My turn: Windham Fabrics’ Back to School Blog Hop

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Hello Friends, I am not sure if you have had a chance to follow Windham Fabrics’ Back to School Blog Hop the last few days… but if you haven’t, this is the schedule:

AND – IT’S MY TURN TODAY!!!  And be sure to read through the end for a chance to win fabrics!

Background story: I had used fabrics from Whistler’s Studio’s We Share One World group to design a super panel quilt (64″ x 84″) a while back.  The design is available as a free pattern you can download here.  You can then purchase the panel from your local quilt shop to make the project, or you can purchase the kit from Missouri Star Quilt Company.  Click here to purchase the kit.  And you get 299 pts for Quilter’s Cash!

I love this quilt panel because it is very educational – and provides easy and convenient teaching moments between a child and a parent (or grandparent, or teacher).  It’s always easy to find baby/infant quilt designs, but sometimes the designs are a little hard to come by for school-aged children!  So this super 64″ x 84″ panel quilt would be a fun and easy one to make a child to encourage learning.

We Share One World is a really fun fabric group.  First, it has that nifty world map super panel with tremendous educational value.  Then, it has these prints with Hello in different languages. Miss Baby had lots of fun looking for the versions of Hello she knows.  I really like the children of world print included in the group.  And then, there are the animals of the world print!  It’s just a fun, fun group!  Click here to view the fabrics, and ask your local quilt shops to carry the line!

Now about that blog hop project… For the blog hop project, I decided to make a companion geography wallhanging to go with the super panel quilt!

This time I appliqued the map of United States myself… and used a star button to indicate where I live.

It was really fun working on this little wallhanging because it brought by memories of my elementary school days in south-east Asia.  My father raised me to be an informed child through geography, and I will forever be grateful for that.  I also remember being in a race with a boy in class about world trivia.  Some days, he beat me… some days he didn’t.  In my quest to beat him fair and square every time, I kept a notebook with different world facts for an ever-ready come back, ha! I haven’t thought about that little episode of my life for a while… I wonder what happened to the boy.  I do remember that he is the son of my mother’s schoolmate.

One thing I would like to share about this little project is that… I got the machine quilting idea from the red tonal grid fabric.   So often, the quilting motif is right before our eyes. The grid is irregular, so I just used my walking foot to go with the flow, and quilted irregular grid on the rest of the quilt even where I didn’t have the grid print fabric placed in the quilt.  I think the irregular grid quilting kept the lighthearted feel of the kid-friendly wallhanging.

This fabric line also has the landmarks of the world print that I used for the backing… more educational opportunities!

Isn’t it amazing these days how spoiled we quilters are with the different fabrics afforded to us by the different fabric companies?  If you need another excuse to buy more fabrics, don’t forget to use “education of the younger generation”, ha!

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you have had some fun with me today looking at my “geography class” wallhanging!

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For a chance to win fabrics, leave a comment on Windham Fabrics’ blog.  Here are the official rules:

Be sure to follow Windham Fabrics’ blog and comment on their post for a chance to win a Fat Quarter bundle of the line!

The giveaway will be open from now until 8PM PST on Friday, September 22, 2017. The winner for this bundle will be picked at random and we will announce the name HERE on Monday, September 25, 2017.

This giveaway is open to everyone, USA and International.

If you’re a “no reply” or anonymous commenter, please remember to include your email address in your comment!

HAPPY HOPPING!!!  REMEMBER, LEAVE YOUR COMMENT ON WINDHAM FABRICS’ BLOG TO WIN FABRICS, not here…

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Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along: Part 8

NOTE:  If you are just now hearing about the Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along, and would like to find out more, click HERE.

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Hello Friends, I hope you have been well since our last Spring on Bleecker Street post (Part 7).

It’s so embarrassing to be late for your own party …. please apologize for the delay in posting the latest installment of our Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along!

But before I share about the new part added to the quilt, let’s enjoy what you have sent in!  And THANK YOU, and good job for keeping up!  And please don’t feel bad if you haven’t been able to devote as much time as you would like on the project.  I know I sure haven’t because of the happenings in my life recently.

This is mine from Part 7.

Billie of http://billiebeesblog.blogspot.com (I have “known” Billie for quite a few years.  I have affectionately called her the queen of BOM’s because she works out the coolest BOM projects. Stop by Billie’s blog and see all the amazing quilts she is making!

Gail’s 30’s version is looking really really sweet!!!

Alice’s blue version has such an amazing calming effect:

Good Job, EVERYONE!  Your quilts will all be absolutely GORGEOUS!!!

I am VERY happy that you are sewing along.  You can send me pictures of your quilt at anystage at any time, and I will just include your pictures in the next posting of Spring on Bleecker Street.

