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 :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Cute Project from Rachel Atienza

I just received this email show and tell from Rachel and wanted to share it with all of you!  I thought it was special because so many of us tend to lean towards the neutral linens and I LOVED the bright colors in this one.  I also loved all the little unusual details she added to the tiny center grid, the double rectangle circle and the flourishes in the feathers.  Beautifully done Rachel!!!!  Hugs, Cindy

This is only a small tray cloth.  I didn't want to start straight into a large table linen and this was ideal.  I wasn't too keen on the bright hand embroidery around the edges to start with and thought it wouldn't be the end of the world if I made a complete mess of it.  In the end I think the whole thing has really come alive and I'm very pleased with my first foray into this addictive technique. 

I used various threads as you suggest for different areas of the work and used wool batting for the first time.  I also invested in some of the Cherrywood fabric for the underlayment and like the fabric very much. 

All the while I was working I kept thinking of the original maker, and how sad that this piece which had been made with such care, was unloved and just sold for pennies at a car-boot sale.   I wish I knew who she was...I hope I have done justice to the maker, carefully stitching around her hand stitches as you suggest. 

Kind Regards,

Rachel  Atienza

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The First "My Time" Retreat in Auburn!!!

I have been holding retreats in McCloud, California for seven years now and needed to find another facility to hold more retreats.

The Mercy Center in Auburn, California was highly recommended by many quilting groups that already have retreats there and we all fell in love!

Our retreat room is VERY spacious with oodles of room for the 20 retreaters that attend.  We had lots of natural lighting from the windows on two walls and everyone got their very own large table.

We had a whole separate area on the other side of the room for design walls, basting/marking tables and supplies.  

We even have our own in-house kitchen complete with refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher, freezer, etc!

I LOVED watching all the quilts being created during the week....great eye candy :)

We always start our mornings with show and tell but we ended our week with a VERY special show and tell.  Another group was meeting at the facility during our time there and they came up for show and tell.  It was like having our own "awards ceremony" where everyone got to strut their stuff and show off their beautiful quilts.

I'm really looking forward to our next retreat in Auburn in July and the next three in 2016.  One retreater requested that I start doing morning instruction lectures for those that want it.  I thought it was a GREAT idea since I am no longer conducting my extended workshops.  This will give me the opportunity to continue to share great information.

In case anyone is interested in joining us for the July 9-12th retreat I have two openings!  

Hugs, Cindy :)

Monday, June 1, 2015

Multiple Features!!!

After posting my last feature of  Marilyn Hawkins, I received a few more emails from quilters with their own beautiful projects and I just KNEW you'd be itching to see more! Thank you to ALL  for your beautiful work and thank you for letting me share you with the world.
Hugs, Cindy :)

I heard from Kelly Cline in Lawrence, KS with these BEAUTIFUL pieces.  Her story:

I am a linen lover by way of the long arm.  I am really drawn to the society silk pieces and love the ones with words.  I sent you one I started with...Kansas, and since then am just obsessed with these pieces.  Here are a couple of recently finished pieces.


The rose piece is a silk round about 17" in diameter. 
Love your work and I am a regular follower. Thanks for the inspiration!

Kelly Cline


Geri Richardson is a fabulous linen lady who I had the pleasure of meeting at a past Linen Workshop in Rancho Cordova.  I received this email from her about a much deserved award on her beautiful piece.  This is a portion of her story~

The name of this is "Something Old is New Again".  The center doily is an old piece I picked out of Cindy's stash basket in class.  Background fabric is a pale blue Fossil Fern.  Threads are YLI silk, Superior silk and Isacord poly.  I got really lucky and found the lace edging at Beverly's then spent three days beading.  The lace edge is beaded on, the diamonds have beads in the center of the cathedral windows and the inside oval is beaded twice.

Oh yes, MAJOR blunder not once but TWICE.  I ran off the vinyl overlay I was working on to figure out my feather spine and got dry erase marker on the fabric.  First time just a little, second time BIG TIME.  Murphy's Oil Soap!!!  It works!!! 

I entered this in two shows.  The first in Tennessee at the Smoky Mountain Quilters  where it won two ribbons...third place in the art quilt category and a special award for surface embellishment.   Next it goes to a show in Indiana at the end of June.

Geri Richardson


Quiltshopgal hosts a monthly FMQ challenge where readers are encouraged to learn new techniques from various instructors and make beautiful pillows in the process.  During my feature, students were encouraged to use The Ultimate Stencil for their designs.

I heard from Grit Kovacs  in Germany with her gorgeous piece!!!

Anna Surke from Hungary is one of my very talented Craftsy students.  She is always posting gorgeous pieces.  This is her pillow project also using The Ultimate Stencil!


Robin Gausebeck from Paducah, Kentucky sent me a photo of her project way back in March...I put it in my "follow up emails" folder and guess who forgot to follow up and post it!

Here is her story:

This is a picture of the quilt made from my grandmother's old linen table runner which I finally finished in time for my guild's upcoming quilt show.  The original linen was brown with age and now it is back to being linen colored thanks to the RetroClean soap.  I enrolled in Sue Nickel's feather workshop at the quilt museum this past summer specifically to learn techniques for quilting this piece.  Using her strategy of designing feather motifs based on the letters of the alphabet, I was able to incorporate my grandmother's initials (BK) as the main quilting focal point.  The table runner itself was stitched to Dupioni silk.  I am pleased with how it turned out and I owe you a lot for the advice you provided.

Robin Gausebeck