Sneek Peek At the Blackberry Thief



If you can remember…..

In the last post, I was giving you an indication that you are going to become very comfortable (eventually) with small circles for the next block. If you use glue, some sort of interfacing, starch, etc…. You will make your life a living hell when it comes to the detail embroidery elements. Let me give you a graphic mental visual because a picture would be way too gross. Bloody fingers that look like hamburger. Does that cover it?

I have been working so hard on this block and I have never, never, torn out so much and had so many problems. I thought I had designed it to go quickly but nooooooo, just the opposite. Now do not fret, this will not carry over to your experience. This is what happens to me while creating and designing and choosing colors and fabrics and………It will all be worked out when you get it.

The blackberries are NOT dimensional. Cool huh? The fabric I chose for this did 75% of the work to make it look that way. I am also experimenting and getting really good consistent results with some of the Cosmo variegated floss. a more painterly effect without having to worry about how the values and colors lay as I stitch.




For those of you who have taken my Fall Wreath Workshop, this will be a breeze because you learned the stitch techniques involved with the blackberries. If you have not, no worries because it looks much harder than it really is.

Although this block has cost me so much time, I am REALLY pleased with the transformation. I am almost at the finish line (I have to be). I tucked in an international date that came with a custom design request so I am actually on a 12 hour day stitching schedule.

Prepare for this best block yet (and next to last) Naturalist’s Notebook block 9: The Blackberry Thief to make its debut January 2017. I am starting out the new year on the road back to back with prep and teaching through April. Then I am home to work on stitching again (purposely) until fall.

For those of you who have been asking…..YES! The Academy of Applique in Williamsburg and I FINALLY were able to get a year that worked! I have agreed to 2018 and will be looking forward to coming back to Williamsburg, Virginia.

I will try and get my schedule updated for 2017 (Empty Spools (twice), Australia , Seattle, WA) as soon as I can.


Candy Cane garland




Thank you for hanging with me and I wish you all the very best of the season and happy holidays!


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About Sandra

I am an Author, Designer, Illustrator and a major international award winning quilt artisan. I love working with fabrics and threads and they have become my medium of choice.

18 thoughts on “Sneek Peek At the Blackberry Thief

  1. Tammy’s right! It is breath taking…looking forward to seeing the whole block and getting the kit!

  2. The berries look like they need picking and eating. Every block you design is more beautiful than the last. I’ll be looking forward to seeing the rest of the design and then ordering the kit.

  3. Those berries look amazing!!! Can’t wait to learn how you made them!
    Merry Christmas to you and your family Sandra!

  4. All I can say is WOW! Can’t wait to get a kit. I’m having a great time stitching on the Margarita block started in your St George class. Had a blast and learned so much.

  5. So appreciate all of your hard work and creativity .. I’m on a one year absence from needle turn appliqué with a needlepoint for my son & will be doing some embroidery on it, too — thanks to your teachings. I look forward to these blackberries being my third block! Of course, Val’s is next after the Nuthatch. For me, it’s Empty Spools in 2018 …

  6. This is really making me, drool!!! I think I’m going to love this one! I can’t wait!!!!!!

    You never cease to amaze me. You bring so much joy to my life. I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday !

  7. I have been following your work, bought your book and hope to finish a few WIP before taking on the adventure to appliqué The Nature’s notebook. Mh hubby got into bird photography as the wild birds always come and find me. No matter where in the world, they come to me. I have taken to feeding a flock of bluejays every fall and spring with roasted peanuts in the shell. In the wild when we go for a walk, we keep little bags of sunflower seeds in our jacket pockets. chickadees will come and eat the seed out of your hands, the best was the downy woody woodpecker who has come and done this repeatedly!

  8. Every block has taught us something new and creative. I am so excited to learn how to make the berries. The berries are truly amazing. I wish I could attend one of your workshops. Thank you for taking the time to share your incredible talent. Just looking at your work makes me so happy and inspired.

  9. I am still looking at those berries trying to figure them out. Oh man, am I gonna have a showstopper after you show me what to do.
    We all bow to the Goddess of Applique.

  10. Wow sandra the blackberries look amazing and will be hanging out for the kit release in Jan. but before then I will have to bite the bullet and do the Hummingbird beak! With all my best wishes to you and your family for the holidays and the new year regards Elaine from OZ

  11. Hi Sandra–

    Just discovered your work, and I wish I would have found it sooner. Several of the projects I would like to buy are sold out…dang!

    The blackberries look great, and I will be keeping my eye out for when the kit is available!

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