Wendy Sheppard is one of our all time favorite people. She is thoughtful and kind, creative and talented, and truly a master quilter. We are in awe of her work and adore her style. If you’ve been following along with us at Auribuzz for a while, you may be familiar with her Thread Journey Quilt Along from earlier this year. It was a true delight to be involved in such a fabulous project and we’re excited now to have a new project to promote!
Marmalade Meadows is Wendy’s second Aurifil collection (her first was Subtle Strings). It is a gorgeous selection of 10 small spools of our Aurifloss. The colors are bright and cheery, designed to coordinate with the sweet florals of Bleecker Street, a new collection with Quilting Treasures.
THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
10 Small Spools of Aurifloss, 100% 6-strand embroidery floss, 18yds/spool
5002 – 5006 – 2865 – 2330 – 2530
2135 – 2860 – 1320 – 5017 – 2225
To view this info on our website, click on any of the images above. For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got started in the world of sewing and quilting?
I am a self-proclaimed “happen-stance” quilter! Sewing/Quilting was never on my radar screen, and I had never touched a sewing machine until I was around 30. I was encouraged by my friend Barbara (who eventually became my quilting mentor) to try quilting. I will always been grateful to Barbara for getting me started in quilting.
Did you have another career prior to this one and how did one lead to the other?
Yes, I did. I actually have a Masters in Chemical Engineering, and worked in research for a few years. After being home for a few months, I ventured out to see if I could do something in the quilting industry. Believe it or not, I have been able to use what I learned in engineering for my quilting work. 🙂
The first two images show a certain wind flow pattern (lab, and real life in Madeira island). And you see how they “flow” into my quilting style?
Do you remember the process of creating your first quilt and how you felt once it was finished?
Haha, yes! I didn’t want to make the beginner’s quilt Barbara normally taught her students. I found a quilt in a book from the local library that is a pieced and applique quilt that I liked! I asked if Barbara would teach me quilting by making “that” quilt. She did — it was a scrappy quilt. I didn’t have any scraps, so I had the grandest time buying fabrics from quilt shops to build up my “scrap stash”. I knew quilting was going to be stay and be a part of life as soon as that first quilt was completed!
What is your favorite thing to make? Do you prefer quilting over creating other projects like embroidery samplers or apparel items?
I cannot sew apparel items to save my life! I have tried, but somehow the garment construction instructions and I don’t get along. It’s a toss-up between quilting and handwork/embroidery samplers. Since quilting makes up a large part of my work life, needlework is currently my refuge from work.
How did you first connect with Quilting Treasures and what inspired the creation of Marmalade Meadows to coordinate with their Bleecker Street collection?
I actually started working with Quilting Treausres to design projects to support their fabric lines back in 2010, and I have worked with Quilting Treasures extensively over the years.
When I was asked to design something with the Bleecker Street fabrics, I knew I wanted to design a quilt that involves hand embroidery. That resulted in a collage quilt design called Spring on Bleecker Street. The hand embroidery portion is done with floss from Marmalade Meadows.
The Bleecker Street fabrics are just now shipping to shops, and quilters can check with their local quilt shops to see if they will have the quilt kits available. Marmalade Meadows is due to ship soon as well. A sew-along of that quilt is forthcoming on my blog next year. You may download the pattern instructions by clicking here.
What did you like most about the process of creating a collection in partner with Quilting Treasures?
What I like the most about creating an embroidery floss collection with Quilting Treasures is that I was able to bring together beautiful fabrics and threads! Quilters generally associate me with quilt designs and domestic machine quilting, some might not know I am equally passionate about handwork. So it was nice to be able to express my love for handwork through Marmalade Meadows.
How did you go about selecting the colors?
I based my colors based on how they complement the fabrics. Once I had a group of about 20 colors, I narrowed down my selection by seeing how versatile each color is individually. I wanted to have a collection that goes beyond Bleecker Street.
For example, I also made sure the final colors that made it to the final selection can work for seasonal projects as well. In this case, a cross-stitch ornament.
I just finished smocking an insert that is going into a dress for my daughter using one of the blues in the collection.
Marmalade’s Merriment is a free pattern that you created for the release of this new thread collection and, in fact, it is featured on the label. What inspired this piece?
This is based on one of my daughter’s drawings. We gave the pot-belly bunny she drew the name Marmalade. I adapted it for embroidery.
[note: Marmalade’s Merriment is a free pattern that comes with the purchase of any box of Marmalade Meadows!]
Do you have any tips for those looking to make the pattern with the floss in your collection?Trace the embroidery with fine pen. I actually starch press my piece before stitching. The stiff fabric surface (from the starch) helps me keep my stitches more even.
What do you like most about Aurifloss? Have you used the threads for other projects?
The best thing I like about Aurifloss is the best thing I like about the other threads Aurifil produces — low lint! I was surprised how crips my stitches look when stitching with Aurifloss. I also like the fact that I don’t have to condition my floss when I stitch with more than 2 strands. Here are some projects I have stitched with Aurifloss:
1 – strand stitching for a fine needlework sampler
2 – strand stitching for all-purpose stitching
3 – strand stitching for smocking
You are a huge champion for Aurifil threads. When did you first discover them and what do you love most about using them?
I first discovered Aurifil threads in Spring 2006. I was looking for an alternative to the fine 100 silk thread I had been using for domestic machine quilting. The queen of domestic machine quilting Diane Gaudyneski mentioned the 50wt in one of her books. I decided to try out the thread — and the rest is history. I firmly believe the superior quality of Aurifil’s thread is the reason I have enjoyed making many projects in my fiber journey!
Any final thoughts?
Thank you for having me to share about Marmalade Meadows. I hope to share many more projects using Marmalade Meadows in the near future.
To enter-to-win 1 Fat Quarter Bundle of Bleecker Street by Quilting Treasures and 1 Small Marmalade Meadows Thread Collection by Wendy Sheppard for Aurifil, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have! Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Wednesday, December 28! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Thursday, December 29. Good luck!
UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Diane Beavers!
[we’ll also be hosting another giveaway on our Instagram account, so make sure you follow us there!)
Website — Instagram
Originally from Southeast Asia, Wendy came to the US for her tertiary education. After her degrees in Chemical Engineering, she worked in research in a wind tunnel for a spell. Nowadays, she is a stay/work-at-home Mom to a 7 year old. Wendy’s designs have been featured in major quilting publications, both home and abroad. She is also an author for Landauer Publishing, as well as an online quilting instructor. She is passionate about encouraging quilters to enjoy their quilting journey. During her free time, she loves to read history, and indulges in hand needlework.