Aurifil 2017 June Designer of the Month – Sarah Maxwell

2017 Aurifil DOM June Sarah Maxwell collage.jpg I’m Designer, Author, Talk Show host Pat Sloan.

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This year we are celebrating the rainbow of colors in our color wheel. Each designer is assigned a color to create their block in.

Spinning around the color wheel we land on RED-ORANGE this month.

Sarah told me she had the perfect shades to make her block, which is Stunning by the way!

Hosting the Aurifil Designer of the month means that i make lots of new friends, and also catch up with life long friends…like Sarah! We have been huge fans of each other’s work for many years and have done lots of collaborations.. like joining us for the Splendid Sampler book & I joined her for the Dandy Drive Sew along using her fabrics and mine! (download her free patterns for this super cute quilt)

Sarah and I chatted on my talk show 2/8/16, take a listen

Aurifil 2017 Designers of the month fabrics june.JPG

Each designer is sending me a photo of fabric with their thread color so I can build a fun collage of the color wheel with them.

Missed a month?

CLICK FOR PRIOR DESIGNER interviews

Remember we have a Challenge portion of our Designer of the Month interview.

Each month we select one random winner to receive a 12 spool BOX of Aurifil thread for just making the challenge block and sharing it at my website! (details at the end plus last month’s winner!)

Let’s get to know Sarah!

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The Splendid Sampler Giveaway!

Today kicks off round 2 of The Splendid Sampler Sew Along! Event hosts and authors Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson released The Splendid Sampler book through Martingale last month and it is now shipping worldwide. The book offers 100 FREE quilt blocks from over 80 designers!! Are you ready to sew along?

The Splendid Sampler Quilt — from the book, now living with Jane Davidson in Australia!

The original event kicked off on February 14, 2016 and quickly became a worldwide movement! Quilters everywhere were sewing along, meeting for weekend sewing groups, sharing blocks online in the Splendid Sampler Facebook Group, supporting each other on Instagram, and collaborating with each other to learn new techniques. It was amazing to follow along, to witness the pure genius of it all…  We are proud sponsors and are thrilled to have the opportunity to watch a whole new wave of quilters join in, sew along, and become inspired.

[Our Facebook Live with Pat & Jane from International Quilt Market — May 21, 2017 in St. Louis, MO.]


click image for rafflecopter entry!

 

Want to WIN a copy of the book + a Large Let’s Go Sew Aurifil Thread Collection by Pat Sloan?

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Click HERE to ENTER-TO-WIN!!
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You don’t have to complete all of the options to be entered, but the more options you choose, the more entires you have! Tires will be accepted from now through 11:59pm EST on Wednesday, May 31. Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Thursday, June 1. Good luck!

Want more chances to win? Make sure to visit the Instagram pages for both Aurifil and Martingale


BOOK

Want to grab your own copy? Visit the links below.

KEY LINKS
The Splendid Sampler Website
FAQ
Blocks & Bonus Projects
Fabric & Tools
Meet the Splendid Designers — Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 (there are 83!!)

GET INVOLVED
— Tag #TheSplendidSampler on photos that you share
— Join the Facebook Group to meet other participant, ask questions, get sewing support and make new friends
— Add the blog button to your site – grab it here

SPLENDID SAMPLER PARTNERS
AurifilMartingaleModa
We are honored to be a part of such a wonderful event and have to say a huge THANK YOU to both Pat and Jane for including us!the-splendid-sampler-industry-banner-v1-1

[Images courtesy of Pat Sloan, Jane Davidson, & Martingale.]

 

Aurifil 2017 March Designer of the Month – Melissa Corry

2017 Aurifil DOM Mar Melissa Corry collage.jpg

I’m Designer, Author, Talk Show host Pat Sloan.

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This year we are celebrating the rainbow of colors in our color wheel. Each designer is assigned a color to create their block in.

You might have thought we’d select colors by month, the but color wheel isn’t that co-operative! And we HAD to give Melissa Corry Purple… you’ll see why when you meet her!

When I first had a chance to see Melissa in person she was as bubbly and warm and MEGA talented as her writing at her website. And this girls can SEW .. like the WIND! She creates amazing things and if you are new to Melissa’s work.. get yourself signed up for her article notices ASAP…. whew.. now we can go on!

