Rowing By Hand Mystery




Get ready for a brand new “sort of” mystery and join the fun!

CLUE 1  Yes, it IS a row quilt.  But a row quilt like none other!  It started with some leftover blocks I had accumulated.  Then after pulling out lots of stamp sets, I finally got my design, which I think is one of my favorite quilts in a long time.

CLUE 2  Yes, you WILL be using stamp sets for each row except for 2 wool embroidery rows.   (6 different stamps or stamp sets are used… listing below)

CLUE 3  The quilt will be 36″ x 42″ without borders.

CLUE 4  This year, color handouts will be sent each month. At the end of each clue I’ll include a picture of my finished row so you will know EXACTLY which fabric I used and where, making your fabric selections easier.  So, no guess work which fabrics I used where, making it a “sort of” mystery.

CLUE 5  This mystery is for ALL levels.  We will begin with the easiest of blocks so everyone will have success.  I’ll be blogging along the way so you’ll be guided by my teaching through the blogs.  Posting your pictures on the “Stitching with Cindy Blackberg” Facebook page will help everyone and double the fun.

The fun starts February 15th and will run for 8 months!

Here are the stamp sets you’ll be using:

Cracker Box (February)
3/4″ Hexagon (March)
Hexagon Connector (May) (not the 3/4″ connector)
Dresden Plate (June)
Sunburst (July)
3″ Lemoyne Star (August)

Want to join?  Only $55 for 8 months of mailings plus a FREE gift for the first 100 sign ups.  (Stamps, notions and fabrics are extra.)  Let us know here!  Your supply list and free gift for the first 100 people will be sent to you upon sign up!

Ethel’s Candy Time!

I’ve been in the kitchen today making our family Christmas treat in time for giving and those Christmas parties around the corner.  I’ve published this pattern before, but thought I’d revisit it in case you weren’t a reader a few years back.

This lovely candy has been made in the Blackberg kitchen for 40 years!!!  My sons expect it every year and I don’t like to disappoint.  Here it is for you, my dear readers:

“Cindy’s Candies via Ethel”

1 cup coconut

3/4 cup smooth peanut butter

1/2 cup confectionary sugar

1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)

1 cup pitted dates/ chopped (Do not use the prechopped, they aren’t as sticky.)

12 oz semisweet pieces

Mix all the ingredients except for the semisweet pieces.  (You will need to use your hands, it is very messy.)  Form into walnut size balls.  Melt the semisweet pieces in a fry pan over very low heat until melted.  Using 2 spoons, coat the balls and place on wax paper.  Let cool in the frig.  This makes about 16 balls.



Don’t forget a few more days to get your free Christmas Memories Pattern!  Order anything on the website and I’ll tuck in this nice surprise for you.  (In lieu of an Ethel’s candy!)

Christmas Memories Pattern

Merry Christmas to all!

FREE Christmas Memories Pattern

Hi everyone!

I have to say, I was a little shocked over the response when I posted my old “Christmas Memories” pattern on the “Stitching with Cindy Blackberg” face book page.  Of course, I forgot completely that I have a new audience out there that hasn’t seen every work or pattern I’ve made.

So, I’m offering this pattern FREE with a purchase on my website of any pattern, stamp, stamp set, block keeper or needle keeper.  (The keepers make excellent gifts for your friends that quilt, BTW.)

So, here is your chance to get a free Christmas pattern made with the Carpenter’s Star set of stamps.

Christmas Memories Pattern

Just order any pattern, stamp, stamp set or keeper on my website and I’ll tuck one of these patterns in your order for FREE!

Until next time,

Merry Christmas!


Valdani SALE!!!

I’ve been going through my inventory and it seems like I have overstocked my favorite collection of Valdani perle cotton size 12.

Cindy Blackberg Collection

My overstock is your gain!  For a limited time, I’ll be selling my Valdani collection of beautiful thread at a bargain price of $50!  That is less than $4.50 a ball, PLUS I will include a pack my favorite needles for embroidery, Clover Chenille size 24.  A $12 savings!

Use your thread for Big Stitch as well as embroidery.

Clover Chenille Needles and Valdani Perle Cotton #12

Great for Wool Embroidery, too!

Josephine’s Garden
35″ x 42″

Order now before my supply runs out.

Cindy Blackberg Collection

Valdani, hand dyed and always colorfast.

Get your box here.


Revisiting an old post: 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.


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 Facebook.)

