Works in Progress

As always, I am working on several creative projects at once.  I am making progress on the art quilt shown in the post below, plus, I have been drawing quilting designs using my Tablet PC- which will be turned into digitized quilting or embroidery designs.    Plus, here are some other projects in the creative phase:

1.) Tree Overlay, made out of fiber, fabric and other embellishments, for my art quilt.

2.) Freeform Beaded leaves for quilt above.

3) Mokuba Freelace scarf. (I do have a tutorial for this project)

4) Wholecloth Series of Quilts.  I am working on several designs on both silk, cotton, and whatever materials I find on hand.


I promise to write about each project as it develops.  Plus, I have some design projects in the works, but I can only share about that when they become available for sale.

Baby-wise, dear little Ethan has been getting over roseola, which is a type of childhood virus featuring several days of a high fever, followed by a rash.  Poor little guy, he has been feeling most crabby, but  thankfully, has had no complications.

What have YOU been up to?  Hugs, Carla

New Blog Look

Hello, I am playing around with how my blog looks.  It is way over due for an update.  I will be experimenting with several looks over the next week or so.  Feel free to comment about any that you like.

Long time blog readers may want to know why I haven’t been blogging as much as usual?  One reason has to do with a dear little boy who came into my life last year.  It is now official- Joe and I are the proud legal guardians for Ethan, now 14 months old.    He has blond hair, blue eyes, and is adorable.  Full of personality, Ethan has a fun sense of humor, too.  It will be a joy to see him grow.

As always, I am still creating, albeit more slowly than in years past.  In the works are some Carla digital quilting designs- to be carried exclusively by DigiTech Designs.  When they become available, I promise to share a link so you can see them.

I am also working on the Fall Class schedule, too, as well as updating the StepOnPins website.  When it becomes available, too, I will let you know.  🙂  How is that for a teaser?

Happy 4th of July to all the US blog readers!

Hugs, Carla

Freeform Beaded Pendant- In Progress

I thought I would show you how I am using the beads previously shown earlier this month on my blog.  This purple & green pendant piece will match my new purple sweater I bought last week.

Here is the beaded jewelry piece created so far:

It still has a ways to go, but I like how it is shaping up.   The way I work is to keep working the piece using alternating colors, until the freeform beading “feels” right.  It is an intuitive process.

I promise to reveal how it turns out in the end.  I am looking forward to wearing it soon.  Anyone want to create a freeform jewelry piece, too?  I do have a free tutorial  if you click the “Free Tutorial” link above or on the right sidebar.

Take care, Carla

Registration Update!

I am pleased to report that the class is now half full!  Registration continues until the first week of the class- usually I close it on July 15th, 2011.  For more info, here is a link to the class description.

This class has a wonderful mix of all types of quilters.  From domestic machine (home sewing machine) users to professional quilters.  Plus some art quilters, too.  Thank you for signing up so quickly!

WIP stands for “work in progress.”  You all know I always have several projects going on at any given time.  Quilty wise, I am working on a special “story quilt” for a friend, Virginia.  What makes this quilt special is that it memorializes her husband, who passed away about 2 years ago.  Virginia took a class from Mary Lou Weidman, who is known for her whimsical story quilts.  With Virginia’s permission, I will show you the quilt when I am done.

Other news:  Congrats to Jayne Moore, who won “Best of Show” at the local Fair show.  You all might remember Jayne’s quilt, which I quilted last year:

Here is a close-up of a random block:

Apparently, it won a first in the “professionally quilted division,” so I get a ribbon, too!

That’s all for now!  What are YOU up to?  Carla

WIP Beaded Embroidery

Getting the final touches on all the classes I am teaching at International Machine Quilting Showcase (MQS), but I did want to share a WIP I am doing.  I took a class on beaded embroidery at a local bead shop (Basically Beads) and thought I would show you my bracelet, in progress:

The center focal point crystal is created using a variety of offloom beading techniques and the beading to the white background is beaded embroidery.  The design is freeform, and even though I drew in guide lines, I am loosely following what I drew.

It still has a lot of work to do, then I finish the project.  I love working with fiber and beads, so this is a fun project to do.  The key to a successful end product is nice, even stitches and bead selection.

What are YOU working on?  Hugs, Carla

Register Now and other news

Hello!  Registration is going great for the new class on how to use Photoshop Elements.  This is a beginner class taught by the Pixeladies!  In less than 1 day, half the class is filled, so be sure to register now!  Class starts in less than 2 weeks.

