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.

July13i

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.

Aug11b

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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.

Aug11o

#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

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!

July13i

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.

Aug11a

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.

Aug11b

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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Subtle2

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

Aug11d

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.

Aug11o

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.

Aug11p

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.

Aug11q

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

The Splendid Sampler – Block 50 Celebration!

SplendidSampler50

What a delight it’s been to see all of the amazing blocks sewn for The Splendid Sampler week after week. It’s hard to believe that we’re already at the halfway point! Block #50, Flights of Fancy by Joanna Figueroa, was released just yesterday and we’ve already seen a flood of beauty as a result;). This magnificent Sew Along has been presented by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson, and we are endlessly grateful. They’ve inspired thousands of quilters, worldwide, to step outside of comfort zones, experiment with new techniques, collaborate and share with new friends, and contribute to something that is both inspiring and educational. We are thrilled to be a part of the Block 50 celebration and couldn’t help but use today’s post as a showcase of blocks. Our last showcase ended with block #36, so we’ll start with #37 and run from there!

Once you’re done ooooh-ing and ahhhh-ing over all of the block beauty, don’t miss your chance to enter-to-win a Large Perfect Box of Colors Collection by Pat Sloan for Aurifil.

 

THE GALLERY
[note: Mouse over each image for the image source. An @ symbol means the image is from Instagram, a name means the image was taken from our Facebook gallery]

Block #37 — Dashing by Chocolate by Laura Flynn

Block #38 — Vintage Flower Basket by Pam Kitty Morning

Block #39 — Balls in the Air by Aylin Ozturk

Block #40 — Flights of Friendship by Me & My Sister Designs

Block #41 — Sew South by Jennifer Mathis

Block #42 — Pencils by Jane Davidson

Block #43 — Pincushion Love! by Pat Sloan

Block #44 — Stitch in the Garden by Gail Pan

Block #45 — Sewing Nut by Frances Newcombe

Block #46 — Twirl Time by Sarah Maxwell

Block #47 — Circle of Love by Geta Grama

Block #48 — Whim by Faith Jones

Block #49 — Summer’s Gift by Karla Eisenach

To see even more of the blocks on Facebook, click here.
To check out what is happening for The Splendid Sampler on Instagram, click here.

OUR SPLENDID POSTS
Introductory Post for The Splendid Sampler
Sewing Along with the Splendid Sampler
Showcase Sunday: The Splendid Sampler Edition {6.19}

TODAY’S SPLENDID CELEBRATION
These other fabulous designers have celebratory posts up for the Splendid 50 today. Some of them have giveaways, some showcases, some tutorials… make sure to pay them all a visit!

The Splendid Sampler Blog (fabric giveaway!!)
Pat Sloan
Melissa Corry
Joan Ford
Kathy Schmitz
Michele Foster
Sara Lawson
Lynette Anderson
Jacquelynne Steves
April Rosenthal
Amy Udall Smart
Aurifil (that’s us!)

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

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

THE GIVEAWAY
Splendid50-Rafflecopter

To enter-to-win a Large The Perfect Box of Colors collection by Pat Sloan, either click here or on the image above. You do not need to complete all entries, but the more you complete, the more chance you have to win! This giveaway is open to all of our friends, all over the world! It will run from now through Sunday, August 7 at 11:59pm. We’ll announce the winner here on Monday, August 8 and will also contact the winner via email. Good luck!

UPDATE (8.8.16): This Giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Giulia Faeta!! 

Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 2

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Welcome to Part 2 of Quilt Construction for Wendy Sheppard’s Thread Journey Quilt Along! We are so thrilled to be embarking on this journey with all of you and are looking forward to seeing your progress and eventually, your finished quilts. 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!

With that said… here’s Wendy!

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Hello Friends, I am excited to be here again sharing about our next steps in our Thread Journey together. In so many ways, I feel as if our quilting journey mirrors our real life journey in that we can look at the quilts we make, and we remember certain phases of our life.

DISCLAIMER:

#1. I intend for YOU to have fun making this quilt. Therefore, you are free to change things around anytime, anyway, or anyhow! It is YOUR quilt.

