Happy New Year!

Home now after 3 trips in 3 months!  October, I was in Australia.  Went sailing in November in the British Virgin Islands.  December was spent spending quality holiday time with my Dad and Doris in Missouri.  I am a bit traveled out, I do say!

Example of Digital Quilt drawn in Photoshop Elements

Example of Digital Quilt drawn in Photoshop Elements

In the meantime, the power cord on my Fujitsu tablet PC was detached by accident by a cute little boy named Ethan.  That means for the first time in over 10 years, I am without a tablet.  Do I hear a gasp?  🙂  So now I am on the hunt for a replacement tablet PC, and I need to have my Fujitsu repaired, too.   Promise to write a post about my research for those interested in this subject once I look at all current offerings.

10waystabletOnce my Tablet PC is replaced, I plan to announce another Quilt Whisper design class.  I may even hold a brand new class, too.  Stay tuned as I will announce it here, on FaceBook, and through my mailing list.  If you are not one my mailing list, please write a comment indicating you wish to be added.  I promise to never share your email with anyone AND will not send out junk mail to you.

Here’s to a wonderful and creative 2015!!  Hugs, Carla

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Designing Quilts- Jill’s Applique Quilt

Jill Applique quilt "Before"

Jill Applique quilt “Before”

Thought I would begin a new series on designing quilts for machine quilters, so let’s start with a lovely applique quilt by my friend, Jill.  Jill Rixman, the owner/teacher of the applique pattern business called Artfully Applique, is truly a master applique artist.  She needed a quilt to showcase patterns for sell in her booth at quilt shows, so she brought her quilt to me.

When I first started quilting over 10 years ago, Jill came to me with the first quilt that I quilted for her.  That quilt still hangs in her booth, receives many compliments for her and apparently, sells many patterns.  As a machine quilter, the  first topic to consider is the purpose of the quilt- which in this instance is to sell Jill’s applique patterns.

In keeping with my 2014 goal of drawing (and then digitizing) custom designs for every quilt I work on, I first needed to divide up the quilt into distinct design spaces.  For Jill’s quilt, this was simple.  You have 2 sizes of applique blocks, the inner circle and the negative space between the circle and block.  Then you have the  background fabric space, which will be further divided for interest and to draw the eye inward towards the center.

Let’s start with the center block, which is the focal point of this quilt. Here is my design choice for the center block outside of the circle:

carlablock2jilljillframe2 copy

Since this is my main design, all the other designs in the quilt will relate to this design to ensure quilting design cohesion.

Jill has chosen my circular fill for the inside of each circle and around the applique.  I gave Jill several fill options and this is the one she prefers.  Let’s move onto the small applique block design now.

For the smaller blocks, I wanted to design something similar, yet able to fit inside the smaller dimensions.  This is what I eventually came up with:

carlablock1jillNotice that both designs frame the applique circles.  By choosing to quilt frame designs in the block, this showcases the importance of the applique work.  I will also pick a thread color that will blend into the lighter spaces.  This is because I do not want the quilting to compete with the applique work, instead, I want the quilting to complement.

Obviously, I will also stitch in the ditch the blocks.

Let’s talk about the proposed background design.   To draw the eye inward towards the center, I will add some linear ray lines with freeform fill.  This will provide some nice texture in the background.  Plus I can also add small motifs into the freeform quilting, including butterflies, flowers, leaves etc. along the quilt’s theme.  Once again, I will pick thread that matches the background fabric, I want to provide interest and texture, not compete with the block applique and piecing.

carlablock1My frame designs are actually rather clean and simple.  The reason for this relates to the owner’s quilting design preference.  Jill does not like too much quilting, so I wanted to respect this.

Here are a few sketch designs which did not make the cut, including my favorite one on the left  I think Jill would like this design if I removed the cross-hatching fill in detail.

carlaframe1The next design was discarded as looking as too “alien” like in the corners.  LOL!  Don’t believe me?  Look below:

alienquiltdesign

This gives you an idea for how I design for a quilt- and my thought process as I get ready to quilt it.  I have Jill’s quilt loaded, and will start it after Thanksgiving.

Let me know if you have any questions.  Just leave me a comment and I will write back.

Happy Quilting!  Carla

 

 

Teddie Quilt Back Reveal….

Here is the back side of Teddie’s quilt.  Why only the back side?  I do not want to spoil the surprise for her.  🙂 Anyhow, I love the back side of this quilt.  Looks like a whole cloth design, doesn’t  it?