You can listen to Melissa and I talk about her being part of the Splendid Sampler and other projects she was working  on at my Talk Show  

And the Challenge part continues as each month we select one random winner to receive a 12 spool BOX of Aurifil thread for just making the challenge block and sharing it at my website! (details at the end plus last month’s winner!)

Let’s get to know Melissa!

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Aurifil 2017 January Designer of the Month – Janet Clare

2017-jan-aurifil-designer-janet-clare

Welcome to Year number 7 of our Monthly Designer Challenge & Interview!

I’m Designer, Author, Talk Show host Pat Sloan. We are starting the new year right with our wonderfully talented friend Janet Clare. She is a Moda fabric designer and I personally hoard all her fabric lines!

This year we are celebrating the rainbow of colors in our color wheel. Each designer is assigned a certain color to create their block in.

You can listen to Janet chat with me  on my Talk Show  about her design work.

And the Challenge part continues as each month we select one random winner to receive a 12 spool BOX of Aurifil thread for just making the challenge block and sharing it at my website! (details at the end plus last month’s winner!)

Let’s get to know Janet!

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Thread Journey: The Finish!

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We’ve so enjoyed following along with Wendy Sheppard‘s Thread Journey. It’s hard to believe the end is here! Ever since the beginning, back in June, we’ve anxiously awaited each post, anticipating the next round of instruction and grabbing sneak peeks at Wendy’s stunning quilting. Today, it’s all about the big reveal! This post is full of so much quilty goodness, we’re simply brimming with excitement. Also, we’re pretty sure that Wendy has some quilty super powers. We’d like to thank Wendy for her kind collaboration, for sharing her expertise with us, and for helping us to push the boundaries of our own quilting practices.

We’re so excited to see your finished quilts, so  don’t forget to tag us when you share your photos —  Wendy (@ivory_spring), Aurifil (@aurifilthread)and #threadjourneyquiltalong.

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Hello Quilting Friends, I hope you have been well.  Today’s post is my last post on our Thread Journey Quilt-Along.  All in all, I put in about 52 hours on just the quilting portion of the quilt.  It’s been fun and therapeutic for me to work on this quilt.  I personally like the step of quilting the best in the entire process of making a quilt – because I like how quilting adds personality to a quilt.

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Thread Journey, before quilting

Thread Journey, after quilting

Thread Journey, after quilting

I used the different colors from my Subtle Strings thread collection for constructing, quilting and finishing the quilt.  Hopefully you will be able to see the additional subtle coloring on the quilt from using a variety of thread colors to quilt the quilt.

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These pictures were taken after I completed the quilting, but not binding.  But the time of day was right for me to take some outdoor pictures to highlight the quilting.

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All the quilting you see is free-hand and free-motion quilted on my Bernina home machine.  My own machine quilting journey actually started with learning feather quilting before I went back and learned the different background motifs.  It was the desire to be able to quilt feathers that started me on my machine quilting journey.

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I absolutely love this next picture because it show three of the Subtle Strings colors coming together.

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When I first started quilting feathers, I actually drew out every single feather on the quilt.  After quilting many, many, many feathers, I eventually was able to quilt my feathers free-hand.  Nowadays, I might mark where I roughly want my feather spine to be if I am unsure, but I rarely follow the line exactly.  You can sort of see what I mean in the following picture.

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Here are a few more pictures.

One huge reason I like quilting is because quilting is an ongoing learning process in that I can look back and track my growth, so to speak.  Looking at the feathers from one of my first feather pieces back in 2008, and compare them to the ones I just quilted on Thread Journey, I feel like my feathers now look like they aren’t too afraid to branch out and be adventurous. 🙂

Lastly, you have seen the front pictures… how about a couple of pictures of the quilt back showing the Subtle Strings colors coming through?

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That’s it, Friends!  I hope you have enjoyed our Journey together…. till next time! A big shout out to Aurifil, Windham Fabrics and Hobbs Batting for making my Thread Journey Quilt happen!

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FULL SCHEDULE:
June 2: Thread Journey: Quilt Along with Wendy Sheppard
June 16: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 1
June 30: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 2
July 14: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 3
July 28: Batting & Thread
August 11: Process of Quilting, Part 1
August 18: Process of Quilting, Part 2
August 25: Process of Quilting, Part 3
September 8: Process of Quilting, Part 4
September 15: The Finish! (Today!)

