Shows and such…

Hello Friends, I hope you have been well.  This is a quick post, but I want you to know that my Thread Journey quilt IS juried into the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival!


And it has been quite a journey from my first quilt I ever made to this point in my quilting journey!  It was a rather impulsive thing I did when I entered the quilt, so I am taking it easy.  There have been times I second guessed my decision, but like I tell Miss Baby, “What is done is done!”  I will share with you in another post this week my journey…


On another note, we also entered Miss Baby’s ABC des Maisons sampler into the 55th Needlework Show at Woodlawn.  Woodlawn is the home of Martha Washington’s granddaughter Nelly Custis Lewis.  You can read a brief history of Woodland here.  The Needlework Show is a fundraiser for Woodlawn.  Miss Baby has entered her stitched pieces since she was 6.  We missed last year’s because she didn’t finish her sampler in time.  But, not this year.  This year, we are prepared!  The Needlework Show runs through the month of March.  If you are in the Washington DC area, it’s definitely worth a visit.  You get to see the most amazing handwork.

That’s all for now.  I need to make a few more quilt blocks for a quilt come due before I pick up my precious cargo from school.  It’s crazy, but by the end of this month, I think I would have made about 8 quilt tops… I lost count!  BUT — check back later this week — I have MORE fabrics to give away.  I have come to the conclusion my de-stashing effort is an ongoing one.  Just when I thought I had sent out all the boxes to you all, I dragged out four more huge boxes of fabrics that I will need to sort through and give away!  But giving is good…. right? :)

Hugs to you all!  I shall catch up with you later.


Easter Eggstravaganza in McCall’s Quilting March/April 2018

Fabric Box Giveaway Winners & More Here we go… Box #1: Ellen Callo; Box #2: Melody Lutz!  Congratulations, Ladies!!  You will be receiving an email on how to proceed! :) THANK YOU ALL – for being so willing to help me destash! I am in the process of cleaning out more things.  I just don’t know why, but my stash is ever growing, haha!  I will be posting more giveaways next week.  Stay tuned!! Editorial Feature You remember being introduced to Marmalade the pot belly bunny? marmalades-merriment1 img_5020 This little stitchery wallhanging project featuring Marmalade is a free project I developed to support the embroidery floss collection I curated for Aurifil.  You can order Marmalade Meadows here. marmalade-meadows marmalade-colors So back to Marmalade… some of you might or might not know that the Marmalade stitchery designs are adaptations of my daughter’s (aka Miss Baby who just turned 9!) artwork.  She was the one who first drew Marmalade for me.  And I am happy to share with you the news that the second stitchery design, Easter Eggstravaganza just turned official in McCall’s Quilting March/April 2018!!!  In Easter Eggstravaganza, Marmalade is seen decorating her little Easter tree! The magazine has full stitchery diagram, as well as instructions to make the pillow.  It is on the newsstands right now if you aren’t a subscriber! I finished the pillow using Riley Blake Designs’ Dear Diary fabrics — the fabrics are just out!  Be on a lookout for these darling fabrics. Something important to note — ALL Marmalade stitchery designs fit a finished 9″ x 9″ square.  So, with that square, you can do whatever to finish the block.  You can combine the stitchery from the free pattern upon purchase of Marmalade Meadows thread box with this current Easter Eggstravaganza and other upcoming Marmalade designs for a quilt or runner. Now, Marmalade is kind busy — rumor has it that she is preparing for Christmas 2018 already!  Hey, no pressure there… she says! :)  I think she also has a love of reading design in the works — because Miss Baby is quite the bookworm, and naturally, Marmalade is a reader too. *wink* That’s it for today…. I am rushing to get a quilt top finished.  Playing catch up after being sick is no easy task for anyone!  Later!!

