The moment your husband told you… (and another giveaway!)

… at around midnight one night that he was ready to hang a quilt for you!  Out of the blue, all of a sudden, entirely unexpectedly, you hadn’t given much thought which quilt to use…. what would you do?!

1.  DAY IN LIFE

Well, I can tell you what I did:  I rushed into my sewing room, and started to pull out neatly folded quilts from my stash of about 25o quilts.  Frantically running back and forth and making sure the width of the quilt will fit the width of the rod – only to find out quite a few of them didn’t have a hanging sleeve because I hadn’t had the time to sew the sleeve on when I was completing the quilt for an editorial feature!  [My quilting teacher taught me well, but I haven’t practiced what she taught as well…. the guilt is entirely mine!]

About an hour later…. the quilt is up.  All is well, and my husband went to bed — while I sat in a chair and feeling thankful for a husband who has been more than supportive of all the craziness related to my quilting gig — and thinking about all the quilts strewn about in the sewing room and still needed to be refolded and put back!

I decided to hang my Calico Trail (from my book Recreating Antique Quilts –  books are still available!!) because it captures the different colors I have in my family room.  This is not the best picture, but I snapped this shot in the early morning sun this morning…

If you want to see other pictures of Calico Trail – click here!

2.  SHARE THE QUILTY LOVE GIVEAWAY

Meanwhile, I have another Share The Quilty Love Giveaway — here are a set of 7 quilting motif books, published by Quiltmaker.

They are yours if you are willing to pay $15 shipping via USPS Priority Mail flat rate medium box.  Leave a comment if you would like to enter the giveaway indicating your interest.  You can still leave a comment even IF you do not wish to enter the giveaway.  I will try to announce the winner next Monday!

3.  SPRING ON BLEECKER STREET QUILT-ALONG

I have missed Oct 15 and Nov 15 due to an incredibly busy last couple of months.  I am shooting for Dec 15 for an update before the year ends, which will bring us close to finishing up the quilt top!  If you have any progress pictures, please email them to me.

Have a great weekend – I will be putting in long hours to get a quilt top out next Monday!  ARGH….

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COVER QUILT ALERT: Snowfall in American Patchwork & Quilting December 2017 & Giveaway Winners

Happy Friends — Christmas is coming, and that’s a fact! :-)  I am very happy to share with you the news my Snowfall quilt made cover on American Patchwork & Quilting’s December 2017 issue!  This is my second time having a cover quilt this year in American Patchwork & Quilting’s magazine.  I cannot be more excited!!

Snowfall is a fun one-block-wonder quilt, using curve piecing.  But really, each block only has 3 seams!  And the quilt has more than 25 fabrics, I think.  You know what many fabrics means — that means fun VISUAL EFFECT!  The fabrics featured in this quilt are from RJR Fabrics’ Merry, Berry and Bright!

Quilt kits are available from fatquartershop.com!

This issue will be on the newsstands till Dec 5th!  Keep your eyes peeled for them at your favorite newsstands.  In the same issue, there is also a free quilt pattern download that I have designed.  It’s call Starry Night Square Dance!  This quilt features fabrics from RJR Fabrics’ Hopscotch.  The magazine has information on how to download the pattern.

Now for the winners of my pile giveaways:

Pile #1:  Debbie Rhodes

Pile #2:  travelingro

I have sent you an email with information on how/where to send the payment to cover the shipping cost.  THANK YOU FRIENDS, for being willing to take the stash off my hands.  Come back tomorrow, I am giving away a set of quilting motif books!  Till tomorrow. :)

Monday Miscellaneous – Giveaway Winners & MORE Giveaways!

Hello Friends, and Happy Monday!  I hope you had a wonderful Veterans Day weekend.

1.  Day in Life.

So, what’s on your plate this week — as we head into Thanksgiving?  My little family actually left town for Thanksgiving getaways the last couple of years because it was nice for once or twice to not have to go into all the preparations for a big meal.  And I think two years ago, I was out of time three separate times in three weeks in between the end of October and Thanksgiving.  By the time I got home from the third trip, I most certainly didn’t have enough time to prep for Thanksgiving.

But this year, we will be staying at home and enjoying our Thanksgiving with a couple of friends.  I still need to go to the craft store to find flowers to fill my cornucopia.  I am hoping Hobby Lobby still has their autumn stuff out.