Remember, this is a sew-along for those of us who have more projects we can count, all going on at the same time, and still have a life to live. :-) So, absolutely no pressure to get things done on time. You can go as fast or as slow as life allows.  More importantly, I just want you to enjoy the project as I have.

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The next parts for me (embroidery and framing pieces for the swirly bird blocks) looked quick and easy for me, but by far, this has taken me the longest time!  So, if you are doing it my pace — be prepared.  But then, I am slow at everything.  So maybe that’s why it’s took me longer than I expected.

You can either add the framing pieces first, or the embroidery first before the framing pieces.  I actually embroidered first — because I had a window where I could do Mom duties and handwork at the same time.  I probably would have framed the blocks first — because I think that will keep the squares squared up more easily.  But doing the embroidery first didn’t seem to the affect the square-ness of my blocks because I have starch-pressed the blocks really well before hand.

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Embroidery: 2 hours per block (yikes!)

I have to admit — I am getting up there in age, ha!  When I do handwork these days, I use a pair of jeweler’s glasses to help.  I like to keep my stitches as consistent in length as possible.  The good thing about the glasses (though it makes me look like a total DORK!) is that I am able to see the weave of the fabric to gauge my stitch length.  My favorite is to have my stitches cover 2-3 weave lengths of the fabric.  If it’s 4-5 weave length, the stitches end up being a little too long for my taste.

When doing hand embroidery stitching, I always use 2-strands of embroidery floss!  I am using floss from my Marmalade Meadows floss I have curated for Aurifil!  I love the Aurifloss because like the rest of Aurifil’s threads, the floss has minimal lint — which makes my stitches really crisp! I am also not needing to condition my floss before stitching.  So I pretty much just thread and needle and take off!

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You can order these amazing embroidery floss through your local Aurifil dealers, or you may order them online from

#1.  Cinnamon’s Quilt Shoppe here.

#2.  You may contact www.followthatthread.com to order.

#3.  Pumpkinvine Corner (scroll down to the bottom of order page) here.

The floss box comes with a free pattern to make this little mini quilt with the stitchery design inspired by Miss Baby’s art work!  She really did come up with the original artwork which I adapted for stitchery.

You are first to know — Miss Baby and Marmalade (the pot belly bunny) are working up something for Christmas.  I hope to be able to get the project completed and share with you by the end of October in case you want to make the project in time for Christmas!

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Here are a couple of close-ups of stitchery on the swirly bird blocks.

And don’t feel like you have to followed exactly how many French knots to add to the tendrils.  I always get carried away when I do French knots, and I ended up adding more than the number of French knots shown in the diagram in the instructions.

Now onto the framing pieces:  another 2 hours!

The piecing is pretty much straightforward!  The only thought I will share is that it’s easier to make the pieced 1″ squares by fours!  Make units of 4-squares, and then sew them together.  That way, the 20-square unit won’t end up wonky!

It took some time, but the effect was so worth it.  The tiny squares gave the swirly bird blocks a cute jeweled look!

And that’s all for this time!  Remember to enjoy the journey!!!

It’s quite amazing to see the progress I have made the last few months — just for trying to keep up! I couldn’t have done it without being accountable to you!  THANK YOU for sewing-along, and thank you for ensuring that I am making progress, albeit be it snail-speed.  And you heard it first here — my next sew-along project planned for next year will be snail-ish!

Till next time!

De-stash Update / NEW BOOK / Free Pattern & More

Hello Everyone, this is your long-lost wayward quilting friend checking in!  I am briefly crawling out of my “pattern writing hole” to write a quick note to you.  It’s been crazy since I last updated my blog… but all is well, and thank you to those who wrote to ask me to take care of myself.  I am so glad you are looking out for me.  Yes, I am doing well despite the craziness.  I am sleeping well – I go running at least once a week – I am getting my house in order – and I am getting caught up with my “home-school” regimen even though Miss Baby does go to an outside school during the week.

Most don’t know, but each blog post I write takes about 1.5-2 hours, and it’s been hard to carve out that time for me to update my blog.  Please don’t take that to mean I don’t like you.  In fact, many days, I would go through the day thinking about certain things my bloggy friends would find amusing!  I do like you very much, and often wish I have just a few more hours in the day.

So without further ado…

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DE-STASH

There’s been a bit of kerfuffle of late regarding my de-stashing project.  Many have written to asked why they haven’t heard from me.  I thought I would just share the reasoning here:  I am writing quilters on the waiting list in the order they signed up to be on the waiting list.  Back to the original first come first serve arrangement.  If you have not heard from me, that’s because you have signed up late, and I am not able to get to you.  The latest update is that I think I will have about 10 boxes left to the next 10 on my list, and that will be it.  There were actually close to 150 of you who signed up, and to date, I think I have shipped close to 50 boxes.  It’s been a demanding task that I have tried to fit into my daily schedule… and so, some days, I don’t get to pack any boxes or work on my stash.  And after that, I am tasked with hauling the boxes to mail them to the various destinations.

