New Stamp! Tall Triangle

I get the BEST idea for stamps from my readers!  This one popped up as a suggestion last year.  It does take some time to make and test the stamps, but this one is a WINNER!!!!!!!!!!!

If you only have one stamp in your collection, the TALL TRIANGLE has to be it!

Tall Triangle Stamp

I love options and this one stamp has many!  I used it as a fabulous border on a new quilt I’m quilting.  I also used it as a border on a sampler quilt.  Look at this detail picture!

Border Suggestion

The stamp is 1 1/2″ wide and 2″ tall (finished size), so it fit on 6″, 9″ or 12″ blocks (or any multiple of 1 1/2″) easily.  Looking at this, you can see it is easy to “sequentially piece”, too!  You’ll be adding beautifully pieced borders to all your quilts!

I was also inspired to make a “Streak O’ Lightening” arrangement with the triangle shapes.  What a great way to use up your scraps!

Streak O’ Lightening idea

You can also make the “Double Kaleidoscope” using this new stamp.  I used the “Cracker Box” triangle for the corners, but a template is included with the pattern.

Double Kaleidoscope

There are instructions in the pattern for this quilt in the pattern and pictures of the other 2 suggestions on the cover.

Get your stamp here.

Template Stamps “Making your Piecing Fool Proof”

 

 

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!

Quilt Recipe 2 … Sugar Loaf

One of my most versatile stamp sets is the Sugar Loaf.  The set contains 2 stamps that can be used together or apart.

Sugar Loaf stamp set

Sugar Loaf stamp set

The traditional sugar loaf quilt is lovely.  I made a Christmas quilt out of my sample last year.

My Christmas Sugar Loaf

My Christmas Sugar Loaf

If you use just the 60° diamond, you can make the baby block quilt as my friend, Sandi, made.

Sandi Myer's finished baby block quilt.

Sandi Myer’s finished baby block quilt.

You can also make the 7 sisters block.

Seven Sister's sample block.

Seven Sister’s sample block.

I LOVE this charm version I found on Pinterest.

1880's antique charm quilt found on Pinterest.

1880’s antique charm quilt found on Pinterest.

If you use just the 60° triangle, you can make “Thousand Pyramids” as I did in this charm quilt.

for-sale-042

My charm version of Thousand Pyramids.

I also made another version using just antique fabrics I was given in one of my teaching trips.

I call this version "Blueberry Pie."

I call this version “Blueberry Pie.”

Here is a wonderful scrappy strippy version I found on Pinterest.

Love this version, too!

Love this version, too!

Of course if you add the new Large Sugar Loaf Pyramid, you can make Linda Collin’s wildly popular “Panama Pyramids“.  (You can follow this group on Face Book.)

Large Pyramid contains stamp and instructions.

Large Pyramid contains stamp and instructions.

Here is my quilt top coming along…

My version of "Panama Pyramids."

My version of “Panama Pyramids.”

I have a lot more cut out and ready to assemble.  This has been so much fun to make, it is like eating peanuts, you can’t stop with one!

I’ve just scratched the surface with these stamps!  I see so many different quilts in each of them as I play.

Have fun today with your stamps.

Until next time,

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!)

 

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!

Trapunto

As I was updating yet another version of “Tiny Stitches” I thought I’d share a technique I use called “layered trapunto.”  This is such an easy method of trapunto that doesn’t require extra tools or slicing holes in the back of your quilt.

First, trace your design onto the front of your quilt.  (I use a graphite pencil available on my website.)  Decide what section you’d like to appear layered.

I decided to layer the feathers in this block.

I decided to layer the feathers in this block.

Lay your design on top of a piece of HOBBS THERMORE.  (No backing yet!)

Baste just outside and inside the feathers.

Baste just outside and inside the feathers.

After basting, turn your piece over and trim the extra batting.

Your back should look like this.

Your back should look like this.

No need to trim exact.  This will be inside your quilt.

Now, lay down your piece on another whole piece of HOBBS THERMORE, backing and baste as you would normally.

The feathers appear puffy without distortion.

Basted and ready to quilt.

Quilt your piece as you normally would.  Wash and let it dry flat.

