Josephine’s Garden Update!

I hope you have been making progress with your Josephine’s Garden quilt.  I had a few questions recently and thought I’d answer them using my friend, Pat Sherman’s quilt as a sample.  Pat is just finishing up the embroidery.

After appliqueing the center down, you do draw 2 pencil lines, as shown on page 5.  You will leave the background WHOLE until the entire quilt is finished and QUILTED.  (The extra along the sides will give you something to hold onto as you quilt.

Center Appliqued and 2 pencil lines drawn.

Center Appliqued and 2 pencil lines drawn.

You can see the white lines on Pat’s quilt.  The first is where she lined up her embroidery template, the second where the border pieces will be appliqued later.

Embroidery close up.

Embroidery close up.

After the embroidery is done, you are ready to cut your wool flowers.  I just trace my flowers from page 6 onto the back side of a fusible web.  (I use Heat N’ Bond Feather Lite.)  Don’t bother to cut them out, just press them onto the back side of your wool.  (Wool rarely has a definite front and back.)

Tracing the flowers.

Tracing the flowers.

Press and cut out.

Press and cut out.

Flowers with bonding paper.

Flowers with bonding paper.

Now just take the paper off and place the flowers, leaves, and bees where you would like them to be placed on your embroidered line.  Use a tip I learned from my sister, Gayle, to keep them in place…  Use a dab of glue stick on the back until you get to your ironing board.

Press them in place using a pressing sheet on top.  Now you are ready to use the buttonhole stitch to secure them into place.  Now wasn’t that easy?

Josephine's Garden 35" x 42"

Josephine’s Garden
35″ x 42″

You can still order your Josephine’s Garden.

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!

 

FREE PATTERNS!!!

Many of you know I love to give away stuff, but how about 2 free patterns made with the Pointed Tile Stamp and the Sawtooth Star Stamp Set!  One is a pattern I call “Garden Gate.”

Made with the Sawtooth Star set of stamps and Pointed Tile.

Made with the Sawtooth Star set of stamps and Pointed Tile.

This quilt features an applique block.  The layout and pieces for this quilt are included in the free pattern.

The other pattern I’m really excited to be sharing the hugely popular “Lucy Boston” quilt setting.

Made with the Sawtooth Star and Pointed Tile Stamps.

Made with the Sawtooth Star and Pointed Tile Stamps.

You can download the PDF version of the pattern here. It even contains the sequence to sewing these lovely blocks.

Just click on the link and you’ll be able to print off your FREE copy!

Happy Stitching!

 

 

Pressing Problems

I had a question the other day about pressing my blocks as I stitch.  The great thing about hand piecing is you wait until your blocks are made before pressing.  You don’t sew the seam allowance down as you stitch so the seams are free to be pressed in either direction.

I’ve neglected the Josephine’s Garden Handwork Adventure to my shame in hopes everyone is ready for the next step in embroidery and wool applique.  (I promise I’ll blog next week on these steps.)

pattern

I’ve seen so many WONDERFUL versions of Josephine’s Garden on the “Stitching with Cindy Blackberg” face book page.  Thanks for keeping everyone excited by posting your steps!  (You can still purchase this stamp and package at: http://cindyblackberg.com/shop/template-stamps/josephines-garden/)

In your instruction packet you received this color handout of the backside of the center piece.

Back of center section.

Back of center section.

You will notice I pressed on the seams around in a “swirl”.  Because I am right handed, I press in a counter clockwise motion.  (Lefties will do opposite.)  The seams are breathtakingly FLAT!!!!  A thing of beauty.

Let’s take this concept one step further and use the simple hexagon.  (for my sample, I’m using the 3/4″ hexagon available at: http://cindyblackberg.com/shop/template-stamps/34-inch-hexagon/)

Backside of 3/4" hexagons.

Backside of 3/4″ hexagons.

I press each hexagon unit after I stitch them.  But what happens when I sew them with the background color?  I just press the seams toward the background!

Back of the unit.

Back of the unit.

Again, flat as a pancake!  Here is the front side to show you how flat the top will lie.

Front side of piece.

Front side of piece.

Onto the 3″ Lemoyne Star blocks (available at http://cindyblackberg.com/shop/template-stamps/lemoyne-star/)  Same thing, I press in a “swirl”.