Aurifil’s AURIKIDS Debut: Spool-en-dids with Gwendolyn Sheppard

Hello Friends, I am back from my whirlwind 3-day trip to Houston Fall Market.  I shall be sharing various Market-related snippets in my upcoming posts,

but I want to focus today’s post as a “I am my daughter’s Mom” post.

I will announce the winners of my Market giveaways this Friday.


Isn’t it interesting how once one has kids or a kid (in my case), more often than not, one is known as the kids’ or kid’s parent?!

Most of you know Miss Baby has been stitching with me since she was 5.  We have done fun ornaments like these:




The reason I picked making ornaments as our projects is that I like the fact that the ornaments can be stored carefully and added each year, and they are definitely something Miss Baby can keep with her for the rest of her life.

Miss Baby started a huge project for her size/age in summer 2017.  She embarked on an adventure in stitching a full sized sampler!  It took her a year, and she finally completed her ABC des Maisons by Jardin Prive (a French designer) this past summer before the new school year.  In stitching this sampler, she was adamant about selecting her own colors.  Her words, “Mom, I don’t like it when they tell me what colors to use!”.  So she stitched the sampler with an assortment of Aurifil’s embroidery floss, Aurifloss.

I actually got it framed in time for the sampler to be displayed at Houston Fall Quilt Market this year.

We are really excited, happy and honored to be a part of Aurifil’s AURIKIDS program, an initiative focuses on reaching the next generation of sewist and crafters.  Miss Baby (her name is actually Gwendolyn now that the cat is out of the bag, haha!) debuts her own thread collection with Aurifil at Fall Quilt Market in Houston this year!  It was a big moment, a huge moment, in an 8 year old’s life!  The only disappointment for her was that she didn’t get to go to Market with me.

This floss collection is ready to ship in this month in case you would like to give this as a Christmas present.  You should be able to order them at your local Aurifil dealers.  We will kick off 2018 with a monthly program making ornaments for kids.

To keep the mother/daughter theme, these ornaments will be collaborative projects between an adult and a child.  Ask if your local Aurifil dealers are participating in the monthly program starting in 2018.  They can also contact Aurifil for more information.  Here are a few of the ornaments we will be making.

Miss Baby will also have a poem that she has written to share with her fellow kid stitchers each month to go with the ornaments.  She actually hasn’t seen the real thread box — so we are eagerly waiting for it to arrive!  When it does, I will share more details.  My rather imaginative and go-getter daughter has given each color a name as well.  So stay tuned! :)

Kids these days have so many entertainment outlets.  Being able to pass on the love of needle and thread to my daughter has been one of the most gratifying things I have ever accomplished as a mother.  So I hope grandmothers/mothers/aunts out there will join in the fun to help our youth to discover, preserve and prolong the legacy of needlework.

Thank you for stopping by!  I am already back at it as I have outstanding pattern instructions to turn in… but such is life!  I shall catch up with you later!

Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along: Part 4

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


Hello Friends, I hope you have been well since our last Spring on Bleecker Street post (Part 3).

Let’s enjoy some progress pictures you have sent in?

Billie of (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.  So, it is an honor to have her join my humble little sew-along).

Alice has a nice round sun for her quilt, and she also has pinwheels happening at different stages.  I like her method of operation a lot – it’s pretty much what I do as well.

And here is Gail’s progress picture!  I am loving the 30’s fabrics Gail has used.

Before I go on, I want to share with you my excitement when I found out one of Gail’s quilt is a Paducah winner this year!!!  How amazing is that?!  Take a look at Gail’s absolutely amazing quilt.

I love that Gail took the time to write and share with me the exciting news, and a little snippet of her life.  I want you to know you are all free to do that!  I love hearing about your personal stories!!


I am VERY happy that you are sewing along.  You can send me pictures of your quilt at any stage 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. :-) So, absolutely no pressure to get things done on time. More importantly, I just want you to enjoy the project as I have.

Part 4 deals with applique (I am using fusible machine applique method) and hand stitching — and the whole applique and stitching portion of the bunny block took me about 5 hours.

