Panama Pyramids… Sequential Piecing

Hi Everyone!

It has been a while since I blogged about a technique and many of you are new followers, so after viewing this question on the popular “Panama Pyramids” Stitching group on Face Book, I figured it was time to blog about the way I’m stitching this wildly popular piecing phenomena that is sweeping the quilting world by storm this summer.

To start I did stamp out my pieces using the triangle in the Sugar Loaf stamp set and the new Large Pyramid that I made to coordinate with the triangle.

The 2 triangles I used.

The 2 triangles I used.

Most of you know that I plan the grain line when I develop my stamps.  The lengthwise grain ALWAYS is aligned with the finger holds on the stamps.

The lengthwise grain is parallel to the selvage edge.

The lengthwise grain is parallel to the selvage edge.  That is where your finger holds on the wood should be positioned.

You will notice that when the pyramids are cut out, you will have a “flat top” to help you determine the grain line.

First set laid out and ready to sew! Notice the positions.

First set laid out and ready to sew! Notice the positions.

Those of you that have taken classes with me, KNOW I love to sequentially piece.  That means sewing from piece to piece without stopping, except for back stitches!  Here is a close up of the drawing that is included in the Large Sugar Loaf pyramid stamp.

This drawing is for a right handed person, a leftie would change the directions of the arrows.

This drawing is for a right handed person, a leftie would change the directions of the arrows.

Okay, got your single thickness quilting thread ready on your Richard Hemming sharp?  Place a small knot at the end.  Grab the first 2 adjacent pieces.  (It really doesn’t matter where you start.)

Place a pin in the right corner, matching up the corner underneath. Place your needle in the right corner, matching up the corner underneath. Take a back stitch.

Place a pin in the right corner, matching up the corner underneath. Place your needle in the right corner, matching up the corner underneath. Take a backstitch.

Sew up to the pin taking small stitches.  When you reach the pin, take a backstitch and leave the needle “parked”.

Open your work to see your orientation.

Open your work to see your orientation.

Pick up the top triangle and place it right sides together.  Drag your needle through to the corner of the top triangle.

Take a stitch, then a backstitch at this corner.

Take a stitch, then a backstitch at this corner.

Place a pin at the left corner and stitch up to the pin.  Take a backstitch and then pick up the last triangle and stitch it in place.

When you are finished, your pieced pyramid should look like this.

When you are finished, your pieced pyramid should look like this.

DO NOT PRESS!!!!  I KNOW YOU WANT TO, BUT YOU CAN STRETCH OUT THE BIAS EDGES ON 2 SIDES.

Make 2 more pieced pyramids the same way and lay out with your large pyramid.

Front view.

Front view.

When you turn them over, you will see I thought of everything!  A reference line on the large triangle to make stitching the small triangles easy!

Back view.

Back view.

Can you see you can stitch this sequentially, too?  The reference mark will help to get perfect points.

Instead of placing your pin in the far left corner, place it at the reference mark before the seam.

Instead of placing your pin in the far left corner, place it at the reference mark before the seam.

Take a backstitch at the seam, pop up the seams, park your needle in the seam.  Place a pin at the far left corner.  Drag your needle through the seams to the other side, backstitch and continue stitching.

Popping up the seam allowances.

Popping up the seam allowances.

When you are done, your block should look like this…

Finished block.

Finished block.

Pressing instructions are in the pattern with the large Sugar Loaf triangle.  I’ve also included the very large setting triangle in the pattern.  You will need to make a template for this template as there is no way you can make a stamp 6″ tall.  Your hands aren’t large enough to grab the wood.

You’ll be amazed how fast these stitch up!  I made 6 of them the other day in less than 3 hours.

pyramid blog 030

Some of my finished pyramids.

When I stamped out my pyramids from my scrap bag, I place all the pieces for one pieced block on a thread, backstitch between the blocks, and add another block.  The “string” looks like this…

A few blocks on a "thread."

A few blocks on a “thread.”

Pull off one block and you are ready to sew!

Let's make another one! Piecing these is like eating peanuts, you can't stop at just one!

Let’s make another one! Piecing these is like eating peanuts, you can’t stop at just one!

Get your Sugar Loaf set and Sugar Loaf pyramid here.

Until next time,

Happy “sequential” stitching!

 

Catching up!

Hi Everyone!

I’m finally back to normal in my studio after a trip to Scotland and having my sisters here for “Sister’s Week.”

The trip to Scotland got my creative juices going.  Lots to see and lots of inspiration for quilts!

Scottish Thistle

Scottish Thistle

Quilted Spread at the Georgian House.

Quilted Counterpane at the Georgian House.

You might have seen the bed curtains that accompanied this quilted bedspread on Face Book.

Bed curtains had wool embroidered flowers!

Bed curtains had wool embroidered flowers!

Close up of the hand embroidery and wool applique.

Close up of the hand embroidery and wool applique.

Of course there were other sites to see and lots of CASTLES!

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

Tile floor in the Thistle Chapel in Saint Giles Cathedral.