Press the seams around.

Press the seams around.

The center will form a “star”,  I press it flat.  (BTW, I do cut off my points as I’m cutting out my shapes, which confuses people, but I’m in the habit now, so please bear with me.)

Finished blocks. So cute!!!

Finished blocks. So cute!!!

You can do the same thing with the larger “Carpenter’s Star” available at:http://cindyblackberg.com/shop/template-stamps/carpenters-star/  (These have an added diamond I was toying with using.)

Carpenter's Star Pressing.

Carpenter’s Star Pressing.

Here is the front view of the block after pressed:

Front View of Carpenter's Star.

Front View of Carpenter’s Star.

Hopefully, this will give you some help when pressing your next hand pieced block!

Until next time, Happy Stitching (and Pressing!)

 

UFO contest deadline approaches!

I hope you are ALL working on at least one of your UFO projects to post on the “Stitching with Cindy Blackberg face book page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/StitchingWithCindyBlackberg/

Hopefully, you are all members of the group!  On Monday, May 9th, you can star posting your beginning picture of your “Cindy Blackberg” UFO and your finished project.  Please post them together in one post so we can see your progress.  Yes, you can enter more than once if you have completed more than one UFO.  Post each item separately with the 2 photos.  Remember, they need to be either made with my stamps or patterns.

Then start “Liking” your favorites!  Contest ends on Sunday, May 15th.  The winner will be announced on Monday, May 16th.  The winner will get their choice of $100 worth of products from my web store.  So, get out those projects and FINISH!

FYI on another note…  My web designer, Amy, has just updated the TIPS page on my website, www.cindyblackberg.com.  You can find that page under the header.  It reads Free Projects and Tips.  Click on it and up will come some of your favorite former teaching blog posts.  Check it out this weekend and refresh yourself with some old as well as new tips.

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!

Dresden Plate Sewing

Hi Everyone!

Many of you have ordered the new Dresden Plate stamp and are well on your way to creating beautiful blocks.  There has been some discussion on the “Stitching With Cindy Blackberg” face book page and I wanted to clarify the method I used in turning under the curves.

If you are a needle turn applique artist, you need no help.  But for those of us that failed needleturn 4 times, we need help!  That is how I arrived at the method I used.  It is clearly written out in the instructions with the Dresden Plate stamp, but I thought I’d elaborate on it in this blog for those of you pondering how to applique your blocks.

First I used Heavy Duty Freezer paper by Cut Rite.  Because it is thicker than normal freezer paper, it doesn’t need to be doubled (or tripled).  Because of the thickness, I used a very easy solid 1″ punch by “Stampin’ Up”.  I have a limited number of them available on my website or you can order your punch from my sister, Doreen at: doesluvsbuck@gmail.com.  (My sister is a “Stampin’ Up” dealer.)

I punched out the circles quick as a wink.

I punched out the circles quick as a wink.

After sewing the 12 plates together, I DID press open the seams as indicated on the pattern and clipped to the reference marks.

(The method of applique I’m showing here was taught by Jodi Savage at an applique workshop at her wonderful Whistlestop farm house retreat center in TN.  She learned many years ago from a teacher in California.  It has been around awhile, but I love it because once your blocks are prepped, you can take them anywhere and they won’t need to be repressed.)

Spray a little spray starch into a small jar.

Spray a little spray starch into a small jar.

Press the 1″ punched circle freezer paper circle shiny side down just inside the sharp curve on the plate using a mini iron.

1" circle fits PERFECTLY!

1″ circle fits PERFECTLY!

Take a small brush and dab on the spray starch on the outside of the curve.  (Do not soak the fabric as I said in the instructions.)

Dabbing on the starch.

Dabbing on the starch.

Now using 2 hands, pulling the fabric over the freezer paper with a stylus and press it with the mini iron.

It takes a little practice using 2 hands!

It takes a little practice using 2 hands!

When you finished your first plate will look like this:

PERFECTLY ROUNDED!

PERFECTLY ROUNDED!

Continue to do each top.  When you are finished, remove the freezer paper and turn over.

Look at me, I'm perfect!

Look at me, I’m perfect!

