Monday, March 2, 2015

Featuring Kathleen Rountree...Again!

I just got back from my trip to the Middle East and had a wonderful email from Kathleen Rountree waiting for me in my inbox.

She is a fabulous quilter and fellow Linen Lady.  She entered one of her linen quilts into the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Virginia and received a Judge's Choice award from Anna Hergert.

It's always nice to hear when a linen quilt receives a special award or ribbon in a show as these are still "new" in the quilting world.

Congratulations Kathleen!!!!  Beautiful quilt!

Hugs, Cindy :)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Digging in the "Bone Pile"

While teaching my design workshop last week somehow the subject of bad or ruined pieces came up.  I told my students if you could only see my "bone pile"...the pieces that have gone wrong while working on them.  Not everything I do comes out beautiful...I throw SO much stuff away.  But other "bones" are worth keeping to work on at a later date.  This piece is one of those

About three years ago I started working on this gorgeous linen and due to "I have no idea what happened" it was a mess.  The whole outside border went wonky on me and I was certain it was beyond anything in my power to fix.  So in a fit of frustration one night  I took my rotary cutter to it and cut off about 18" all the way around.  GASP!  Did I reeeeaaaallllllyyyy just do that???  Yep.

So...the middle was now laying flat.  How about something beautiful in the middle?  Sure...I traced a beautiful applique basket design  from Elly Sienkiewica's Papercuts and Plenty book and decided embroidering it would be a fabulous idea.  Nope...that didn't work either.  So in another fit of frustration I scribbled over the whole thing to nail it down flat intending to put something over the top of it to cover it up...someday.

Well, now that "Cinderella" is done, rather than start something brand new I started digging thru my bone pile of half-finished/half-destroyed projects and this one poked it's head out and said "it's time to finish me now".    So I painstakingly ripped out all the embroidery...

I found a beautiful vintage Battenburg lace hankie that fit the bill to cover up the disaster I had created in the middle.  I put Bosal stabilizer on the back to make it more stable.  Notice that I extended the stabilizer to include the Battenburg lace.  This will help protect it during the quilting process so I hopefully don't snag it on something.  Once I'm done quilting I will carefully trim the stabilizer back to the solid linen leaving the lace exposed.

 I found another exquisite lace doily to go in the middle of that. 

Sticking with my original idea of a design from Elly's book I found this beautiful design and enlarged it to a whopping 2 1/2".  This will be quilted in the middle and the whole unit placed on top of the mess.  I will quilt a pretty background on the hankie once everything is set and then add beads of course.

I thought you would enjoy the fact that your teachers have bone piles and disasters too...just like the rest of you!  I'm glad I decided to hang on to this piece for a bit longer until I was in the right state of mind to do it justice.

I also wanted to let you know that I will be leaving Monday evening for an extended teaching engagement in Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi and will not be home until late on the 26th.  My schedule is very intense with precious little down time for even a full night's sleep.  If you need to get a hold of me for any reason, please wait until after the dear husband, Kent, is in charge of things while I'm gone and he's a bit nervous about it!  He has the processing and shipping of The Ultimate Stencils orders down pat and doing very well there so no worries on that part.  I'm not going to let him touch my emails!

I will have some wonderful stories on my return and will do some special blog posts for you.

Big Hugs, Cindy :)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Craftsy's Sweetest Valentines Sale!!!


This is Craftsy's first big sale of the year!  All classes are up to 50% off thru Monday, February 16th.
CLICK HERE to be taken to Craftsy and indulge in a sweet gift just for you!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Featuring Wendy Garrison!

I recently taught an extended workshop for Quilting in the Desert in Gilbert, AZ and had the pleasure of having Wendy Garrison in my class.   She brought some small linens to create a wholecloth quilt from and it turned out stunning.  She sent me photos and I wanted to share with all of you.   By the way, the odd looking linen in the middle is actually a bun warmer...these were placed in baskets, rolls were put on top, and then the corners were folded over the top of the rolls.   I've had many students have these in class and they never quite knew what to do with they do!

I began practicing free motion quilting skills about five years ago and encountered Cindy's linen quilting work in 2012 when she was a guest expert on SewCalGal's Free Motion Quilting Challenge.  I loved the linen wholecloth work Cindy posted on her web site and when she started offering on-line classes through Craftsy  I took advantage of the opportunity to learn more about her techniques.

I saw that Cindy was going to be in Phoenix which is very close to where I live so I signed up right away!  I heeded her advice  and started with some pieces that didn't hold a lot of sentimental value and chose four matching embroidered doilies and a bread basket liner.  I arranged them on a solid background fabric that would give me a lot of open space to play.

During the two day workshop I planned and marked the wholecloth top, learned how to attach the doilies and learned lots of new quilting techniques including scribbling.

Two weeks later my "Vintage Doilies" piece is almost complete.  It is quilted, blocked, the binding is attached, and I am in the process of finding just the right beads to enhance the crosshatching and the lace around the doilies.

This quilt makes me smile!


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Handbook Updates 2015

This is the best way to reach EVERYONE regarding the handbook updates.

I wanted to let you know that I sent out the new 2015 handbooks this morning for those of you who are entitled to updated handbooks each year.   You should have a newsletter in your in-box with all of the links.  If you did NOT get the newsletter with the links, and you are signed up for updates, please let me know.  I will check my Constant Contact directory and make sure I have everything typed correctly.

The Linen Wholecloth Quilts updated handbook has not yet been rewritten and I plan on having that available by the 2nd week of February.

If you have the Designs Collection, i.e., Oldies But Goodies and New & will NOT be getting updated handbooks this year.  Those were newly written last fall so you already have the new books.  You will be getting updates to this collection next January and will be getting a BUCKET LOAD of new designs then! 