ABOUT WENDY:
QBV03_PieceBlock_12_crop_smallWebsite — 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.

ABOUT SUBTLE STRINGS: (Wendy’s 2015 Aurifil Thread Collection)
WendySheppard-SubtleStrings

12 Large Spools of 100% Aurifil Cotton, 50wt
Colors included:
2310 – 2847 – 4060 – 2130 – 2715 – 5021
2210 – 2510 – 2886 – 2326 – 2423 – 5014

Thread Journey: Process of Quilting, Part 4

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We are quickly approaching the end of our Thread Journey Quilt Along with Wendy Sheppard. It has been an amazing process thus far and we’ve been so impressed with the progress you’ve all been making. We’re so excited to see your finished quilts, so  don’t forget to tag us when you share your photos —  Wendy (@ivory_spring), Aurifil (@aurifilthread)and #threadjourneyquiltalong. As always, we are so grateful for Wendy’s instruction and kind collaboration.

Have fun and happy stitching!

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Hello Quilting Friends, I hope you have been well.  We are nearing the end of our Thready Journey Quilt Along together.  I hope you have enjoyed the journey, as I have mine.  I have used this quilt to practice in taking the time and being more careful when I quilt.  My daughter’s violin teacher has always admonished her to play sloppy.  So I have used my Thread Journey quilt as a personal challenge to not quilt sloppy.

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With that, let’s move on to quilting the outer border, shall we?

OUTER BORDER
a.  How I am going to quilt mine

Applique Portion:
As in quilting the quilt center, I used the tree branch as the “spine” for my feather plumes, and I would occasionally add more branches with my quilting.

Here is my chicken-scratched schematic showing what’s going on.

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And here is how they are stitched out in real life.  You will notice that instead of pebbles, I am echoing around the feathers. I have also used different color threads from my Subtle Strings collection to quilt various areas of the outer border.

 

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I learned a few important things from quilting this quilt:

— feathers + pebbles = feathers don’t stand out as much
— feathers + tightly quilted echos = feathers POP!

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feathers with pebbles

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Feathers with tightly quilted echoes

For this quilt, I challenged myself to quilt the echoes really tight.  These echoes are about 1/16″ each apart, sometimes less, most likely because the pebbles I had quilted weren’t teeny-tiny.  I suspect the same popping effect would be apparent if the pebbles were quilted 1/16″ across too. 🙂 This next photo shows an add-on I quilted coming off one of the feather plumes with tight echoing.

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The Rest of the Border:
Now, there is a lot of empty space in the border!  I mulled over many options.  I decided to keep the feather quilting theme, except this time instead of plumes, I am confining the feathers to randomly placed wreaths.

Here is a quick schematic.

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Here you see I am using my dishes to mark two differently sized circles.

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Here is the feather wreath quilted out.  I am quilting REALLY tiny pebbles to see if the feathers will pop as much as when echoes are used as background quilting.

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b.  Other options: You may definitely use some of the ideas suggested for quilting the quilt center for the border, as previously discussed.

1.  Nifty little “S” – This is my interpretation of McTavishing using a domestic machine.  Click here to see my stitching path.

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2.  Pebbles – I like to mix in different sizes of pebbles (circles) — the visual effect is always striking when pebbles are quilted.  Click here to see what I mean.  I do want to note that the circles do not all have to be perfectly round.  In fact, for me it’s impossible to quilt circles free-motion perfectly round.  So I find pebbling is a really forgiving motif to quilt.

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3.  Sand dunes – I like sand dunes because it is echoing without the stress of keeping the distance even, and I can quilt the dunes far apart for a quick finish.  Click here to see how to quilt sand dunes.

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4.  What I think might be really cute is to quilt random circles on the rest of the border.  Click here for a method you can use to mark your circles without actually marking it.

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5.  How about quilting Ohio Star on the rest of the border?  I think that would be so visually striking as well.

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***

That’s all I have for today!  I was shooting to have my quilt completely finished with the binding and hanging sleeve sewn on and everything, but unfortunately I didn’t get that far ahead.  I have a few areas on the outer border left to cover.  I will be showing you pictures of the completed quilt VERY soon, so stay tuned!