Disclaimer – you may choose to use the method of your choice to tackle the applique and stitchery! What I am describing henceforth is by no means dogmatic. :-)

1.  Prepping the background fabric

We are supposed to cut a 8″ x 17″ white background fabric.  I normally press-starch this multiple times until the fabric piece takes on the feel of a solid sheet of fabric for the following reasons:

a.  There will be multiple times of pressing – so if I “squared up” the rectangle first, I run into less chance that the rectangle will be wonky and out of shape after I am done with the applique and stitchery.

b.  For fusible machine applique, if the background fabric is starch-pressed well, I don’t have to have a stabilize the piece when I stitch the applique pieces in place.  The multiple rounds of starching stabilize the piece well enough for me that I don’t get any puckering.

Once you have your 8″ x 17″ rectangle prepared, eyeball at about 1/3 from the bottom and mark with a sharp pencil a “wave-shaped” landscape boundary.  It doesn’t have to be exactly like mine.  I realized that Quilting Treasures hadn’t included a placement guide for the applique or the stitchery.  I am not sure why.  So, we will just use this picture below as a guide.  So, you will use the pencil to mark the landscape boundary, as well as the flower stems once you cut out your flower pieces and figure out where you want them to go.


2.  Prepping applique pieces

I am using machine fusible applique method.  I prefer to use the “window” method concerning the paper-backed fusible.  You can easily find tutorials on this method.  I have also written briefly about this method here.   Make sure you use a very sharp applique scissors to cut out the shapes to prevent fraying on the edges.

I showed a black and white photo below to show you the faint pencil marking I have done on the background rectangle.

When fusing the pieces, be sure to use a pressing cloth.

3.  Stitching applique pieces

I have traditionally used Aurifil 50wt, but ever since Aurifil released their 80wt last year, I have been wanting to try out the 80wt for machine applique.  Now, the 80wt was initially developed for hand applique, but the wooden spools will go on your machines nicely as well!  In the picture below are shown the 80wt and the 50wt thread spools.  The 50wt spools are pulled from my Subtle Strings collection.  Click here if you haven’t heard of the 50wt collection I had curated for Aurifil.  You can now purchased the collection of 12 large spools for $99.99 instead of the usual $149.99 from (be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page).

For the 80wt, I used matching threads for the top and bobbin threads, and I absolutely love the very fine effect. Now, the 50wt already gives an amazing look, but I think I might even like the 80wt better!  I do love both the 50wt and 80wt.

Now, you may choose to zig-zag, satin stitch or buttonhole stitch around the applique shape.  I personally like to buttonhole stitch because the stitches tend to not look overpowering around the applique shapes to me.  For these rather small applique pieces, I used W = 2.0 and L = 2.6 on my Bernina’s setting.

4.  Hand stitching

I took my piece back to the ironing board after I stitched my applique pieces in place.  And for the stitchery, I used colors from my Marmalade Meadows collection.  You may also order from for $38.50 (be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page) since at this point there is a wait list on Cinnamon’s Quilt Shoppe.




I definitely hoop my piece before I stitch.  I also use a John James Embroidery Needle 8, and stitch over 2-ply of the floss.  That means, each strand of floss comes in 6-ply.  I would separate out the floss, and would stitch with 2-ply. Click here to find out why I like stitching with Aurifloss.  Remember, there is a free stitchery wallhanging pattern with the purchase of Marmalade Meadows thread pack – shown below!!


And here is how my bunny block all stitched up — you will notice that I have used different shades of green instead of just one shown in the sample quilt.  I decided to add more colors to mine!  You may choose whichever colors you would like to stitch, and the number of leaves you stitch on the stems are up to you too!

And I have a confession – I actually wear a pair of jeweler’s (magnifying) glasses when I stitch!  I like that I can see better, and judge my distance better — and thus, my stitches end up looking much nicer!  Now, you just about know all my secrets! Hehe!

