Basic Stamping

Hi everyone!  I’ve received a few comments recently from new followers about basic steps.  I plan on doing some blog posts to cover these important subjects in the next few weeks.

I’m going to start with the very basic steps of stamping.  I know I posted some of this information a while ago, but it is always worth a new look.

First…  What is a template stamp?

A template stamp is a rubber stamp with piecing and cutting lines.

All my stamps come mounted on hard wood with finger holds that are placed parallel to the lengthwise grain of the fabric.

Single stamps

Single stamps

Ink up your stamp with VersaCraft ink.  I carry brown and white on my website.  Mostly you will use the brown, but occasionally you might need the white.

Versa Craft Ink and Reinkers

Versa Craft Ink and Reinkers

You can reink the pad about 50 times with a reinker, so do not throw the ink pad out if it gets a little dry.  Just order a reinker when you need it.  The pad has ink when you purchase it, it will last for at least 2 small quilts, one large one without having to reink.

Ink up your stamp by gently pressing into the pad.  If your stamp is large, just press it around the raised pad to ink up all the lines.

Ink up your stamp by gently pressing into the pad. If your stamp is large, just press it around the raised pad to ink up all the lines.

Now just press the stamp by lining up the finger holds on the lengthwise grain on the back of the fabric.  Give it a push, but don’t push so hard you get ink in the middle of your image.

Line it up to conserve fabric.

Line it up to conserve fabric.

Lift up your stamp and your image should look like this…

Image is correct.

Image is correct.

Now just cut out your image and use!

stamping steps 6

Cut it out on the outside line, piece it on the inside line.

The really great thing about stamping is that the seam allowances are consistently a perfect quarter inch!

Next time I’ll cover basic hand piecing!

Until then,

Happy Stitching!

 

 

Piney Rose Questions Answered!

Hi everyone!

I’ve had a few questions about the Stitch Along I thought I’d address before we start in a few weeks.

"Piney Rose"

“Piney Rose”

For those of you that received your “starter package” with your stitch along bag and supply list, I made a note that Pappy’s Quilting Place has yardage of the “oyster” fabric.  They sold out of the first bolts and are waiting on a new shipment to come in and hopefully Moda will ship it out very soon.  The “oyster” is a tad darker and warmer than the light Moda I used.  It is BEAUTIFUL and will accommodate your scraps without looking as white as mine.   (I can’t wait to get my hands on a piece for a future project!)  If you aren’t using this fabric, just make sure your background has a substantial “hand” which means a nice close weave.  Do not use muslin as it will stretch.  Ask me how I know this. :(  A print will work, but make sure the print is very faint.   I would NOT use a white on white as it is hard to hand stitch and usually isn’t good quality.

The other question I’ve had repeatedly is “How come I can’t order the Piney Rose Stitch Along and all my supplies on my website together?”  We set it up on the website so that you will need to do 2 separate orders.  It helps me to keep track of everyone efficiently.  I’m also sending product packages and “starter packages” out separately.  So if you order the stitch along and then order products, they will come in separate packages.  Remember any product order over $100 is free shipping!

I hope you are as excited as I am to start your project and are gathering your supplies!  I will be doing blog posts along the way to help you along with sending you handouts now and then.

Remember the “Stitching with Cindy Blackberg” face book group is up and running.  You can check out what other quilters are working on and hopefully as your stitching your “Piney Rose” you can put up pictures and get kudos from everyone!  We are up to 200 guests on the page!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/StitchingWithCindyBlackberg/

FYI, I’m leaving tomorrow to go on a stitching vacation with friends for a couple days to Whistle Stop Retreat center in Sweetwater, TN.  I hope you take time off in your busy schedules to have time with friends!  I’ll be back on Friday to send out orders and take care of business.

Until Next Time,

Happy Stitching!

 

Stitching Preparation

Don’t you LOVE hand work?  It is so portable!  Today I’m going to show you how I prepare my piecing for travel.

First, I lay out my design on the design wall.

Layout your design.

Layout your design.

Next I pick up one row at a time starting with bottom, being careful to keep the shapes the way I’ll be sewing them.

Knot a long piece of quilting thread onto a needle and push up through the row of pieces from the bottom.

Come up from the bottom and back stitch at the end of the row.

Come up from the bottom and back stitch at the end of the row.