SO, NOSY MIND DESPERATELY WANTS TO KNOW IF YOU ARE TRYING SOME NEW FOR THANKSGIVING THIS YEAR!  I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU FIRST BEFORE I TELL YOU WHAT I AM CONSIDERING DOING… :)

2. Market Giveaway Winners.

Thank you for being so patient with me.  The winners following are to receive:

#1. Fabric Bundle #1 (Anthology Batiks) — billiemick

#2. Fabric Bundle #2 (Anthology Batiks) — janicekholton

#3.  My New Book Stitching Pathways — Joanne Reiser

Please email me your address so that I can mail the goodies to you.  Each winner will also receive a copy of the latest Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks (Volume 16)!  I have a Christmas wreath block in there (Block #1587)!

 

3.  De-stash news and more Giveaways!

This is my official announcement that my de-stash project is complete.  HOWEVER (read on)…

I will also be giving away fabrics to keep my stash from accumulating again!  These will mainly be leftover fabrics from the quilts I piece.  And instead of a format where interested quilters signing up and getting fabrics in the order they sign up, I am going with a “giveaway” format.  So, I have these two piles to offer.

#1.  Pioneer Bride by RJR Fabrics – these fabrics have gone into this upcoming and a personal epic quilt!  Most are at least 1/4y.

#2.  We Share One World by Windham Fabrics – I have used these to make my “back to school” geography wallhanging a couple of months ago.  Many are FQ’s with a few being less than 1/4y because I have cut from them.

 

SO — with these giveaways, you will have to be willing to pay $9 for shipping/handing.  Enter a comment in the comment section and indicate which pile you would like.  For example, if you want to be entered in the giveaway, write in the comment as follows:

“Giveaway – Pile #1” or “Giveaway – Pile #2”

If you don’t want to be entered in the giveaway, just comment as usual.  I will pick and announce the giveaway winners in my Wednesday post.  Remember, if you win the giveaway, you will have to foot the shipping cost…. because I have more giveaways coming, and simple can’t cover the shipping costs for all the upcoming giveaways.  I hope you will understand.

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Alrightie – Friends, that’s all for now!  I need to look in the fridge and dream up what I can serve for dinner tonight.  Cooking isn’t quite my forte even though I love to dish and tablescapes!

Have a lovely rest of your week!

Twas the few hours before I leave…. & Market Giveaway!

… for FALL QUILT MARKET in Houston!

Hello Friends — loooooooong time no chat/visit!  I have missed you.  I want to check in with you to let you know I am doing well.  Thank you to those who emailed and asked if I was doing okay.  Quick answer is:  yes, I am!  And I do appreciate you checking up on me.  Long answer is:  I have been inundated with a huge amount of unplanned assignments the last few weeks!  It’s been crazy!  Honestly, it’s been a test of strength and faith for me in some ways.  And yet, I thank God for sustaining me through loooooong hours… there were a few nights there where I barely slept in order to meet a tight and non-negotiable deadline.

Enough about my past trials and tribulations… :)  I am heading to Houston for a few days!  I am looking forward to meeting up with friends, and seeing what’s new!  Keep your eyes out on something new I have been blessed to be involved with… AuriKIDS!  If you know your local quilt shop owner is going to Market, be sure to have him/her check out AuriKIDS at Schoolhouse:

or… on Sunday at Aurifil’s booth!

The other exciting thing about Market for me is my third book is finally out!  Stitching Pathways is based on my many years of Thread Talk posts.  So many of you have asked for a book… and the book is finally born!!!  You can preorder the book here. Click on the link to see the layout of the book.  I honestly cannot be more excited about how the book has turned out.

I had promised you I would share more about the book, and I still plan on doing that after Market!

GIVEAWAY – As with Spring Market earlier this year, I will be bringing back hot off the press or upcoming fabric bundles from Market.  I have no idea what they are – but they are more than likely FQ bundles!  And this time, I have a checked baggage (in addition to my carry-on).  You remember last time I went to Spring Market with merely a 16″ x 16″ carry on for my clothes and goodies! :) Leave a comment here to enter the giveaway for: FQ Bundle #1, FQ Bundle #2, and a copy of my book.  I will select 3 winners for each prize. :)

That’s all for now.  I still have to finish up packing and laundry (argh!)… and I leave for the airport in 5 hours!  Tootles for now, and remember some bunny loves you! :)

p.s.  Instagram is where you will find the latest about me.  It’s been easier for me to update things there because I can do that in just seconds instead of 1 1/2-2 hrs to compose a blog post.  Follow me at ivory_spring — and check in with me there!

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!

***

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…

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-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.

***

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!