Little Treasures…

Many of you know I love the wool block keepers my sister, Gayle, makes for me.  She does such a great job sewing them and adding the finishing touches by hand stitching.  The block keepers are made with real wool and are available on my website under “Made By Hand”.  Gayle also makes the cute small needle keepers by hand.

Gayle recently sent me a picture of her “helper”.  Now we know her secret of getting those keepers pressed.

Gayle's "helper" presses the block keepers.

Gayle’s “helper” presses the block keepers.

While I was in Kansas City, I saw these wonderful little pin cushions that Candy Hargrove makes.  She uses reproduction and antique salt sellers for the base.  Too darn cute!  I have one by my sewing area that I love.  They are perfect to put along side your quilting supplies on a table or in your sewing box.  You can order one from Candy at: cahquilter@kc.rr.com.

 

Pin Cushions made by Candy Hargrove.

Pin Cushions made by Candy Hargrove.

Don’t you just LOVE those little hand made sewing notions?  I  have a small collection of small pin cushions made by my students that I treasure.

Happy Stitching!

 

Snowball Triangle

Hi, everyone!  As you know, I’ve been inspired by my friend, Jo Morton’s, little snowball quilt that appeared in her book, “Banner Day”.  I saw it on my recent visit to her home and studio.  It made me come home and look for the pieces I started ages ago.  I stamped out a few more and then came up with this cute table mat!  I LOVE it!  So easy and fun to make…

Snowball Quilt made with charm squares.

Snowball Quilt made with charm squares.

I love that I made it with charm squares I collected at last year’s “Handwork in the Smokies” retreats.  I plan on making a larger version later on.

I used the new “Snowball Triangle” which ADDS onto the Mariner’s Compass center E Octagon.  You can purchase the Mariner’s piece separate if you don’t own it.  I’m thinking the little quilts make up so quick, they would be great Christmas gifts.  The block is 2 1/8″.  I think it is the perfect size for your next portable project!

You can order the stamp on my website now for the “Snowball Triangle” and/or the Mariner’s E template.  Happy Stitching!

Happy 4th!

Hope everyone is celebrating the 4th of July with quilts!  I hung my traditional 4th of July quilt that my friend, Sandi, made for me many years ago.  It is named “Best Friends Sampler”.

Quilt made by Sandi Myers.

Quilt made by Sandi Myers.

So, take out the red, white, and blue fabrics today and make a special quilt!  (Maybe even for your “best friend.”)

 

Google Reader

For those of you that use google reader to view my posts, you’ll have to switch to another reader by Monday, July 1st.  It is going away.  Don’t want to lose any of you!  My web gal put a place where you can put in your email and still get the posts via email.  Go to the website at www.cindyblackberg.com and then put in your info on the side bar.   I’m not a techie, so I’m sure glad someone else has a “heads up” on this issue for me.

Summer Projects

Many of you know I love seeing what you are working on, especially as summer dog days are upon us.  Nothing I like better than to relax with an iced coffee and do some handwork.  Today I’m featuring 3 pieces that inspire me!

Meet Pam Stahl from TN.  Pam sent me her picture of her WIP star garden quilt.

Pam Stahl's Star Garden blocks.

Pam Stahl’s Star Garden blocks.

Can you tell she has a daughter?  What an adorable quilt to make for a girl.

One of my dear friends from the UK, Sue Waters, met me last year in Townsend for lunch.  I gave her the spool stamp set and LOOK AT WHAT SHE HAS DONE!!!  Too lovely for words.  When I visited the UK last May, I saw many antique quilts done in this style.  This just goes to show that your quilts don’t have to be small when making small blocks!

Sue Waters Spool Quilt.

Sue Waters Spool Quilt.

And last, but certainly NOT least, Sue Gilmore brought her stamp basket quilt top to show me when I was teaching in Kansas City.  WOW!  I taught her guild in Columbia a number of years ago.

Susan Gilmore's Stamp Basket medallion quilt.

Susan Gilmore’s Stamp Basket medallion quilt.

What a fabulous setting for these little blocks.

I hope this post will inspire you to do some stitching this summer.

I’m headed for the iced coffee and my handwork basket!  🙂

 

A Visit with Jo

Last week I taught in Kansas City.  It was so nice to see so many of my students from Columbia, MO, show up for my class.  And I made lots of new friends in K.C.

I had an extra day and my hostess, Candy, drove me to see my friend, Jo Morton.  We had lunch and I got to see Jo’s new quilts and blocks.  SHH!  Can’t tell you what they were, but you will love them!

Jo and I have been friends since 1992, when I taught in Omaha.  We have kept in touch through the years and when possible we get together.  Jo is a fabric designer, as well as being a fabulous quilt maker, teacher, and writer.

Jo in front of her "s'mores" quilt.

Jo in front of her “s’mores” quilt.

Jo showed me around her home, which is TRULY so special and I spied one of my favorite quilts…

Jo's snowball quilt from her book, "Banner Day."

Jo’s snowball quilt from her book, “Banner Day.”

This quilt reminded me that I have a snowball quilt in process.  I pulled it out to work on when I got home.  It is made with the Mariner’s Compass center octagon and an “add on stamp” for the corners.   It is coming out so very cute!  Can’t wait to finish it!

Next, I spied the table runner I made for Jo on her antique table with her pottery.  LOVELY!

Apple Core table runner appeared in Jo's book, "Vintage Journey."

Apple Core table runner appeared in Jo’s book, “Vintage Journey.”