This concludes Part 4 at my end – it’s your turn now!  Looking forward to see your progress pictures!

Happy Monday, Happy Week – and I hope everyone had a blessed Mother’s Day!

A little “Marmalade Meadows” stitching finish!

Hello Friends – and Happy Wednesday to you!  I hope you are well.  I turned a little simple cross-stitched piece that I completed in the car at the school parking lot….

… into a little hanging pillow.  The moral story is: Sometimes simple = sweet.

The colors I used are from my Marmalade Meadows collection.



To date, the colors in the collection have been used in these projects:

#1.  Spring on Bleecker Street embroidery


#2.  Marmalade’s Merriment (pattern for mini quilt and embroidery are included with the purchase of the floss pack)




#3.  A Christmas ornament

And more projects using this floss collection are forthcoming!!!  I am working hard!

Since I am a totally one woman show, and do not own a shop… I rely on the good graces of shop owners to carry products associated with me, and quilters to buy them to support my work.  So far, I know of these shops carrying the floss packs:

Cinnamon Quilt Shoppe: [They were temporarily out of stock, but they are back in stock!!!]

Pumpkinvine Corner:  Click here to go to the store.  I don’t think the actual item is listed on the website yet.  So feel free to contact the shop directly. :)  Jean “at” pumpkinvinecorner “dot” com / phone: 770-272-2485

I shall catch up with you later.  Meanwhile, I hope you will keep sewing/stitching/quilting on!  Hugs to you all!

Happy Monday & Sew Along & Scrappy Mystery & This and That

Hello Friends, Happy Monday and Happy Week to you!  I hope you are all well!  I will try to cover a few items today. :)

#1.  This is of utmost importance — I want to know who amongst you still has her Christmas tree up! :)  I found out over the weekend on Instagram there are quite a few still who are keeping their Christmas trees up to enjoy them longer.  With that, I will no longer feel self-conscious about keeping ours up for two weeks at least after Christmas!!! Truth be known, Miss Baby is still blasting Christmas carols and music at home.  And I sewed up these charm squares over the weekend.  So, Christmas is here to stay, I think!


#2. Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along!  If you have expressed an interest in following with the sew-along, you will have received an email from me with a bit of logistics on how we will be doing things – all in an informal way!  Please know that you are able to join in the fun anytime!  It will be great if you just shoot me an email expressing your intention to join in the fun! :0)


You may download the pattern instructions and templates here.

I will be using the Bleecker Street fabrics from Quilting Treasures for this project!  I am totally in love with these fabrics!!!!  You may use fabrics of your choice for the project.  However, if you want to replicate the original quilt,  I know of places listed below that are selling the kits/fabrics.  For the embroidery, I will be using colors from my Aurifil’s Marmalade Meadows collection.  Click here to read about the collection if you haven’t known about it.  I would imagine any Aurifil dealer will be able to order the floss for you.  Please know that I will be showcasing more ways to use up the floss in a couple of months.

* The quilt and floss kits are available from  I think Lynn is still waiting for the fabrics and floss to arrive.

* Quilt kits from

* Fabrics from Quiltropolis.

* Quilt kits from Hancocks of Paducah.



Tentatively, I will be posting my first section on Feb 15th.  And then you will have a month between Feb 15th and March 15th to complete your section. :)

#3.  SCRAPPY MYSTERY Quilt-Along!  I asked, and you responded.  So, scrappy it is!  This will start in June or July 2017.  I am still working out the details, and will have more to share when I have more solid information.

#4.  Miss Baby’s Stitching Progress.  Some of you have written to ask about Miss Baby’s stitching progress.  Here is the last progress picture I took of her work.  Pattern is by Jardin Prive.  You may purchase the chart here. The latest completed house is the one right next to the letter “m”.  She actually messed up on counting her squares. Instead of correcting her mistake, she “improvise” to make her house work!  I am not quite sure how I feel about that yet… on one hand, I want her to follow the rules because I am pretty much a “dot my i’s, and cross my t’s kind of person.  But on the other hand, I thought she did a great job improvising!  Hahaha.  The original house has 3 windows, and Miss Baby’s version has 2 windows.  And of course, Miss Baby has totally ignored all the “suggested colors”, and picked out all her colors.

