Sunday, August 30, 2015

Ultimate Backgrounds in Action!!!

I just returned from an extended teaching engagement in Texas where I had the pleasure of speaking/teaching for the Bear Creek Quilt Guild, the Denton Quilt Guild and then finished with a 5-day workshop for Quilting Adventures.  

The workshop was geared towards learning to design and focused on wholecloth quilting where the students had the freedom to create their own designs.  Of course I had my brand new Ultimate Backgrounds with me for playtime in the sandbox.  I was not only blown away by the beautiful work the students created but I was really watching to see how they would use the background stencils.

The above quilt was created by Ann Moore who has taken three workshops from me now.  She worked ALL week on this one piece and I was fascinated with the "modern approach" she took for using a multitude of the backgrounds.  The above picture shows how the triangle stencil was used...

This photo shows the triple lines and the clam shells....

...and this one is showing the twisted grid.  Fabulous work Ann!!!!!

I love to bring Cherrywood panels for students to play with.  It's a little less intimidating to work on a smaller project.  This student drafted her medallion design using the round Ultimate Stencil and also used the papa twisted grid, the baby clams, papa diamonds and baby twisted clam backgrounds. 

This student used the "mama" sized triangles for her background and filled with cathedral windows.

This student used the mama triangles and filled with repetitive lines in a hexagon design, triple lines for a triple-line grid and the 1/2" grid filled with cathedral windows.

I made up a whole stack of thick vinyl sheets and traced the circle and square Ultimate Stencils with Sharpie marker directly to the vinyl.  Students were encouraged to use a dry erase marker (on the OTHER unmarked side) to draft out their designs.  This was very popular in the workshop and many students found it much, much easier to draft out their designs on the marked vinyl rather than the paper master grids. 

This medallion was also drafted on the vinyl sheet, the design drawn on the Cherrywood panel using the circle Ultimate Stencil, and the quilting has begun.

Fabulous, fabulous time in Texas...thank you to everyone who took such amazing care of me and all my students who put up with me!!!

I also wanted to give a shout out that for those that took advantage of the "pre-sale" on the Ultimate Backgrounds, your orders are all assembled, packed and have been shipped in three separate trips to the post office.  You will be receiving them VERY soon!!! 

I LOVE getting show and tell in my emails so if you have done something wonderful with either the new Ultimate Backgrounds or the Ultimate Stencils, please send a photo my way so I can add it to either a future blog post or to my Pinterest page that has been dedicated to these stencils.

Hugs, Cindy :)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Featuring Ramona Resurreccion!!!

I received a lovely email from Ramona Resurreccion from Australia and a picture of her gorgeous prize winning linen wholecloth quilt.

I had the pleasure of teaching in Adelaide four years ago and it was my very first international that makes it extra special.   Ramona won "Excellence in Long Arm Quilting" in the small quilt category which is a major award at the Quilt Showcase.  Congratulations Ramona!!!  Here's her story below...

Hugs, Cindy :)

"I purchased the linen from a vintage store in Melbourne about two years ago and had to bleach the stain off.  I now have several vintage linens waiting to be quilted.

This was quilted with a mustard coloured cotton background on my longarm quilting machine then embellished it with pearl beads including around the edge of the scallop binding.

I got my sister to attend your class in Adelaide as your class clashed with the other one I had. "

Cheers, Ramona Resurreccion, Melbourne

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Ultimate Backgrounds YouTube Videos/Pinterest

Boy... since sending out my blog post and newsletter about my new Ultimate Backgrounds, life has been NUTS here in Chico!  Love all the positive response to my "new baby" :)

As always I believe in as much instruction and education as I can possibly send your way so I have been spending many long hours getting YouTube videos posted for each of the backgrounds.   Since I have filmed for both Craftsy and The Quilt Show, I know what "professional" studios look like.  I have to laugh at the little makeshift  studio here in my sewing room!
But you know... it gets the job done and it's the best I can do from here!

Soooo...if you're interested in seeing how the stencils actually work, and what cool things you can do with them, visit The Ultimate Backgrounds section of my website to check out the videos. 

During the filming process I noticed how the samples I was teaching with didn't show the details very well so I created a special page on my Pinterest board dedicated to these samples. (You can access my Pinterest page from the front page of my website).    I've taken a picture of each and every one of them and posted them to this page.  This will allow you to really see what I've done.

As I said before, the first shipment of stencils will arrive on my doorstep this coming Friday.  I already have the envelopes stickered and ready to go and will have the first 100 orders out on Monday.  I am expecting the next shipment of stencils no later than the end of this month.  Your envelopes are also ready to roll so as soon as they arrive I will have them out to you.  Each of you will get a confirmation via email when your stencils are shipped.