This is always a HUGE undertaking for me each year...LOVE the new updated handbooks but boy am I ever glad when they're done!

Hugs, Cindy :)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Wholecloth Design Ideas!

For those of you who are patiently waiting for handbook updates, I'm happy to tell you I'm down to the last three books...whew.  This is always a grind but well worth it in the end.

I'm right in the middle of Basic Wholecloth Quilts and am adding a chapter on how to use The Ultimate Stencil to design wholecloth quilts.  I thought it was such good information I wanted to share with all of you too.  I have copied the pages directly out of the new handbook and these shots will also be part of my new easel demo for my designing workshops. 

For those of you following the design ideas I've been posting, remember I am posting my blog photos directly onto my Ultimate Stencil  Pinterest page in case you want to access them that way.   My Pinterest button is on the home page of my website.

I've been teaching you how to draft your designs on the paper Master Grids first.  I've taken a basic square, divided it using the drawn lines and filled with feathers.

When creating a wholecloth quilt I instruct my students to fold their fabric in half lengthwise and widthwise, press the folds into a firm crease  and then use these lines to line up their stencils.  In this case you would line up The Ultimate Stencil on your horizontal/vertical lines, draw the guidelines you need, and then fill with your chosen design.  See how pretty this block is repeated for an overall wholecloth design???

Here's another very simple block also filled with feathers.

This time I've repeated it "on point" still using the horizontal/vertical lines as my guide.

This design was drafted using the circle Ultimate Stencil.

And this is how it looks repeated overall.

Now that you have the idea, let's combine a circle AND a square and repeat them both for a wholecloth quilt.

Love how this one came out!  I'm still very jazzed about all the possibilities and LOVE being able to share and teach as I go.

Hugs, Cindy

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Ultimate "Star"

I am FINALLY able to post a progress report on my newest star quilt.  I work best on a tight deadline and I desperately want this piece done before my engagement at Quilting in the Desert in less than two weeks.   I also want it to accompany me to Dubai next month.    I'm actually going to make that deadline!

I was working on it for a couple hours this morning, took a break and came back to my room and was captivated by how pretty it looked sitting in my machine so I took  photos from my point of view. 

I love the little circles.  I put in some baby clamshells and have beaded them with little gold beads.

There are four of these corners and I am filling them with tight echoing and baby feathers.

I am just starting a round feather wreath that will go around the entire outside of the piece tucking underneath the linen corners.  This is being done with a very heavy silk thread.

Obviously this piece is still in it's awkward "puberty stage" but I am VERY happy with how she is turning out.

When I was going thru the photo folder I came across these beginning pictures and wanted to share.  This is when I was just getting The Ultimate Stencil project going and learning what it could do.

I laid the stencil down in the middle of my piece..

marked the lines that I needed and drafted the center star pattern...

and quilted the main outline.  Very cool!

By the way, the huge star going around is actually a commercially cut stencil thru
Quilting Creations...It's NH131 and NH132.  

When I originally designed this large stencil medallion a few years ago,  I used the very same grid system on my drafting table that has since become The Ultimate Stencil.  Funny how things come around.  And now you know why I've named this quilt "The Ultimate Star".

Hugs, Cindy :)

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Classroom...Part II

Okay, I promise I won't be bugging you again about these shapes but I just HAD to share these with you too.

I've finished the filler's portion of the Feathers Handbook and wanted to show a few more designs that were created with the Ultimate Stencil.

Creating a perfect diamond in any size is very easy with the square Ultimate Stencil.  I've shown three different ways to fill this shape with feathers.

And here's melon shapes created using the circle Ultimate Stencil...

Remember I'm adding designs to my Pinterest page if you need a quick inspirational fix. 

Hugs, Cindy :)

Friday, December 26, 2014

Classroom Time...

As you know I'm right in the middle of updating all my's that time of year.  Many of you will be receiving the links to your  updated purchased books by the middle of January.

I'm about 3/4 of the way thru the Heirloom Feathers book and decided to redraft all of the feathering designs using the Ultimate Stencils as my guide.  Since this stencil set is new to ALL of us,  I wanted to share what I'm learning and also give you a sneak peek into some of the updates.

The Heirloom Feathers handbook teaches you how to take simple shapes that are ordinarily found in pieced quilt tops and divide/conquer them to create beautiful quilting designs.   I provide six different options for quilting each of these basic shapes.

One easy way to divide/conquer a square...use the square Ultimate Stencil and draw diagonal lines.  Using the circle Ultimate Stencil draw your arches or just sketch them in yourself.

This is how it may look filled in with feathers.

Using the square Ultimate stencil you can create a perfect triangle.  Divide it in half using the vertical line as your guide.  Draw arches on either side..use the circle grid or just sketch them in.

This is how it may look quilted.  Here's another example of a triangle...

Here's an example of an elongated triangle using the square Ultimate Stencil...

Notice that I didn't use the angled lines at all.  I was impressed with the fact that I could use the angles/square lines as a guide only.  Here's another example...

Circles are always a bugger to's two easy ways to divide a circle using the circle Ultimate Stencil as your guide....

I hope you enjoy the inspirations I am providing to you in my "Blogger Classroom".  I  felt it was important to inspire you as I'm learning myself...I was having a lot of fun today drafting these new designs and wanted to share.

If you want photocopies of the paper Master Grids they are available on the FREE 27 page handbook that is available to you on the home page of my website.  I am also continuing to add Ultimate Stencil ideas and inspirations on my Pinterest page.  You can access that at any time by clicking on the Pinterest button on my home page.

If you come up with inspirations using these stencils please share!  I would love to pass on your ideas.

Hugs, Cindy :)