Postscript from Carla- notice an small empty space on photo 2?  See, it happens to us all.  You go over the quilt carefully, and you still miss a small motif!   Will only take me a minute to quilt, but thought you would like my confession!  🙂

 

Quilting by Carla Barrett

Quilting by Carla Barrett

Teddiecenterback

quilting by Carla Barrett

quilting by Carla Barrett

Quilting by Carla Barrett

Quilting by Carla Barrett

quilting by Carla Barrett

quilting by Carla Barrett

Work-in-Progress Quilt

Thought I would show you a sneak peek of the quilt I am currently working on.  This will be a special quilt for someone in Montana:

Quilting and design by Carla Barrett

Quilting and design by Carla Barrett

You can see where I am quilting in line texture fill on the outer border.  This will finish the edge off nicely and will help to ensure the quilt will hang straight when I am done.   The design was drawn for this quilt, as my latest thing is to create at least one or two new designs per quilt.  Feathers are freehanded, in case you are curious.

Promise to share other sneak peeks into how I quilted this quilt and the “why” behind my design choices.

Happy Quilting!  Carla

 

 

Lyn’s Quilt Finished!

I am finally done with Lyn’s beautiful and colorful modern quilt.  Lyn is one of my quilting friends, who taught me to improve my binding technique, so I wanted to do a nice quilting job for her in return.

Here is the quilt hanging on my dining room table:

lynquiltdone

For Lyn’s quilt, I wanted to maintain the visual impact of her colorful quilt, yet provide some interesting texture quilting in each colored block area.  I achieved this by using some freehand quilting designs of my own, also using some commercially purchased quilting designs, too, and finally, in some areas, I designed and digitized my own quilting designs , too.

LynBakerquilt1

In the image above, feature digitized quilting designs by a variety of designers, including one by Krista Withers in the blue area, this design by Jodi Robinson in the gold area, round pearl sashing in the light blue area by Jessica Schick, and the two designs in the red area are as yet to be identified.  I promise to edit when I find the designers for proper credit.

lynbakerquilt2

The photo above shows you a wider view of this quilt.  My eye was drawn to the red space with my sprocket design as it is was “poofing” up in the bottom left hand side, then I realized I had forgotten to stitch-in-th-ditch that block, so the quilt went back on my table to fix.  An easily correctable oops.  My fix makes the seam lay down nicely, as shown in this photo below:

SID example by Carla Barrett

SID example by Carla Barrett

lynbakermodernquilt3

I hope you enjoyed following me as I quilted Lyn’s quilt.  I am happy with the finished quilt, and know Lyn will be, too.  It lays very flat, so I was able to maintain my quilt sandwich tension correctly as well.  This means the quilt should hang very straight.

I have already started my next quilt, a lovely wallhanging for Teddie.  I promise to show you her lovely quilt when I am finished.  Meanwhile, have fun with your quilting projects!  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:

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

Doug’s Quilt

I am busy working on a quilt for a guy quilting friend named Doug.  Doug owns a local quilt store and he is funny to boot!  He will call me posing as Bill Clinton, and ask me whether the Presidential library should have a condom dispenser in the bathroom or other product?  It helps that his Bill Clinton imitation is spot on.

Doug’s quilt has an overall duck hunting theme.  It also has some lovely applique cattails on the quilt for further visual interest, too.  (I promise to show pictures when finished).  I knew I needed a border design with ducks on it, so I turned to Digitech Patterns to find one.  I eventually found this loon pattern by Denise Schillinger, which fit the bill:

a64739113a2dc5f541de00_s

This pattern looks more duck-like than loon-like to me.  Loons swim very low in the water is why I say this.  Anyway, I digress….. here is the finished border design using this design.  Note that I took this picture from the back side of the quilt:

border design

border design

Doug’s quilt has light cornerstones in all four corners, so I wanted to place a related design that would go with the border.  Unfortunately, I could not find one, so it was time to create one using bits and pieces of Denise’s Digitech Pattern design:

Design for a duck quilt by Carla Barrett

Obviously, I still have to add the tight piano keys to the un-quilted side of the block, but I ended up really liking this design and how it looks on Doug’s quilt.  I shared it with him on Facebook, and he was very happy.

Carla Tip: This is my quilting tip of the day- when attempting to locate a complementary design for a quilt, use bits and pieces of an existing design used elsewhere in the quilt- whether it is a stencil design or digitized design.

I am adding some other duck and duck hunter motifs within the body of the quilt, but you will have to wait to see it.  Stay posted!  Hugs, Carla