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!


Borders Part 3

When I was teaching at my first “Handwork in the Smokies” seminar a couple weeks ago, we had a discussion about getting border prints to turn the corner easily.  I told my students I’d write a blog post that explains this neat way to turn corners.  This isn’t my own invention, BTW, it is Jinny Beyer’s, a master quilter and designer.

How to start…  Pick out a border that is symmetrical.  (That means it is the same on both sides if you draw a line down one of the motifs.)

Notice that the top border is NOT symmetrical.  The bottom one is symmetrical in 2 places.

Notice that the top border is NOT symmetrical. The bottom one is symmetrical in 2 places.

Most symmetrical border prints have 2 places they are symmetrical.  I’ve drawn with chalk on the bottom border the 2 places.

Here is border print that LOOKS symmetrical, but actually isn’t.  (Draw your line at a 90 degrees.)

Even though this border looks symmetrical, it isn't when you draw a line thru a motif.

Even though this border looks symmetrical, it isn’t when you draw a line thru a motif.


Now here is where the magic happens.  If you remember back a few months when I told you how to cut your borders  and miter them at the same time.  (If you haven’t read the blog post, go back to the “Borders and Pressing” #1 and #2.)

If you fold your 4 borders on one of the symmetrical points and cut out them all the same as shown earlier, you get some really neat results at the corners.  Look at the way this plain old border turns…

WOW!  Look at those corners!

WOW! Look at those corners!

You also have the other symmetrical point.  If you choose that one to fold your borders, you get this…

WOW!  Another great turn!

WOW! Another great turn!

I usually machine piece my borders on, but when I get to the corners, I stitch them up by hand, so I can make sure my motifs all match.

Of course, this works easily with a SQUARE quilt.  A rectangle is a little more complicated.  I still do the same thing, but I audition the corners first.  Sometimes I can just cut one motif on 2 sides and the other motif on the other 2 sides.  Sometimes it magically works with the same motif.  (It really is a question of math, the dreaded subject that I love.)

Hope this has you looking at border prints a little differently and get out a few of them and cut away to see what you get!


Railroad Crossing is Back!

It is the 14th anniversary this year of first appearance of one of my favorite designs, “Railroad Crossing.”  Do you have the issue of Better Homes and Garden’s American Patchwork and Quilting when it first appeared on the cover?

Picture used with permission of Better Homes and Gardens "American Patchwork & Quilting".

Picture used with permission of Better Homes and Gardens “American Patchwork & Quilting”.


This quilt was a reproduction from a friend’s antique quilt collection.  I did hand piece all the blocks (without stamps back then) and loved every minute of the sewing.

Close up of one of the blocks.

Close up of one of the blocks.


After urging from my quilting friends, I included “Railroad Crossing” and a smaller version, “Whistle Stop” in the 3rd “Handwork in the Smokies” seminar.

Now both quilt patterns and a set of stamps are available again.  This was formerly known as the “sunburst” set of stamps, like the singer formerly known as Prince.  🙂  If you don’t have instructions for the railroad crossing and HAVE the sunburst set of stamps, send me a sase and I’ll gladly send them to you.



Studio Done!

Hope everyone is having a great SPRING!  I’ve been gardening and trying to keep up with my new projects.  I promise the new “pointed tile” will be here very soon!  I figured out 4 ways to use the stamp already.

My BIG news is that my studio is finally finished.  I still have a few cosmetic things to attend to, but now it is mostly done and very functional!

Here is a pic of the “core” of the studio, the work center:

This is the work table with everything at my right hand.

This is the work table with everything at my right hand.

Notice I use a secretary chair with no arms to wheel around.  I bought TWO of them so when I’m on the other side in my computer center, I can just move over there and not have to move the chair back and forth.  The sewing machine is closed, but it is directly under a great light, so I can see when sewing.  (YES, I do use my machine!)  By putting the machine out in the center of the room, I can use the table behind it to cut my pieces.

The baskets in the foreground contain my button collection and valdani threads.  Who says storage has to be plastic?  These were given to me by my close friend, Priscilla.  (I know you are saying, wish I had a friend like that!  I know I’m blessed!)

Now onto the “fun center”, the FABRIC and quilt rack…

My fabric is arranged in the storage chest as I mentioned before in a blog post.

My fabric is arranged in the storage chest as I mentioned before in a blog post.