Thank you!!!!  Hugs, Cindy :)

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Premier Pre-Sale of "Ultimate Backgrounds" Stencils!!!


I've had many people comment that my mind NEVER's always going, always creating and always re-inventing itself.  They're absolutely right.

I was teaching in Naples, Florida this past June and happened to have some Baby Clams stencils with me and offered them for sale...they were gone immediately with  orders for more. It dawned on me that having some beautiful backgrounds in stencil form was probably a good idea!

Many of the heirloom background designs I teach require a grid to be marked first and then the background design drafted from that.  I've done it that way for years and never considered doing it any other way...until now.   Many of my students  struggle with the drafting part.  It takes a LOT of time to mark the grids and then remark with the background design.  This leaves lots of extra marking pen on the quilt too.

I have come up with a 20 stencil set of my favorite backgrounds that could satisfy all of your heirloom background needs.

Diagonal gridwork is always important, so I have one sheet of 1/2" and one sheet of 3/4".  By skipping lines you can create an unlimited number of different sized grids.

I have  included SIX different designs in THREE different sizes...Papa, Mama and Baby.  These different sizes will accommodate any space that needs to be filled.







Because we each learn in a different way, i.e., tactile, spoken, written, I've covered at least two of those.  I've written a 32 page handbook that is FREE to you.  It includes instructions and illustrations for each of these backgrounds along with at least 2 fillers for each one.  CLICK HERE to download or visit the front page of my website to download.

I will be creating YouTube videos of each of these designs so you have both visual and spoken instructions for these backgrounds.  I hope to have these videos completed in the next few days.   These will also be available on my website.

This set of 20 stencils, if each design was sold separately, would retail for $98.  In working with my long time friends at Quilting Creations I am able to sell this set for $75.

I am offering a pre-sale of The Ultimate Backgrounds for $70 and this will run from August 9-23rd.  I will be receiving my first 100 sets of stencils by Friday the 14th.  The remaining sets will be on my doorstep by August 31st.  If you would like to take advantage of this pre-sale, CLICK HERE.

Please keep in mind that your set of stencils may not be shipped until September 1st! 

If you have been interested in The Ultimate Stencil and haven't yet purchased it, I would be happy to ship it in the same envelope with the Ultimate Background stencils.  

After August 23rd the Ultimate Backgrounds will sell for $75.  I am VERY excited about these designs and know you will be too!  Please check out my new Pinterest page dedicated to these backgrounds  (this will be up within the week).  I will be adding  photos and drawings as well as my students' work when I receive those special show-and-tell emails.

Thank you!  Hugs, Cindy :)

Monday, July 6, 2015


In a previous post I shared the trials and tribulations of trying to get this quilt has quite a history of drama and trauma and has been in my "bone pile" for quite awhile.  I finally had the right inspiration to get her done.

The middle centerpiece is made up of a Battenburg hankie topped with a crocheted lace square topped with a tatted circle topped with an ivory rose.   I had two separate bad choices for a center quilting design and it took this many pieces, layered on top of each other, to cover it all up.  I'm very pleased with how it turned out! 

I'm always teaching my students how to add designs under and over each other.  I wanted to have a circle medallion to frame in the center and only had a bit of space in which to do that.  I added a rope cable in the four corners which gives impression that it goes all the way around...and it goes "underneath" everything to provide depth and dimension.

I added a micro echoing to fill in the entire background...Diane Gaudynski inspired.

All the leaves were quilted with Nun's Quilt style feathers.

The back is the most special of all...I have a "thing" for my angels and this beautiful piece of lace has been hanging out in my stash for awhile waiting for the perfect quilt.  She was attached to some linen and this has become my hanging sleeve...

...and this is my signature linen.  A beautiful piece of organza.

This piece is dedicated to Joan and Harold Needham...Kent's parents, who passed on two years apart this week.  They are our very special angels that watch over us constantly...that's the reason for the angel at the top.  They watched over us constantly this past week while Kent was very ill in the hospital and we are thankful for their presence in our lives.

Hugs, Cindy :)

Friday, July 3, 2015

Featuring Kathy Autry's Work!

I keep asking everyone to share their work using The Ultimate Stencils so I can teach and inspire everyone on what can be done.

I received a fabulous email from Kathy Autry and she gave me permission to share with all of you.
Thank you Kathy!!!   