I have to say Miss Baby has made great strides in the last 6 months in that she has learned to thread her own needles, and finish her stitches etc.  She is now a totally independent stitcher.  For a while there, I had to cut the threads, thread the needle, show here where to stitch, and then help her bury her thread tails etc.  Now, she asks if I could get her a gold needle!  Well, I didn’t… I told her she would have to earn her own money to buy that as regular needles do just fine. :-)

I say all that to encourage mothers and grandmothers out there who are teaching their young ones in the art of needle and thread that it is possible to start them really young!  I started Miss Baby when she was about 5.  And it’s been really gratifying to see her progress and develop in her skills.


That’s all for now, Dear Friends!  It’s past 10pm, and I still have a quilt to bind that needs to be shipped in the morning. :)  There goes my life whirling around again!  Hugs to you all, and I do hope you have a lovely week.

Another chance to win Marmalade Meadows Floss Box

Happy Monday, Friends! I hope you are all well and warm!  Right about now, I am an icicle contemplating a one-way ticket to Florida! :)

Last fall, Aurifil introduced my Marmalade Meadows Floss Collectionat Fall Market.  A few days before Christmas last year, Aurifil featured my new Embroidery Floss collection, Marmalade Meadows, on their blog Auribuzz. Click here to read more if you hadn’t had a chance to do so.


The purchase of the floss collection comes with my pattern instructions (including embroidery) for Marmalade’s Merriment.  If you remember, the embroidery design is based on Miss Baby’s artwork that I had adapted for embroidery.  I do have a funny story associated with that.  I had texted from Fall Market last year a picture of the floss box to Miss Baby at home.  When I checked in with home that night…

Miss Baby:  Urm, Mom, didn’t you tell them I drew the original picture?

Me: Yes?

Miss Baby: Why isn’t my name on the box?

Me:  Well, you see…




Over the next year, I will be releasing more Marmalade the pot belly bunny embroidery designs, as well as different projects you can make using the free download Marmalade’s Merriment embroidery design!  It will be fun.  So, get your floss ready to stitch… You can ask your local quilt shop owners to order the floss collection for you!


Aurifil is hosting another giveaway of Marmalade Meadows on their Instagram feed!  Be sure to check out the details there — just search for “aurifilthread”.


That’s all for now, Friends!  Happy Monday and Happy Week!  I will be back this Wed to catch up with you!  Hugs!!!

Aurifil’s Embroidery Floss Collection: Marmalade Meadows

Friends, you know I have a passion for handwork. Over the years I have done embroidery, smocking and cross-stitching. I love stitching with my hands, and feeling the needle and threads as the stitches are formed.  I am very excited to share more about Marmalade Meadows, an embroidery floss collection I curated for Aurifil.


Firstly, these Aurifloss colors were selected to be companion threads for Quilting Treasures’ new group Bleecker Street!  I will share more about Bleecker Street fabrics tomorrow.  Spring on Bleecker Street is a collage quilt I designed using the Bleecker Street fabrics that involve a bit of piecing, applique as well as hand embroidery.  The hand embroidery part uses threads from Marmalade Meadows.


The following picture was taken at this past Quilt Market of Spring on Bleecker Street.  Kits and patterns are available via your local quilt shops sometime in November!  Check and ask about the project with your local quilt shops that carry Quilting Treasures fabrics.


And you here how the Marmalade Meadows embroidery floss is at play in the following pictures:





I also designed and stitched a little wallhanging using the Marmalade Meadows embroidery floss, featuring Marmalade, the pot-belly bunny!  This is going to be a free pattern when the thread collection ships in December.



