New Blog To Follow Our Adventures!

Wanted to announce the new blog, titled, “Sailing on Mahi,” where you can follow our adventures if you wish.  Basically, we retired early, bought a blue water capable boat, will move aboard and travel the world on board Mahi, our Taswell 43 cutter rigged sailboat.

mahiscreen

I also have a Facebook page HERE, too, if you want to see where we are and follow our adventures.  Plan to seek out quilting arts as we travel and write about sewing projects to improve the interiors.  Will also sew on projects above deck, too.  Taking some beading supplies along, too.  You know I just have to create!

Also bringing along the Tablet PC and programs so I can continue to draw designs to be sold at Digitech Patterns.  This gal is going to try to piece and quilt with my industrial strength Sailrite machine.  🙂

I hope you will visit and follow the new blog and “like” my page on Facebook.  Hugs from Carla

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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

BVI and Back Home

Virgin Gorda Sound sunsetBack home from our wonderful vacation in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

We decided to introduce our grandson, Ethan, to the joys of bareboat chartering, which is when you charter a sailboat and crew it yourselves.

We had a wonderful time!  After two days of travel, we arrived at the catamaran we had chartered, a new Lagoon 40 named Tequila.  If you read my last post here, then you remember we were expecting a 38 Lagoon, but due to unforeseen circumstances, namely that the owner of the 38 foot boat ran it on a reef, so the company substituted a larger, newer catamaran.  Nice!

bvitequilaOnce we left the marina, we  headed to Virgin Gorda Sound to spend the first night at Leverick Bay before also visiting Saba Rock, The Bitter End, and Prickly Pear Island.  The photo, above, was taken in Virgin Gorda Sound at sunset.

Next stop, Marina Cay.  By this time, Ethan had discovered that there is a trampoline on the front of the catamaran that is perfect for 3 year old boys to bounce on.  Also, the cabin top is perfect for climbing, as shown in the pictures taken below:

 

bviEthan2abviethan1b

We spent our time sailing, swimming, snorkeling, building sand castles on the beach and hiking.   We also had fun feeding fish off the back of the boat, too.  On one day’s sail, we had gusts over 40 knots, which was skill building.  Ethan’s favorite place on the trip was the hike to the Bubbling/ly Pool on Jost Van Dyke.  Here is a picture from an earlier trip:

bubblingpool Ethan loved to climb on the small rocks on the right, and play in the smaller pools.  This place is amazing, it feels like nature’s jacuzzi!

We met lots of fun, engaging people during our trip.  Some were bareboat chartering like us, some hired their own crew for their vacation, a few also had children, and a couple were staying on different island resorts.  When we returned Tequila back to the charter company, we had the pleasure to meet a lovely Canadian couple who were just getting ready to cruise the BVI and USVI for several months in their Lagoon 40, 40 Below.  A quick shout out to Ron and Barb:  Have a great trip, and thanks again for the ride to the ferry dock!

Colorful signs at Marina Cay, BVI

Colorful signs at Marina Cay, BVI

The trip home took two long days, and at San Francisco airport I lost a small carry on that I am hoping will be found.  In it was my iPhone, prescriptions, two pairs of prescription eyeglasses and my new underwater Canon camera, which also has all my vacation pictures and videos.  Everything can be replaced but the vacation pictures and videos, so keeping my fingers crossed that an honest person found my case and turned it in.  I filed a formal report last night and placed a message on my locked iPhone using a wonderful app called “Find my iPhone.”

Losing a bag, while upsetting, cannot dim the wonderful memories of our trip.  How fortunate we are to be able to travel to exotic, tropical locations.  We are truly blessed!

Hugs from Carla

Tropical Dreams

Picture this….warm turquoise water, white sand beaches, coral and tropical aquarium underwater views through my snorkeling mask.

Or how about this…. the sails filled with wind on a beam reach as the catamaran sailboat glides effortlessly through the water towards the island shore.

380That will be our reality shortly when we bareboat charter a catamaran in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) again.  Joe, Ethan and I will be flying to St. Thomas, in the US Virgin Islands, then boarding a ferry to the island of Tortola in the BVI.  A cab ride from the ferry dock to the east side of Tortola, and we will board the Lagoon 380 catamaran, which is a double-hulled sailboat (see picture, above).  Here is the layout of the boat, shown right:

Lagoon380saloonAs sailboats go, it is quite spacious, especially when compared to a monohull sailboat.  You have a main salon, consisting of a kitchen, dining table, and navigation station.

lagoon380_2You also have several staterooms, here is a typical view of one, shown below.