Made with the apple core stamp, I stamped out TWO apple cores at a time.  I made one for Jo and made one for me.  Jo’s is bound in red, mine is bound in blue!

Jo has her home arranged with her lovely quilts everywhere.  I couldn’t help but fall in love with her little Lemoyne Stars.

Jo's small Lemoyne Stars is perfect in this side board.

Jo’s small Lemoyne Stars is perfect in this side board.

 

Jo just posted some little 3″ stars she was making on Facebook page.  I was asked about making a 3″ Lemoyne Star stamp set.  It is at the die makers as I write!

I’ve got more to share, but it will have to wait until I return from my trip to FL next week.  Until then, call a friend, have lunch, and spend some time catching up with them!

 

Jo and Cindy at Jo's Studio.

Jo and Cindy at Jo’s Studio.

 

 

 

Why did the chicken cross the road?

I know I’ve had you in suspense all last week waiting for the answer to this important question.  Why did the chicken cross the road?

Many of you know I have a dear friend, Vita, that helped me shoot the pictures for my hand piecing book, “Sampler By Hand”.  We used Vita’s chicken “Bessie Marie” to casually walk by my small sawtooth star quilt on the back cover.

bessie marie

It looked so natural, didn’t it?  Have you ever been on a photo shoot?  It is grueling.  I’ve done a couple with Better Homes and Gardens “American Patchwork and Quilting”.  It takes hours to set up the “perfect” shot.  Sometimes under adverse conditions.  (In this case the heat of summer.)

First we had to choose a chicken.  Alice Marie was perfect, but Vita and I couldn’t catch her.

Chicken tryouts!

Chicken tryouts!

We tried everything, even her favorite snack, but she wasn’t having any of it!

Chicken Runaway!

Chicken Runaway!

Bessie Marie (part actress) was easy to catch and we got her in the shot using her favorite snack, CHEESE!!!

Bessie takes the cheese!

Bessie takes the cheese!

So the next time someone asks you “Why did the chicken cross the road?”  Reply “To get the cheese!”  🙂

I’m leaving tomorrow to fly to Kansas City to teach.  Hope you all have a great week hand stitching!

 

 

 

Pointed Tile Variations!

I was going through my quilt patterns the other day and spotted one my darling sister, Gayle, had given me years ago as a possibility for a stamp.  Sure enough, it was the “pointed tile” set as a “Kansas Dugout”.

I quickly got out some scraps and sewed 9 little blocks together and now I’m trying to decide how to set them.  There are 2 ways.  (I used the little D square from the sawtooth star set for the center of the block.  You can use it if you have it, or just use the template in the pattern with the stamp.)

If you use the small D square to set the blocks, you get this.

If you use the small D square to set the blocks, you get this.

If you use the sawtooth star large A square for the setting and D square for the center of the blocks, you get this:

Here are the blocks in the traditional setting.

Here are the blocks in the traditional setting.

I’m doing variation 1, although the second one fascinates me.  I need to stitch faster…  Maybe another cup of coffee will help!

I laughed at this sign I saw on a friend’s pictures at an Ireland Coffee Shop.  (I LOVE coffee, BTW!)

COFFEE

“If you can’t thread a sewing machine when it’s running, then you haven’t had enough!”

Summer Pattern Sale

To promote your stitching this summer, I’ve cut my pattern prices for a limited time.  Now is the time to stock up on all those patterns you have been thinking about making.  Check out the website under patterns for all the different patterns available.

Wild Mountain Vine

Wild Mountain Vine

Wild Mountain Vine is my latest pattern.  It is so much better in person, as my students in my recent New Hampshire workshop will tell you.    This quilt is a great one to use up scraps or make in Christmas colors.  The hand embroidery sets it off nicely.  I did use the “Carpenter’s Star” set of stamps to make this beauty, or you can use the templates included in the pattern.

But, don’t stop there…

Now, for a limited time until my stock runs out, I’m running a sale on the Feathered Star set of stamps.  This set used with the Carpenter’s Star for the center comes out PERFECTLY every time.  I even used the “sequential” method of piecing the points to speed up the piecing.  (Instructions are shown in the pattern accompanying the stamps.)  This set will be going away when my inventory is gone.  I’m sad to discontinue it, but I have to make room for the new stamps I’m working on.

Feathered Star

Feathered Star

Now for the sad news…  I’ve had to raise my prices on SOME of my stamp sets.  I have absorbed the wood cost price raises for the last 6 years and my stamp guy has absorbed the cost twice.  I really didn’t want to raise the prices, as you can imagine.  Luckily, the price has only gone up $1 – $3 depending on the size and the amount of wood used in the stamp.  I’m hoping this will be the only increase for a while.  My stamps are mounted on hard wood, so they are sturdy and meant to last a long time.

Next week I answer the important question everyone has been waiting for…  Why did the chicken cross the road?

 

Pointed Tile Available!

Hi, everyone!  My new stamp, “Pointed Tile” is now available for purchase.  Look at the  examples of three variations on the home page.  I also have 2 more that I’m working on for samples.  This shape is a wonder and needs to be in everyone’s collection!

Here is Cathy Witt’s sample with 3 rounds:

Cathy used lovely spring colors.

Cathy used lovely spring colors.

Cathy used a light background for the final “round”.  I love the concept and can’t wait to see her finished quilt.

I just saw another variation at my local quilt store, so you know my hands are busy!  I’ll post more pictures as I get them done.

Happy Stitching!