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– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

FULL SCHEDULE:
June 2: Thread Journey: Quilt Along with Wendy Sheppard
June 16: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 1
June 30: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 2
July 14: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 3
July 28: Batting & Thread
August 11: Process of Quilting, Part 1
August 18: Process of Quilting, Part 2
August 25: Process of Quilting, Part 3
September 8: Process of Quilting, Part 4
September 15: The Finish!

ABOUT WENDY:
QBV03_PieceBlock_12_crop_smallWebsite — 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.

ABOUT SUBTLE STRINGS: (Wendy’s 2015 Aurifil Thread Collection)
WendySheppard-SubtleStrings

12 Large Spools of 100% Aurifil Cotton, 50wt
Colors included:
2310 – 2847 – 4060 – 2130 – 2715 – 5021
2210 – 2510 – 2886 – 2326 – 2423 – 5014

Thread Journey: Process of Quilting, Part 3

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Are you having fun with the Thread Journey Quilt Along with Wendy Sheppard? We’ve noticed a few more photos popping up on Instagram and just love seeing your progress! This week’s installment brings us through step three of the process of quilting: the borders! We are so grateful for Wendy’s instruction and are truly head over heels for her quilt.

Don’t forget to tag us when you share your photos so we can share in your progress —  Wendy (@ivory_spring), Aurifil (@aurifilthread)and #threadjourneyquiltalong. Have fun and happy stitching!

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Hello Quilting Friends, I hope you have been well. I have heard of some of you quilting your Thread Journey quilt with wool batting, and am really liking the wool! Kudos! Today, we will just tackle the next border in case you need a bit more time to catch up. That Ohio Star border is quite a bit to quilt. Like last week, I will first share with you how I quilted mine, and then, offer a couple more options.

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Gray Inner Border
a. How I quilted mine
I quilted a one-sided feather plume to go around the entire border, this time with the feather lobes originating from the outer edge of the border. I then filled in with pebbles to tie things in with the previous border.

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To quilt the pebbly feather border, see the schematic below for steps:

#1. Form feathers at the outer edge of border.

Click here if you would like a quick primer on my thoughts on how I form quilt my feathers.

#2. Fill in the negative space with pebbles. Please feel free to omit this step if you like the poofy negative space. Because I am using wool/cotton layers of batting, not quilting down the negative space makes me feel like I am looking at the negative space as if I am staring at an unmade bed.

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I used the only variegated thread from my Subtle Strings collection to quilt the gray border. I will go back to using multiple colors in the outer border. I wanted a bit of calm before the colors. That variegated gray is the perfect choice as it blends well with the gray fabric, but yet still presents visual interest due to the color change when inspected close-up.

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b. Other options:
You may definitely use some of the ideas suggested for quilting the narrow border for last week.

#1. Loopies

#2. Swirly border – My solid lines denote the stitching, and the dotted lines denote the return stitching in order to form the next swirl.

#3. Wave – You may choose to just quilt the wavy line down the center of the border, or add a second pass (dotted line) to form a shadow work effect.

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Or, three additional ideas shown below since the border is a little wider.

#1. Border within a border

#2. Mirror-imaged feathers

#3. Geometric – this will required a bit of Math and marking with a ruler, but the effect will be stunning

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***

That’s all I have for today! Before I take off, I thought you might like to see how my quilt back is shaping up. Now I kind of wish I had used a solid for the backing fabric. 🙂

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Alrightie, I shall see you two weeks from now. I am shooting for having my quilt completely done: bound with hanging sleeve and all.

Have fun quilting, and I hope you will keep enjoying the journey!

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

FULL SCHEDULE:
June 2: Thread Journey: Quilt Along with Wendy Sheppard
June 16: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 1
June 30: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 2
July 14: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 3
July 28: Batting & Thread
August 11: Process of Quilting, Part 1
August 18: Process of Quilting, Part 2
August 25: Process of Quilting, Part 3
September 8: Process of Quilting, Part 4 — The Finish!

ABOUT WENDY:
QBV03_PieceBlock_12_crop_smallWebsite — 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.

