This and That!

Hello Friends,  Happy Monday to you!  I hope you had a great weekend, and are still staying well and healthy.


I am very happy to share with you the news that I had my first editorial feature in a cross stitch publication – Just Cross Stitch.

M53394_JCS-June20_SM_cvr_Watermark SM Just CrossStitch

My project is a “scrappy” blue and white stitching project that is based on an antique quilt.  You know, scrappy isn’t just for quilting!

2199867309_21B_M53394_Antiq_Watermark SM Just CrossStitch

And of course, some of you probably remember seeing this work-in-progress sampler I have been working on for years…. another scrappy blues!  This will be my magnum opus, as Gwen would call it!


The really sweet thing about the editorial feature in Just Cross Stitch is that it is actually a mother-daughter feature — because Gwen also contributed an easy pillow ornament project to entice the little people in your life!  Stay tuned, as Gwen is doing more with her original designs!

2199867309_21C_M53394_Antiq_Watermark SM Just CrossStitch

The reason I started teaching Gwen to stitch when she was a mere 5 year old was because I want her to have a quiet hobby she can have from her childhool after she is grown!  Stitching opens up another world of connection for the stitcher, and it is my hope that Gwen will find for her a support group through stitching when she is grown. It will also serve as her connection to me after I graduate to heaven.  In fact, she sweetly told me she would finish some of my projects for me in my memory in case I don’t get to them before I go to heaven.  So, I am now making sure the new projects I start are ones Gwen likes to, haha!

Gwen’s curated embroidery floss collection for Aurifil is available for purchase and ships free HERE:


Speaking of SPOOLS — did you see my Spools Quilt on Aurifil’s blog this past week?  The pattern in pdf format is available HERE.




I designed the quilt to celebrate my love of threads as well as my latest thread collection, Candies!  Available for purchase and ships free HERE.  I have two boxes available at the moment, and as far as I know, I won’t be able to get more until shipping from Italy resumes.


These blocks were so fun and FAST to make.  I actually made mine as leaders and enders while piecing other quilts.  Truth be known, when I am not in a rush meeting deadlines, I am piecing 3-4 quilt tops at the same time.  It keeps things from getting boring for me.  I love keeping track of the Math for the different quilt tops I am making!


In CANDIES, you get the following threads:


5 spools of 50wt (orange spools) – because the 50wt is my go-to all purpose thread! I use 50wt for machine quilting, piecing, and button-hole stitching around my fusible applique shapes. I even used the 50wt for hand needleturn applique until Aurifil released their game-changing 80wt a few years ago.

2 spools of 40wt (green spools) – I use 40wt mainly for machine quilting and general sewing for my crafting projects. 40wt gives such a striking definition to my quilting when I want my quilting show a little more than the 50wt. While I personally do not construct garments, I know garment sewists love the 40wt.

2 spools of 28wt (gray spools) – Many find interesting that I use 28wt for hand sewing my binding! I do! Many of my quilts have been made for editorial features in magazines, and so my quilts pass through many hands before they return to me. So for extra durability in holding down the binding, 28 wt is perfect!

I also use the 28wt to machine baste my hand applique pieces. Machine basting eliminates the use of pins to hold down my needleturn applique pieces. The 28wt creates the perfect “perforation” for me as I cut away the excess fabric before turning the raw seam under for a Hawaiian-type quilt! Yellow shows the basting stitches done with 28wt.



1 spool of 12wt (red spools) – I mainly use 12wt for hand embroidery. The 12wt stitches up beautifully for all handwork.


Keeping with the Staying at Home theme recently, I shared a free House Quilt last week on Instagram.  It is one I had designed for Windham Fabrics a couple of years ago.  In case you missed it, it’s this Annies House quilt.

Design 4b_60 x 72

Pattern is available for download HERE.

I am making mine with slightly different fabrics – I am trying to use only reproduction fabrics.  I hope my small stash of reproduction fabrics can do the job!