Elizabeth Bennet in BBC’s Pride & Prejudice said it best, and I quote, “Maria, this is your trunk; these are your gowns. You may arrange them in any way you wish. (whisper) Lady Catherine will never know.”

#2. I understand that this sew-along will reach quilters of various skill levels. Considerable effort is made to present clearly the steps to make this quilt. Basic and common techniques are not presented in detailed, assuming quilters can look up information on the techniques for themselves to prevent this post from being too lengthy. However, if certain hurdles persist in attempting this project, I will do my best to assist you.

#3. Should you have additional questions or need assistance, I will be checking in on this post as often as I can. Please leave your questions in the comments and I will do my best to help you out! 

PART 1: EMBROIDERY
We are going to add just some really quick embroidery to the quilt center we made. First we, will add a hanging ribbon to hang our birdhouse to the tree branch. Then, we will add the baby birds in the nest, with some twigs on the side of the nest.

You may choose to wait to add the embroidery until after the quilt is quilted, or you may add it now. You may also choose to either sew the embroidery by machine or do it by hand.

I am going to add the embroidery now, and by hand using Aurifloss. From the embroidery floss, I separate out 2 strands and re-assemble them before threading my needle. I generally use an Embroidery Needle (size 8 or 9) for embroidery. I mark the embroidery designs with a fine fabric washable marker because I am not brave enough to free-hand mark the designs with a permanent Micro pen. You may use the marking method of your choice.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

Then, I use backstitching for most of the embroidery, in addition to two French knots for the baby birds’ eyes.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

PART 2: INNER BORDERS #1 & #2
Inner Border #1:
Before we tackle this part, be sure to measure your quilt center raw edge to raw edge. Your quilt center should measure 20-1/2″ x 20-1/2″ raw edge to raw edge. If the dimensions measure out correctly, proceed to step a. If not, proceed to step b.

a. Cut from inner border #1 fabric two 1-1/2″ x 20-1/2″ and two 1-1/2″ x 22-1/2″ strips. Sew two 1-1/2″ x 20-1/2″ strips to the opposite sides of quilt center, followed by two 1-1/2″ x 22-1/2″ strips.

b. Sometimes, quilt centers shrink after finishing stitches are added to applique pieces (same with panel dimensions that don’t measure up just right). One way to rectify the situation is to cut the border strips larger and longer, and then trim to size. SO — if your quilt center is smaller than 20-1/2″ x 20-1/2″, cut two 2-1/2″ x 21-1/2″ strips and sew to left and right sides of quilt center. From the center of your quilt center, measure outward 11-1/4″ on the right and trim excess. Repeat for the left side. Now your quilt center should measure 22-1/2″ horizontally. Cut two 2-1/2″ x 24-1/2″ strips and sew to the top and bottom of quilt center. Measure out 11-1/4″ in the top and bottom directions and trim excess. Now your quilt center should measure 22-1/2″ x 22-1/2″.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

Inner Border #2:
From inner border #2 fabric, cut two 1-1/2″ x 22-1/2″ and two 1-1/2″ x 24-1/2″ strips. Sew two 1-1/2″ x 22-1/2″ strips to the opposite sides of quilt center, followed by two 1-1/2″ x 24-1/2″ strips to the remaining opposite sides of quilt center. Here is my quilt center with the 2 inner border strips attached.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

PART 3: INNER BORDER #3 (Ohio Star Blocks)
The bulk of this next step is constructing Ohio Star Blocks. These block should finish at 6″ (or 6-1/2″ raw edge to raw edge). If you are familiar with making Ohio Star Blocks, go right ahead and pick out your fabrics to make a total of 20 Ohio Star Blocks using your favorite method.

(Remember it’s YOUR quilt! If you want to substitute with other blocks, go right ahead. “Lady Catherine” would never know — as long as they are 6″ finished blocks, and there are 20 of them.)

This is how I make my Ohio Star Blocks:

1. For one orange 6″ finished Ohio Star block, cut two 3-3/4″ x 3-3/4″ orange squares, two 3-3/4″ x 3-3/4″ ground fabric squares, one 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ orange square and four 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ ground fabric squares. The 3-3/4″ squares are for constructing quarter-square-triangle (QST) units. I cut them larger than the conventional 3-1/4″, in case you are wondering, so that I can trim my QST units to size later.