The baskets on the bench hold my current projects, so I can grab the project I want to do easily.   To the left (out of view) is my other pie safe with my products for sale.

I honestly love a great organized room.  I think if you can find everything at your finger tips, you can spend more time stitching!

Happy Organizing to YOU!




A new design as Spring arrives

What a great response to my blog last week.  The results were very close, but Pointed Tile has won first in line!  I made my first block yesterday and here is the result.  It measures around 7 1/2″.  While I was working on it, I realized a smaller block with just 8 pieces would be a great option, too.

My first pointed tile block.

My first pointed tile block.

When producing a new stamp it is important to me that everything fits correctly and neatly.  This particular stamp was designed to use the small D square and B triangle from the Sawtooth Star set of stamps around the edge.  They fit perfectly.

I’ll be working on it in the next few weeks, so stay tuned!  (And for those of you that voted for the other designs, they are close behind.)

Many of you love the spring as I do.  It has finally come here in the mountains!  We had a fierce storm the other night, but even now the birds are calling and the sky is clear enough to share some pics from our new house.  The former owner was an avid gardener and since we bought in the winter, the surprises are popping up everywhere!


A cardinal sings in the dogwood tree.

A cardinal sings in the dogwood tree.


Maybe the cardinal is looking at the old nest site in the “saucy magnolia” that just bloomed.  (See the old nest hidden in the branches.)

 An old nest is nestled in the branches.

An old nest is nestled in the branches.


In the front of the house is a pink dogwood.

Pink dogwood are open to full bloom.

Pink dogwood are open to full bloom.

I’ll leave you with a picture of the front of the house.  I’m going out to garden!

Spring in the mountains.

Spring in the mountains.



New Designs

I need your help for the next challenge I face.  My students are my best barometer when it comes to making up new stamp designs.  I’ve had several requests for 2 of the following designs and I’ve been toying with another for a while now.  I’d like you to respond back to this blog with your FAVORITE design.  (Just your very favorite, please)

Here they are with the names:

Starry Night

Starry Night

The starry night “kite” shape adds onto the carpenter’s star 45 degree diamond, so it would be a single stamp.

Pointed Tile

Pointed Tile

The Pointed Tile would be a single stamp that adds onto the small square in the spool stamp set or the little square in the sawtooth star stamp set.  (It can be made larger with more “rounds”)

Inner City

Inner City

The inner city would be a single stamp that can be combined with the existing “Aunt Hattie’s Hexagon”.  It could also be used up and down as in the “Chinese Lantern” quilt.

Well, those are the three designs.  I’ll tabulate the winner from the blog replies and that will be the first design.  (You can all see how your favorite is doing by checking during the week.)

Only ONE reply per person.  Thanks for your help!


AND the winner is…

The name Cindy’s favorite batting contest was a success!  There were 50 replies and 45 correct replies.

In case you didn’t know, my favorite battings are:

Hobbs Thermore and Quilter’s Dream Cotton (request thickness)

Last night I had an impartial judge pick a name from the correct people that answered.

Christine's new puppy, Louie

Christine’s new puppy, Louie

Louie is adorable and so well behaved for a puppy.  We love him already!  Anyway, Louie got his nose in the box with the enteries and actually picked one!

Louie chooses a winner!

Louie chooses a winner!

A paper flew onto the floor…

Only one fell out!

Only one fell out!

And the winner is…  MARTHA SANCHEZ!  Congratulations, Martha!  Martha is a dear friend, fabulous quilter, and knitter!  I know she will enjoy using the batting.

And for all of you that entered the contest, THANK YOU!  Love my readers and wish I could give you all a batting prize.

Stay tuned next week for a peek at some new designs I’m working on…

CONTEST! Name Cindy’s favorite battings!

Hi, everyone!

Recently, I had a student asked me what batting I used?  I saw she had a copy of my hand quilting book sitting at her place, I asked her, “Did you read my Tiny Stitches book?”  She sheepishly replied she hadn’t.

I told the people in class that I could help EVERYONE’S hand quilting by changing them to a better batting choice.

So, here is the deal…  You must respond to this blog by repling below (DO NOT email me personally, please) and tell everyone my favorite battings.  I’ll take enteries until April 4.  I’ll announce the winner on April 5th.  I’m sure there will be more than one correct responder, so I’ll do a random drawing of the winning enteries.  And here is what you will win…  A package of my favorite polyester batting and a small package of my favorite cotton batting!