I will have a formal announcement to let you know the de-stash is officially complete once I am sure all the fabrics are gone from my guest room.  I have moved the rest of my stash off my family room floor to the guest room just so that my family could have a somewhat normal living space while I re-arrange things for our house.

I also have a BOM quilt kit and some additional fabrics to give away apart from my de-stash project.  I will have details soon.  Stay tuned.

I thank you for your understanding!

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One reason I have been busy is that I have been proofing the pages of my upcoming book!  This book has been MY baby, and it is finally happening.  It is going to print next week in time for Market!  I cannot be more excited!  More about the book next week…

Most of you know I am passionate about machine quilting.  And to think back on my quilting journey to the point of this book, my heart is full!  I hope to be able to share  sample page with you, but for now, let me just say that my publisher has done a phenomenal job on this book!  I was just telling my husband this morning that the layout of this book has completely knocked it out of the park!!!

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FREE PATTERN

And I do have a lovely free pattern to share with you today that I had designed for Windham to highlight their Simply Red fabric line!  I am in love with the birds in the quilt!  Click here to download the free pattern.

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And that’s all for now!  I am heading out to ship out fabric boxes to some of you, do groceries, and school pick-up! And I still need to work on my Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along etc… and get my weekend details worked out. Have a great weekend, Dear Friends!

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p.s.  This story from my local area warms my heart — I always love to see a young person who is a go-getter: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/11-year-old-frank-gets-his-wish-to-mow-white-house-lawn-gets-personal-thank-you-from-trump/article/2634543

“Even though I’m only ten, I would like to show the nation what young people like me are ready for.”  I love that boy’s sentiment!

I have been in the States more than half of my life, but there’s one Bible verse I can quote in my native Mandarin language till this day.  It’s Timothy 4:12 “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”

De-stashing updates – and MORE!

Hello Friends, I hope you have been well.  I had to disappear for a bit the last couple of weeksto work on a few really immediate deadlines, including those that were sprung on me last minute!  The struggle is real, but life is full. I did have to take a break from my de-stashing effort, and focused entirely on my work for a bit.  The struggle is not over, but at least I get a few minutes to say hello to you!   I hope you’ve been well.

And here are a few pictures of my own stashes of fabrics I kept for myself…

1.  First up, I have some fabrics organized by colors — red, blue, green, gray, yellow etc.  Here is a picture of my red stash, and my other stashes organized by colors are about the same.  If you have received red fabrics from me in the mystery boxes of fabrics, you KNOW how many red fabrics I have given away.  HAHA!

2.  And I have a section dedicated to just dots — polka dots, dots, and just dots!  And you can also see I save my empty Aurfil spools as my “sewing trophies”. :)

3.  And then, I have my 30’s stash!  I am collecting a bunch of 30’s fabrics to make a reproduction quilt.

4.  I have a small stash of reproduction fabrics.  I am giving away the ones on the right.  Stay tune for details!

5.  And a small Christmas stash — again, if you have received my de-stashed fabrics, you KNOW I used to have a lot of Christmas fabrics. :) Keyword is… “used to”.

6.  And my whimsical and mostly Riley Blake stash…

7.  And my “sewing machines” – these are made by Cardew, a British pottery company.  I share my sewing room with Miss Baby – she has a desk in this already rather small room that was meant to be a main level office, and not a sewing room!  So, there’s always something from Miss Baby tucked in here and there… thus the stuffed cat.

Notice how small my pink and orange stashes are — aren’t you proud of me?

Also, I always set out thread spools that are nearly empty… so that I remember to use them before breaking into new spools.

8.  I do have a rather large stash of Lynette Anderson fabrics.  Lynette is a dear friend of mine in the industry.

9.  I often have my work-in-progress things in view just so that I don’t forget about them.  This is part of my bird applique block that I still have to add hand embroidery for the next installment of my Spring on Bleecker Street Sew Along.  Click here if you would like more information on the sewalong.

And here you see my Bleecker Street stash, with which I am using to make my Spring on Bleecker Street quilt!

10.  And here are just some random stashes…

I just emailed 10 quilters today who were next on my list to receive the fabrics.  My de-stashing project has been successful, and is coming to an end.  My fingers are crossed with hope that the fabrics do NOT multiply themselves!!!  So far I have the following available:

#1.  I still have my books available for sale – 2 for $25, and 1 for $15 (both include shipping)

#2.  20 magazines (many with my designs featured) available for $15 for me to ship in USPS Priority Medium box.  I will add fabrics as well to fill the box up.  I have just 1 box.  Email me at wendy2@wendysheppard.net asap if you are interested.