Annies House1

And that’s all for now, My Friends!  I hope you have a lovely week ahead!  Till next time!


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268 Days Till Christmas!

Hello Friends!  I hope you are still staying well and healthy!  For the rest of the school year, I will be playing teacher’s aide during the day on top of everything else.  We keep strictly to the the school hours to keep the normalcy going.

I want to thank you for leaving your comments on my last post.  Please know I read EVERY comment.


It’s April — can you believe it?


And there are 268 days till Christmas!  My houses and the peppermint chain units for my Christmas version of Maisons de Patchwork are all done!  Onto the star units next.



This is how the quilt will look with these beautiful Christmas fabrics from Moda.

Christmas Figs1

You may purchase the pattern HERE.


And here are 10% of the blocks done for my Quilting Klatsch Project quilt, blue version!  These blocks are SO quick to make.  I use them as my leader and ender blocks as I am piecing blocks for a couple of other quilts.  In case you missed it, click HERE for the details.  If you are participating, leave me a comment or email me about your fabric choices etc!


And I thought you might like to see the last progress picture I shared on Instagram a couple of weeks ago.  The sampler has grown yet a little bit since this picture.


I have a few other work-in-progress projects.  It’s all a matter of chipping them away a little at a time, and doing so consistently!

That’s all for today!  I hope you have a great rest of your week.  Take care, and may God bless you — Dear Friends!  I will check in again.


Find me on Instagram:

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The Quilting Klatsch Project #1

Klatsch per


a casual gathering of people, especially for refreshments and informal conversation.

Hello Friends, I hope you are staying well still!  As I write, the public schools in my state are closed through the rest of the year.  I wonder if that’s happening more and more.


Shelley (I just love her!), the owner of The Iowa Quilt Block Quilt Shop, asked me if I would do a quilt-along for kids who are out of school!  I never refuse a great idea!  So, of course!


I came up with my Quilting Klatsch Project #1 that are suitable for ALL ages!  Just scroll down to the age group that applies to you.  Due to time constraint, I won’t be doing a daily post on what to do for the quilt-along.  Rather, I am giving all the information here because I want you to have the flexibility to set your own pace.  All the timeline related information is merely suggested.


HERE IS OUR QUILT — remember,the BASIC QUILT is designed with mainly children in mind.  Scroll down for the young-at-heart options that are a little more involved!






CUT SQUARES: 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″

CUT RECTANGLES: 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″


FINISHING –  you can finish this as a wallhanging, throw pillow case or even a library book tote for the summer!  I also added an outer border to mine to give me a bit more space for quilting.



For PLUS block:  you need (4) 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ background square, (2) 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ print square, and (1) 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ print rectangle.

Step 1.  Sew (2) 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ background squares and (1) 2 1/2″ x print square to make a row unit.  Make (2) row units.


Step 2.  Sew the row units to the opposite long sides of (1) 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ print rectangle to complete (1) block.  This should measure 6 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ raw edge to raw edge.  You will need to make (5) blocks for the Basic Quilt.



For DOT Block: you need (2) 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ background squares, (1) 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ print squares, and (2) 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ background rectangles.

Step 1.  Sew (2) 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ background squares and (1) 2 1/2″ x print square to make a row unit.  Make (2) row units.


Step 2.  Sew (2) 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ backgroudn rectangles to the opposite wrong side of the row unit to complete (1) block.  This should measure 6 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ raw edge to raw edge.  Make a total of (4) blocks for the Basic Quilt.



Quilt Assembly

Step 1.  Pieced Row 1,3: Sew together (2) PLUS blocks and (1) Dot block.

Step 2.  Pieced Row 2:  Sew together (2) DOT blocks and (1) PLUS block.

Step 3.  Sew together pieced rows to complete quilt top.