To make the centers, I just punched out another circle and turned it under the same way.

Center circles.

Center circles.

You can travel with your blocks without fear of having to retouch the folded in edges.  They are very sharp and ready to applique into place.  Use Roxanne’s glue and dab sparingly to the back to keep it in place or use pins.

You can order your Dresden Plate and supplies on my website at: http://cindyblackberg.com/shop/template-stamps/dresden-plate/

Dresden Plate Stamp

Dresden Plate Stamp

Until next time, Happy Stitching!

New Stamp…Dresden Plate!

You asked for it last year and now it is here, the Dresden Plate stamp!

Dresden Plate Stamp

Dresden Plate Stamp

The stamp makes a small size plate, only 5″ across.

Completed Dresden block.

Completed Dresden block.

I’d been working with this block for a while and tried different ways of piecing and appliqueing it.  I FINALLY figured it out.  I really wanted the traditional Dresden plate with the curved plates.  (Anyone can make the pointy ones by machine…)  So here is what I did.

I used a “Stampin’ Up” 1″ circle punch.  Why “Stampin’ Up” rather than a cheap one from the hobby store?  Because it will punch out perfect circles of heavy duty freezer paper.  I have a limited number in my web store at the same price I paid.

"Stampin' Up" 1" circle punch.

“Stampin’ Up” 1″ circle punch.

As you can see, mine has been used quite a lot!  It folds flat for storage, too.

I then punched out 1″ circles from Cut Rite Heavy Duty freezer paper.  One of my friends told me about this product for applique and I have to admit, it is GREAT!  You can see through it if you are doing traditional applique, but I just punched out my circles for my project.

Cut Rite Heavy Duty Freezer paper.

Cut Rite Heavy Duty Freezer paper.

I have a limited number of packs of 25 sheets in my web store if you need to purchase it with your stamp.

So, how did I use these products together?  The instructions are clear in the pattern directions, but here is one block as I worked on it, to give you an idea.

Dresden 5

Back side of block with freezer paper circles.

You’ll be making your blocks in no time!  I made my quilt with 9 blocks, but already have another setting in mind.

Dresden Plate quilt.

Dresden Plate quilt.

Get your stamp, 1″ punch, and freezer paper today here!

You are going to LOVE your blocks!

Completed block!

Completed block.

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!

UFO Contest!

I have them, YOU have them…  Coming out of baskets…

blog 009

Coming out of drawers…

blog 011And even under beds…

blog 012

Those darn UFO’s!  (UnFinished Objects)  We take them out, look at them, and put them back for another day.  SIGH!  On quilter recently said she had Attention Deficit Disorder (A.D.D.) when it came to her projects, moving from one to the other in jack rabbit timing.  🙂

Well, here is a way to help you FINISH those projects!  Let’s have a contest!

Start posting your pictures of any unfinished CINDY BLACKBERG projects on our facebook “Stitching with Cindy Blackberg” group.  Then start working on them.  On May 15, post the pictures of your FINISHED Cindy Blackberg projects.  Then start “liking” your favorite finished ones.  The one with the most “likes” by May 22 (only a week) will get a gift certificate of $100 from my web store, so you can start another UFO!  🙂

Again, your projects MUST be from either a Cindy Blackberg pattern or stamp set.  Your project can be from one of my patterns or stamps sets, or your own interpretation of one of my stamp sets.  You can finish it by machine quilting, but it must be finished.  Any size is eligible.  The group will judge which they “like” the best.

So, dust off those projects, take a picture and start working!!!  I can’t wait to see the results.

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!

Traveling in Israel

Hi Everyone!

Most of you know I was in on tour in Israel a couple weeks back.  I came home with a cold and have finally caught up on my business and am feeling better and ready to write a blog about my trip.  I toured with my best friend of 40 years, Sandi.  She told me about the trip with Dr. Brunson, the lead pastor of First Baptist Church, Jacksonville, FL and urged me to sign up.  I’m so glad I did!

Here are a few of the highlights…

Our guide was first rate and gave me a new appreciation for Israel.  It was like my biblical roots and history collided.  What a place!  First off I’d like to say, Israel is a safe place to visit.  I never felt fear or I was in danger.  Armed Israeli police and army were at the “hot spots” but never threatening.

