Very special retreat!

Many of you know I attended Jo Morton‘s retreat last week at Lied Lodge in Nebraska City.  What a treat!  The Lodge was lovely and Jo as sweet as ever!  Her staff was extremely helpful and kind, too!

Here are some of the highlights…

When we arrived, we had a goody bag with lots of fun items, including a mug rug or wine coaster.  This isn’t the one I received, but I recognized the pattern made with my spool stamp.  What a great way to use up your orphan blocks!

Mug rug made by Jo with the Spool stamp.

Mug rug made by Jo with the Spool stamp.

Jo showed so many wonderful quilts, it was hard to keep up!  Here is an wonderful antique quilt from her collection.

Jo showing her antique quilt.

Jo showing her antique quilt.

This quilt had stars and applique!  What a great way to introduce her star piecing and applique portion.  I learned “back basting” applique the first day.

Back Basting Applique

Back Basting Applique

The next day we dabbled in making 8 pointed stars.  You could choose to make them with templates or with stamps.  (Guess what I chose?)  Since I already had so many Carpenter’s Star diamonds left over from my Piney Rose, I spread them out and started sewing them.  Okay, Jo is BRILLIANT!  She sews the diamonds together first and then decides on the background.  (You can sequentially piece the background later.)

Piecing with the "Carpenter's Star" diamonds.

Piecing with the “Carpenter’s Star” diamonds.

Jo showed the cutest pin cushion made by Candy Hargrove with the 3″ Lemoyne Star stamp.  (See what you can do if your center is wonky?)

Pin cushion made by Candy Hargrove using the 3" Lemoyne Star stamp set.

Pin cushion made by Candy Hargrove using the 3″ Lemoyne Star stamp set.

One of the wonderful things about going to any seminar is seeing old friends and making new ones.  My web designer, Amy Rochelle, was there.  (She also does Jo’s website.)

Without Amy my web business would be very basic!

Without Amy my web business would be very basic!

And one of my best friends from FL surprised me on her way to her new home in Oregon!  What a treat to see her before she moved.

Saying goodbye to a great friend and stitcher.

Saying goodbye to a great friend and stitcher.

Then there was show and tell!  Wonderful quilts and even a couple of my designs!  What a treat to see them in person!

Mystery Quilt from 2014.

Mystery Quilt from 2014.

And then to top it off, Peggy S. brought her flag quilt that caused a commotion on the “Stitching with Cindy Blackberg” face book page a few months back.

Peggy's flag quilt using the "Vintage Thimble" stamp.

Peggy’s flag quilt using the “Vintage Thimble” stamp.

For those of you looking for an easy project, this is it!  And now I’ve written instructions and it is available on my website here under “free patterns”.  Be sure to print off your copy! (click on photo or go to to download the pdf file.)


Visit to the Quilt Study Center

Many of you know I went to Jo Morton’s handwork retreat in Nebraska City.  It was DELIGHTFUL!  I had such a good time, I’d love to go back next year.

I took advantage of my visit to drive to the International Quilt Study Center in Lincoln.  I looked at all the exhibits but the one I loved the best was the exhibit based “war quilts”.  There were examples from the Civil War to the present.  You can view better pictures of these on line if you click the link above.

Here are some examples and descriptions:

ipad pics 160

ipad pics 161

ipad pics 162

ipad pics 163

ipad pics 164

ipad pics 165

ipad pics 166

ipad pics 167

ipad pics 168

ipad pics 169

I hope you have enjoyed looking at some of these quilts on display.  Please support and visit the center the next time you are passing through Nebraska!

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!

Piney Rose Pattern

Many of you have been working on your “Piney Rose” quilts and the results are spectacular!  See some of them posted on the “Stitching With Cindy Blackberg” face book page at  (Don’t forget to join if you aren’t a member!  You can post and see wonderful quilts!)

"Piney Rose"

“Piney Rose”

Because I’ve finished mailing out all the steps and the project pouch isn’t available any longer, You can now purchase the pattern for “Piney Rose” on my website.  You will still need to purchase the stamps, fabric and ink to make the quilt, but now it will be mailed in one mailing to you, saving postage costs.

For more information go to:

Heads Up Alert!…  I’ll be leaving tomorrow (Wednesday, the 4th) for Nebraska. I’m finally going to Jo Morton’s retreat as a friend and student!  So, no orders will go out until Monday, November 9th.  Order today before 5:00 pm and I’ll make sure they are sent out before I leave.

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!

Quilt For Sale… Feathered Star

I taught quilting for over 30 years.  One of my favorite teaching venues was my very own, “Handwork in the Smokies”.  They were a lot of work to organize and teach, but I loved every minute of it.

This was a group I taught in 2011.

This was a group I taught in 2011.

Every seminar was special to me.  Each year I designed a special handwork quilt.  In 2010, it was “Smoky Mountain Stars.”