Note:  Supervision is paramount for all the steps where little people (yes, teens too!) are involved.  I am going to let the adults determine how much assistance are needed for the particular little people with whom you work!


Day 1 (after kiddo is in bed):

Print out (5) copies of Block A and (4) copies of Block B.  Tape them to make into a “paper” quilt.  If you child loves puzzles, you could mount your paper quilt onto a card board. These block diagrams should print out at 8″ x 8″ to allow a little extra room for the cut pieces.  Little hands might not have the motor skills to place the fabric pieces just so on the paper quilt layout.  Cut all the fabrics pieces required for the entire quilt.

Click PLUS Block Diagram and Dot Block Diagram to downalod block diagrams pdf.

Day 2 -3 (after kiddo is awake):

This is a great way to teach or reinforce with your child the concept of squares and rectangles.  Then, let him place the pieces on the taped paper quilt, matching the squares and rectangles.  Be prepared to see your child’s quilt completely different from the Basic quilt.  The adult here gets to decide whether or not it’s okay for the child to veer of the original design.


Repeat and take pictures to share with grandparents and relatives!  Maybe repeat the puzzle game for a couple days.

Day 4 (after kiddo is awake):

The day has come for your child to decide which fabric piece goes where.  Once decided, snap a picture, and you or you and child will now put together quilt top!

After the quilt is completed, you can just cut the squares and rectangles out of card stock for continual play on the paper quilt.  My daughter used to love her paper quilt.




Day 1:

Print Basic Quilt Layout Coloring Page.

Children in this age group should be able to pick up the pattern.

This quilt is a great way to teach contrast (backgroud vs print fabric), as well as alternating pattern.   Point out to your child that the PLUS and DOT blocks both use the same squares and rectangles, just different in number of pieces needed and arrangements.

After teaching the concepts, it’s time for your child to color the quilt layout image with their favorite colors to design their quilt on paper.  You could limit the number of main colors to be included in the quilt — that might make stash raiding later a little easier to clean up.  Ask me how I know.

Day 2:

After they have come up with their design, they can hunt for fabrics from your stash to sew up their quilt.

Day 3-4:

Pieced the blocks with your child, and complete quilt top.



Day 1: 

You child will get to decide the size and layout of his quilt.  Right now, the Basic Quilt finishes at 18″ x 18″, and each side has (3) 6″ finished blocks across.

Math question #1 — if I want to make a quilt that is 27″ x 27″ with the 9-block configuration,  what would be the finished size of each block?

Math question #2 — And what would be the finished size of the squares in a 9″ finished block?

Now it’s also a good time to introducted the concept of seam allowance, and how the pieces are to be cut 1/2″ larger than the finished size to account for 1/4″ around each side of the piece.

Math question #3 — For a 27″ x 27″ quilt with (9) 9″ finished block, what are dimensions to cut for the squares and rectangles?

Here is a chart for you to check your children’s Math.

QAL14And if you have an over-achieving child, she might want to make a 5 x 5 quilt instead! In case your very smart and over-achieving child needs to work out his design on paper… here is the 5×5 Quilt Layout Coloring Page.




Day 2: 

Cut fabric pieces.  At this point, the concept for fussy cut may be introduced for older children.   I chose Windham Fabrics’ Far Far Away II for the very purpose of fussy cutting!  Also I want to point out it’s perfectly okay to rotate the PLUS block 90 degrees in order to make fussy cutting work.  Here is a block I made that shows the PLUS block being turned 90 degrees (the rectangle piece in the block is vertical instead of horizontal) to accommodate my fussy cut rectangle.


Day 3-5:

Pieced the blocks with your child, and complete quilt top. I worked in Day 5 in case your child is attempting a the larger 5 x 5 version.  But then, the blocks are quick to construct, you might have the quilt top done in a day!



Basically, for the adult version, I recommend just sewing up a bunch of blocks that finish at 6″.  I am like one of the UN-cool kids, and was never on the cutting edge of things.  I totally missed the wave of plus quilts that so many have made a few years ago.  I am taking this as my chance to make my plus quilts!