Notice the feathers are raised without distortion.

Notice the feathers are raised without distortion.

The first question you will ask is why Hobbs Thermore?  Answer: It is the only batting that you can successfully hand quilt through 2 layers.  (I’ve tried this with other battings and don’t like the results.)

And yes, I did cord the channel, too, but that is in the NEW Pocket Guide available very soon.

Happy Stitching!

 

Piecing Curves

This is a post I’ve been meaning to do for at least a year.  Today is the day! Get out your apple core stamp and work along!

Everyone went crazy over Susan B.’s beautiful picture of her apple core table runner that she posted on my “Stitching with Cindy Blackberg” face book page.

Beautiful red and white table runner by my friend Susan.

Beautiful red and white table runner by my friend Susan.

When piecing the apple core, the stamp has reference marks at the mid point for easy pinning.  You ALWAYS place the CONCAVE side on top.

Right sides together, CONCAVE side UP!

Right sides together, CONCAVE side UP!

To secure the centers, stitch a couple small stitches through the reference points on both sides.  (This tip was given to me by a former student, Gayle E.  Thanks Gayle!)

A couple stitches will hold the pieces together.

A couple stitches will hold the pieces together.

Piece as you normally would front the right to the left (if you are right handed).  Notice that I curve the piece over my finger as I sew, just like sewing in a sleeve.

Curve the pieces over your index finger as you sew.

Curve the pieces over your index finger as you sew.

I turn the piece over before pulling the thread through to make sure I’ve hit the stamped line on the back.

Check the back side to make sure I'm not WAY off the line.

Check the back side to make sure I’m not WAY off the line.

When I get to the center, I “park” my needle while I pin in the left corner.

Park the needle in the center while pinning the corner.

Park the needle in the center while pinning the corner.

Push the 2 pieces of fabric together so they match and again, place your work over your index finger and sew.

Sew up to the pin and back stitch twice.  Cut the thread.

Sew up to the pin and back stitch twice. Cut the thread.

When you open up your piece, the apple core automatically wants to be pressed away from the concave side.

Back side view without pressing.

Back side view without pressing.

Turn your piece over and it looks like this on the front.

Front view without pressing.

Front view without pressing.

I made 2 table runners and gave one to my friend, Jo Morton, and made one for me.

Made with the apple core stamp.

Made with the apple core stamp.

Now aren’t you excited to get out your stamp and work on this project this weekend.  Don’t have the stamp?  Order it today at http://cindyblackberg.com/shop/template-stamps/apple-core/

 

Happy Stitching!

 

F.I.Y. Inking and Stamping

I keep forgetting I get new people coming to my website daily.  One of the frequently asked questions I get is about the ink pads I sell on my website.

Versa Craft Ink and Reinkers

Versa Craft Ink and Reinkers

I only sell Versa Craft ink pads.  The ink is PERMANENT, it won’t wash out, won’t bleed through unless you are using a really thin fabric.  WHY PERMANENT?  So it won’t bleed when washing your quilt.  If it washed out, it would run all over your precious piecing and stain.

The ink is also SAFE for your fabrics.  It is “archival” which means it contains no acid.  It won’t destroy your stitching thread after years of use.

The second question I often get is that the stamp pad is smaller than some of the stamps.  How do you use it?

Simply start on one side of the stamp…

Tap gently on one end.

Tap gently on one end.

Keep tapping across the pad to the other end.

Continue tapping across the pad.

Continue tapping across the pad.

When you turn over your stamp, you should have all the lines covered with ink.

Rubber side ready to go!

Rubber side ready to go!

Now line up the finger holds along the lengthwise grain.  (Remember from an earlier blog ALL my stamps are mounted so the lengthwise grain is parallel to the finger holds.)

Place your fabric face down on a craft mat.  (available on the website http://cindyblackberg.com/shop/stamping-supplies/craft-mat/ ) Press down firmly and stamp.

REMEMBER to stamp on the BACK side of the fabric!

REMEMBER to stamp on the BACK side of the fabric!

I do “reink” the stamp every time I stamp.  I also “gang up” my stamping to save fabric.  I do this by switching the direction of the stamp.