Notice a diagonal line was marked on the wrong side of the ground fabric squares.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

2. Place one 3-3/4″ x 3-3/4″ ground fabric  square right sides together with  one orange 3-3/4″ x 3-3/4″ square.  Sew 1/4″ away from, and on the right and left sides of, the drawn line. Cut along the drawn line to yield 2 HST (Half Square Triangle) units. Press the seams open.

Notice a diagonal line was marked on the wrong side of a HST unit.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

3. Next, lay the marked HST unit, right sides together, on the other HST unit. Be sure the patches are on the opposite sides.

In order to make sure all the patches meet right at one point (i.e. center of my QST unit), I use my thumb and first finger to pinch where that meeting point should be based on the marked diagonal line. If the patches don’t all meet like they are supposed to, I would slightly adjust the HST units until the patches do meet up nicely.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

Once I make sure the patches WILL meet up nicely, I place a pin to lock in the center. Notice the HST units don’t necessarily match up at the raw edges. Matching up the HST raw edges does not guarantee an accurately constructed QST unit. The important part is that the patches meet at the center.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

4. Sew 1/4″ away from that diagonal line, but to ensure nothing shifts in the sewing process, check again about 3/4″ away from the diagonal line to make sure the diagonal seams of the HST units still match. Place another pin to secure, and THEN sew. I know this might be overkill for some… so, just do what you feel most comfortable! Again, “Lady Catherine” would never know.

**A note of caution when sewing over pins – I ALWAYS use a really fine pin, and when I get close to the pin, I use the hand wheel of my machine to guide the needle over the pin to make sure the needle doesn’t sew ON the pin.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

5. Cut along drawn line. Open and press to yield 2 QST units.

“NOTE:  You might notice from the last picture that I had used a light pink thread for piecing.  You can definitely do that.  If you have my Subtle Strings Thread collection and want to save your neutral threads for other things, it’s perfectly fine to use the other subtle shades to piece.  I wrote about the uses of subtle shades here.

Subtle2

6. Using a quilting 6″ ruler, line up the 45˚ line against one of the diagonal seams. We are targeting a 2-1/2″ square from raw edge to raw edge. That would mean the center of the square should be at 1 1/4″ (shown) and that all 4 corners should fall right at the 2-1/2″ mark (shown).

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

7. Trim accordingly.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

8. Make a total of 4 QST units. Arrange and sew together QST units and 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ squares to complete 1 Ohio Star Block.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

9. Make a total of 20 Ohio Star Blocks using fabrics of your choice. I managed to raid from my stash 20 different fabrics from Windham’s Palette collection. So I will have Ohio Star Blocks of 20 different colors!

10. Arrange and sew together 4 Ohio Star blocks to make a pieced column. Repeat to make 2 columns, and add them to the right and left sides of quilt center. Arrange and sew together 6 Ohio Star blocks to make a pieced row. Repeat to make 2 rows, and add them to the top and bottom of quilt center.

June30o

And here’s how my Thread Journey 2.0 looks in real life so far:

Thread Journey by Wendy Sheppard, Progress

Thread Journey by Wendy Sheppard, Progress

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Alrightie, Friends! I hope you had fun tackling the quilt center of our Quilt-Along. Remember to enjoy the journey! I shall see you again in two weeks.

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HANDY LINKS:
Thread Journey: Quilt Along with Wendy Sheppard
Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 1

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

Showcase Sunday — The Splendid Sampler Edition {6.19}

SHOWCASE SUNDAY

We’ve been so incredibly inspired by all of you amazing folks who are sewing along with The Splendid Sampler, a magnificent Sew Along presented by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson, that we couldn’t help but dedicate this week’s Showcase Sunday to you! With so many blocks shared, this post will just focus on blocks #27 – #36. Can we just say… *swoon*!! Keep on sewing, keep on sharing and most importantly, have fun!

To see even more of the blocks on Facebook, click here.
To check out what is happening for The Splendid Sampler on Instagram, click here.