I am making 2 versions… a scrappy cream/blue, and a scrappy rainbow version.  Making the blocks to finish at 6″ x 6″ will give a 90″ x 90″ quilt with this (15 x 15) layout.



The rainbow version is inspired by two rainbow wallhangings I made last year.  I had so much fun I wanted to make a bed-sized rainbow quilt.


Here are my blocks so far.  I have made (11) for my blue/cream version, and (7) for my rainbow version.



Obviously you would just sew these blocks up at your own pace.  I know I certainly am…

HOWEVER, during this time of staying home, it would be so fun to get with your guild or club friends via text or email to do a block exchange of the PLUS blocks.

A suggestion.  So there are 113 plus blocks, and 112 dot blocks.  If you are doing an exchange, you could just get a group of 10 friends (you included).  Each friend will make (10) sets of (11) plus blocks.  Then at the exchange you will end up with a total of 110 blocks.  You just need to make 3 additional blocks yourself for the total of 113 blocks.

Another suggestion.  If you are working on this quilt by yourself.  You will make (15) blocks a week, and in 15 weeks, you will have the complete set of blocks to make the bed quilt!

Yet another suggestion.  If you want to have some practice fun on domestic machine quilting.  Make the Basic Quilt, and you will have a nice size of an 18″ quilt to quilt on.  Here are a few pictures of my quilted Basic Quilt.






Taking the project to a meaningful level, whenever your children work on the plus blocks, it’s great time to pause with them and recount and reflect on the “plusses”/blessings in life!  Whenever you work on the dot block, it would be so nice to pause to pray for those in need.  And that might even generation conversation on how we can show kindness and encouragement to those who are in need in practical ways.


I hope you have fun with this!  If you are participating, tag me #ivoryspring or #quiltingklatsch on Instagram so that I can see your pictures of your project/progress.  You may email your project pictures to me too.  Depending on how your children at home like this particular Quilting Klatsch project, I have more ideas swirling in my head!  We might just have enough little projects to keep our little ones busy throught the rest of the school year.  In any case, we will have more Quilting Klatsch projects coming up…. the next one being the heart quilt!  In case you missed it, click HERE to read about it.  I just received my fabrics for that quilt — will be starting that one soon!


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Benartex Precut Project Hop

Precut Project Hop Graphic

Hello Friends, Happy Monday and Happy Week!  I hope you all are staying well.  Coming off National Quilting Day last Saturday, I am happy to be a part of Benartex’s Precut Project Hop today.  Benartex is running a giveaway concurrently on their Facebook and Instagram pages — so, check them out!

Of course — if you aren’t familiar with the term precuts, that simply means the fabrics are already cut to a certain and often convenient size.  The common precut sizes are:

Fat Quarter: 18″ x 22″ (or 18″ x 21″)

Fat Eighth:  9″ x 22″ (or 11″ x 18″)

Fat Sixteenth:  9″ x 11″

Layer Cake: 10″ x 10″

Charm: 5″ x 5″


Over the years, and especially in the recent years, I have particularly enjoyed designing under the constraint of precuts.  Designing with precuts is a little different from general designing in that — #1:  I have limited amounts of fabrics to work with, #2:  I always challange myself to design something that doesn’t end up using two 2″ squares from Fat Quarter, #3: I always try to come up with something that is precut-friendly, but does not necessarily “look” that way!  So, a lot of pre-planning and thinking actually goes into designing with precut fabrics.


Today, I am going to be using Benartex’s Garden Party fabrics to highlight a Fat-Quarter friendly pattern from my pattern line!  These fabrics are springy sweet!  They are designed by Eleanor Burns.  You can view the digital images HERE.

Garden Party2

These fabrics are springy sweet!