Keep adding rows, backstitching as you go.  You’ll have a long “string” of patches.

This is a WHOLE quilt top!

This is a WHOLE quilt top!

I backstitch at the end so the pieces won’t fall out.  Now I’m ready to fold this string up in my block keeper and away I go.  The really neat thing is because I was careful when I picked up the pieces, the first pieces will be the first row.  I just stitch until I get to another back stitch and I know I’m done with that row.

Now isn’t that a great TIP!

Talking about tips, be sure to sign up for the NEW “Stitching with Cindy Blackberg” face book group.  You can share your pictures of your current Cindy projects with everyone in the new closed group.  A new contest is coming soon on this group page “Show us your Sewing Rooms!” (With a really neat prizes!)

Here is the link to the page:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/StitchingWithCindyBlackberg/

 

Until next time,

Happy Stitching! (and Prepping)

Early Bird Mailings!

Hi everyone! I was overwhelmed by the hand stitchers that signed up early for the “Piney Rose” stitch along.  I’ve got your “starter” packages ready to mail out today.

Starter Package

Starter Package

Your package will contain your exclusive project pouch, cover sheet and supply list.  You still have plenty of time to sign up.  The first step won’t be sent out until the middle of February.

I did have a good question about fabric selection and would there be a kit available.  Since it takes so many little pieces of fabric (a great stash buster) for the piecing, I couldn’t have Pappy’s prepare a kit.  But Pappy’s Quilting Place did get in a generous supply of the background I used.  You will need a 5 yard piece.  (I’ve made a note of this on the supply list coming with your starter package.)

I’ll be doing more “hand photography” this year with the idea of adding extra “tip” pages in the stitch along packages certain months.  These will include how to piece 8 pointed stars exactly, making points so sharp you need a bandaid, pressing, and sequential hand piecing.  These are some of the subjects I’ve covered in my seminars, but now you’ll have them in print form sitting in your stitching chair with your pj’s on!

"Piney Rose"

“Piney Rose”

Here is some background on my quilt “Piney Rose”.  My mom had peonies (called Piney Rose here in TN) in her garden at home.  I can remember she got them from a friend and planted them by our back door.  She babied them for a couple years as they don’t take well to transplanting.  Well, her care paid off with an abundant of white blooms with pink tinges.  I can remember her sitting on the porch, drinking coffee and staring out at her peonies that bloomed in the spring.  My “Piney Rose” is dedicated to her memory.

Hand piece a memory this year!

http://cindyblackberg.com/piney-rose/

Happy Stitching!

Piney Rose Stitch Along!

I know you have been patiently waiting for the new medallion quilt that I’ve been working on for over a year.  Here it is, “Piney Rose”.

"Piney Rose"

“Piney Rose”

“Piney Rose” is the Tennessee name for the Peony.  Just like the bloom of the peony that opens gently, so this quilt gently unfolds to reveal it’s beauty as you add border upon border.

This quilt was hand pieced with the aid of template stamps.  That makes the hand piecing easy and accurate as my students and followers will tell you!  (Many of the stamps and sets you have in your collection already.)

I’ve devised a way to break down the piecing so each month for 9 months you will be getting instructions with detailed color covers.  So you can “stitch along” with others as you work on your own heirloom quilt.  The finished size of my quilt is 70″ x 70″.

You will get a detailed supply list when you sign up, but we will be using these 5 stamps:

Sunflower Stamp Set

Little House Stamp

3″ Lemoyne Star Stamp Set

Carpenter’s Star Stamp Set

Sawtooth Star Stamp Set

When you sign up you will receive a detailed color supply list along with fabric requirements and an exclusive project pouch to store your project as you work.  (Fabric and Stamps are NOT included in the price.)

A sample of what you will be sent when you sign up.

A sample of what you will be sent when you sign up.

Your fee includes shipping every month and detailed instructions along with my notes for hand piecing a perfect quilt.  Your pattern will be shipped each month in a 9 x 12 sturdy envelope.

The first mail out goes out in February, so sign up now!

 

 

An old friend is being discontinued…

I’ve been working on a new thimble stamp and will be discontinuing the old one by the end of January.

My Thimble Collection

The original thimble stamp started my template stamp business!  This quilt appeared in Better Homes and Gardens American Patchwork & Quilting in February 2000 and then went onto the cover of a special issue called “Scrap Quilts.”

