Joint Venture with Karen Miller: Mystery Quilt Along – Part 10

HELLO Friends!  I hope you have been well.  In case you haven’t kept track, today is the 89th day of the year!  I know because I have posted 89 quilts on Instagram for my A Quilt A Day series!  I just posted the 89th quilt.  If you haven’t checked out my feed on Instagram, look me up there at ivory_spring, or just do a search on my name “Wendy Sheppard”.

Jan 7: Announcement post
Jan 21:  Planning, basting, batting, etc
Jan 28:  Stabilization quilting or just to catch up
Feb 4, Feb 11: Inside center panel
Feb 25: Top and Bottom Rectangles
March 4: Top and Bottom Squares
March 11: Left and Right Side panels
Mach 18: Narrow Sashing
***April 1: Outside (wider) Border
April 8: Binding & Hanging

We are at ROUND 10 today!  It’s been so fun to quilt along with my dear friend, Karen, and YOU.  I hope you have had an enjoyable time exploring the ins and outs of domestic machine quilting.  I was just teaching at the Piecemakers Quilt Guild at Cumming, GA, and brought my QAL sample — and so many ladies loved the concept, as well as the panel to practice on their domestic machine quilting skills.


In the event of you might still be gathering your supplies, don’t worry! That’s okay — jump in when you are able to. Click HERE where Karen keeps a list of shops where you can purchase the supplies.


I have heard positive responses from many regarding my book.  THANK YOU!

You may order my book from:

Connecting Threads

Fox Chapel Publishing


or email me for signed copies!

I will be using Aurifli 50 wt threads from my Subtle Strings collection.  You may read more about the collection here, and here.  You may order your collection here for $99.99 (regularly selling for $140)!  DO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS GREAT PRICE!

Meanwhile, you may also order the collection HERE and HERE.

My Subtle Strings colors 50wt threads that are specially selected to achieve a subtle contrast effect in the quilting.  That is to say, we get to quilt with pretty colors on our quilts, but the colors aren’t really visible from afar and are not competing with the overall look of the quilt, until one looks at the quilting close up.  These colors are also perfect for piecing, machine or hand applique — definitely my go-to!  Why limit yourself to using only beige and light brown, or white?!  LIFE’S TOO SHORT!



Today we are focusing on the last part of the actual domestic machine quilting on our quilt — the outer border.  

If you remember from the planning phase, I had marked the word BAA… on the outer border.

Now it’s time to quilt those words, and add background quilting after the words are quilted!  Again, I am using colors from my Subtle Strings to quilt.  These subtle colors work so well in just about any setting for domestic machine quilting.  This is the yellow from the collection, and I would like to draw your attention to the letter I quilted.

Friends, I quilted around the letter “A” EIGHT times without any thread buildup!!!  I have done that with the Aurifil 80wt, but this is my first time doing it with the 50wt from my Subtle Strings collection.  I am more than thrilled with the result. 

Quilting the letters multiple times help them to stand out in the final look.  So, if you haven’t tried to stitch around shapes multiple times, try it out — with Aurifil’s 50wt!

And here is the pink!  Same thing, quilted around 8 times.

Now, I didn’t start and stop with each letter.  I just filled in the background quilting moving from letter to letter.  After I quilted the word BAA, I worked to finish up the background quilting in the section which BAA was in.  

I marked 4 BAAs on the outer border.  I used 4 different colors for each BAA section.

I want to show you the background quilting between the letters.  I used a mix of the nifty little Ss, pebbles as well as feathers to fill in the background.  They were all quilted off the seat of my pants, totally random, and just according to what I felt like quilting at the time I did them.

And we will just go around the quilt see how the different sections are quilted.

And there you have it!!!

It’s about texture, and how the light reflects on it!

I tell my students not to be bogged down by the instantaneous “imperfections” while they are quilting.  I always notice myself as I am quilting certain stitches aren’t quite they should be.  However, if I leave the piece alone for 2-3 days, and come back to look at the piece, those instantaneous imperfections just magically disappear!  I don’t see them anymore!!

Now, you will notice that your piece is wavy and wonky after the border is quilted…. totally normal!  Next week, I will share with you how I deal with this situation.

Alrightie, Friends — off to machine quilting you go!  Now, let’s see what Karen has to share with us.  I know it will be something good…  Click HERE to go to Karen’s blog.  Happy Quilting!  See you next week for our last installment.

4 thoughts on “Joint Venture with Karen Miller: Mystery Quilt Along – Part 10

  1. I’m excited to join you at this late date. My fabric arrived last week. I hope your links remain accessible so I can participate. The book is great. I’m looking forward to learning to quilt using my home machine.

  2. BAAA BAAAA this is splendid and really a treasure, Wendy, I love this.
    You and Karen are gems. Thank you for such a lovely adventure. I enjoyed viewing the followers as well.
    Happy April and Happy Spring.
    This is My very favorite time of the year, Easter.

  3. I JUST saw this quilt-a-long and want to save all the instructions and pictures. Is there a way to do that? Or will all off your pictures and instructions be up on your website for a long time?

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