Garden Party4

They are designed by Eleanor Burns.  With that many beautiful prints in the collection, I decided to use these fabrics in my Parcels in the Post design.

Pattern is available for purchase HERE.

Parcels in the Post Cover Photo

Basically, this design uses a background fabric + 18 Fat Quarters!  So just grab a Garden Party Fat Quarter Bundle and add the background fabric, make two blocks each from 17 Fat Quarter, and one block from the remaining Fat Quarter…

Garden Party1

Garden Party3

… and you will get to have fun deciding which block goes where!  Here is how I have arranged my blocks:

Garden Party_High Res

Here you can see the pieces I had cut for a total of six blocks since the pattern calls for making two blocks from one Fat Quarter!

Garden Party6

I have shared with you I am a small-batch piecer who likes to do my piecing piecemeal.  I find that I make fewer mistakes that way, and I force myself to move more and not just sit and sew for a long period of time.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT, you may read about my piecing strategy HERE.

These Parcels blocks are one of my all time favorite original blocks I have designed.  I am making multiple quilts using different fabrics because these blocks are versatile!  You make make your blocks based on seasonal themes, novelty prints, any prints, or even tonal prints!

Garden Party9


These days, most of us are stay very close to home.  My daughter’s school switched to online/distance learning format very quickly.  So, during the day for about 6-7 hours, I get to play teacher’s aide!

However, the upside of staying home is that: HOME is where the quilts are made!  So, with that thought in mind, I used the leftover bits and pieces from the Garden Party Fat Quarters to make a house block from my Maisons de Patchwork pattern.  So often, the fabrics really do make the quilt.  In this case, the house block ended up invoking the feel of an English Garden!  A few weeks ago, I had shown you the block made in Christmas fabrics HERE.  How differently the block looks now with Garden Party fabrics!

Garden Party 10

Since I won’t have enough fabrics to make an entire quilt, I am thinking a small wallhanging using the leftover fabrics would be really cute.  However, I went ahead and mocked up the entire quilt using Garden Party fabrics to show you just how beautiful and versatile these fabrics are:

High Res_Garden Party1

Garden Party2

The Maisons de Patchwork pattern is available for purchase HERE.


I hope you continue to stay healthy and well!  We are practising caution, with as much normalcy as possible — and with a large dose of faith and trust in God for His protection, and His will be done!

Garden Party7

Thank you for stopping by today!  I hope you have enjoyed my contribution to the hop.  Till next time!


Find me on Instagram:

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Below is the complete list quilters participating in the hop.  Check them out!

Monday 3/16:

Pat Sloan –

by Annie –

Tuesday 3/17:

Debby Kratovil –

Wednesday 3/18:

Modern Quilt Studio –

Thursday 3/19:

Charisma Horton –

Friday 3/20:

Amanda Murphy –

Saturday 3/21:

Andy Knowlton –

Sunday 3/22:

Shelley Cavanna –

Sandra Walker –

Monday 3/23:

Wendy Sheppard –

Tuesday 3/24:

Cherry Guidry –

Wednesday 3/25:

Nancy Halvorsen –

Nancy Scott –

Thursday 3/26:

Heidi Pridemore –

Friday 3/27:

Christa Watson –

Lisa Ruble –

National Napping Day and more!

Hello Friends, Happy National Napping Day!  Were you able to work in a nap today?

Pink Cat Final

It’s the month of March — and it’s time to break out your green quilts!  If you haven’t picked up your Spring 2020 copy of Quilts and More, do so before they are taken off the shelves!  I actually have two quilts featured in this issue…. one on the cover called “Button Collection”, and it’s never too early/late to start a button collection!


The other one is called Sea Glass. This quilt is hanging in my parlor at the moment!


Both of these quilts were so much fun to piece, and I am not really that crazy about piecing!  Try making Sea Glass with red prints!  You will have a most striking Christmas/Valentine’s Day quilt!