"I know you get a lot of emails from us "want to be quilters" but I just wanted to tell you that I ordered the stencils and your books about 4 weeks ago and was in the process of making a quilt for my daughter.  Actually I just started quilting 1 year ago and chose a quilt to make with lots of new learning techniques.

This quilt had 39 squares as part of the design plus 3 stars (a design from Missouri Star Quilts).  I watched your two Craftsy videos and decided to try and quilt it as you described in one of the tutorials as a "whole cloth pieced quilt". 

I picked two designs from your "New and Improved Book~The Ultimate Stencil" and applied the ultimate stencil to draw them out.  IT WAS SO EASY!!!  Thank you so much.  I love the possibility of endless designs but most important that I could make the design easily fit the size of my 9 1/2" blocks.

I have attached a couple of pictures with one of the design blocks and then a portion of the quilt in the process with one of the stars that I also used the ultimate stencil to make.

I am not showing off my quilting ability as it is only 1 year in the learning, but the ability to use the stencil.  Thank you so much."

Kathy Autry

Saturday, June 27, 2015

My First "Reversible" Quilt and New Video on The Ultimate Stencil

I'll start with the "quick" information first!  I knew that my first Ultimate Stencil videos were old and needed some refreshing and updating so I just shot a new video.  This one is MUCH better and is actually the instruction that I provide in my classrooms.  CLICK HERE to check it out! 

Now for an update on my current project!

I've always admired the beautiful reversible quilts I see in some of the quilt shows and really wanted to do one of my own.  I also acquired another beautiful French boutis quilting pattern and thought this would be perfect for this project.

I had a beautiful tablecloth with good quality linen in the middle but it didn't have a pretty edge so I cut off the existing edging and added one from another linen.  

The design is very complicated and detailed but you know me, I LOVE that sort of a challenge.

The quilting itself is being done with Superior Threads' Kimono Silk (100 filament) and their 50 wt. Tire silk on both the top and the bottom. I have a beautiful heavy black linen yardage for the backing.  Quilters Dream Cotton Select and 1/2 thickness wool is being used for the batting.  I am also using the Pilot Frixion pen for the marking. 

Just thought I'd give you an idea of just how small the quilting designs are on this piece!  Lots and lots of time has already been spent with quilting one little line at a time and burying hundreds of threads but I think it will be well worth it in the end! 

Hugs, Cindy :)

Friday, June 12, 2015

More Demo's~The Ultimate Stencil

I'm always listening and watching my students in the classroom to determine if I need to come up with better ways of teaching a technique.   When I'm teaching how to use the Ultimate Stencil there is consistently a lot of confusion about how to transfer a design from the paper Master Grids to the quilt itself. 

At my last retreat in Auburn one of my retreaters suggested having my students have actual quilt blocks to transfer their designs would make more sense that way.  Great Idea!!!!  I have a big batch of orphan blocks being donated for classroom use in the next week or so but I had a few sitting here that I thought I could use for my classroom easel demo now. 

I wanted to share these instructions with all of YOU hoping it may help alleviate any confusion you may have.

I always recommend that you draft your design on the paper Master Grids first!  This is how I do it when I'm designing and it's a lot less intimidating. (Newly drafted grids are available on the front page of  my website that include extra angles and lines). 

This is a very basic eight pointed star that has been drawn on a paper circle  Master Grid.  Now that I am happy with my design I need to transfer this design to my quilt block.

I need to determine which lines I need to mark with my stencil directly on to my quilt block in order to duplicate that design.  (These lines are shown in blue.)  If you don't want to trace the entire circle you can just make dots at the intersections.  (These are shown in yellow).

I placed the Ultimate Stencil directly on top of my quilt block and marked ONLY the lines that I need to recreate the star. (These lines are shown in blue).

Now that I have my  guidelines I simply "connect my dots" or "lines" to recreate my eight pointed star on my quilt block (star is shown in red lines).

Here's another example:

I want to create a very simple flower on my quilt block.  I've drafted it out first on a paper circle Master Grid.  I need to determine which lines I need to mark with the Ultimate Stencil directly on to my quilt block in order to duplicate the design.  (lines are shown in blue).

I place the Ultimate Stencil directly on top of my quilt block and mark only the lines I need to duplicate the flower on my block (lines are shown in blue).  

Now I simply "connect the dots" or "lines" to recreate my flower on top of my quilt block. (lines are shown in red).

Now you may "quilt as desired"!

I hope this has helped!  I will be revising my free instruction book to include these instructions in the near future.  If you have any other suggestions or ideas using these fabulous design stencils please let me know!  I'm always listening.

Hugs, Cindy :)