Finally Here! TN Waltz available…

For those of you that were a part of the “Mystery Quilt 2014”, your finished quilts were fabulous!  The final quilt was called, “Fancy Tennessee Waltz” because it had more than the plain TN Waltz blocks.  In the alternating blocks, the sunflower stamp set was appliqued onto an embroidered square.  I also used the large triangle to make the corners.

Fancy Tennessee Waltz

I LOVE options, don’t you?  I offered the people that were involved in the 2014 mystery another option made with just the TN Waltz stamps.  It is based on my 1992 widely successful first printed pattern, “Yankee Doodle”.  (If you were involved in the 2014 mystery and haven’t claimed your pattern, contact me through my contact page, available on my website at www.cindyblackberg.com/contact.  Leave me your current address and I’ll send you the new “Yankee Doodle” pattern free.)

Updated version of Yankee Doodle.

The stamps for these quilts are unusually large, therefore more expensive to make, but to spare you purchasing a separate pattern for the “Fancy TN Waltz”, I’m including it free with the purchase of the stamp set.  (A $12 value.)  So your set will come with both patterns (Fancy TN Waltz and Yankee Doodle) plus the original stamps.  (Sunflower and Large Triangle are sold separate if you want to make the “Fancy TN Waltz” OR trace the enclosed templates.)

Order your set here!

Until next time,

Happy Stamping!

Scottish Mystery Wrap Up

Some of you have been posting your WONDERFUL quilt tops you’ve finished on the “Stitching with Cindy Blackberg” face book group page.  I can’t tell you how pleased I am to see so many ALREADY done!

Don’t forget to make your label for the back with your authentic Scottish plaid tartan.  (I stitched mine on AFTER the quilt was quilted with tiny invisible stitches.)

The label that is sewn on the back of my quilt.

A question came up recently asking if I cut away the extra fabric behind the appliqued thistle block.  Yes, I did because I was hand quilting it.

The back of my thistle block with excess being cut away.

I did love hand quilting my quilt, but don’t think that is the only way to finish your quilt.  There is no shame in handing your finished top to a qualified machine quilter.

My finished quilt.

Have fun completing your version of the “Wee Scottish Mystery” quilt and check out others on the “Stitching with Cindy Blackberg” face book page group.

Until next time,

Happy Quilting!

 

It’s BACK!

Hi everyone!  I’ve had more than a few requests for the stamp set I offered a couple years ago, “Cracker Box“.  (Remember I only had a few and was offering them as a first come, first serve.)  Well, I’ve had a rethink and when sorting out my designs I thought this easy peasy set will work several different ways.  It is super easy to hand piece and I plan on using one of the stamps in conjunction with a new one coming out next year.

Cracker Box set.

Here is the original piece I made as a sample in 30’s fabrics.  I just stamped out one in Christmas colors, too!

Cracker Box blocks finish to 4″.

Get your stamp set here.

Until next time,

Happy Stitching and Stamping!

 

Important Info!

Hi Everyone!

I was asked by some of you to send clue 5 for the Scottish Mystery quilt early so you can work on the quilt during your upcoming vacations.   You’ll be happy to know that Clue #5 went out yesterday.  PLEASE remember it sometimes take a week or more to get to your homes.  The final clue #6 will go out the beginning to mid July, as usual.

Many of you doing this Scottish Mystery also participated in the 2014 Mystery, “Fancy Tennessee Waltz“.  If you did, I’m asking you to contact me through the email on my website, www.cindyblackberg.com .  (CONTACT is listed under the new header bar.)

Please email me your CURRENT SNAIL MAIL ADDRESS.  I have a FREE new pattern for you made with your 2014 Mystery Stamps as a thank you for participating!

And FINALLY…  Yes, the “Tennessee Waltz” original stamp set will be available for purchase later this summer, for those of you that missed out on this wonderful quilt.  Stay tuned!

Fancy Tennessee Waltz

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!

New Stamp!… Mini Bowtie!

Last year when I attended Jo Morton’s handwork retreat in Omaha, I was intrigued by two mini bowtie quilts.  How adorable they were!  It takes a while to design a stamp, have the die made, and test it.  But when I tested this one, I was hooked!

Mini Bowtie Sample

The blocks only finish 1 1/2″!  How cute is that!

I conserved space by putting both the outer piece and the inner square on the same stamp.

New Bowtie Stamp

You just stamp ONCE for each print and once for each light.  (You won’t need the light square, so I show you how to stamp in the instructions.) I used scraps of Jo’s “Gratitude” line to make my sample.

Wondering what the back looks like?  It presses very easy.  I did use 1/4″ seams, too.

Back side nice and flat.

I used 36 blocks and my sample is around 9″ square.  It IS adorable!

So sweet!

Want one?  Purchase your stamp here!

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!

 

Made by Hand

One of the one-of-a-kind accessory notions I have on my website are my “Block Keepers” and “Needle Keepers” handmade by my sister, Gayle.  Gayle is a master at embroidery.

I designed my first “Needle Keeper” several years ago to take care of my wayward spool of quilting thread when I was flying to teach seminars.  I wanted a place for a small scissors and pack of needles plus a place for my thimble and pins.

Needle Case by Gayle

I have several of these Needle Cases for different uses.  I LOVE using one for my embroidery.

Using one needle keeper for my embroidery.

It was a few years later, I discovered that I needed a little larger keeper for 2 spools of hand quilting thread so I designed the block keeper.  It has a small wool pocket for keeping my pieces when I travel along with a pull out layout block for arranging my pieces as I work on my lap.  Only 4″ x 6″ when closed so it fits nicely in your purse.

