished project in your head.

I hope you are enjoying the progress of this necklace and seeing the various stages.  I may decide to make myself a second freeform necklace to wear, too.

Take care, Carla

Bead Soup for Freeform Beading

I thought I would share my process for creating a freeform necklace.  This necklace will be for Jeanne, who recently won a Feathered Fibers Blog Challenge.  I asked Jeanne to choose the color palette she wanted and she picked “jewel-tone” palette.

First step is to organize the beads into 5 jewel-tone colors and make a “bead soup” or collection of similar colored beads.  Here are the first three colors- teal, blue and purple:

(Click for larger image)

For this project, I will start with these 3 colors and create freeform beaded sections using each bead soup shown above.  I plan to share more info later on, so stay posted.  You may also subscribe to my blog so you do not miss the progression of this project.

Anyway, I may extend the palette into the magenta range and adding green-ish blue bead soups.  I thought I would just start with the first three colors and see how the piece evolves and whether I keep the palette simpler.

I often work this way, starting somewhere and adding to it until it “feels” right.  This is a very intuitive way to create, but it seems to work for me.  I would like to know what creative projects you all are working on, too.  Please leave a comment and link, if you wish to share.  Thanks!  Carla

Carla’s Free Blog Giveaway!

Having reached the first 1 Million visitors to Feathered Fibers earlier this year, I wanted to offer a free blog  giveaway.  Not only a giveaway, but a custom giveaway!  The winner will have their choice of one of the following, created just for them by me!

Prize Option 1: Peyote Bracelet- you pick the main color!  Here is an example:

or, Prize Option 2: Freeform scarf or bowl- again, you pick the main color!  See examples below:

        

or, Prize Option 3: Custom cartoon- created for you, matted and ready for a 8×10 frame!

or, Prize Option 4: Freeform Beaded Necklace- you choose the main color!  Below are examples of a freeform necklace and a freeform beaded pendant.

 

Entering this Free Giveaway is easy as 1-2-3 :

1. Post a comment under this blog post if you are entering (so I may keep track of  your entry) Share what prize you would want if you win?  If you want, you can copy any photos of the prizes if you would like to share them on your blog. Be sure to leave me your blog address, so I may verify that you followed my 1-2-3 rules.

2. Post a link back to my blog at either https://featheredfibers.wordpress.com or http://www.carlabarrett.com using my birdie art (below):

  (to copy, just right click and save as)

3. Last step- Post on your blog that Carla Barrett is having a free blog giveaway  and that Carla is holding another Quilt Whisperer Class on January 9, 2012, a creative class on quilting design for all levels of quilters.

That’s all you need to do to enter!  I get some exposure for my blog and class- and you may win a custom prize!  Contest ends on noon (PST) January 7, 2012, and the winner will be decided by a random number generator and immediately notified.  I will also announce the winner on my blog here, too.

Please note that the winning item selected will be made custom, so obviously, it will take me time to create. I do promise to be as timely as possible.

Good luck to you all!

Happy Holidays from Carla