I quilted the wallhanging with Aurifil’s Mako 50 wt cotton.  When quilting around embroidered motif, I like to quilt densely so that the embroidery will pop!



I like that the Aurifil’s embroidery floss is wound on a charming wooden spool.  Some have asked if I feel a difference between Aurifloss and skeined floss.  One major thing I notice is that, with the other threads produced by Aurifil, the Aurifloss is very low on lint.  That allows me to have very crisp stitches.  [As to why Aurifil’s threads are low lint, you will have to attend Alex Veronelli’s thread lectures to find out — really worth your while if there is one offered in your area.  It is free to attend.]

So, here are the spools you will get in my Marmalade Meadows collection.  Even though they scream vibes of spring, I am actually working on a Christmas scene featuring Marmalade the pot-belly bunny!  Stay tuned for details. :)


Again, the collection ships this December to shops.  You may place an order for the collection with any shops that carries Aurifil products.  I know will have it.  If it’s not listed on the website, just shoot them an email, and they will take care of you!

Thanks so much for stopping by.  Till next time!

Happy Monday!

Marmalade, the pot belly bunny, wishes you a lovely Monday and week!  Details about Marmalade’s merry adventures are forthcoming.  I can hardly keep the secret, but keep the secret I must… for now!


You might be interested to know that it was our very own Miss Baby who initially came up with the design concept. She drew it on paper, and I adapted it for stitchery — I am loving our collaborative effort.  Now, I just need Miss Baby to grow up a bit to cook and clean and piece all my quilts, so that I can quilt to my heart’s content.  No, just kidding (seriously!)… I am a firm believe of children needing to carve out their own paths apart from their parents’ bent. :)

I am curious though — how many of you do hand-embroidery in addition to piecing, applique and quilting?

Thank you for stopping by.  Have a great week.  Hugs to you all.

ABC des Maisons: Part 1

Before I proceed with today’s post, I have been asked about this quilt I posted in yesterday’s post.  The quilt is called Gwendolyn Dream Garden.  It is a pattern found in my book Creative New Quilts & Projects using Precuts or Stash.  You can view all the projects in the book here.  Gwendolyn’s Dream Garden is named for Miss Baby.  She fell in love with the quilt when she saw it, and told me it reminded her of a flower garden.


Speaking of the girl, this summer has been a stitching summer for Miss Baby!  The last time you saw her completed stitched project was a few months ago… I shared about her stitched ornament.  You can read more about it here.


From the stitched ornament to this…. a full-sized sampler! And she is quite a determined stitcher too – because she is having a contest with my sister (who is stitching the same thing) to see who finishes first.  They are stitching ABC des Maisons by Prive Jardin.  You can purchase the chart here.  That’s how it’s supposed to look when it’s finished.


AND…. this is Miss Baby’s latest progres.  And she is intent on changing the colors to suit her taste. *rolling my eyes here*  Let’s just say sometimes I wish my little one would just stay inside the box, and not try to think too much outside of the box, hahaha!



Have I ever told you I have always wanted a daughter?  And I am thankful to God He gave me one.  I have enjoyed my little girl.  I missed those baby/toddler days for sure, but I have also enjoyed the more grown up version these days.  I did a double-take the two days ago when she said to me out of the blue, “Mom, I think you are the best Mom I have ever sampled.  I think I am going to keep you.”  What?!  Sampled?!

Thanks for stopping by.  I have more work to do still… Hugs to you all till next time.

We have a kid-sized win!

Hello Friends, you might remember seeing this right after we had that huge blizzard earlier this year…


We brought home the ornament with a ribbon from the 53rd Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition yesterday.  The ornament was judged in the Junior Category.


I couldn’t be more proud of my 7-year old-Miss Baby!  Thanks for stopping by – I’ve got to run for now as I am still catching up on things from when I was gone.  Hugs to you all.