#3.  I have 2 USPS Priority Large boxes of scraps.  They aren’t the yardages that I have sent out in my de-stashing effort. They are usable pieces, some up to 1/8-1/4y for those of you who make scrappy quilts!  ONLY 2 boxes are available – email me at wendy2@wendysheppard.net asap if you are interested! NO LONGER AVAILABLE!

I have been really happy to hear that the destash fabrics you received have already been put to good use!  I have heard from many of you who are using the fabrics to make charity quilts, and to teach others how to quilt.  I have even received a nice little pouch from Danette when she sent in her check to cover the shipment of her box of fabrics.  All that to say…. QUILTERS ARE REALLY SWEET PEOPLE!  Let’s all do our part to keep that sweetness going, shall we?

Eclipse!

Hello Friends, a Happy Eclipse Monday to you all!  We were going to chase the Eclipse down in South Carolina, but we chickened out… so, I will be logging on to NASA’s website to watch instead.  An interesting side note:  some WWII era bombers are being employed to take footages of the eclipse.  I thought that was quite interesting.

In anticipation of this terrestrial event, I had designed this quilt using Anthology’s batik fabrics a few months ago. The fabrics will be delivered to stores in Fall 2017.  I will have more information on the pattern instructions then.  But for now…. here is my Phases quilt.

It’s such a neat event, isn’t it?  Through all the excitement, the verse in Psalm 113: 3 came to mind, “From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’S name is to be praised.”

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I haven’t forgotten about sharing pictures of my stash, and more de-stashing news.  I got caught in a whirlwind of some totally unplanned work and deadlines in the midst of my 100 star blocks craziness last week.  I hope to be able to send out emails to those who are on my waiting #3.  I will also have ONE Jinny Beyer BOM kit that I will be parting with – more on that later as well.

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Have a lovely rest of your week.  I shall catch up with you later.

Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along: Part 7

NOTE:  If you are just now hearing about the Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along, and would like to find out more, click HERE.

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Hello Friends, I hope you have been well since our last Spring on Bleecker Street post (Part 6).

But before I share about the new part added to the quilt, let’s enjoy what you have sent in!  And THANK YOU, and good job for keeping up!  And please don’t feel bad if you haven’t been able to devote as much time as you would like on the project.  I know I sure haven’t because of the happenings in my life recently.

This is mine from Part 6.

Billie of http://billiebeesblog.blogspot.com (I have “known” Billie for quite a few years.  I have affectionately called her the queen of BOM’s because she works out the coolest BOM projects. Stop by Billie’s blog and see all the amazing quilts she is making!

Alice’s block is really special to me.  You have read about my major de-stashing effort, and Alice asked to be sent a box of my mystery fabric box!  She ended up incorporated one of the fabrics I sent her in the birdhouse block.  What a sweet gesture.

Gail sent in her Parts 5 and 6 progress pictures.  I love the 30’s fabrics Gail has used, making her blocks take on a sweet and whimsical feel.

Good Job, EVERYONE!  Your quilts will all be absolutely GORGEOUS!!!

I am VERY happy that you are sewing along.  You can send me pictures of your quilt at anystage at any time, and I will just include your pictures in the next posting of Spring on Bleecker Street.

Remember, this is a sew-along for those of us who have more projects we can count, all going on at the same time, and still have a life to live. :-) So, absolutely no pressure to get things done on time. You can go as fast or as slow as life allows.  More importantly, I just want you to enjoy the project as I have.

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I have had another busy month.  Within the last two weeks and a half, I finalized almost 25 upcoming quilt designs. So I have been doing a lot of pattern writing.  I can’t wait to share with you these new designs — there are some really fun ones!

Back to Spring on Bleecker Street — I have only been able to do the applique on both the bird/swirl blocks this month.

There are a few things I thought I would share with you that might help your applique process go a bit smoother.

#1.  I use a lightbox for tracing and placement purposes.  I have this nifty LED lightbox that is really bright (you can get it at Hobby Lobby because that’s where I got mine).  So, the pattern sheet is place on the light box first, and then, the paper-backed fusible for tracing applique pattern pieces to prepare the fabric applique pieces.

Applicable specifically to this pattern, there is no full-sized placement guide included in this pattern, only a guide!  So, after you have prepared your fabric pieces, you will have to guess-timate and approximate where the pieces go.  That’s perfectly fine. I had no problems with that.

NOW — if you want both your blocks to be as close to perfectly mirror-imaged as possible, this is what you would do.  Work and finalize the placement of applique pieces on one block only.  Fuse the pieces in place.  Then, bring that block #1 (with applique pieces) to your light box (or a window if you don’t have one) — place the block RIGHT SIDE DOWN.

Then, place the background block of block #2 right side up, on top of the wrong side of block #1.  You will see where the pieces are placed on block #1, and then you can in turn place the applique pieces on the appropriate spots on block #2.