A few weeks ago, I showed you my scrappy gingerbread man blocks that I made for my “You Can’t Catch Me” quilt… all 24 blocks, with not one fabric is repeated!  Click HERE if you had missed my gingerbread man quilt pattern post.

gingerbread man line up

Well, we have here today the heart blocks I have made to go with the gingerbread man blocks!  Again, all scrappy, and not one fabric repeated.

Heart Blocks

When you choose your reds, look for fabrics you can fussy cut for a fun visual interest, like the following block.  A little fun surprise tucked in a block like that is what makes scrappy quilts fun.


A quilter on Instagram commented that these heart blocks can be used to make an entire quilt without the gingerbread man blocks!  That really piqued my interest, and so I went to work… and voila!

Heart Quilt3

Heart Quilt4

Heart Quilt5

Heart Quilt2

You see the possibilities?  The quilt layout will be the same, except you are making all heart blocks instead of alternating them with the gingerbread man blocks.  You can make the quilt smaller with fewer blocks as well.

I will be doing a quilt-along with the friend who originally suggested the all-heart quilt using the heart blocks sometime in May this year.  So, if you want to play along, get the pattern and start collecting your fabrics!  The goal is to have the quilt completed for Valentine’s Day next year!

Unfortunately, I will not be able to provide any fabric or design information due to time constraint!  The cutting for each heart block is in the original pattern, and you should be able to work from there to calculate how much fabric you will need for the background or red/pink fabrics.  

All that to say, “You Can’t Catch Me” is actually a 2-for-1 quilt pattern.  And so often, if you take time to study a quilt pattern or design, you can easily customize the pattern/design to make it your own by making slight adjustments.

The pattern is available for purchase HERE.


A couple of weeks ago, I also shared with you my daughter’s (11) stitching project.  Here she is with her completed sampler at a recent regional meet her school participated.  Her sample won first place.

Beatitudes ODACS



Gwen will have some exciting stitching news to share in the near future.  So stay tuned!  Meanwhile, if you haven’t seen her own SPOOL-EN-DIDS and WOODLAND SPOOL-EN-DIDS Aurifil thread collections, check them out HERE.



Having a daughter who shares the love of needle and thread with me is one of my most gratifying things I experience as a mother.  One of my favorite things to do is just to sit and stitch with Gwen, while listening to audiobooks.

If you share your love of needle and thread (and fabrics) with the younger generation, I would love for you to share your experience!

Thank you for stopping by and visiting with me today.  Do take care till we meet again!


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Thank you to all who have supported my little shop.  Remember, threads always ship free!

Happy Leap Day & Home Sweet Home

Happy Leap Year, Friends!  Do you know of anyone who is born on Feb 29th?  I can’t say that I do.  I hope you have had a great February.  February practically flew by me.  But that only means one thing — we are closer to Spring!


I shared with you last week that I do so love house quilts!  In fact, I am on a personal quest to make as many house quilts as I can!  Here are a few in my own quilt collection, all designed by me!









A quilter who loves house quilts just as much was musing with me the reason of why house quilts are so well-loved.  I suggested that perhaps house quilts invoke so easily the sentiment of Home Sweet Home!

Last week I shared about my new house quilt pattern Maisons de Patchwork that is offered in my pattern line.


HIgh Res_For Sale 1a_76 x 86

I also shared with you that I am making the quilts from my patterns right along with you!  While I am waiting for the beautiful gray and coral floral fabrics to arrive, I started making the quilt in Christmas fabrics for a Christmas version of the quilt!  All the house blocks are now completed.  I am in the process of getting the star blocks made…


I have plans to add a wee bit of embroidery to the windows of the house!  I had hoped to get to it this past week, but time just got away from me.


The Maisons de Patchwork pattern is available for purchase HERE.

The reason I share my Christmas houses is that I want you to know you can use any fabrics of your choice for my Maisons de Patchwork pattern.  I would like to see a version done using reproduction fabrics.  So, if that’s your style…. just sayin’!