Block Keeper

Gayle makes each keeper by hand with wool, not cheap wool felt. The wool is made by one of the last wool factories in the US, so you can be assured the entire keeper is made in America by American hands.

Gayle making block keepers as fast as she can!

If you order a block keeper or needle keeper in the month of May, I’ll add one spool of my favorite quilting thread for piecing, FREE of charge.

Needle Keeper on Left
Block Keeper on Right

Order your Needle Keeper here or Block Keeper here.

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!

Teaching Tip… Piecing in a Circle Block

For those of you working on the Sunburst blocks, you might have questions about how did I get my blocks to lie so flat in my quilt.  Included in your Sunburst stamps are these instructions, but I thought I’d give you a detailed step by step.

First press your block from the back.

Press the seams in one direction.

Turn it over and press again, making sure your points are “pointy”.

Front view.

Turn over your blocks and measure from point to point.  (Do this on several of your blocks to make sure your stitching is consistent.)

My measurement is slightly less than 6″.

Your measurement might be different, so don’t be worried.  Everyone’s stitching is slightly different.

Now using a compass make a circle according to your measurement on template plastic.

My sunburst template.

Make sure your template fits INSIDE the stamped outside line.  There needs to be a pencil width inside for the next steps.

Using my pdf file I mark the 30° reference points all along the edge.

Notice I centered the plastic and my template doesn’t go out to the dotted line.  It doesn’t matter.  If you email me I’ll send you a PDF file of the “Sunburst Rays” for your use.

Now you just need to use your personal template to finish your block as shown in your instructions.

Press on the back, pressing the seams OUT from the block to create beautiful points.  (They will want to go toward the sunburst, so be the boss and force them out!)

Front of finished block.

Still shopping for the “perfect” background fabric, but this will do for now.

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!

Scottish Mystery Clue 3… Thistle Block

As clue 3 of the Scottish Mystery is winging it’s way to your home, I thought I’d write about the Thistle and why I chose that particular block for our quilt.

Many of you know that the thistle is part of the national emblem of Scotland.  They grow everywhere.  I think it is interesting that the thistle has sharp points that can injure you if you aren’t careful.  Scotland’s history sees struggles with the English as being “thorny” issues, too.

One of my favorite Scottish scenes featuring garden thistles.

The tea that my friend, Erica, and I attended at Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh had a thistle for decoration on the table.

Scottish Thistle

While in Edinburgh, we visited Saint Giles Kirk (church) which houses the room that the “Order of the Thistle” meets once a year.  The order began by James VII of Scotland (James II of England) in 1687.  It was to honor chivalry and deeds of honor.

Doorway to the room that the order meets has a stone sculpture. Notice the shield the knight is holding which has the emblem of the thistle.

The room is smallish but has seats all around it for the Knights and Ladies to sit once a year when Queen Elizabeth resides.  Hand carved into the wood around each seat were several thistles.  How do you become a nominee today for the “Order of the Thistle”?  You must do good works or contribute to charitable causes.  Once inducted, you are a member for life.  (Only 16 members plus the Queen.)

Part of the room where the “Order of the Thistle” meets.

I read all the “Outlander” books and of course looked for anything “Fraser” while in Scotland.  Here is what I found:

Fraser family crest.

It features…  You guessed it, a Thistle!

Onto our Thistle block…  When I made the stamps for this block, I couldn’t find a traditional name.  Maggie Malone calls it “folded star”.   I renamed it Thistle.  I think it fits, don’t you?  A lovely center and very pointy points around it.  And it gives a nice “quilted tribute” to Scotland.

I used my “plaid” for the center.

My finished thistle block.

Have fun this month making your Thistle blocks and think about Scotland and it’s history as you stitch.

One a different note, my Valdani Collection is finally back in stock!  You can order it here.  It comes with a free package of #24 Chenille needles.  I hand chose all the colors for you.  If you love embroidery, you will love this collection.

Until next time,

Happy “Scottish” stitching!

 

 

 

 

Panama Pyramid Hand Quilting

Hi Everyone!

I just finished hand quilting my pyramid quilt.  It was a challenge trying to figure out how to quilt it without spending the rest of my life on this one quilt.  I like to use concentric lines if possible and I finally settled on this:

Hand quilting close up.

I did use the sugar loaf triangle from the Sugar Loaf Template set and the Large Pyramid to make my triangles.

Sugar Loaf stamp set

Large Pyramid adds onto the Sugar Loaf triangle.

Here is a diagram of my quilting:

Hand quilting diagram.

I know my quilt is smaller than most of the pyramid quilts I’ve seen online, but I resisted adding the other 2 rows I had made after I auditioned it over my bed.  It is the perfect size for this area.

Finished and ready to hang!

Until next time… Happy Hand Quilting!

 

Scottish Mystery Clue 2… Castle Wall

By now you are hopefully working on your second clue, making 4 castle wall blocks. This is one of my favorite blocks and I will use it again in another quilt.

It was inspired by the towering Edinburgh Castle in Scotland.  Scotland is home to many castles, but touring this one brought Scottish history to life.  The castle was built on a volcanic rock towering over the city of Edinburgh.

Walking up to the entrance.

Everywhere in the city you can see this important landmark.

 

The view from the top, looking over the city of Edinburgh. You can see why it was an important military post.

The Edinburgh Castle houses the Scottish Crown Jewels and the important “Stone of Destiny”.  For Scottish history buffs a real treat to see in person!  Read about it here.

Our castle wall block will hopefully remind you of castles and history.  Here is one of my blocks.

One of my blocks.

Another block.

I did make all my blocks different, but had to repeat the same center in 2 of the blocks since I only had 3 flower motifs to chose from.  You can make all your blocks the same, if you desire.  There are NO rules.

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!