Showcase Sunday {2.12}

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Welcome back to Showcase Sunday! We are already so inspired by all of the new things you’ve been creating so far this year! We love having a forum to showcase the beautiful work that all of you do and can’t get enough of the lovely things that you’re making, so keep tagging us and sharing your work and we’ll feature some of our favorites here every other Sunday. Don’t forget to check in on Facebook & Instagram to see more! Happy Stitching:).

(Click on any image below to visit the artist’s Instagram account for more!)

@zenchicmoda

@zenchicmoda

@yardgrl60

@yardgrl60

@the_tattooed_quilter

@the_tattooed_quilter

@thatcraftaddict

@thatcraftaddict

@sls_fabricshop

@sls_fabricshop

@quiltyhabit

@quiltyhabit

@quiltingjetgirl

@quiltingjetgirl

@quiltbystarlight

@quiltbystarlight

@quiltachusetts

@quiltachusetts

@purlverde

@purlverde

@nq1yearofstitches

@nq1yearofstitches

@mybearpaw

@mybearpaw

@mrssophie2

@mrssophie2

@kareepickett

@kareepickett

@julieschloemer

@julieschloemer

@ivory_spring

@ivory_spring

@itssewscottsdale

@itssewscottsdale

@freebirdquiltingdesigns

@freebirdquiltingdesigns

@colorgirlquilts

@colorgirlquilts

@ablossomedchaos

@ablossomedchaos

Find free patterns, tips, tutorials, and inspiration by following Aurifil on PinterestFacebook, and Instagram. All are updated regularly to provide you with the best the sewing world has to offer!

For more information about Aurifil products, including thread weights, Designer Collections, and where to purchase from your local quilt shop or select online shops, please visit Aurifil.com.

Marmalade Meadows by Wendy Sheppard

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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
Marmalade Meadows
10 Small Spools of Aurifloss, 100% 6-strand embroidery floss, 18yds/spool
5002 – 5006 – 2865 – 2330 – 2530
2135 – 2860 – 1320 – 5017 – 2225

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To view this info on our website, click on any of the images above. For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.

THE INTERVIEW
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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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[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.

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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
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2 – strand stitching for all-purpose stitching
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3 – strand stitching for smocking
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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!

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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.

THE GIVEAWAY

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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!)

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.

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: Batting & Thread

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Today’s installment of Wendy Sheppard’s Thread Journey Quilt Along is all about batting & thread, two often unsung heroes of a finished quilt. We’ve seen some of your quilts and are so impressed with your progress! 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 Friends, I hope you have been well. It’s good to be back to share a few quilting thoughts with you. Now that I have completed my Thread Journey quilt top, I am starting to think about how to quilt my quilt.

Wendy Sheppard - Thread Journey, Thread & Batting1

Just like everything else, over the years, I have come to like working with certain quilty essentials that give me very good results. Today, I am going to share with you my preferred choices of batting for domestic machine quilting. I do want to stress that I am in no way dogmatic about things. It’s perfectly fine to have your own preferred choices. Remember, Lady Catherine will never know!

SILK BATTING
If you have known me for any length of time, you will probably have known of my personal “perfect quilting combination” of thread and batting that works for me everytime — Aurifil’s 50 wt thread (HAS to be Aurifil) quilted over Hobbs Tuscany silk batting.

You may read more about the technical aspects of the silk batting here.

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From a practical point of view, I love to quilt with silk batting because of the light weight of the silk. I experience less drag when I am trying to scrunch and move my quilt sandwich under the little throat area of my sewing machine. The silk batting has a slight airy loft that gives my regular quilting just the right amount of poof on the quilt. And when the light hits the quilt just right, the effect is a pleasing one!

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I also like that when I do dense quilting on a quilt over silk batting, the quilt doesn’t take on an added stiffness.

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The quilt hangs nicely, and remainly softs and cuddly.

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And here is one of my ALL-TIME favorite quilts quilted with silk batting on my Bernina, Coxcomb & Berries!

Conversely, silk batting also works well with quilting that is not as dense. My quilts turn out just as pretty, without the looking like it still need “being quilted down”. Here is an example of a quilt quilted with a simple all-over motif that I don’t consider as “dense” quilting.

I like to tell quilters that I actually use silk batting as I would regular cotton batting, only I like the handling and effect of the silk batting better! That’s in a nutshell!

WOOL BATTING
If you like to do dense quilting with silk, you will absolutely adore doing dense quilting with wool! When I want to get fancy with my quilting, I like to use wool. Wool batting is everything I described for the silk batting, EXCEPT the loft is much higher! So, to get the full effect, one does need to spend some time quilting the quilt down when sandwiched with wool batting.

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You can read about the technical aspect of Hobbs’ Tuscany wool batting here.

I absolutely love to use wool batting for wholecloth and applique projects. When outline quilted, the wool gives my applique shape a very distinctive poof! Here are some examples. You can see that the applique shapes take on a three-dimensional look… many have called this trick the faux trapunto technique (i.e., trapunto without the added work).

Wool is also great when I want to “create” designs around applique shapes with only quilting. The high loft of the batting gives definition to “created” designs. The boundary designs you see surrounding the applique are created entirely by quilting.

I don’t have a recent wholecloth project so show you. I actually have one that is work-in-“way too long”-progress that I can’t quite show. But here is one that I did years ago.

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You really get a sense of dense quilting here… haha!

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MIX AND MATCH
When I want an even more defined poof to my quilting, I actually mix wool and cotton or wool and silk. This following quilt is quilted over silk and wool used together. You can see the poof!

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This one almost gets the feeling that the batting is busting out the “quilting”! That’s because with the silk being on the bottom layer, the loft of the wool is forced to bust out on the front of the quilt.

AND NOW YOU ASK IF I EVER QUILT WITH COTTON BATTING
The answer is, I do! I use the Tuscany Bleached Cotton because it is thinner and lighter than the regular cotton batting. I generally use cotton when I do straight line quilting on quilts, or borderless quilts. I find that the cotton batting keeps the squareness of quilt better after being handled in the quilting process.

The following example is a runner I quilted with Hobbs Tuscany Bleached Cotton. I think you can tell that even though you can see the quilting, the quilting effect isn’t as “jumping out at you” as my previously shown projects.

I thought I would show you really quickly the three aforementioned batting types, all from Hobbs Tuscany Collection. From left to right: bleached cotton, wool and silk.

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I am hoping you are able to see how thin the bleached cotton batting is — the very reason I like it when I use cotton batting.  Next up is the VERY airy wool, and then we have the silk batting.  You can see that comparatively, the silk batting looks a bit more “compacted” compared to the wool.

SO… BACK TO MY THREAD JOURNEY VERSION 2…
I actually already have a general idea on how I would quilt it. For one thing, I will be using threads from my Subtle Strings collection. See you in two weeks, and you will get to see how I have quilted the quilt center! Click here if are interested in my thoughts on threads.

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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 (Today)
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