#2.  We all like to finish our applique pieces differently.  I like to finish my fusible applique pieces with buttonhole stitching.  So the following is applicable only to buttonhole stitching.  I like to use fine threads and small stitches for buttonhole stitching so that they do not dominate over the applique pieces.  In these pictures you see, I have used the newly released Aurifil Mako 80 wt!   The 80wt was developed for hand applique, but the spools are also machine friendly.  So you can actually use the 80wt for machine stitching as well.

I loved using 50wt for buttonhole stitching, and I am loving the 80wt for buttonhole stitching even more!  The picture below shows a close-up of my buttonhole stitches.

#3.  With buttonhole stitching, I always had problems with the direction-changing of the stitching paths where I have to pivot the stitches to be perpendicular to the edge of applique pieces, and more often than not, those pivoting stitches don’t come out looking good.  The other situation that frustrates me is that it’s hard to do buttonhole stitching around sharp points or narrow pieces…. so, over the years, I have come up with using a combination of buttonhole and outline stitching around my applique pieces — buttonhole stitching when the going is good, and then I switch to straight line stitching when the going gets tough (e.g. when I am getting close a pointy edge, or where the piece is just too narrow), and then, once I get through the rough spots, I switch back to buttonhole stitching again!  I like the resulting look much better that way.

You see how by switching to outline straight stitching, I didn’t have to deal with trying to pivot the buttonhole stitching just so…?  It’s much easier for me this way.

Here you see that the swirl on the bird is too narrow for me to really do buttonhole stitching.  So I just outline/straight stitched around it.

Now, I do have to warn you about the switch between stitches:  I always use my hand wheel (instead of my foot pedal) to control where my needle lands right at the edge of the applique piece. 

#4.  As mentioned before, I always press-starch my blocks REALLY good before I sew the applique pieces in place. That way, I don’t have to use a stabilizer on the bottom of the block, and I won’t have anything to peel off after the finishing stitches.

SO I am hoping these tips will help you navigate applique-ing small pieces, and my swirls relatively easily!  If you know me, you know that swirls pop up quite often in my applique designs. :)

Once you are finished with the applique, and are ready to move to the stitchery part, use the following as a guide to mark the embroidery.

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As you know, I didn’t quite get my act together, so I will be using the next few weeks to add the stitchery to my bird/swirl blocks, as well as the birdhouse block.  I will be using my Marmalade Meadows colors…. I love these colors, if I do say so myself. :)

Have you tried stitching with Aurifloss?  If you haven’t, you have to!  One thing that struck me when I first tried it was that my stitches looked much more defined and crisp.  Then, through communicating with Alex Veronelli, he told me the floss is manufactured the same way as the other cotton threads in that an extra step is added to the manufacturing process to reduce the lint!  I know what that step is — but you will have to find out what it is at Alex’s thread lecture.  If you haven’t been to the thread lectures, you have to!!!  

Anyway, you can order these amazing embroidery floss through your local Aurifil dealers, or you may order them online from

#1.  Cinnamon’s Quilt Shoppe here.

#2.  You may contact www.followthatthread.com to order.

#3.  Pumpkinvine Corner (scroll down to the bottom of order page) here.

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Well, I have my work cut out for me with the stitching this month!  And meanwhile, I have this daunting quilt I am supposed to make for a magazine with about 80 star blocks.  I have to get the quilt top completed in about 5-7 days.  So…. I’d better get going and get star-block-making!!  Till next time, Dear Friends — and Happy Sewing!

More Giveaway (Destash) News — Happy Monday, and Hello — my name is…

… Wendy Sheppard, the rather accidental quilter!  I want to welcome my new followers following me in the last few months!  I hope you have enjoyed your visits to my blog.  Since there have been quite a few Ivory Spring friends of late, I thought I would take a moment to share a few things about myself.

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#1.  I didn’t start off thinking, wanting or imagining to be a quilter.  You can read about my quilting journey here, and why I quilt here.

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#2.  I am passionate about domestic machine quilting, but I have also learned this year to enjoy piecing!  More about that in an upcoming post!  I currently have 5 Annie’s different online /video machine quilting classes – check out the sidebar for more information on each of the machine quilting classes.

#3.  I am more a thread-aholic than I am a fabric-aholic!  I am definitely a dish-aholic!

My thread-aholism has landed me in a couple of “mug shots”…

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#4.  At any given day, I would rather rip out ALL the seams of a completed quilt top than clean and shine my glass top stove!

#5.  I like to design quilts that ONLY look complicated, but are really easy to put together. :)

#6.  And right now, I am in the process of doing a major de-stashing project.  I am in the process of giving away 80% of my fabric stash.  Come back later this week and I will show you pictures of the fabrics I did keep for myself.  I just sent out an email to those who made it to my Waiting List #2, and I will be sending out another email soon for those who made it to Waiting List #3.  I think my fabric stash is mysteriously multiplying!