This stamp was designed to fit on 2″ charm squares I got when joining a fabric club.  You can stamp out at least 4 on a 5″ charm square.

The new stamp will be available soon, but for now if you would like to purchase the Thimble Stamp you can order it on my website for a reduced price of $10.00 while supplies last.

Thimble stamp

Purchase yours soon so you won’t be disappointed.

UPDATE: The thimble stamp is now sold out!

Happy Stitching!

Merry Christmas!

 

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

I hope this year brings joy and peace to all of my friends and family!

Our Christmas decorations are out and waiting for the arrival of Santa.  The red and green quilts are hung along with the wonderful things that remind me of my friends and family every year.  The stockings that my sister, Gayle, made for us years ago, the cute snowman applique made by my sister, Doreen, and my sister Val’s cross stitch angels by my crèche.  The swag I made from a kit from one of the fabulous knitting tours I took with Jean Moss.

On my “Santa” Christmas tree (an idea from quilting friend, Susan) are Santa ornaments I’ve been collecting from friends and family for years, including special ones made by family members long gone.

I guess you would say that Christmas evokes memories of times past and times to come.  I wish you all the very best this Christmas as you celebrate with your friends and family.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Joyous New Year!

New Product Available!

Hi Everyone!

I’ve been testing stamping surfaces for months since my sister arrived at my home with a mat she uses for stamping cards.  I figured if it is good for cards, how about template stamps?

Her mat was too “soft”, others were too “hard”.  So just like Goldilocks I found one JUST RIGHT for stamping!  It is the ®Imagine Crafts “Craft Mat”.  I’ve been using mine for months and love it.

Craft Mat

Craft Mat

The mat is large (18″ x 15″) so it will accommodate a fat quarter of fabric easily.

It is the width of a fat quarter (18")

It is the width of a fat quarter (18″)

The mat will protect your stamping surface and if you “over” stamp or drop your ink pad, the ink will clean up nicely with a wet paper towel or baby wipe.  How many times have I done that? :)

Over stamping?

Over stamping?

Use a wet paper towel or baby wipe for clean ups.

Use a wet paper towel or baby wipe for clean ups.

Clean as new!

Clean as new!

The mat is made of heavy vinyl and flexible.  It is also two sided, so you can use either side.

You can use either side.

You can use either side.

I store my craft mat with my ink supplies.  It folds easily and will pop back to its shape when taken out of the bag.

Folded up with ink supplies for storage.

Folded up with ink supplies for storage.

The original packaging is long and not easy to send out mail order.

Original package.

Original package.

So, if you order from my website, your craft mat will folded in a 9″ x 12″ bag with the original packaging flattened out to save on shipping.

Packaged for shipping.

Packaged for shipping.

You can order your craft mat on my website under the “Stamping Supplies” button.

Of course, the BEST thing about the craft mat is that it is BLUE, my favorite color!

Until Next Time…  Happy Stitching (and Stamping)

Sewing on the Binding

Last time I showed how to MAKE bias binding and why I love it so much for the edge of a quilt.  Today I’ll show you how I apply the binding to the edge of the quilt.

Many quilting teachers will sew the binding on and then trim the excess batting and backing.  I like to cut it all off before applying the binding.  It makes it easier to put under the presser foot of the machine and gives you a clean edge to line up the bias with a 1/4″ seam.

First, I put on a walking foot on my machine and move the needle to the far right.  (On my walking foot this gives me a nice 1/4″ seam if I line up the raw edges of my quilt and binding with the right edge of the walking foot.)

Leave a tail (at least 2″) and line up the binding on the right edge of the quilt right sides together.

Sew in 1/4" from the top of the quilt and from the edge of the quilt.

Sew in 1/4″ from the top of the quilt and from the edge of the quilt.

Sew the bias right sides together 1/4″ from the top and 1/4″ from the side.  Sew all the way down the side and stop 1/4″ from the end.

Sew along the edge and end 1/4" before the bottom.

Sew along the edge and end 1/4″ before the bottom.

Cut off the excess binding leaving a 2″ tail.

Flip up the tail and sew the next strip onto the next side by positioning it 1/4″ from the top.

Start sewing where I placed the pin.

Start sewing where I placed the pin.

Your binding should be free on both sides.  (not caught in the stitching)

binding 14

Binding should match at the corners.