Additional info on The Splendid Sampler:
Introductory Post for The Splendid Sampler
Sewing Along with the Splendid Sampler

[note: Mouse over each image for the image source. An @ symbol means the image is from Instagram, a name means the image was taken from our Facebook gallery]

Block #27 — Sewing Machine by Pat Sloan

Block #28 — Stitching Fashion by Charise Randall

Block #29 — Scrappy Happy Heart by Christa Watson

Block #30 — Simple Surprises by Amy Ellis

Block #31 — Blossoming by Jenny Reynolds

Block #32 — Constant Needle by Laurie Simpson

Block #33 — Selvage Saver by Pat Sloan

Block #34 — Lemonade by Amy Gibson

Block #35 — The Wishful Garden by Kristyne Czepuryk

Block #36 — Inchy Hexagon Club by Jane Davidson

Bonus — Matthew’s Block

Thanks, as always, for joining us! Happy Sunday and Happy Stitching!

Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 1

Thread Journey Quilt Along with Wendy Sheppard - 1

Welcome to first part of Quilt Construction for Wendy Sheppard’s Thread Journey Quilt Along! We are so thrilled to be embarking on this journey with all of you and are looking forward to seeing your progress and eventually, your finished quilts. 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!

With that said… here’s Wendy!

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Hello Friends, here it is! Today is the day we start our Thread Journey quilt. I sincerely hope that making this quilt will mark a fun episode in your own thread journey!

DISCLAIMER:

#1. I intend for YOU to have fun making this quilt. Therefore, you are free to change things around anytime, anyway, or anyhow! It is YOUR quilt.

Elizabeth Bennet in BBC’s Pride & Prejudice said it best, and I quote, “Maria, this is your trunk; these are your gowns. You may arrange them in any way you wish. (whisper) Lady Catherine will never know.”

#2. I understand that this sew-along will reach quilters of various skill levels. Considerable effort is made to present clearly the steps to make this quilt. Basic and common techniques are not presented in detailed, assuming quilters can look up information on the techniques for themselves to prevent this post from being too lengthy. However, if certain hurdles persist in attempting this project, I will do my best to assist you.

#3. Should you have additional questions or need assistance, I will be checking in on this post as often as I can. Please leave your questions in the comments and I will do my best to help you out! 

PART 1: FABRIC SELECTION
I thought I would briefly address the issue of fabric selection since a few have asked how I select my fabrics. Honestly, my rules of thumb are “pot-luck” and “the more the merrier” with triple dosages of both when it comes to a scrap quilt (like Thread Journey). I am always surprised at the visual effect when I throw in hot pink and turquoise blue and use them together with bright orange! For this project, I am using the fabrics from Wyndham’s Basic Lines (Palette, Mary’s Blenders).

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For my quilt center background, I have selected a muted palette that covers a wide range of colors. Muted because it is for the background so that the added applique will pop against the muted background.

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I auditioned fabrics of rich and bold hues for the applique pieces.

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PART 2: Quilt Center

1. The quilt center finishes at 20″ x 20″. Therefore, it should measure 20 1/2″ x 20 1/2″ raw edge to raw edge.

2. Options (measurements given are unfinished measurements):

  • Piece together 10 (2 1/2″ x 20 1/2″) strips
  • Piece together 4 rows of 4 (5 1/2″ x 5 1/2″) squares
  • Piece together 5 rows of 5 (4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″) squares
  • Piece together 10 rows of 10 (2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″) squares
  • 1 (20 1/2″ x 20 1/2″) square — no piecing for this one!

3.  My version is made with 10 (2 1/2″ x 20 1/2″) strips that are pieced with shorter pieces joined together by diagonal seams.

  • A simple way to figure out the Math is to find the combination of numbers that add up to 20 (finished). For example, 6 and 14. So, I would add 1/2″ to one of the numbers, and add 2 1/2″ to the other number in my cutting. In this case, I can cut (a) 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ and 2 1/2″ x 14 1/2″ pieces, or (b) 2 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ and 2 1/2″ x 14 1/2″ pieces. This Math works for other combinations of (2 1/2″)-wide strips as well.
  • If you don’t want to be bothered with the Math, and still want to use strips pieced diagonally, you can always just piece the strips, and trim the pieces to measure (2 1/2″ x 20 1/2″).
  • The steps and diagrams for diagonal piecing:
    • Place 2 fabric strips perpendicular to each other
    • Draw a diagonal line. I always draw the diagonal line, and make sure the diagonal seams works before pinning and sewing.
    • Trim 1/4″ away from sewn line. Open and press seam open.