ABOUT SUBTLE STRINGS: (Wendy’s 2015 Aurifil Thread Collection)
WendySheppard-SubtleStrings

12 Large Spools of 100% Aurifil Cotton, 50wt
Colors included:
2310 – 2847 – 4060 – 2130 – 2715 – 5021
2210 – 2510 – 2886 – 2326 – 2423 – 5014

 

Thread Journey: Process of Quilting, Part 2

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This installment of Wendy Sheppard’s Thread Journey Quilt Along brings us through step two of the process of quilting. We are so grateful for Wendy’s instruction and always in awe of her skill. We’ve loved seeing your quilts so far and can’t wait to see how everything goes with the quilting! If you’re sewing along and want to share your images on Instagram, please consider tagging Wendy (@ivory_spring), Aurifil (@aurifilthread)and #threadjourneyquiltalong so that we might share in your process! Have fun and happy stitching!

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Hello Quilting Friends, I hope you have been well. We will be quilting the next two borders in our Thread Journey quilt: narrow border and Ohio Star border. Like last week, I will first share with you how I quilted mine, and then, offer a couple more optons.

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Narrow Border
a. I quilted a one-sided feather plume to go around the entire border.   That effect gives a “framing” effect on the applique quilt center. Since, my quilt center is heavily quilted, the “frame” gives the eye a bit of rest before moving onto the next border. I call it my “Old Masters” border technique, like how some old paintings are framed by wavy frames.

To quilt the frame border, see the schematic below for steps:
#1. Quilt a wave outline down the center of the border. You may eye it, or mark it with a fabric washer marker.

#2. Add a string of pearls. This is optional depending on your preference. Note that the border is quite narrow. I did it as a personal challenge to see how small I could quilt the circles.

#3. Add feathers. I added a mix of completely and partially formed feather lobes. Feel free to use all complete or all partial feather lobes! Click here if you would like a quick primer on my thoughts on how I form quilt my feathers.

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b. Other options:
#1. Loopies

#2. Swirly border – My solid lines denote the stitching, and the dotten lines denote the return stitching in order to form the next swirl.

#3. Wave – You may choose to just quilt the wavy line down the center of the border, or add a second pass (dotted line) to form a shadow work effect.

August18d

Ohio Star Border
a. I mentioned to you last week oftentimes what I have in mind for my quilting scheme doesn’t quite turn out in real life. My Ohio Star border is an example. I had marked these circles randomly all over the border. I was just going to quilt the outline of the circles, and then quilt background quilting (pebbles and my nifty little “S”) in between the circles to give the look of the galaxy.

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I learned something really quickly — my original idea would be a nice quilting idea for cotton or silk batting, but for a combination of wool and cotton, the poof was too prominent the effect was not really what I was looking for. So I ended up filling with feathers and pebbles and sprouts.

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Click here if you would like a quick primer on my thoughts on how I form quilt my feathers.

Click here for a blog post I did on feather wreaths.

The effect is visually striking, and actually, if you like to feather quilt, it is not very hard — there’s so much going on that overall quilting is quite forgiving on mistakes. But it requires time. I logged 21 hours just quilting the Ohio Star border alone.

All these colors from my Subtle Strings collection came out to play! And here are a couple of shots where you see the colors meet. I love the subtle effect of the colorplay against the different color fabrics used for the stars!

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Notice the marked circles sometimes are merely “suggestions”. There’s nothing wrong ignoring markings and quilt with the flow. 🙂 You can see I went out of the circular boundary.

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b. You may choose an allover motif to quilt the Ohio Star Border

#1. Nifty little “S” – This is my interpretation of McTavishing using a domestic machine. Click here to see my stitching path.

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#2. Pebbles – I like to mix in diffrent sizes of pebbles (circles) — the visual effect is always striking when pebbles are quilted. Click here to see what I mean. I do want to note that the circles do not all have to be perfectly round. In fact, for me it’s impossible to quilt circles free-motion perfectly round. So I find pebbling is a really forgiving motif to quilt.

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#3. Sand dunes – I like sand dunes because it is echoing without the stress of keeping the distance even, and I can quilt the dunes far a part for a quick finish. Click here to see how to quilt sand dunes.

