When Creativity Hits…

Do you ever get the urge to create- and just have to create something, anything?  I sure do, and sometimes this happens if I go too long in between projects.

This time, I knew to act while the craving desire was at an all time high.  So I pulled out a fast project, a package of Mokuba Free Lace water soluble, and loaded it on my longarm table.  I took photos of all the steps, but here is what my finished scarf looked like:

Mokuba Scarf by Carla Barrett

Mokuba Scarf by Carla Barrett

This scarf looks fabulous on, and I may sew on a beaded closure and add some beaded bling towards the ends.  It is very soft, too.

Love fast and easy projects- especially when you just have to create something!  Hugs, Carla


Earlier this year, I was approached to teach on a brand new creative website called iCreateFlix.com.   After researching the company, I knew I wanted to develop classes, patterns, e-books and tutorials for them.  c50854

Now that I am back home, it is time to get busy with class development!  I promise to let you know when I release any classes, patterns, ebook, or other products.  I have a list of classes I want to teach, but if there is an eClass subject you would like to see from me, I am certainly open to suggestions.  Leave me a comment with your opinions!

Next Post: Studio Tour of French Polynesian Quilt Tifaifai Artist, Miri Vidal.

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!

Molly’s Quilt

I finished Molly’s quilt for her awhile back, but thought I would share the photos here, too.

This was a adorable garden theme quilt, designed by the mother/daughter team, Arlene and Melissa at The Quilt Company.  My friend, Molly Evangelisti pieced the quilt together, and as usual, her piecing skills are excellent!

The name of the pattern is Thyme to Water, and if you are interested in obtaining this pattern, just click on the link above. I knew that Molly wanted to enter this quilt in her guild show, so I did some nice quilting for her. Carla Note: Molly entered this quilt in the CA State Fair, where it earned a first place ribbon.

First, an overall view of the quilt on my table:

quilt pieced by Molly Evangelisti and quilted by Carla Barrett

quilt pieced by Molly Evangelisti and quilted by Carla Barrett

Another view:

quilting by Carla Barrett

quilting by Carla Barrett

quilting by Carla Barrett

quilting by Carla Barrett

Last photo, a close up of my block design you can purchase at Digitech Patterns:

pattern by Carla Barrett carried by Digitech Patterns

pattern by Carla Barrett carried by Digitech Patterns











Block design by Carla Barrett and available at www.digitechpatterns.com

Block design by Carla Barrett and available at http://www.digitechpatterns.com

Hope you have enjoyed this peek at Molly’s quilt.  Now, your turn!  What have you been up to?  Happy Friday, Carla

Additional Quilting Designs

Thanks to Jessica at Digitech Design, for offering an exclusive line of Carla Barrett digitized quilting designs available now online.  Here are some of the first designs you can purchase:


For those blog friends who have computerized quilting or embroidery machines, if you act soon, all new designs at Digitech Designs are half off (50% off) for a very short time.  Just click the link and you may find my designs on the new page or listed under the designer name.  I am under “C” for Carla Barrett.  🙂

I have LOTS of quilting designs being released this year, and I am drawing more designs all the time to send to Jessica.   I will be placing a button on my blog sidebar that will link directly to my designer page on Digitech Designs.

What designs would YOU like to see offered in the future?  I would love to hear from you.  Hugs, Carla

Wholecloth Quilt- WIP

Here is my latest WIP (work-in-progress), a wholecloth quilt created using digitized designs:

Of course, the next step is to freehand quilt some fills, which will be the finishing touch for this quilt.  Oh yes, the outside border, too.

I used designs from four designers- center is from Ronda Beyer, triangle design by One Song Needle Art,  border 1 by Lisa Calle, corner motif by Kim Brunner, and outside border by Lisa Calle.  As you can see, I am using my latest tool, (albeit an expensive one) my Intelliquilter, (IQ) and my designing skills with the IQ is improving.  This is actually a trial piece before I do a larger project.

I finished the quilted background for my Autumn quilt.  This is the background layer and I will be adding a top tree layer using fibers, beads and what not.  Here is the overall quilted background, (freehand guided) followed by a close up picture which shows the texture quilting:

That’s all from my studio today.  Happy creating!


Featured Quilter: Desley Maisano

I first met Desley Maisano when she took my online Quilt Whisper Class last year.  In this class, students send me quilt top photo to design- and I suggest one or more ways for how I might approach and design the quilt.

