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!


NEW!!! Drunkard’s Path Stamp Set

You asked for it, you got it!  Drunkard’s Path is an easy set to put together even with the gentle curves.  There are soooooooo many variations of the block, too!

Jeanne Etter made this version.

The block has so much movement in it without lots of piecing.

The stamp set contains 2 pieces.

Drunkard’s Path stamp set

The block finishes to 3″, so sewing is fast!  I made my sample in a few hours.  Of course, my stamps feature reference marks to make stitching stress free.

My scrappy version.

You can get your new stamp set here.  It comes with instructions for piecing my scrappy version.

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!

Scottish Mystery… Clue 1 Celtic Embroidery

Hi Mystery Participants Everywhere!

Some of you have already received clue #1 and I thought I’d use this blog post to explain the embroidery this month.  I chose a “Celtic” circle design to begin our mystery.  You KNOW how I LOVE to add embroidery to most of my quilts and the Scottish Mystery is no exception.

When traveling through Scotland last summer, my friend Erica found a wonderful gem of a “Georgian House” tucked away in Edinburgh.  The house was built in 1791 and decorated in the Georgian style and open to the public to view.  Georgian Architecture was named for the “kings” named George from 1714 – 1830.  (Yes, this included the King George that was ruling during the time of the American Revolution.)

Basically, the architecture and furnishings had proportion and balance.  (Just like all my quilts, I might add.)  Georgians loved symmetry which shows in these lovely bed covers.  Notice the symmetry of the head board.

Embroidered Georgian Headboard.

The “pockets” were there to store the lady’s or gentleman’s pocket watch.  We were told that pocket watches kept better time if they were stored upright and kept warm.

I loved the hand quilted whole cloth quilt that was on the bed and can you discover something by looking closely?

Look around the center design.

There it is!  My inspiration for our embroidery!  I did look up Celtic designs and found them in ancient writings in Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Cornwall.  Celtic designs also decorated the first bibles.

Some of you have asked, how many colors do I use for my embroidery?  I like to use 2 different colors per line, but use whatever inspires YOU!

Be sure to check out my blog post at  for a refresher in hand embroidery.

Close up of my embroidered Celtic circle.

I did do all my blocks different just because I am the gal that always dove into her box of crayons the first day of school and used all of them!  You might want a “quieter” palette all the same.  It is up to you!  It is YOUR quilt!

Until Next Time,

Happy Embroidering!


Choosing Fabrics for the Scottish Mystery Quilt

Many of you have been concerned over choosing your border print for the upcoming Scottish Mystery.  By now all of you should have received your initial package with the mystery stamps, graphite pencil, template plastic and 4 handouts.  One of the handouts is in color and shows the fabrics I chose.

My color choices are only a guideline for you.  I chose them because Jo Morton’s new Gratitude line had just been produced.  It is fresh and different from colors I’ve used before.  BUT…  If this isn’t your cup of tea, be courageous and chose your own favorite fabrics.

Back to the border print…  I used the border print for the outside of the quilt and “harvested” some of the remaining borders to use in one of the mystery blocks.  You DO NOT need to use or buy a border fabric or a border print at this time if you can’t find one that you LOVE!  (Yes, you MUST LOVE your choices.)

Just buy a fat quarter that has some places you can fussy cut.  Here are a few examples:

Large flowers are a good choice.

Making a patriotic quilt? How about Betsy Ross?

Love all these items on this French General fabric.

The item you are going to fussy cut will be around 2 1/2″ square.  These choices are certainly large enough.

But if you have your heart set on a border print, here are some I found locally at Pappys Quilting Place.

Very graphic and looks Celtic.

Here is the same print in Red.

Just cut your 4 border strips first.  (Remember to add seam allowance to either side of the strip.)  Then you’ll have the rest to use in clue #2.

I hope this helps to stop the panic!  I always told my students in class that you all are smart women.  You chose the lovely clothes you are wearing today and you CAN choose fabrics you love.