Tile floor in the Thistle Chapel in Saint Giles Cathedral looks like a quilt.

Saint Giles was featuring a great exhibit of quilts called, "Threads Through Revelation".

Saint Giles was featuring a great exhibit of quilts called, “Threads Through Revelation”.

We met a kilt maker using a tailor's thimble, like I use for all my handwork.

We met a kilt maker using a tailor’s thimble, like I use for all my handwork.

And what would Scotland be without a bagpiper and a man wearing a kilt?

And what would Scotland be without a bagpiper and a man wearing a kilt?

So many more photos I could share, but time and space doesn’t allow it.  I hope these pictures inspire you today!

Don’t forget, ONLY ONE MORE WEEK TO ORDER the Mariner’s Compass, Stamp Basket, or Feathered Star set of stamps.  See the website to order your set before they are gone!!!

Until next time…

Happy Stitching

Saying Goodbye to Old Favorites

Sometimes it is hard to let go and discontinue any of my favorite stamps, but inventory is getting to be a nightmare especially with all my NEW stamps coming out.  I base most of my new stamps on requests from YOU, my readers, and you haven’t steered my wrong!

So to give you time to think about and shop for these items, these sets will be available until July 31.  You’ll have a month to order if these are your favorites, too.

Feathered Star Stamp Set

Feathered Star Stamp Set

This stamp set was only supposed to be available for a limited time and you responded!  Now it is going away the end of July.  You can order here at:

http://cindyblackberg.com/shop/template-stamps/feathered-star/ 

The next stamp set that will be discontinued is an old one, Mariner’s Compass.  I’ve loved this stamp set and have used it in 2 projects, but it is time to say goodbye.

Mariner's Compass Stamp Set

Mariner’s Compass Stamp Set

You can order it until July 31st at:  http://cindyblackberg.com/shop/template-stamps/mariners-compass/

The last stamp to be discontinued is the Stamp Basket.  Sniff, sniff…  This was actually one of the first sets I ever made up and tested.

Stamp Basket stamp set

You can order this stamp set at:  http://cindyblackberg.com/shop/template-stamps/stamp-basket/

So be sure to check out your inventory and order soon!

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!

Two New Stamps!!!!

Hi Everyone!  It has been go, go, go here at the studio!  I finished up one new set of stamps and one single stamp that you are going to LOVE!

My inspiration for designs come from antique tops and quilts, as many of you know.  This was an old top that peaked my interest.

Antique Sunburst quilt top

Antique Sunburst quilt top

I worked on designing a size and stamps that would lend themselves to many options and settled on finished 6″ round circles.

Here is my new design, Sunburst!

I added an embroidered border.

I added an embroidered border.

It was so much fun to make each block scrappy!  You KNOW I love blue, so of course I made several blue blocks.

Detail of one of the blocks.

Detail of one of the blocks.

The stamp set contains 4 stamps and detailed instructions on hand piecing each block.  The border design is included as well.

Contains 4 stamps and detailed instructions.

Contains 4 stamps and detailed instructions.

You can purchase the Sunburst set here.

The second stamp got my attention from several of you that are making “Panama Pyramids,” a design by Linda Collins and published in Quiltmania #94.  My friend, Jo Morton is participating in a “Sew-Along” this summer with this exquisite antique quilt as the model.  (You can see everyone’s progress on Face Book on Linda’s group page “Panama Pyramids Sew-along 2016 Lots of people are making them by machine, but several of you contacted me and asked for stamps for the project.  Well, your wish is my command…  I designed and tested a large pyramid that will connect with the triangle in the “Sugar Loaf” set of stamps.  You will need the Sugar Loaf set of stamps.

The sugar loaf triangle makes the small triangle sections.

The sugar loaf triangle makes the small triangle sections.

The new Sugar Loaf Large Pyramid connects with the sugar loaf triangles.

Stamp features a reference mark to line up the small triangles perfectly!

Stamp features a reference mark to line up the small triangles perfectly!

I included detailed instructions with the Sugar Loaf Large Pyramid that discusses grain line.  My stamp is notched at the top and is placed parallel to the grain along the finger holds for no stretch.

After you make these units, you set them together with an even larger setting triangle.  Because the setting triangle is so large, you cannot make it into a template stamp.  So I included the pattern for the setting triangle in the pattern and it has reference marks, too!

I’ve also included pressing instructions to give you the PERFECT triangles that will be easy to set into your quilt.

Large Pyramid contains stamp and instructions.

Large Pyramid contains stamp and instructions.

The new Sugar Loaf Large Pyramid is available here:

Sugar Loaf is available here.

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!

 

Leaving for Scotland

Hi everyone!

Just a “heads up” for any of you needing products and supplies this month.  I’m leaving for a vacation tour of Scotland next week.  I can get all your orders out before June 14th, but won’t be processing orders until I get home the end of the month.

Please, please, please, order as soon as you can so I can get your orders to you!  No disappointed stitchers on my watch!

Happy Stitching!

 

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!