Desley, who is an amazing machine quilter from Australia, sent me a photo of this lovely quilt pieced and applique by Anthea Bradley, so I might suggest a quilting design for her.  Here is Anthea’s quilt:

I darkened the photo and then drew my suggested design for Desley, shown below:

Fast forward to last week.  Desley wrote me to share that she had quilted this quilt for Anthea and wanted to share how it turned out.  She also added her own design elements to this quilt, and the results are frankly, stunning!  Love the changes, Desley!  Here is a sneak peek photo, borrowed with permission from her blog, Addicted To Quilts.  To see more photos, please click here.

She did an excellent job on this quilting, don’t you think?  Excellent execution and I predict lots of ribbons for Anthea and Desley for their collaborative quilt.  I hope you will leave a comment for Anthea and Desley to read- or hop on over to Desley’s blog and leave her a comment there.



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

Inktense Fabric Paint Tutorial

Santa brought me a large pack of Inktense pencils by Derwent, so I decided to stitch a block design using my new IQ, and then paint it.  This is a work in progress (WIP), but I thought I would share a tutorial.

What you need:

Inktense set of pencils (comes in different sized packs.  I own a 36 set and a 24 set)

Small fabric brushes (bought at Michaels.  Read the label as it will say it is used on fabric)

Stitched quilted fabric design (I used a digital design by Karen McTavish, but you could stitch a stencil or any design.)

Fabric or Textile medium- I used 2 types on the sample- Aloe Vera gel and Liquidtex Fabric Medium diluted 50/50% with water (see baby jar in photo above).  Jo Sonja also makes a fabulous medium for use on fabric, some with added sheen.  (Google “Jo Sonya” to buy online).

Pencil sharpener

_________________________________   Let’s Begin!

Step One:  Stitch your fabric first.  This is a quilted project, so use any high quality fabric.  I used whatever I had on hand.  For the design portion, you may use any design available- either hand-drawn, digitized or a stencil.  My sample uses a Karen McTavish design stitched out on my A1 brand of longarm quilting machine using an Intelliquilter (IQ).

Step Two: Using your diluted fabric/textile medium or aloe vera gel, carefully saturate the quilted fabric design where you plan to paint.  I discovered through trial and error that the diluted fabric medium worked best and dried less stiff than either the full strength fabric medium or the aloe vera gel.  Use what works best for you.

Step Three:  While your quilted fabric area is wet, carefully color in using the Inktense pencils.  I used 2-3 colors on my sample.

Step Four:  Last step, you dip your brush in the diluted fabric/textile medium and carefully blend the Inktense colors.  Go slow, and strive for accuracy.  Once dry, the Inktense is permanent, according to the manufacturer.  In the future, I plan to test this by washing and drying a test sample, then comparing to my control sample.

That’s all you do!  Very easy, beginner project.  Here is the finished piece:

This is just a test sample, so I think I will keep it green/white, then frame it for my studio.  In the future, one of my goals is to do a wholecloth quilt design.

Final Note:  In the spirit of giving credit where credit is due, the first artist to color a quilt (that I am aware of) is Helen Stubbings from Australia.  Helen has been most generous to share her Colorque technique with others, many who now show and teach across the US.  You can purchase Helen’s book from Amazon here.

Another shout out to Sherry Rogers-Harrison, who uses a variety of products in her Inklique work to color quilts.  I hope you will visit both websites if you have enjoyed my free tutorial.

Regards, Carla

Reorganized Studio!

It has been awhile since I shared my studio, so here are some pictures for you.  First up is the view from the door showing my longarm machine table, thread is below organized in bins:

Next is a long view of my Ikea bookcase storage units:

Now for some close-up views:

Shoe organizer make great excess storage:

Here is how I organize some of my fabric.  Yes, I even have a tutorial for how to wrap the fabric:

More Ikea Storage Bookcases:

Next is a view of my desk:

Here is a picture of my stitched and painted collage piece (from a DJ Pettit class):

In this next view, I love my ikea plant hangers, a perfect place for items I use all the time:

Notice my beading organizer case?  Here is a close-up.  I have lots of interesting stuff waiting to be worked on:

This is from TJMaxx:

(click for large view)

I must admit that I have a lot of things to look at in my studio.  I like to collect items from other artists, too.  Happy Holidays to you and yours!