I’m excited to begin!  I hope you are, too!  You can still sign up for the Scottish Mystery.  The first clue will go out the middle of February!

Be sure to share the excitement on the “Stitching With Cindy Blackberg” face book page!

Until then,

Happy Fabric Choosing!

Scottish Mystery Mailed!

Hi Everyone!

Thank you for your patience on your Scottish Mystery orders.  I’ve finally caught up with everyone and the last packages were mailed out today.  🙂

It is still not to late to join the mystery starting mid February.  I’ve had some questions about kits and fabric.  Included in each initial package is a picture of the fabrics I chose, mostly from Jo Morton’s Gratitude line.

Some of the fabrics I chose.

BUT, PLEASE feel free to chose your favorite colors and fabrics.  I did do a trial run in scrappy and will show a couple of these blocks as I blog about the mystery.  You can read all about the mystery on my web page under the header bar titled “Scottish Mystery Quilt”.

So….  What to do while waiting?  Last night I worked on another arrangement of my Bow Tie stamps.  I had these blocks in my “orphan” pile and decided I had enough to sew together.  I LIKE it!

Love this arrangement of leftover bow ties!

Lastly, don’t forget to order your copy of Quiltmania #117 with my featured “Piney Rose” quilt on page 66.  Beautiful photography, too!  Only a few limited copies remain.

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!


Piney Rose in Quiltmania #117!

For those of you that weren’t able to work on Piney Rose a couple years ago, it has been published as a pattern by Quiltmania magazine Jan/Feb 2017 edition #117.

Cover of issue 117
Photo courtesy of Quiltmania Magazine

I just got my magazine yesterday and there are 10 full color pages of instructions with layouts!  The magazine has a template sheet pullout section.  Can you tell I’m excited?

“Piney Rose”

I have a few copies of the magazine for sale if you don’t subscribe.  Order your copy here.

Until next time…

Happy Stitching!


Scottish Mystery Quilt

I LOVE a mystery!  Trying to figure out the characters, the clues and the final outcome…  I hope you do, too!  My latest trip to Scotland inspired my new “Scottish Mystery” quilt.  I saw sites and gathered clues as I toured the country and can’t wait to share them with you in the form of a QUILT!

For 6 months starting in February, I’ll be leading a special handwork mystery quilt.  This year the quilt is only 42″ square, so you might call it a “Wee Scottish Mystery”.  It will have Celtic embroidery, Thistle blocks, and a special mystery block made with a special set of stamps you will receive when you sign up.  You will be mailed out via snail mail one clue each month for 6 months.  At the end of 6 months, you will have completed your top and well on the way to quilting your quilt.  All levels are encouraged to sign up, there will be something for everyone!

When you sign up you will receive a special welcome package that contains: 2 Brand New Stamps that will connect with 2 of our old favorite stamps, Color picture of the fabrics I chose, Supply List, Template plastic to trace a few templates that were too big to make into stamps, Initial instructions, and a Graphite Pencil.

FABRICS ARE NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE OF THE MYSTERY  (I used mostly Jo Morton’s Gratitude line, but did a test in scrappy and liked it, too.  The color picture sent with the welcome package will give you specific ideas to make your quilt a success.)

This year, quilt shops will be able to participate, too! If you are a shop owner and would like to participate, contact me through my contact page and I’ll send you information.

Here are some additional supplies you will need to gather or purchase from my website or quilt shop:

Carpenter’s Star Stamp Set

Thistle Stamp Set

Ink Pads

Craft Mat (optional, but nice to have)

Valdani Perle Cotton (comes with a free package of size 24 Chenille needles) (I used my collection, but feel free to use your own favorite colors)

Along the way while working on your mystery quilt, I hope you will post pictures on the exclusive “Stitching With Cindy Blackberg” Facebook page.  You do have to have a Facebook account and ask to join the group.  It is a wonderful place to see other stitcher’s work and get ideas.

Of course, I’ll be blogging along the way, too!