#7.  My favorite cookies are oatmeal raisins!  I can’t be left alone with them.

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Meanwhile, the following photo shows copies of quilting publications that have published my work.

 

Duplicate copies of magazines have accumulated over the years.  I am giving away these duplicate magazine issues.  I can fit 3-4 (depending on the magazines) in a USPS Priority Envelope for $9. [If you have received my fabric boxes, you will know I don’t skim, hehe!]  I have enough to send to 20 of you if you are interested.  Please email me at wendy2@wendysheppard.net and write “Magazine De-Stash” in the subject line!  Please note that I can only guarantee you will have at least ONE magazine issue that will have my design in it.  

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And lastly, I am happy to announce Marty won the Adventures in Hexagons book giveaway!  Congrats, Marty.  I have emailed to ask for your mailing address.  Please respond, and I will pass on the info to get the book mailed out to you. :)  I ran out of time getting my hexagon project completed due to some very intense and unexpected workload.  So my part is forthcoming!  Meanwhile, I hope you will pick up at copy of my friend Emily’s book!

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Thanks for stopping by… and have a lovely rest of your week!

Giveaway — Quilting Treasures Zola Fabrics to make an entire quilt!

Happy Monday, and I hope your week got off with a rousing start.  This is too good to not share!  I had shared with you this free-to-use pattern featuring the Zola fabrics from Quilting Treasures.  I am excited to hear that the fabrics are quickly becoming many’s favorite!!  Quilting Treasures is generously giving away fabrics to make this quilt!!! Click here to enter the giveaway.  I am turning off comments here so that you don’t accidentally leave your comment here and miss the chance on winning. :)

Click here to view the fabric group.  Be sure to check out the adorable snail prints!

Click here to download free to use quilt pattern.

Well, that’s it for now… Friends!  I hope you have a lovely rest of your week.  We have about two weeks before school starts, and still have lots to do before we are ready for school!  Yikes!

Adventures in Hexagons Blog Hop & Giveaway!

Quick announcement before I get into today’s post re: de-stashing!  I have started contacting those who made it to the waiting list in the order of when your email came in.  I will be contacting more of you as I manage to pack more boxes.  To date, I think I have shipped off 25-30 boxes!  If you haven’t heard from me and are on the waiting list, that because there are others in front of you in the queue! I will share more about my de-stashing project next week.

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adventures-in-hexes-candt

Happy Saturday, Friends! I am happy to be part of the celebration featuring Emily Breclaw’s new book “Adventures in Hexagons”, published by CT Publishing. Emily is a very talented quilter, and you may learn more about her and her work at http://thecaffeinatedquilter.com/.  Emily and I definitely share our choice of coffee as our “stay awake juice” (coined by Miss baby).

I have always been fascinated by the hexagonal and octagonal quilts, and have secretly saved in my archive pictures of tile floors with the the notion that I will bring the designs to life one day with fabrics.  Meeting Emily for the first time at Houston Quilt Market has piqued my interest even more….

I like the way Emily presents her instructions in the book for either machine piecing or hand piecing her quilts!  It might sound weird, but as much as I use the machine for my quilts, I am tending toward handpiecing when making these fun hexagonal quilts!  AND…. the best part of the book for me is the pictures!  Emily’s quilt are truly awe-inspiring!  Here are a couple of my favorites!

There are many more eye candies included in the book – I hope you will pick up at copy of Emily’s book!  Meanwhile, CT Publishing is generously giving away a copy of Emily’s book!  Leave a comment here between now and next Saturday (August 12th, 2017), and tell me if you have ever made a hexagon quilt or hand-pieced quilt!  I will pick a winner and announce it on the following Monday, and show you my version and first ever Hexagon quilt!

Have a lovely rest of your weekend! Hugs to you all!

Cinnamon Swirl in QUILTS & MORE (Fall 2017) & More…

Hello Friends, I hope you are well!  I am noticing it’s a bit chillier in the mornings these days, which means summer is quickly fleeting away — giving rise to everything good that is associated to cinnamon!  Though I am a winter wimp, one thing I do like about the colder weather is that cinnamon gets to shine in all the bake goods etc.

I am so happy my quilt Cinnamon Swirl is being featured in the Fall 2017 issue of Quilts and More!

Used with permission from Quilts and More magazine. ©2017 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

 

Cinnamon Swirl uses Autumn Air fabrics from RJR Fabrics.  These fabrics are absolutely gorgeous.  Take a look at the fabrics in the group here.  You know I almost never design anything too complicated to make…. the blocks are basically 9-patch blocks, elongated and sashed within the blocks!  The pinwheels sashing blocks add to the visual effect, and the overall layout gives an Argyle impression.  The construction went really fast even for a “snail-paced” piecer like myself. :)

Used with permission from Quilts and More magazine. ©2017 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

So… curious mind wants to know if you are excited about fall/autumn…. TELL ME!