After sewing the binding onto all 4 corners we are ready to miter the corners.  Switch your machine foot to an open toe or regular foot.  Move your needle back to the center.

For marking my corners I use a pencil and clear ruler with small markings.

You will need a pencil and clear ruler with 1/8" markings.

You will need a pencil and clear ruler with 1/8″ markings.

Make a dot at the corner beginning of one of the bias strips.  Then make another dot 1/4″ from the edge, holding the ruler completely perpendicular.

Hold the ruler perpendicular to the edge and make another dot 1/4" from the edge.

Hold the ruler perpendicular to the edge and make another dot 1/4″ from the edge.

Now place your ruler at a 45° angle making sure you have the same number of marks on the top and bottom.  (To make sure your angle isn’t skewed.)

Line up the ruler with the same number of marks on the top and bottom of the dots.

Line up the ruler with the same number of marks on the top and bottom of the dots.

Now trace the 45° with a pencil.  This will be your stitching line.

After marking, pull up the bottom bias to match.

After marking, pull up the bottom bias to match.

Holding the adjacent bias so that the tops match, sew ON the line, making sure you are only sewing bias, do not catch the quilt into the seam.

Sew from dot to dot, back tacking at the dots.

Sew from dot to dot, back tacking at the dots.

Do the same for the other 3 corners.  Trim the excess binding about 1/8″.

Trim the binding to 1/8".

Trim the binding to 1/8″.

Flip the binding to the wrong side and using a chop stick or other dull point, poke out the corner.

Poke out the corners to the back side of the quilt.

Poke out the corners to the back side of the quilt.

To finish the corners, turn under 1/4″ and pin.

Pin under the edge 1/4".

Pin under the edge 1/4″.

 

It will look like this on the top.

Front view of the pinned corner.

Front view of the pinned corner.

Now turn your quilt to the back and sew the binding down with a whip stitch or invisible stitch by hand with matching quilting thread.

I must admit I LOVE sewing on the bindings.  It gives me a chance to relax as watch the final step finish my lovely quilt!

Until next time…

Happy Stitching!

 

Making Bias Binding

Binding a quilt can be a daunting process or a simple one.  I ALWAYS use BIAS binding when finishing my quilt.  WHY?  Because it will always lay flatter.  It does take more fabric to make bias binding, but it will be worth it when your quilt is done.

Here is my method for making bias binding.

First I make a square of fabric and then fold it up into a triangle.  The larger the square, more bias can be made.  For small quilts, my rule of thumb is use a 27″ square.  (3/4 yard)  The fold is on the bottom in this illustration.

Lay your folded square on a rotary cutting board.

Lay your folded square on a rotary cutting board.

Next cut straight up from the bottom to the top point, laying your rotary ruler on the fold on the bottom.

Now you have 2 pieces.

Now you have 2 pieces.

I GENTLY  put the left hand piece over the right, lining up the cut edges, so I can cut 2 strips at a time.

I cut my binding 1 1/8" like my friend, Jo Morton.

I cut my binding 1 1/8″ like my friend, Jo Morton.

Jo Morton cuts her binding 1 1/8″ for “single fold”.  I’ve been making my binding like this since she told me about it several years ago and LOVE IT!  It is smooth and durable.  Continue cutting down your triangle until you have several strips cut.  (The strips will get smaller lengthwise as you cut down the triangle.)

Here is an optional step, but it does help to make sewing your strips easier:  (Point trimmers are sold in your local quilt shop.)

Using a "point trimmer" I cut off the excess.

Using a “point trimmer” I cut off the excess.

I do have 2 bias strips I’m cutting at time.  (So there are 4 thicknesses.)

When you are done, it will look like this…

Makes it easier to sew to the next piece.

Makes it easier to sew to the next piece.

Lay another strip on top right sides together as shown below.

Lay your strips right sides together.

Lay your strips right sides together.

Using a 1/4″ seam, sew the strips together.  (I generally chain piece this part by taking the free end of the top strip, flipping it and taking the next strip and placing it on top and sewing.)

Sew with a 1/4" seam.

Sew with a 1/4″ seam.

I open the seams on the strip and press them flat.

Press open the seams.

Press open the seams.

Now you are ready to apply the bias to your finished quilt top.  That is the next blog subject coming soon…

Until then,

Happy Stitching!