"Smoky Mountain Stars"

“Smoky Mountain Stars”

This particular quilt was hand pieced, hand quilted and hand embroidered by me.  If fits a twin size bed nicely.

Sitting pretty on a twin bed.

Sitting pretty on a twin bed.

Here is another picture…

Sitting pretty again!

Sitting pretty again!

And how about another picture of the quilt head on…

Close up

Close up

Here is a close up of the “Tiny Stitches”.

Hand quilting detail.

Hand quilting detail.

This quilt was made with a set of stamps that have been discontinued.  If you purchase the quilt, I have one remaining set along with the instructions for making this quilt that I will send with the quilt, free of charge, so you can make pillow shams or another matching quilt.  (You will need to have the carpenter’s star set of stamps for the center.)

If you are interested, you can purchase this quilt at:

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!

Fall in East TN

Everyone knows I LOVE fall.  The trees have just started to turn.  It won’t be “peak” for a few more weeks.  I took a few snaps of my garden just as it is transitioning to winter.

Flame bushes are just starting to turn.

Flame bushes are just starting to turn.

The last flowers in my garden are the sedum.

Red Sedum

Red Sedum

The bees were at these constantly until they started to wane.  I do love the orchid variety, which blooms on the other side of my garden.

Purple Sedum with the little tiny "star flowers."

Purple Sedum with the little tiny “star flowers.”

The dogwood trees have started to turn red and yield their red berries.

Red Dogwood Berries.

Red Dogwood Berries.

My husband and I laugh at the antics of the squirrels as they hang upside down gathering and eating the berries along with all the birds.  Our home is surrounded by dogwood trees, so it is a haven for birds.

As I was wandering I found my rhododendron giving off one more bloom before going to sleep.

One last bloom before I sleep!

One last bloom before I sleep!

Every morning I hear the geese that pass their summers by the weir on the “Little River” near my home flying south in perfect formation.  I’m always too late to get out my camera and take a snap as they honk on their way south.

Happy Fall, everyone!




Quilts for Sale… Thousand Pyramids

For those of you new to this blog and page, I’m trying to highlight each of my quilts for sale one at a time.  Giving you the “rest of the story” behind the quilt.  Today I’m going to highlight the “Thousand Pyramids”.

Thousand Pyramids (22" x 28")

Thousand Pyramids (22″ x 28″)

It is no secret one of my favorite quilts to make are charm quilts!  A charm quilt doesn’t have any fabric repeated.  (A scrap quilt can repeat the fabrics.)  Charm quilts were very popular in the 1800’s when girls would trade scraps to make a very special “charm” quilt.  Were they thinking their Prince “Charm ing” would come to sweep them off their feet after finishing their quilt?  Who knows?  I’ve been married to my prince 46 years and am still making charm quilts.

This particular charm quilt has 266 different pieces of fabric.  It was featured in the April 2002 issue of “American Patchwork and Quilting.”

Picture courtesy of "Better Homes and Gardens American Patchwork and Quilting"

Picture courtesy of “Better Homes and Gardens American Patchwork and Quilting”

One of the pleasures of making a charm quilt is using some of your novelty fabrics.  This quilt contains the “skiers” again, plus a horse and rider, planets and other fun object prints.

In 2003, I was one of the many quilters to appear on the cover of “Designers and Their Quilts.”

Cover of "Designers and Their Quilts" courtesy of "Better Homes and Gardens"

Cover of “Designers and Their Quilts” courtesy of “Better Homes and Gardens”

Okay, that is a blast from the past…  LOL!  My “Thousand Pyramids” quilt was featured on page 6 along with an article on me and my style of quilts.  I remember my dad taking that book all over his retirement village to brag!  But he still managed to call my quilts, “blankets”.  :)

The thousand pyramids is available for purchase at:

Want to make one of your own?  You can use the triangle stamp in the “Sugar Loaf” set available at:

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!


Lengthwise Grain Stamping

A question was just asked on my “Stitching with Cindy Blackberg” face book page about stamping on the lengthwise grain.  I thought I’d clarify the issue with a few pictures for your benefit.

First question is WHY is grain line so important in quilting?  Answer: Because you can get a stretched out mess without checking the grain.

My stamps are all mounted on the wood so that the lengthwise grain should be lined up with the finger holds on the stamps.

Let’s go into my studio and stamp some diamonds for the 3″ Lemoyne Star.  I measure my stamp from top to bottom and then cut some 2″ strips PARALLEL TO THE SELVAGE.

Lay out your strips on your craft mat face down.

Make sure your strips are cut parallel to the lengthwise grain.

Make sure your strips are cut parallel to the lengthwise grain.

Now ink up your stamp and away you go!  Stamp as many diamonds as you can accommodate on your strip.  Notice 2 sides of the diamond will be on the lengthwise grain with no stretch and 2 sides of the diamond will be on the bias.