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!

Sawtooth Star Love…

When someone asks me what stamp set should I start with, I point them to the “Sawtooth Star” set of stamps.

Sawtooth Star set of stamps

You can make all kinds of blocks with this set, not just the “Star Toss” quilt pattern that is included in the set.

“Star Toss” one of my very favorite quilts!

This quilt has been “pinned” the most from my Pinterest board, too!

Love this picture and setting.

What else can you do with the set?  How about the “Civil War Mini Sampler“?  It is available as a pattern.  The blocks finish the same size as the star toss at 3 3/4”.

Civil War Mini Sampler pattern.

Want another quilt made with the same stamp set?  How about the “Nine Patch Civil War sampler“?  The blocks finish around 5 3/4”.

Nine Patch Civil War Sampler

Another 2 versions using this stamp set is “Bears and Berries“.  These were quilts that made for my Handwork in the Smokies retreats many years ago.  I love both versions, don’t you?

Strippy Version

Bears and Berries Block version.

So take out that set today and have fun stamping and planning.

Until next time,

Happy Quilting!

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”



Sunburst Inspiration!

Last month when I was at Jo Morton’s handwork retreat in Nebraska, our focus was on hand piecing the “Sunburst Block“.  We used template stamps to stamp out blocks and Jo and I showed different ways to insert them into the background.  What FUN it was!  I took a few pictures to share with all of you.  I can’t wait to see what everyone does with their blocks from the seminar.

I’m hand quilting my second sunburst quilt and already have 5 more blocks done to put in an upcoming row quilt.

Here are some of the blocks to inspire you!

There were so many more, too!  I LOVE them all!  So much fun to hand piece, it is like eating peanuts, you can’t stop with one, LOL!

Want to join the fun?  Get your Sunburst Set here and start stamping!

Show off your blocks on the “Stitching with Cindy Blackberg face book page”.  I can’t wait to see your blocks!

Until next time,

Happy Stamping and Stitching!

How my stamps are made

I get some inquiries about my stamps and why I don’t use clear polypropylene. (I’ve tried polypropylene stamps and I’m not a fan.  They tend to stretch and you need to mount them exactly on a clear block.  The first stamps I tested were made of polypropylene and after a while they started to crack and dry out.)

Since I love seeing how things are made, I thought I’d run you by my process.  ALL my stamps are made in the US with quality US products by several small businesses, including mine.

First, I design something I might like to have made up in Corel.  I use a proportional scale because there is some shrinkage when the rubber is cooked.

Next I have a die and it’s reverse made up.  It is expensive to have a die made, so I do think about designs carefully before I have a die made.

die and reverse

Next the rubber is poured into the die and “cooked”.

Hot rubber coming your way!

The rubber “pancakes” are trimmed by hand and placed on a sticky back foam so they will have a “bounce” when using.

Sticky mount

Then they are hand cut AGAIN and laid on the appropriate size reforested wood.

Reforested California Hardwood

The wood is cut and sanded.

Sawing the wood.

Finally they are stuck onto the wood according to my design.  They are then packaged and mailed to me where I process them.

Remember the stamps are ALL mounted so that the finger holds should be aligned with the grain of the fabric.

Place fingers on the finger holds and stamp.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this trip to the factory today.  Until next time…

Happy Stamping!


Show and Tell!

Hi Everyone!

I just got home from Jo Morton’s handwork retreat in NE and the “Show and Tell” was again outstanding!

I thought I’d share some of the quilts that were made with my stamps.  I’m always in awe of you, my followers, and what you do with your stamps and patterns.

Here are just a few..

Nancy B’s Thistle

Don’t you just LOVE the way she fussy cut the points!

Carpenter’s Star

One comment Jo made was that it was okay to make just one block, finish it and USE it on a table.  LOVE this rendition, don’t you?

Carpenter’s star

Of course, you CAN make a full size quilt, too.  Wouldn’t you just LOVE to have this on YOUR bed!!!!

Anne’s Spool Quilt

How about a small spool quilt.  LOVE the fabrics!

Perhaps made with the Aunt Hattie’s hexagon stamp and connector?

Love this option, too!

I have sunburst blocks, too, to show you, but that will have to wait until next time!

You can order all these stamps on my website at

Click on the header bar link to template stamps (or scroll down to the category link picture and click on it), scroll down and click on the particular picture.  Information about each stamp should come up.

Until next time,

Happy Stitching and Stamping!