Block No. 9 Done!

Happy New Year and I am glad to kick the backside of 2016 out the door.

As I had noted in the prior post, this block was not cooperative in the least. Why is it that the stuff you think will go smoothly and easily turns out to be the most problematic? I struggled, I REALLY struggled! In fact, there are areas of the background fabric that are held together only by a lonely strand of the weave.

However, I always find that the struggle creates the best work. I am forced to think, innovate, imagine, and push through the moments of “it can’t be done” to end up with my best work.

I know (boy do I know) that you have waited for this one and I hope it was worth it.

Are you ready??????………



Featuring the European Robin…..


And his mate the Hover Fly:


I forgot to add this yesterday–oops! Here is what the overall project looks like to date. If you have been following along, take a moment to line up your blocks and see how far you have come since the Wren. You should see visible improvement with each block. Smile and give yourself a pat on the back from me.


Yes, The Embroidery Matters!

Remember the Flowers? I thought this “before and After” would be interesting to you. Notice how lining them really makes a difference?

Applique done but no embroidery:


After the Embroidery:



The Making of a Hover Fly

I was not going to include an insect  on this block but I had “Hover Fly” on the brain. Jason had done an illustration for me and I also did a quick sketch to familiarize myself with its structure and bits.


Once that was done, the hard part of translating it to thread and a working pattern.

Now here is where I am really excited. Lecien-Cosmo have always been so supportive (Thank you Yumi and Katsumi). They send me all of their new lines. This year, just in time for Christmas, I received the new metallic line of “Soap Bubbles” (or “Shabon-dama” in Japanese). I can separate it into very fine *hairs* and this was just made for bugs among other many, many things.


So I decided to try it out for the very tiny wings of the Hover Fly. The usual technique I use to create gossamer insect wings won’t work with this little guy.


I separated out three tiny strands:


And then satin stitch (roughly) the tiny micro areas between the veins of the wings:

The veins are not actually as bold visually as in the picture and the shimmer from the new Cosmo thread looks so real and delicate! Jason said, “it looks like it just landed there and you could pick it up”.

I did have to adjust the pattern of the Hover Fly to exclude so much detail because it created an almost impossible task for me. Sometimes more detail works against a positive result and this was the case. I had to re-work a lot and I didn’t need to if I had altered the amount of detail for the scale appropriately.

This block combines a lot of the technical skills you have been conquering through repetition in the previous blocks. If you have done them, this will not be so daunting. If you have taken one of my workshops, then the embroidery used in this block should not create any sweat or angst.

I have to write up the instructions, cut kits, get everything to the printers and then package everything up. Then everything will be all will be ready for you!


From the “REALLY?” File:

The latest issue of Quilter’s Companion (released in November) has a feature article on an ahem, “artist”. The artist/magazine inferred via photos that my block “Jason’s Grasshopper” was her work and her artistic creation with no mention of where that creative “idea” came from (she took my workshop). I can assure you, it is not her creative work and that, not only has she/magazine violated my copyright, but that of Jason’s as well and how he earns as an Autistic person.

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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.

23 thoughts on “Block No. 9 Done!

  1. love , love , love ,can’t wait to get the pattern and kit. Will you have the embroidery thread for the Hover fly also ?

  2. Absolutely stunning! I’m sorry you have to experience the rude, and illegal issue of copyright infringement. Your work is utterly unique and the fact that you make the effort to share your expertise with your fans is greatly appreciated. I wish this lack of respect for an artists’s work would not happen. I will be looking forward to ordering Block No. 9.

  3. First off, WOW on block 9! The robin is gorgeous and the hover fly amazing.

    Next, WOW on the nerve! I audibly gasped when I read that (frightening my co-workers). You are far too kind to not engage in VERY public shaming … EVERYONE knows who designed Jason’s Grasshopper!

    Thank you for another wonderful block! I’ll be anxiously awaiting the pattern!

    Happy New Year to you and yours!

  4. WOW! WOW! WOW! Absolutely amazing! This will be fun to do! Can’t wait to be able to order and start this stunning piece too!

  5. Roseann, I am going to try and get the thread. It will depend on whether or not the distributor has it in inventory yet. When they do, I will order it.

  6. Fran, believe it or not, in 2016 this was almost a monthly occurrence. When it effects my son? Mama Bear comes out swinging. 😉

  7. The robin is just stunning, I am really looking forward to working on this block. Your work is so amazing and unique, I am shocked someone would infer that Jason’s Grasshopper was their creative work!

  8. Love the robin and the berries . The hover fly is amazing.your amazing!!!!! Can’t wait to get my hands going on it.

  9. I wanted to say “Shame on that person” It is sad that some people have no ethics. To rob from such a generous person ,as well as her Autistic Child is just beyond my comprehension. I’m so sorry this happens to you both.

  10. Thanks Boop! I wish I could say, “I am shocked!, stunned!, speechless!” But nah, I am no longer surprised anymore the lengths people will go to for rewards they did not earn.

    I love love ❤️ love my hover fly. Did I say I love my hover fly? LOL

  11. Oh my gosh! When I saw this block and all that it entails, my palms started to sweat immediately. I can’t wait until it is available to order. I have learned so much from you in this series. Thank you so much for sharing your (and Jason’s) talent!
    I am absolutely appalled at the constant counterfeiting. It makes my blood boil when anyone does this to an artist. I hope you are pursuing any charges against this person. This stuff is never going to stop until these types are held accountable and shown for what they are, frauds. Good for you for sticking up for Jason! But I think you should adamantly stick up for yourself as well. You are too talented! Thank you Sandra for creating and sharing such a wonderful series!

  12. My friend just introduced your work to me recently.
    I am amazed at the fine detail and beauty you create!
    I do appreciate all your difficulties in design and the hours
    you must have spent anguishing over your creations.
    I hope to attend a workshop of yours when you are on
    the east coast of the US.
    I bought all your patterns and templates and am working
    on number two. Enjoying the process immensely!
    Thanks for sharing your talent and for keeping “handwork
    of needle turn” alive! Too many people need instant gratification
    these days and aren’t willing to work at something well worthwhile!
    Happy New Year!

  13. Jan, your description of your “palms sweating” made me chuckle. Why could I relate to that descriptive so well? We are birds of a feather!

  14. Helene, are you watching over my shoulder? LOL. When someone actually brings….er…an actual original thought to fruition, it can take months and the size of the project is irrelevant. It is done when it is done and rushing just lengthens the time involved.

    I actually work out many world problems by doing handwork. A lot of time to think and ponder.

  15. Anxiously awaiting your new release. Took your workshop in May 2016 with the hummingbird, and I’m almost finished with 7 of your blocks. Hope to have all the blocks finished when I see you in Williamsburg next year. You are such an inspiration, and because of that, I am attempting my first border design idea to use for this quilt which I will be happy to share with you once designed out. I hope to make you proud that it compliments the quality of your designs. I remember you commenting on how you want each of us to make your designs into our own quilt. It was heartbreaking to hear an “artist” claim your work as hers. How dishonorable. Need to send the magazine “a correction/editorial note.” I make sure everyone who sees me working on your blocks knows you are the designer. That is how I hooked Helene into joining me in the process and create another fan of your work. Only one more block to design and this quilt will be done. There is a light at the end of the tunnel for you and Jason. You should both be very proud. You have brought joy into my work.

  16. Thanks so much for the picture–oh it is so pretty! One of the most beautiful quilts in the world!

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