Turn the stamp 180° to "gang up" the shapes.

Turn the stamp 180° to “gang up” the shapes.

Your original ink pad should last for a couple quilts without having to refresh it.  Do not throw it out or purchase another pad if it starts to dry out.  Instead purchase a reinker.  Shake the reinker bottle and squirt out a small bead of ink across the pad with the nozzle.

After squeezing out a small bead of ink, blend it into the pad with the nozzle.

After squeezing out a small bead of ink, blend it into the pad with the nozzle.

Now you are good to stamp for another 100,000 miles!  🙂

Need to clean your stamp?  I use a baby wipe or a “Wet One.”

Wipe off the excess ink and dry with a paper towel.

Wipe off the excess ink and dry with a paper towel.

Another question I often receive is “Should I heat set?”  No need.  I have tested the ink by heat setting and not heat setting.  Once it dries (in a couple minutes after stamping) it is permanent.

I hope this helps my “newbies” to understand some of the common questions.

Until next time,

Happy Stamping!

 

Pointed Tile Variations Now Available!

One of the many things I love about using template stamps are the myriad of ways you can combine them to make other patterns.  I’ve been working on a few samples made with the VERY popular “Pointed Tile” stamp.  I designed the “Pointed Tile” to combine easily with pieces from the “Sawtooth Star” set of stamps.

My new pattern, “Pointed Tile Variations” uses both these stamps to make 3 different quilts.  I made samples of these quilts, but of course, you can make them as large as you like simply by adding more blocks!

The first is the ever popular “Lucy Boston” setting.  My quilt measures 28″ x 28″.

"Lucy Boston" uses the Pointed Tile Stamp and pieces from the Sawtooth Star stamp set.

“Lucy Boston” setting

Next I tried my hand at applique and love the look of this new quilt I call “Garden Gate.”  Easy applique makes it look so inviting!  This quilt measures 22 1/2″ x 22 1/2″.

This setting is PERFECT for your applique blocks!

Garden Gate: This setting is PERFECT for your applique blocks!

Last, but not least, this pattern contains a sweet table runner to use up your pointed tile scraps.  My table runner measures 13″ x 22″.

Pointed Tile Table Runner

Pointed Tile Table Runner

All three quilts are included in the pattern.  I’ve also included templates for those of you that do not own the template stamps.

Order your pattern today!

Basic Stamping

Hi everyone!  I’ve received a few comments recently from new followers about basic steps.  I plan on doing some blog posts to cover these important subjects in the next few weeks.

I’m going to start with the very basic steps of stamping.  I know I posted some of this information a while ago, but it is always worth a new look.

First…  What is a template stamp?

A template stamp is a rubber stamp with piecing and cutting lines.

All my stamps come mounted on hard wood with finger holds that are placed parallel to the lengthwise grain of the fabric.

Single stamps

Single stamps

Ink up your stamp with VersaCraft ink.  I carry brown and white on my website.  Mostly you will use the brown, but occasionally you might need the white.

Versa Craft Ink and Reinkers

Versa Craft Ink and Reinkers

You can reink the pad about 50 times with a reinker, so do not throw the ink pad out if it gets a little dry.  Just order a reinker when you need it.  The pad has ink when you purchase it, it will last for at least 2 small quilts, one large one without having to reink.

Ink up your stamp by gently pressing into the pad.  If your stamp is large, just press it around the raised pad to ink up all the lines.

Ink up your stamp by gently pressing into the pad. If your stamp is large, just press it around the raised pad to ink up all the lines.

Now just press the stamp by lining up the finger holds on the lengthwise grain on the back of the fabric.  Give it a push, but don’t push so hard you get ink in the middle of your image.

Line it up to conserve fabric.

Line it up to conserve fabric.

Lift up your stamp and your image should look like this…

Image is correct.

Image is correct.

Now just cut out your image and use!

stamping steps 6

Cut it out on the outside line, piece it on the inside line.

The really great thing about stamping is that the seam allowances are consistently a perfect quarter inch!

Next time I’ll cover basic hand piecing!

Until then,

Happy Stitching!