Stamp across your strip making sure the finger holds are parallel to the top and bottom.

Stamp across your strip making sure the finger holds are parallel to the top and bottom.

For some patterns it isn’t as important to be accurate on the lengthwise grain, but on the Lemoyne star, when you sew the pieces together, you’ll be stitching a lengthwise grain to a bias all around your star.  Your lengthwise grain side will keep the bias side from stretching!  (Ever have a star that looked like a “B” cup?  Well, here is your answer.)

On the front of your star, you’ll be able to see the lengthwise grain edge by looking at the stripe fabric.  It was stamped and cut on the lengthwise grain.

Finished side of the star.

Finished side of the star.

There are sometimes when I disregard the grain line.  When I’m fussing cutting a fabric, but you will notice that even with fussy cutting, I don’t fussy cut ALL the pieces.

This "Lucy Boston" setting shows some of the pieces fussy cut and some cut on the grain line.

This “Lucy Boston” setting shows some of the pieces fussy cut and some cut on the grain line.

There was one last question my reader had about jelly roll strips.  I wish they were cut parallel to the selvage, but they are not.  I would save these for quick quilt patterns.

I hope this clears up some questions and will help you to have perfectly flat and lovely quilts!

Until Next Time,

Happy Stamping!

My Thimble Collection Quilt

I was recently asked by a new quilter several questions about my “Quilts for Sale”.  I keep forgetting I get new quilters coming to my blog and face book page every day.  I’m happy we have this medium to get information out to those who desire it.

As per her questions, I thought I’d give everyone more background on each of the quilts I have for sale one at a time.

“My Thimble Collection” was inspired by an antique quilt that someone brought into my vending booth in Jacksonville, FL way back in 1996.  I had been collecting ideas for my first self published book, “Vintage One Patch Scrap Quilts”.    I made the example for my book by tracing templates.  Leslie G. owns it.

Later that year, a local Florida quilt shop contacted me about producing stamps for the patterns in my book.  I had been experimenting with making stamps, so it seemed a natural.  My first stamp was born, the Thimble Stamp!  I was delighted and shocked how many people caught onto the idea.  I immediately started to make a new thimble quilt with my new template stamp.

I had been working for Better Homes and Gardens American Patchwork and Quilting at the time, freelancing many of my designs.  I submitted this quilt and they accepted it!

My Thimble Collection Quilt 21" x 21"

My Thimble Collection Quilt
21″ x 21″

What a treat to see this quilt appear in their fine magazine in February 2000!

I was able to use several fabrics that I had been “hording” because it was a charm quilt (every piece is different and not repeated) and used only 2″ squares of fabric.  Carol C. will get a laugh at one of my favorite fabrics because she and I bought “the skiers” together.  And the “fox heads” was used in all my charm quilts at the time.

Detail of My Thimble Collection Quilt

Detail of My Thimble Collection Quilt

Because of it’s popularity and the really cool picture American Patchwork took of the quilt, it then appeared on the cover of  Scrap Quilts, a small publication highlighting several of the magazines recent quilts by various quilters.

Cover of Scrap Quilts courtesy of American Patchwork and Quilting.

Cover of Scrap Quilts courtesy of American Patchwork and Quilting.

This publication came out in 2001.  It was sold in quilt shops and hobby stores around the country.

Now you can own this particular quilt “My Thimble Collection” if you desire.  Only one is available and it is the original that appeared in the magazine and publication.

The original stamp has been discontinued, but if you wish to make your own version, you can purchase the “Vintage Thimble Stamp” on my website.

As Paul Harvey used to say, “Now you know the rest of the story!”

Until Next Time,

Happy Stitching!

Pumpkin Muffin Time!

Everyone that knows me well knows I love pumpkin bread, pumpkin lattes and especially PUMPKIN MUFFINS!  I made up a batch today and thought I’d share my recipe.

Pumpkin Muffins with hot tea. Life doesn't get better than this! :)

Pumpkin Muffins with hot tea. Life doesn’t get better than this!

Here is the easy recipe:

4 beaten eggs

1 – 15 oz can pumpkin

1 cup cooking oil

1 cup sugar

Mix these 4 ingredients with mixer and add:

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Mix thoroughly and pour into 18 muffin tins or one 9 x 13″ pan.  Bake at 350° for 20 minutes (muffins) or 30 minutes (cake).  Cool and frost with cream cheese icing.  (Notice I put the icing INSIDE like my mom did when packing school lunches.)

Perfect for snacking when quilting!

I’ll be at a retreat most of next week.  I’ll be filling orders before I head out on Tuesday.  I’ll be home Friday, so I’ll get them out as soon as possible.  I appreciate your patience.

Happy Baking and Stitching!