I thought I would update you as to what I have been up to.  First off, here is a Valentine’s present from Joe, knowing how much I like to play my Angry Bird App on my ipad:

Now all I need are a nest and some eggs to place by the pig.  Anyway, I think they are pretty funny!!  Thank you, Joe!!  Any other Angry Bird fans out there?

I also wanted to show you some recent purchases.  I needed a bead fix, so here you go:

They are beautiful!!  I have a couple of palette colors going on.  I needed the Swarovski rivoli to complete a project.    So many ideas, but too little time!!

I am pleased to report that I am almost 5 weeks post surgery now, and feeling the best I have in years!!    My surgery to have an artificial disc replaced was very successful.   Thank you for all the good well wishes, thoughts and prayers. I am feeling GREAT!

Your turn now…. what have YOU been doing?  Hugs, Carla

Freeform Beaded Necklace

(Carla Note: to see the finished necklace, click HERE.)

I wanted to share my freeform beaded necklace I have been working on lately.  I started this project with a different color palette, then changed along the way.  I still need to do my finishing touches, including some fringe-work and the necklace strap.

Here are two images: one has a light background and the second has a black background.  What is amazing to me is that the color changes in the Swarovski crystal pendant based on the background color.

Keep in mind the photos are very rough, I will bring in a photo box and lighting for the finished piece.

Here is the black background:

The crystal pendant, in person, appears much lighter.  Similar to a light white/champagne color.  Here is a better image of this cool snowflake pendant:

When I am done, I will have to think carefully how to photograph this piece.  Perhaps draped over some seashells or some other texture.

Keep watching and I will share more pictures when it is done.   Also, details about what beads I used and where I purchased my very cool Swarovski Snowflake pendant.

What creative stuff have YOU been doing?  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

Carla Tip: Quilting Design

Here is a good tip for beginning to intermediate freehand machine quilters:   Look for creative ways to fill blocks and spaces evenly by expanding the motif or fabric design into the blank space.

I was thinking about this today as I was quilting a Japanese theme quilt.  I had a kimono block to design, and I was pondering all the options I had to quilt the space:  1) I could quilt a unique fill in the space, 2) I could use bits and parts of a stencil, 3) borrow a texture quilting used elsewhere in the quilt, or 4) quilt the space by quilting along the fabric design.

Since this is a special memory quilt and the antique kimono fabric was fussy cut, I decided to go with #4 and quilt along with the fabric design.  Here is the first block:

Notice how I quilted in faux branches  to fill the space more evenly?    This next block uses different fabric, so I needed to custom fill the blank spaces with a different quilting lines and design:

Look closely to see that I quilted in faux cherry blossoms and branches, also a butterfly.   By quilting it this way, it makes the blocks more interesting- in addition to filling the space more evenly.

For uniformity, I designed and quilted the green and orange parts of the blocks the same throughout the quilt.  This design frames the block nicely and provide interesting texture.

Note that I still need to SID around both the square block and the kimono to finish and polish the block.  I do this as a last step.

Thanks to Barb (and Sally) for letting me use their quilt to illustrate this tip.  I do hope I have described it adequately for you.  Be sure to post a question if you have one.   Regards, Carla

Creative in 2011

The new year brings to mind resolutions- usually to lose weight, stop smoking or other behavior.  So why not do something different this year and make a resolution to do something creative every day, week or month?  How often you choose to create depends on many factors: your energy, health, your internal drive to create, whether you work full time , and do you caretake for children or other family members?

I don’t know about you, but the thought of doing something creative every day is daunting.  Actually, when I think about it, I DO something creative most every day, so for me, this might be a realistic goal.  Though, on second thought, once a week might be  more realistic.   Or, if creating doesn’t come naturally to you, once a month is a reasonable goal to make.

Creative in 2011

Here are steps to being more creative in 2011.

Step 1: First step is to make the commitment.  You can do this privately, or leave a comment to declare your intent.  You may also blog about it and post my  badge to remind you.  To copy, simply right click and save as:

For WordPress bloggers, here is the widget code to simply copy and paste into your widget sidebar:

<a href=””&gt;
<img src=””&gt;

The badge, shown above, was created using photoshop and my tablet.  You have my permission to copy and use it on your blog or website.

Step 2: After posting the badge, consider all the various ways you can be creative.  No limitations!  Any medium will do.

Step 3: Blog about it as often as you like.  I plan to blog about what creative things I am up to at least once a week.  That’s my resolution.

That is all the steps.  Easy, right?    Oh yes, if you want to participate, let me know so that I may add a list of blogs or sites that are playing along.  Just leave me a comment with your address of your blog or website, and I will add you to the list.

Happy New Year!!  Creatively Yours, Carla