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:


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:


I also used my Scroll-Heart Design in other areas on the quilt, too:


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

Carla Purse

Thought I would show you a purse I made awhile back.  This is a variation from a past Lori and Carla Creative Adventure Week.  My friend, Lori, showed me how to make this bag, and I have made several over the years.

bag by Carla Barrett

bag by Carla Barrett


This bag was made on a DSM machine, but you could make it with a stand up quilting system like a longarm.  This is one of those fun projects that just make you happy to look at.  🙂   Happy sewing!  Carla

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:


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

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

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:


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:


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


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


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


Embroidered Cartoon

Good Day!  I thought I would share an embroidered cartoon that Vicki Freeman completed.  Vicki has a website called and a blog of the same name.

What makes this embroidery special?  I will let you see for yourself:

Anyone notice my cartoon in the above picture? The name of this cartoon is “Slimy Machine Quilting Pickup Lines.”  LOL

Vicki wanted to do this embroidery and so she contacted me to obtain my permission.  I thought her project sounded fun, so I said yes.  Thanks, Vicki, for sending me a picture!  Fun project!  LOL

Hugs, Carla

Sneak Peek- Kimono Quilt

I finished the kimono quilt today for Barb!  Here is a sneak peek picture revealing part of the quilt:

This quilt is a nice blend of freehand, ruler work and a tiny part of a stencil, plus my pattern board circle.   Here’s a hint: see this design below?

The flower is actually created by using a circle pattern board for the round parts, then sketching in the interior flower using Crayola chalk.  For the outside petals, which appear uniform, I cut my own stencil using fun foam and scissors.  Again, the petals were premarked with chalk to give a more uniform appearance.

I will ask Barb if I may share more pictures on the blog.  She has already seen these pics, so I have not spoiled her surprise.  I finished this quilt with one day to spare!!  How is that to working to deadlines?

If you want to see this quilt in person, it will be on public display at the Folsom Quilt & Fiber  Show beginning February 11-13, 2011.  After the show, this quilt will belong to a private collector

Class Registration and other items…

I decided to take a few minutes and come up for air!  I have been busy registering students for my next online class that begins on Monday, October 18th.  I am happy to report that registration has been a complete success!

The demographics for this class is  a wonderful cross section of both sit down machine quilters and people in business with stand up quilting systems.  It is a nice mix of quilters from around the US, plus several students from Australia, Germany, England,  and Canada.   Students have been very upbeat and positive about taking my class, too.  We will have a good time.

Class starts on October 18, 2010 and lasts 3 weeks.  For more info, just click my class button above my Header art above.


What else have I been up to?    I went thrift store hunting and scored more designer clothes for my fall wardrobe.  All for $1.50 per top!  I love a bargain, plus it just makes sense in this economy to save wherever you can.  Also came home with lots of grandkids toys to add to my collection.  Jack and Kate have more toys here than at home, I think.  LOL

Been sailing on my boat, S/V Sea Glass, a few times.  Sailing has become the highlight of my weekend time with Joe.  It has been 90- degrees, so it is still bathing suit weather here in Northern California.

Spent babysitting time with Jack and Kate.  They are so cute and fun to be around!  I love being a grandmother!

Preparing for Fall class season in the local stores.  I am teaching a wide variety of classes here in Northern CA-  an Autumn Leaves quilt, my slash therapy quilt, 3 purse classes, and yes, an adorned fabric bowl class.  More details to follow…

What have YOU been up to?  Hugs, Carla

WIP & Designs

Hello, been a few days since I posted, so thought I would show you what I am up to.

I do have a new quilt on my frame that I am part way through.  Today, I decided I do  not like my border design for this quilt, so I will take the time to unstitch the area, aka “frogging a quilt.”  It will take me many hours, but the final result will be worth it.

Then, I am in the midst of making some new class samples using current fabrics.  First up is my slash Therapy Quilt, I have finished the body of the quilt shown here:

The photo is a bit misleading, right now, the border stops at the navy dot fabric.  The finished border will be pieced and more interesting.  Here is this quilt in a different colorway:

My next project is a cool purse that has been in my head for years.  I need to hunt for the right fabric to create it.  Here is my working sketch design:

I also want to re-design this purse from years ago that I started with my friend, Lori:

Next WIP is getting my new class website together.  That is coming along nicely.  I am still on schedule for my Fall QW class.  I plan to announce the dates soon.  If you are already on my mailing list here  or the list at the QW Yahoo Group, then you should expect an announcement first.

If you want to get on my list, just leave a comment on my Class page.

Enjoy your week!!  Hugs, Carla

Purse for Linda

I thought I would give you a sneak peek into a purse I made for Linda James.  Linda was the door prize winner in a class earlier this year and this was what I made for her:

I learned to make this purse from Lori during one of our Creative Week Adventures.  This is where we get together for a week and just create.

Here is a shot peeking down:

See the pretty flower?    Anyway, I love this pattern, so a shout out thanks to Lori!

Linda, if you are reading this, I plan to mail it off tomorrow.

So, what creative goodness have you been up to?

Hugs, Carla

Feathered Fibers Items Revealed!

I travel tomorrow,  Mother’s Day,  for my classes I’m teaching at International Machine Quilting Showcase held in Overland Park, KS.

I decided to bring some FeatheredFibers items with me,  let me show you my very first items that I am offering.  My favorite items are the embroidered machine quilting work aprons.  There is one design for chicken fans and one design with my longarm logo.  One says “Longarm Quilter” and the other “Artistic Quilter.”   After all, if you machine quilt, you are an artistic quilter!:

Then there is a messenger bag for all- including those Quilt Whispering students who wish to pack your tablets and laptops.  Here is one embroidered with my longarm logo:

Here is another must have- an embroidered zipper front, sweatshirt with your choice of two embroidered designs.  One is a chicken and one is a longarm:

Here are some tote bags to carry home all those purchases you are bound to get:

Plus, use these in public and I bet quilters will approach you.  Great way to promote your home business!

I also have t-shirts, too, with a variety of designs.   This is my first offerings… I also have future plans to feature full cartoons on bags, other items, plus framable prints, cards and calender.

Thanks to Dennis & Dory Miller for thier hard work with embroidery and screenprinting the items for me.  They were wonderful to interact with and I can highly recommend thier business!

Look for me and my items at MQS!  One way to track me down is to visit my classroom before and after my classes.    Hope to see you there!  Carla