I have lost count of how many bareboat charters we have done.  A charter is considered a “bareboat” when you act in the capacity as captain and crew.  In this case, that would be Joe and I.  Ethan will be wearing a special offshore Personal Floatation  Device (PFD) and tether for safety while underway.  You would be surprised how often we get asked about how we keep 3 year old Ethan safe while sailing, especially when we are both busy at the helm and raising sails, anchoring or picking up a mooring ball.

bvibeachThis trip will be our way of introducing Ethan to a more extended sailing.  Previously, he has only experienced day sails on our current sailboat, SV Sea Glass, an O’Day 23.  We will soon be selling our O’Day 23 and  purchasing a much larger sailboat in early 2015, a bluewater cruiser sailboat about 42-49 feet in size.

BVI_Map

marinacay

Marina Cay, BVI

Chartering in the BVI is fun, relaxing, and there is lots to do and see.  You wake up in the morning and decide where you want to sail and do that day. Above is a map of the island group that makes up the BVI.  I plan to do a lot of snorkeling, sailing, beachcombing, and swimming during our trip.   Watch for my trip report when I get back!   Fair Winds, Carla

Back From AU!

I had a blast teaching in Adelaide, AU at their Australian Machine Quilting Festival.  I met so many wonderful quilters and artists while I was there!   Here is where Adelaide is, located in South Australia:

adelaide1 I had several nice flights from my home in Northern CA to Adelaide.  Admittedly, it took me well over a day of travel to get there, but arrived safe and sound to my hotel, which was close to the show venue at the Adelaide Convention Center.

What impressed me the most was how incredibly friendly all the students and people I met were.  Judging by my class feedback, they liked me, too!  🙂  It was fun to meet students I had previously “met” online through social media in person.  I loved teaching at this show, and show owners Tracey Browning and Sharon Parkinson were so welcoming, and frankly amazing women for all their hard work on this show.

It was also a blast seeing friends I hadn’t seen in a few years.  This includes Jamie Wallen, Tracey Browning, and her talented sister, Helen Stubbings.   I also met some other teachers for the first time: Cathy Wiggins, Cristyn Merry, Michelle Pearson, Helen Godden, Vicki Jenkins, and Judi Madsen.

More to follow, including photos of quilts I saw.  There was a special exhibit featuring the amazing work of Pam Holland.  I was blown away by her thread play and creativity, plus her lecture at the Charity Gala was quite inspiring!  Stay Tuned!  Hugs, 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

Port Townsend Sail Repair Class

I took time from my creative pursuits to fly up to Seattle and drive to Port Townsend, Washigton to attend a sail repair workshop with Carol Hasse and team.

Carol Hasse is sailmaker extraordinaire, owner of Port Townsend Sails, and I have always wanted to learn sail repair from her.   She is as nice as can be, plus her background in sails, sail making, and sailboats are quite extensive.   You may read about her impressive resume HERE.  I lifted borrowed this photo of Carol Hasse from her website:

Carol Hasse, Port Townsend Sails

Carol Hasse, Port Townsend Sails

Joining me on this adventure was the talented designer and fellow sailor, Amy Arroyo, who I met while taking part in my South Pacific sail training earlier this year.  Amy and her husband are the proud owners of the Millie J, a custom 36-foot aluminum sailboat berthed in Friday Harbor, WA.

The 2 full day workshop on sail repair featured separate classes in how to repair sails and reinforce existing sails using both machine and hand sewing.  The commercial sewing machines used in sailmaking are very similar to the commercial quilting machine that I work with, so I loved the machine sewing part of the class.  I know a new machine will be in my future.  In class, we used a sewing machine to:

  • Patch a hole
  • Install a chafe guard
  • Fix a torn seam
  • Apply a spreader patch
  • Reinforce a corner ring with webbing

The hand repair part of the class was also fun.  The students used  palm and needle to:

  • Sew in a ring or grommet
  • Seize a jib hank
  • Attach a mainsail slide
  • Mend a seam
  • Add a leather chafe guard
  • Make “Easy Reefs”

Port Townsend is a lovely place to visit.  Previously, I had been to Port Townsend several times for ArtFiberFest, an art retreat run by Tesha Moore. This time, I made sure to visit my favorite shop- which sells fabric, beads and yarn, which is a winning combination!

In closing, I highly recommend Carol Hasse’s Sail Repair Seminar to any sailboat owner who wants to be more self reliant and learn how to repair their sails.  She is a lovely person, and experienced in her field and craft.

Fair Winds, Carla