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So, here you see my hodge-podgey pieced quilt center:

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PART 3: TEMPLATES & FUSIBLE MACHINE APPLIQUE

1. The templates provided in the pdf packet are at 100% (no enlargement or reduction required). Click here to download the PDF Packet.

2. They are already reversed for fusible machine applique, except for the leaf labeled SB8. If you want the look exactly like the quilt layout, you will need to reverse that shape before tracing it onto the paper-side of fusible of your choice. [Be sure to note #3 below]

3. Please note that SB 8 is actually SB 9, and SB 9 is actually SB 8.

Thread Journey Quilt Along with Wendy Sheppard - 9

4. I use the the “window” cutting method (i.e. cutting away excess fusible and only leave what is necessary) when I prepare my applique pieces when applicable. I didn’t do the “window cutting” for the swirl pieces because they are narrow in width. Upon being fused, I finish with buttonhole stitching.

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If you are unclear about this method, Pat Sloan has amazing tutorials here:

Fusible Applique, How to make it Soft
Pat Sloan’s Fusible Applique Tutorial

5. For quilt center applique, trace applique shapes are found on pdf page 4-7. Prepare and fuse pieces using method of your choice. Refer to pdf page 1 and 3 for placement guide. (Keyword “guide” — you may change the placement of the pieces as desired).

6. We will wait till the very end for the yoyo’s. So, don’t worry about the yoyo’s for now.

7. I use a very sharp applique scissors to cut out the shapes to prevent fraying. Mine is a pair of Olfa 5″ applique scissors.

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8. I do want to show you the layering at places where the swirly stems meet.

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9. When I buttonhole stitch around the applique shapes, I use the Mako 50wt thread. On my Bernina machine, I used 2.3 (W) and 2.6 (L) for this project. To start, I normally pull up my bobbin thread to form a tail with the top thread. After stitching, I pull both thread tails to the back of to tie a knot to secure the starting stitches. To end, I simply take the width of my buttonhole stitch down to 0, and shorten the length and take tiny bit in the last few stitches before cutting my threads.

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10. Here is my quilt center, complete with applique pieces. You will notice I moved my SB 3 leaf further down to the bottom left of the quilt center.

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11. Here are a couple of close up pictures of my applique piece finished with buttonhole stitches. I didn’t stitch around the birds because I will be using quilting to embellish them.

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Alrightie, Friends! I hope you had fun tackling the quilt center of our Quilt-Along. Remember to enjoy the journey! I shall see you in two weeks.

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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: Quilt Along with Wendy Sheppard

Today, we are thrilled to introduce the incredibly talented (and super sweet) Wendy Sheppard of Ivory Spring. She is a quilter, an author, a pattern designer, an Aurifil thread collection designer, and an educator. Her knowledge is vast, her skills enviable. We are ever in awe of her creations and couldn’t be more excited to welcome her to Auribuzz for a 7-part Quilt Along. Over the course of the next 3 months, you’ll have the opportunity to attend Wendy’s online classroom as she shares her tips & techniques for creating one of her treasured quilts, Thread Journey. So, without further pause, let’s offer a HUGE Aurifil welcome to Wendy!!

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Hello Everyone, my name is Wendy Sheppard, and I am an absolute threadaholic (particularly Aurifil’s threads). I blog over at www.ivoryspring.wordpress.com. I am very happy to share with you a free Quilt-Along pattern of the quilt that was hung at Aurifil‘s booth at Fall Market last year. I have simply titled my quilt Thread Journey, because the quilt encompasses my own quilting journey from one who never even touched a sewing machine until about 11 years ago, to one who is playing a small part in the quilting industry…

Thread Journey, Wendy Sheppard - 1

Finished Size of Quilt: 54″ x 54″

StarBirdQuiltFinal

How this works:
I intend for this Sew-Along to work as kind of playing Round Robin with yourself. What I mean by that is that this entire quilt is going to be made with scraps from your stash. So I will alert you what you should prepare ahead of each installment fabric-wise during the construction process, but this quilt is meant to be as colorful as you wish it to be!