Come along with us for a new adventure.  Sign up here: .

What will it be?

Nine Blocks and Counting…

Hi Everyone,

As the holidays approach we need projects that are easy to take with us and pick up (and put down) easily.  This season I’m working on my Sunburst Blocks.  I’ve already made one quilt, but I enjoyed making that quilt so much I’m going to attempt a bed quilt with lots of wonderful hand quilting and trapunto in the background.  Just like the “Twelve Days of Christmas” I’m going to attempt to make one block per day.

Here is what I have so far…

My first nine blocks. I'm using these colors.

My first nine blocks. I’m using these colors.

I’m using the “sequential” piecing method to make these fast!  Check it out on my website under “TIPS”.  It is the same way I pieced the little sunflowers only bigger pieces means faster sewing!

Sew the B pieces to the C pieces first,

Sew the B pieces to the C pieces first.

In goes the center!

Center circle has reference marks for easy piecing.

Center circle has reference marks for easy piecing.

Now sew the outside pieces.

Outside pieces are sewn sequentially, too! Yippee!

Outside pieces are sewn sequentially, too! Yippee!

Now a good press on the back.

Pressing the seams counter clockwise because I'm right handed.

Pressing the seams counter clockwise because I’m right handed.

Turn over and press again.  TEN blocks and counting!

Each block I like better than the last one!

Each block I like better than the last one!

Quilt Recipe #3… Hexagons

Everyone knows that piecing hexagons is hot!  Almost every hand piecer I know has a “hexie” project going right now.

I sell 3 sizes in my store.

3 sizes of hexagons I sell

3 sizes of hexagons I sell

The size is based on the side edges FINISHED SIZE.  I sell a 1 1/8″ (Aunt Hattie’s Hexagon), 3/4″ hexagon, and 1/2″ Mini Hexagon.

With any of them you can make this charm quilt.

Hexagon Charm Quilt

Hexagon Charm Quilt

You can also make the traditional Grandmother’s Flower Garden with any of the sizes or any variation of hexagon project.

With the mini hexagon stamp, Vicki S. made this doll quilt.

Vicki's doll quilt.

Vicki’s doll quilt.

Then she wanted to make a wedding quilt for her daughter with the same stamp.

Vicki's daughter's wedding quilt.

Vicki’s daughter’s wedding quilt.

Katie P. made this cute pin cushion using this same stamp!

Katie's pin cushion

Katie’s pin cushion

You can already see the possibilities!

Using the 3/4″ hexagon, I am making these blocks.

3/4" hexagons

3/4″ hexagons

If you add the 3/4″ hexagon connector, you can make a version like this one:

The connector can be used as a diamond or cut on the appropriate line to make the surrounding triangles.

The connector can be used as a diamond or cut on the appropriate line to make the surrounding triangles.

The largest hexagon, the Aunt Hattie’s Hexagon (1 1/8″ per side) has several additional stamps that connect with it.  Let’s start with the Hexagon Connector.

Hexagon connector.

Hexagon connector.

You can also purchase the “Star Garden” to connect with the Aunt Hattie’s Hexagon to make Star Garden.

My version of Star Garden.

My version of Star Garden.

Here is Jeanne E’s traditional version:

Jeanne E's version given to her husband.

Jeanne E’s traditional version.

I used both the Aunt Hatties and the Star Garden stamps to make this version for Better Homes and Gardens American Patchwork and Quilting called “Jewel Box”.

Jewel Box

Jewel Box

Another “add on” to the Aunt Hattie’s Hexagon is the Inner City Stamp.

Inner City

Inner City

You can make the traditional inner city quilt or use it in conjunction with the Aunt Hattie’s Hexagon to make these lovely versions made by my friend, Jeanne.

Sew them this way...

Sew them this way…

And you get this!

And you get this!

Sew them this way...

Sew them this way…

And you get this!!!

And you get this!!!

These small samples are just right size to make as Christmas table mats and easy to make.

So, get out your hexagons and start stamping!

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!