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I am also happy to announce the winner of my Sparkle FQ Bundle Giveaway.  I had used the fabrics to make a Christmas pillow a couple of Saturdays ago.  Congrats to Janie — I have emailed you separately, if you could email me your shipping address, I will get the FQ bundle out to you!

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And a quick update on “Help Me De-Stash” project…. THANK YOU ALL for the very overwhelming responses!  I have almost shipped out my first 20 boxes!  The upside of that is I am finally able to see the floor of my family room. I will work on the boxes on my first waiting list.  I had hoped to write those on the first waiting list yesterday, but that didn’t happen.  I am running late this week — Miss Baby’s camp and other work-related deadlines.  But please don’t give up on me.  I hope to write those who made it to the waiting list by this weekend!

My de-stashing effort has been a good one.  Even with the fabrics I am keeping, Miss Baby walked into my sewing room a few nights ago, and commented, “Mom, seriously, who is going to use up all these fabrics?” — she did a sweeping motion with her hands!  I have officially nominated her to be my “conscience” for all things sewing!

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Thanks for stopping by, Friends!  I hope you have a lovely rest of your day!  I need to get going — I have pattern writing to do for more than 10 patterns!  Yikes!!!

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My 2017 Line-up

 

Editorial Feature

American Patchwork & Quilting (Jan/Feb 2017):  Close Quarters (Cover Quilt)

American Patchwork & Quilting Calendar (July 2017):  Summer Sparkler

Australian Patchwork & Quilting (Volume 27, Number 4): Wildwood Way

Fons & Porter Easy Quilts (Summer 2017): Pound of Sugar (Cover Quilt)

Fons & Porter Easy Quilts (Summer 2017): Cozy Castles

McCall’s Quilting (May/June 2017): Village Square (Cover Quilt)

McCall’s Quilting (May/June 2017): County Fair

McCall’s Quilting (July/August 2017): Summer in Quebec

McCall’s Quilting (July/August 2017): Santa’s Tree Farm

McCall’s Quick Quilts (Feb/March 2017):  I’m Blue For You

McCall’s Quick Quilts (April/May 2017): Stamp Pad

Quiltmaker (May/June 2017): Highland Roses

Quiltmaker (July/August 2017):  Santa’s Crossing

Quilts and More (Fall 2017):  Cinnamon Swirl

 

Free-to-use Design

Jan 2017:  Stars and Stripes Forever (Hoffman Fabrics)

Jan 2017:  HOPE (Windham Fabrics)

Jan 2017:  Bleecker Street (Quilting Treasures)

Feb 2017: Sheeps and Peeps (Quilting Treasures)

Feb 2017: Smarty Cats (Windham Fabrics)

Feb 2017: Wildwood Way (RJR Fabrics)

March 2017: Hamilton (Windham Fabrics)

April 2017: Vines (Windham Fabrics)

April 2017: Storybook Flannel (Windham Fabrics)

April 2017: Monroe (Quilting Treasures)

May 2017:  Not Your Garden Variety (Quilting Treasures)

May 2017: Love My Hero (Quilting Treasures)

June 2017:  Flag Banner (Windham Fabrics)

July 2017: Zola (Ink & Arrow)

HELP ME DE-STASH!

UPDATE AS OF noon EST — I am amazed at the overwhelming response.  Thank you so much, Friends!  However, I have taken enough requests for the waiting list as well which I think I can fill.  Any requests made from henceforth, I cannot guarantee.  THANK YOU AGAIN — I look forward to being able to actually see the floor of my family room!

UPDATE AS OF 6:45am EST — Order for 20 boxes is fill!  You will receive an email from me confirming you made the first come first serve 20.  I am turning off comments.  If you would like to be on the waiting list for the next 20 boxes.  Email me at wendy2@wendysheppard.net

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Happy Monday and Happy Week, Dear Friends!  I hope you had a good weekend, and are really to roll with this new week!

A few months ago, Miss Baby and I had a conversation.  For some reason, the conversation made an impression on me, and you will see why!

B:  Mom, do you mean I will get to have ALL your quilts in your future?

M: Yes…. But you can always pick out your favorites, and perhaps donate the rest.

B (with a visible sigh of relief):  Oh, that makes me feel better.  I love all your quilts, but I don’t think I want a whole house full of quilts.  If you only made a few, of course, I will keep all your quilts…. but not when you have more than 200 quilts.