Good luck!

Mountain Quiltfest

I just got home from Pigeon Forge’s “Mountain Quiltfest”.  I love this particular show and love teaching at this event.  Next year they are planning their 20th anniversary at the new civic center.  I’ll be teaching along with my buddy, Jo Morton!  I’m not sure when they will choose classes or let you sign up for them, so check the website www.mypigeonforge.com later this year.  Worth coming to East TN for this show and venue.

Of course, what is a quilt show without quilts!  I managed to snap a few student photos from former class projects.  I’m so proud of my students!  A big fat thanks to all who brought in their quilts.

Donna Spencer wowed me with a beautiful churn dash quilt.  The embroidery is from the "bears and berries" pattern.

Donna Spencer wowed me with a beautiful churn dash quilt. The embroidery is from the “Bears and Berries” pattern.

There are 5 rows of 11 blocks in this stunning quilt.  Donna made an applecore quilt last year out of thirties fabrics that was also so stunning.  Great work!

Sharon Francisco also took last year’s churn dash class and made this great sampler.

I especially love her choice of fabrics.

I especially love her choice of fabrics.

Bernadette Pohlmann did an extraordinary job on her “Mountain Blossoms” quilt.

The hand quilting on this quilt was fabulous.

The hand quilting on this quilt was fabulous.

I will end this blog with showing you my favorite quilt in the show made by my friend, Linda Roy.  She won a blue ribbon for “Icing on the Cake”.  Linda and I make all our quilts by hand and this particular quilt has everything you want to see in hand work.  Linda’s work is known all over and we are lucky she lives in Knoxville.

You can look at Linda's quilt for hours and still not see everything!

You can look at Linda’s quilt for hours and still not see everything!

Here is a close up view of one of the sections.  BEAUTIFUL!

Linda is a master at her craft.

Linda is a master at her craft.



Stamping Steps

I was looking through my posts and realized I had left out one very important lesson…  Stamping out your projects!

Many of you have taken my classes and know this information, but many of you haven’t so I’m putting it in this post to clear up any misunderstandings.  (And it is a great reference for those of you that haven’t used the stamps, yet.)

Place your fabric FACE DOWN!  You will always be stamping on the wrong side of the fabric.

I always lay out my fabric with the LENGTHWISE grain at the top of my rotary cutting mat.  ALL THE STAMPS HAVE FINGERHOLDS AND THE FINGERHOLDS ARE MEANT TO BE PLACED PARALLEL TO THE LENGTHWISE GRAIN.  (If you need a refresher on the grain lines, refer back to my blog post on borders.)

Lengthwise Grain

Lengthwise grain is at the top of the square.

Lengthwise grain is at the top of the square.

Next, tap your stamp on top of the ink pad.  The pads are raised for easier stamping.  If you are using a large stamp, tap GENTLY across the pad.  If you have too much ink, use a paper towel and remove the excess and restamp.  (You can tell you have used too much or stamp too hard if you have excess ink in the middle of your design that you stamped.)

Tap gently across the pad.

Tap gently across the pad.

Place your fingers in the fingerholds and press straight down with the stamp.  Reink each time you stamp.

Cut out your pieces on the OUTSIDE line and stitch on the inside line.

Cut out on the outside line.

Cut out on the outside line.

And a word about the ink I use…  I use FABRIC ink.  It is permanent, won’t wash out, won’t bleed through unless you are stamping too hard.  It IS archival, which means it is acid free so it won’t deteroriate your fabric in years to come.  I don’t heat set my fabric after stamping.  I did a test years ago to see if it mattered and it didn’t, so I skip this step, although you can press it after stamping if you feel like it.

I use high quality versa craft ink.

I use high quality versa craft ink.

I find that the chocolate brown color will cover about 80% of the fabrics I stamp, but sometimes I need the white.  Each pad is preinked with enough ink to stamp out at least 2 small quilts if you keep the cover on between stampings and leave it upside down in a plastic bag.  Reinkers are available if you need to freshen your pad.  I can refresh about 50 times with one little reinker.  Of course these are available on my website!

To clean your stamps, use a “wet one” or a baby wipe, dry with a paper towel and you are done!

Happy stamping to you this week!