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c. Geometric interpretation
Another thing I like to do with pieced blocks is use the geometry of the blocks to be a starting point for the quilting. You can see that in I have thrown in background quilting too in the mix in the following diagrams. Feel free to adapt, pick and choose, mix and match for how you would like to quilt your star border.

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If you are interested in exploring further machine quilting on pieced quilts, check out my online class (also available in DVD format) here.

Use discount code for 20% off (valid through 12-31-2016]: EALQST

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Well Friends, that’s it for now, but not before a final thought. I was let my quilting simmer a couple of days before I decide if I did a good job. I find myself being overly critical of my quilting when I am in the middle of it, but then I always come to the conclusion of my quilting being “not so bad afterall” after walking away from it for a few days.

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FULL SCHEDULE:
June 2: Thread Journey: Quilt Along with Wendy Sheppard
June 16: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 1
June 30: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 2
July 14: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 3
July 28: Batting & Thread
August 11: Process of Quilting, Part 1
August 18: Process of Quilting, Part 2
August 25: Process of Quilting, Part 3
September 8: Process of Quilting, Part 4 — The Finish!

ABOUT WENDY:
QBV03_PieceBlock_12_crop_smallWebsite — 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.

ABOUT SUBTLE STRINGS: (Wendy’s 2015 Aurifil Thread Collection)
WendySheppard-SubtleStrings

12 Large Spools of 100% Aurifil Cotton, 50wt
Colors included:
2310 – 2847 – 4060 – 2130 – 2715 – 5021
2210 – 2510 – 2886 – 2326 – 2423 – 5014

Aurifil 2016 August Designer of the Month Angela Walters

Aurifil 2016 Design Team August Angela Walters collage

I’m Designer, Author, Radio show host Pat Sloan.. Our August Designer is Angela Walters of Quilting is my Therapy.  The first time Angela and I had a chance to chat was at a trade show. It has been exciting to watch her grown as an artist and designer.

Angela has a wonderful series of articles called ‘The Business of Machine Quilting’. If you are looking to create a business quilting for others, I recommend you read her series.

I chatted with Angela 10/8/12 and 5/14/12  on my talk show CLICK to Listen or subscribe by Itunes

Let’s get to know  Angela!

Continue reading

Thread Journey: Process of Quilting, Part 1

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This installment of Wendy Sheppard’s Thread Journey Quilt Along brings us through step one of the process of quilting. We are in such awe of Wendy’s skill and know that you’ll find lots of helpful tips within this post. We’ve loved seeing your quilts so far and can’t wait to see how everything goes with the quilting! If you’re sewing along and want to share your images on Instagram, please consider tagging Wendy (@ivory_spring), Aurifil (@aurifilthread)and #threadjourneyquiltalong so that we might share in your process! Have fun and happy stitching!

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Hello Quilting Friends, I hope you have been well. Today, we are entering into the next phase of our Thread Journey project. I certainly hope that you have enjoyed the journey. I know I have. And I have definitely learned new things as I make this quilt the second time around. You are probably ready with your quilt top, perhaps even sandwiched all ready to go!

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I am happy to share with you today what my quilting plan for Thread Journey version 2.  I will have three other suggestions on quilting motifs if you aren’t quite sure what to quilt on your quilt center. Remember, you do NOT have to quilt your Thread Journey quilt the way I am quilting mine or suggesting how to quilt it. It is your quilt — Lady Catherine will NEVER know!

So, you see that I have pin-basted my quilt sandwich. There are many ways to baste your quilt sandwich. Just use the method of your choice. Some might ask why I am not using the spray-basting method… very simple, I try to be as natural as I can in my lifestyle because I have a little one at home. So, when I am pin-basting, I smooth out my layers, and start pinning from the center outward.

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For this quilt, I am using 2 layers of batting: Hobbs Tuscany Wool on top (touching my quilt top), and Hobbs Tuscany Bleached Cotton on the bottom (touching my quilt backing fabric). I want my quilting to have a siginificant amount of poof! The theory is the cotton batting will put a stop to the poofing on the side of the quilt back, and thus pushing all the poofiness to the top of the quilt. Click here if you haven’t read about my 2 cents on batting.