Tentative Schedule:
June 2: Quilt Construction, Intro — Today
June 16: Quilt Construction, Part 1
June 30: Quilt Construction, Part 2
July 14: Quilt Construction, Part 3
July 28: Process of Quilting, Part 1
August 4: Process of Quilting, Part 2
August 11: Process of Quilting, Part 3

Techniques:
1. Simple piecing, with tips for accurate points in the star blocks.

Thread Journey, Wendy Sheppard - 2

2. Fusible machine applique (with a tiny bit of embroidery)

Thread Journey, Wendy Sheppard - 3

3. After the top is constructed, I will spend three separate posts on how I am quilting my quilt, as well as domestic machine quilting tips that I hope would be helpful to you! We might not quilt the Sew-Along quilt exactly like I had quilted the original version because the quilting was pretty all free-handed and unmarked. But we will be doing something similar and FUN!

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4. And finally, embellishing with yoyo’s.

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A Few More Pictures:

Subtle Strings:
You will notice from the quilt back pictures that I had used different color threads to quilt my quilt. The colors are from my Subtle Strings collection. You can read more about the collection here: https://ivoryspring.wordpress.com/2016/04/01/thread-talk-from-my-sewing-machine-69/

Sew-Along version of Thread Journey:
1. The original Thread Journey quilt is currently on tour with Alex Veronelli when he lectures at various quilt shops. Perhaps you might get a chance to see it in person.
2. In order for me to show the steps in the entire process for this sew-along version, I am re-making the quilt (so that I can keep it, ha!) with some basic fabrics generously supplied by Windham Fabrics. I picked basic fabrics that aren’t so busy with prints so that I can better show the quilting later on. But feel free to raid your stash to find whichever and whatever that suit your fancy!

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3. For June 16, we will construct the quilt center that finishes at 20″ x 20″.

a. For the Quilt Center, you may either
–  just use a 20 1/2″ x 20 1/2″ square
– piece the quilt center using my design with 2-1/2″ strips. So collect about 10-20
2-1/2″ strips (all those leftovers from your quilts made with precut strips)
– or you may piece it in anyway you would like as long as the quilt center will
measure 20 1/2″ x 20 1/2″ raw edge to raw edge.

b. You will need scraps of fabric for the applique (using the diagram below as a guide), as well as any fusible you would use for machine applique. If you have never done this before, I will have more details on June 16.

StarBirdCenterArt

Alrighty Friends, I shall see you again on June16 — I am SO excited!

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ABOUT WENDY:
QBV03_PieceBlock_12_crop_smallWebsiteInstagram
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.

Top Ten Tuesday {Quilt Alongs}

Now that February is here and the bustle of the holiday season is behind us, it’s time to dig into some new projects! We’ve discovered a slew of fabulous Quilt Alongs, Clubs and Block of the Month opportunities for 2016 that will keep you sewing throughout the year. Find one (or a few!) that works for you, grab your fabrics and, of course, your Aurifil Threads and have fun!

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1. Modern HST Sampler QAL with Blossom Heart Quilts

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2. Bloom Sew Along with Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet & Riley Blake Designs

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3. Creativebug Block of the Month with Heather Jones, Anna Maria Horner and Carolyn Friedlander

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4. Craftsy Block of the Month with Lynette Jensen

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5. Crossroads Quilt Along with Fat Quarter Shop and Fig Tree Quilts, benefitting the March of Dimes

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6. The Sugar Block Club 3.0 with Stitchery Dikory Dock

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7. 2016 Block of the Month – Dear Daughter with Sherri Noel of Rebecca Mae Designs

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8. Breath of Spring Quilt – Block of the Month 2016 with Pine Valley Quilts

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9. The Splendid Sampler with Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson

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10. Project 48 Quilt

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Find free patterns, tips, tutorials and inspiration by following the Aurifil Pinterest boards, the Aurifil Facebook page and on Aurifilthread Instagram! All are updated daily and throughout the day 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.