What did I like the best?  It is hard to choose, but I did have my favorite places.

Israel 1

Standing by the “Sea of Galilee” where Jesus called Peter, Andrew, John and James.

The “Mount of Beatitudes” was another peaceful beautiful place.

Looking here you can imagine Jesus preaching to the multitudes.

Looking here you can imagine Jesus preaching to the multitudes.

Here is one of the signs posted to remind us to be merciful.

One of my favorites.

One of my favorites.

Masada was a another highlight.  Built by Herod because he was afraid of Cleopatra and her army.  This is the place where 960 Jews held out against the Roman army for 7 months.  When the Romans built a ramp on the lower side of the tel, the Jews knew their days were numbered.  The men made a horrible, yet loving choice.  Knowing their women would be raped and killed and their children thrown from the cliffs or put in slavery, the men killed their families.  Then they drew lots to see who would kill the men left.

View from the top of Masada.

View from the top of Masada.

Israel 329

Copies of the “lots” found at Masada.

Of course we went to the Jordan River.  It is merely a muddy stream right now.  The Jews have been siphoning off the water north of the river to plant fruit, vegetables and trees.  They have made an oasis in the desert lands with drip irrigation.

Looking down at the muddy Jordan river.

Looking down at the muddy Jordan river.

That is the country of Jordan directly across the river.

The Dead Sea scrolls are a national treasure.  We saw where they found the scrolls which contained the earliest copies of the bible.  The scrolls are housed in a special building.  When they were threatened by terrorists, the Jews hid them in a safe place.  These were copies.

Dead Sea Scrolls copies.

Dead Sea Scrolls copies.

In Jerusalem, Sandi and I went to the temple mount and many other places, including UNDER the old city of Jerusalem.

View of the city of Jerusalem.

View of the city of Jerusalem.

There is hardly enough time to tell you everything we saw and everything we did.  It was an amazing trip!

BUT, no fabric shops!  🙂  I did look!

Have fun traveling this summer with your friends and family!

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!

New Stamp… INNER CITY

Hi everyone!

I’m very excited about the newest stamp I’m adding to my collection, “Inner City“.  The fun part of this stamp is that it is a half hexagon and “connects” to the “Aunt Hattie’s Hexagon” (1 1/8″ hexagon) to make even more quilts.

Inner City Stamp with pattern.

Inner City Stamp with pattern.

So many variations can be made with this stamp in combo with the Aunt Hattie’s hexagon.

Inner City placed around the Aunt Hattie's Hexagon

Inner City placed around the Aunt Hattie’s Hexagon

Here is what it will look like when pieced.

Candle Mat made by Jeanne Etter.

Candle Mat made by Jeanne Etter.

Another variation…  Put the inner city pieces around the Aunt Hattie’s Hexagon this way:

Inner City placed around the Aunt Hattie's Hexagon another way.

Inner City placed around the Aunt Hattie’s Hexagon another way.

When pieced it will look like this:

Candle Mat made by Jeanne Etter.

Candle Mat made by Jeanne Etter.

You can also use the stamp alone to make this layout:

Another Variation!!

Another Variation!!

I used Japanese Diawbo fabrics for my samples, so they look almost like I didn’t make them!  (I did, I promise!)   I finished my quilt with “Sashiko” style quilting.

Close up of my quilt with "Sashiko" style quilting.

Close up of my quilt with “Sashiko” style quilting.

Here is the finished quilt:

Finished Inner City Quilt

Finished Inner City Quilt.

This new stamp is now available here in my web store along with a limited number of Diawbo fabric kits.

Out of Town

Hi everyone!

I’m leaving next Monday, March 7th, to go on a tour of Israel with my best friend of 40 years, Sandi. We are going with a group from First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, FL, headed by the pastor that loves Bible History.  I’m excited to go and learn and see!

We will be gone 10 days, so I won’t be arriving home until March 16th.  It should be a wonderful tour, but I won’t be here in my studio to process any orders until I come home.

If you need to order any supplies before next Monday, PLEASE order now.  Do not wait until March 6th!  I can fill most of my current orders but will let you know if you have to wait.

Shalom!

Cindy