Since I am using the poofy wool batting, I try to do any necessary marking before I pin. For the Ohio Star border, I am thinking for now to quilt circles and see how things look. I often use household items to mark my quilts. You can actually wait till the next installment to mark your quilt once you read about the options to quilt the Ohio Star section.

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I had quilted ALL feathers, allover in the quilt center of my original Thread Journey. I used the tree branch as the “spine” for my feather plumes, and I would occasionally add more branches with my quilting.

I like that look a lot. So my plan is to do the same to the quilt center, except this time, I am throwing in pebbly background quilting in the mix. Here are the colors I will use from my Subtle Strings collection. I am quite excited to see how these colors will play out on the different fabrics in the quilt center.

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Click here if you would like a quick primer on my thoughts on how I form quilt my feathers.

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And with that, I fired up my sewing machine, and quilted the quilt center. I also outline quilted all the applique shapes as I went along.  As a result, the applique shapes take on a 3-D look. I would suggest outline quilting around the applique shapes to start even if you aren’t using a high-loft batting. It sort of gets you warmed up on things. Please feel free to warm up on a quilt sandwich scrap before jumping into the real quilt.

So I basically quilted feather plumes at various spots, and filled in with pebbles for background quilting.

Sometimes I am asked how big I quilt my feathers. For this particular sitution, it’s about 2-1/2″ in length for the largest feather I have quilted. From the ruler, you can also roughly the scale of the rest the quilting.

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And here are a few really tight shots. Mainly I want you to see the subtle contrast of the Subtle Strings threads against the different fabric.

Now, you might not foresee your quilt being densely quilted, and you might not want to quilt feathers in your quilt center. That is perfectly fine! Feel free to try any of these motifs, or combine and use them, or anything else you have planned.

1. Nifty little “S” – This is my interpretation of McTavishing using a domestic machine. Click here to see my stitching path.

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2. Pebbles – I like to mix in different sizes of pebbles (circles) — the visual effect is always striking when pebbles are quilted. Click here to see what I mean. I do want to note that the circles do not all have to be perfectly round. In fact, for me it’s impossible to quilt circles free-motion perfectly round. So I find pebbling is a really forgiving motif to quilt.

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3. Sand dunes – I like sand dunes because it is echoing without the stress of keeping the distance even, and I can quilt the dunes far a part for a quick finish. Click here to see how to quilt sand dunes.

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Friends, I hope I have been able to share with you a bit of thought process that goes behind how I quilt my Thread Journey. And to end our time together, I shall leave with you…

My “deepest and darkest” quilting thoughts with a happy ending:

I don’t know, I always feel a certain amount of uncertainty when I am getting ready to quilt my quilts. It doesn’t matter how many quilts I have made, I always get that feeling of worrying whether what I have in mind about quilting my quilts would pan out. If you have that feeling too, please know that I am right there with you! 🙂

And I have to say, many times I don’t end up quilting my quilts as I had worked out in my mind. And that’s perfectly okay — that’s when I really bond with my seam ripper.

But the happy ending is this – sometimes when you are right in the middle of it, you won’t think much of your quilting because you remember the mistakes you made. Walk away from the quilt for a few days, and then come back and look at it… you will see your quilt in a different light! Time and again, my students would fret about this mistake or that uneven stitch while they are quilting their piece… but after a while, they would pick up their work, and tell me, “You know, Wendy, it’s looking much better than I had thought.” Truer words have never been spoken!!!

So I hope you will take the plunge and give the quilting a try. Remember, the more you quilt, the better you will be — and most importantly, enjoy the Journey!

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FULL SCHEDULE:
June 2: Thread Journey: Quilt Along with Wendy Sheppard
June 16: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 1
June 30: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 2
July 14: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 3
July 28: Batting & Thread
August 11: Process of Quilting, Part 1
August 18: Process of Quilting, Part 2
August 25: Process of Quilting, Part 3

ABOUT WENDY:
QBV03_PieceBlock_12_crop_smallWebsite — 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.

ABOUT SUBTLE STRINGS: (Wendy’s 2015 Aurifil Thread Collection)
WendySheppard-SubtleStrings

12 Large Spools of 100% Aurifil Cotton, 50wt
Colors included:
2310 – 2847 – 4060 – 2130 – 2715 – 5021
2210 – 2510 – 2886 – 2326 – 2423 – 5014