I mentally counted as I was organizing my quilt stash – big and small, I think I have over 250 of them, and the pile is still growing.  I keep almost all my quilts because I never know when I need them for educational purposes.  So, I have them neatly folded (and aired and refolded every three months or so) into piles, scattered all through out.  I have:  #1. a bed quilt stash where the quilts are used on beds,  #2. a basket full of smaller projects like runners, placemats and pillowcases, #3.  a utility quilt stash in the coat closet where the quilts are to be used, #4. a linen stash where the quilts are used on the table, and #5. a (large) stash of throw sized quilts that have filled up a couple of bookcases in my sewing room.

Here is a snapshot of my #5 stash:

The side effect of me having made many quilts is that I have a huge fabric stash!  HUGE!  With the conversation I had with Miss Baby in mind, I am determined everything sewing related is going to be confined in my sewing room. I am turning over a new leaf — I am not going to have anymore fabrics stored in boxes and tubs, and have the boxes and tubs stored at various spots around the house.  I am giving away 70% of my fabric stash.  SOOOOOOO — if you could help me de-stash, I would be ever so grateful. Here is how it works…

A.  THE FABRICS ARE FREE IF YOU ARE WILLING TO COVER THE SHIPPING COST(s) of $15 per fabric box!

B.  FABRICS WILL BE PACKED AND SHIPPED IN A USPS PRIORITY FLAT-RATE MEDIUM BOX.

C.  PLEASE NOTE THAT THE BOXES WILL BE MYSTERY FABRIC BOXES — I am sorry I can’t take special order.  But you will get quality cotton and batik fabrics from Moda, RJR Fabrics, Riley Blake, Hoffman Fabrics, Island Batik, Windham Fabrics and Quilting Treasures.  They are fabric pieces of considerable sizes, FQ’s and yardages – unless they are precuts.  

If you are interested — 

#1.  Email me your intention — with your name/address — and how many boxes you would like.  Please write “Destash/fabrics” in subject line.

#2.  I will email you back with information where to mail the check.

#3.  I will stuff the flat rate medium box FULL to the brim with fabrics, and mail the box to you!

#4.  This is on a first come first serve basis.  Right now, I have about 20 boxes!  Once the order for 20 boxes are filled, I will put you on a waiting list.  The way things look right now, I can probably make another 20.  But let’s start with the first 20.

#5.  I have first offered the ladies in my Bleecker Street Sew Along Group, and have already shipped out quite a few boxes.

#6.  Offer is good only for US Addresses.

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Meanwhile, I also have a few copies of two of my existing book titles (signed) if you are interested… I need to make room for copies of an upcoming book.

Click here if you want to read more about this book.

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Click here if you want to read more about this book.

CreativeNewQuilts&Projects

$15 for one book (includes USPS Priority shipping), or $25 for both (includes USPS Priority shipping).  

#1.  Email me if you are interested for which book(s).  Please write “Destash/books” in email subject line.

#2.  Offer is good only for US Addresses.

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Thank you, Friends — for doing a good deed in de-stashing my stash… and my family thanks you too!

Windham Fabrics Christmas in July Blog Hop & Giveaway: SPARKLE!

Hello Friends, I hope you are enjoying your weekend!  I am happy to be part of Windham Fabrics’ Christmas in July Blog Hop!  For this hop, I got to work with the Sparkle fabrics — it is a metallic group featuring gray(!), red and gold colorways!  Click here to view the individual fabric.

 

For some reason, I associate Christmas with all the different Christmas pillows.  So I have made quite a few Christmas pillows over the years, and would bring them all out during Christmas time.  It’s not a surprise therefore I made a another Christmas pillow with the Sparkler fabrics, based on Bunny Hill Designs’ Block 1 of her free pattern Sugar Plum Stocking Treats.  You can check out the information on the pattern here.

I followed the applique stitchery pattern exactly, except for the tag.  Instead of applique-ing the tag, I fussy-cut and appliqued a bauble from one of the prints instead.  The stitchery and applique were made possible by an assortment of Aurifil threads: buttonhole stitching around applique uses Mako Cotton 50wt; stitchery of antlers and ornaments in red and brown use Mako Cotton 12 wt (and I am LOVING the effect!); stitchery of whiskers, eyes and paw use Aurifloss.

As soon as I saw the gray in the collection, I knew I had to make a “cat”-related project with the fabrics in honor of Smokey, the mascot of Windham Fabrics.  Some of us affectionately call Smokey the Fabric Mogul!  Follow Windham Fabrics on Instagram to catch sightings of Smokey sporting his custom-made bow ties!

I hope you have liked seeing my “Sparkle” Christmas pillow.  I am actually sending this pillow as a gift to a girl with a heart of gold.  Would you like some Sparkle fabrics to play with?  If so, you have a chance to win a FQ bundle of Sparkle fabrics if you live within the United States.

Between now and next Saturday (July 29th), leave a comment and tell me what your favorite Christmas project is, and I will pick and announce a winner on July 31st!

Have a lovely rest of your weekend, Friends!