While we are on red/green, you might have seen this quilt on my Instagram feed.

Fabric Mock Up_Island Batik

The pattern Macarons was added to my Etsy shop yesterday, available for purchase HERE.  This is another fabric-independent design.  It is also Fat Quarter Friendly — just add your favorite fabrics!  You will need 18 Fat Quarters — so start raiding your stash!  I tend to use quite a few fabrics in my for-sale patterns — because I love the visual effect of the controlled scrappy look.  It’s fun for me to try to find where else in the quilt a certain fabric is used.  However, if you are into the more uniform look, you can use 4 FQs of the same print + 2 other FQs, or any combinations of your choice to make 18 and come up with a different final look of the quilt.

Cover Photo

Since I started my blog post today about home sweet home, I will leave with the words of the hymn “Happy the home when God is there” — one that I used to sing as a kid.

1. Happy the home when God is there,
and love fills every breast;
when one their wish, and one their prayer,
and one their heavenly rest.

2. Happy the home where Jesus’ name
is sweet to every ear;
where children early speak his fame,
and parents hold him dear.

3. Happy the home where prayer is heard,
and praise is wont to rise;
where parents love the sacred Word
and all its wisdom prize.

4. Lord, let us in our homes agree
this blessed peace to gain;
unite our hearts in love to thee,
and love to all will reign.

Have a blessed weekend, and Happy March to you!


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Thank you to all who have supported my little shop.  Remember, threads always ship free!


Piecing quilt blocks – what works for me

Hello Friends,

I hope you have been well.  I am happy to back again to visit with you and chat about the joy of needle and thread.  Before I really get into sharing about what works for me in piecing quilt blocks, I want to share with pictures of my daughter’s current stitching project.  Gwen is stitching the Beatitudes by Little House Needleworks, and absolutely loves improvising on the design and adding her own touches (like stitching the climbing rose).



In case you missed it, Gwen is an Aurikid, who curates her own thread collections for Aurifil.  She has guest-posted on Aurifil’s blog HERE.


I also want to thank you for purchasing my patterns!  Please know that I am making the quilts right along with you.  So today, I am back with a couple of behind-the-scenes tips that have worked well for me when I am piecing quilt blocks.  I am zeroing in on the Parcels in the Post blocks today.

You may purchase the pattern HERE.

Parcels in the Post Cover Photo

My 2 cents #1:  I never ever cut all the pieces I need for the blocks that go into my quilts!  I actually prefer to cut as I go because:

  • I always risk cutting errors in a monumental way if I cut all the pieces at once.
  • I never sew more than 10-15 minutes at my machine.  I like to get up from my machine and cut more fabrics for the subsequent blocks or pressing the blocks I am working on.  I think it’s just a little healthier that way in that I am not stuck to my chair at a long period of time.
  • Another reason is that — since I am home by myself during the day, sometimes when I get up, I will take a slight break to clean one thing around the house before I go back to sewing.  That way, I can sew and clean at the same time.

My 2 cents #2:  I ALWAYS make a test block based on the instructions where I check the size of block is what it is supposed to be.

My 2 cents #3:  Then, I start my batch cutting, based on how to break down the quilt block I am working on, as well as how many blocks certain fabrics appear in the quilt.  So, I cut, and then I sew up the units. I repeat until all the necessary units are constructed, then, I work on putting the blocks together.

To illustrate, let me use a Parcel in the Post block — 


Strategy #1:  If you are going by the fabric requirements in the pattern, you will see that (1) Fat Quarter is used to construct (2) blocks.  There are (35) blocks total in the quilt.  So, we need a total of (18) Fat Quarters, with (17) Fat Quarters making a total of (34) blocks.  The remaining (1) Fat Quarter will be used to make (1) block.

S0 — right away, that lone Fat Quarter is one I will use to make that test block.  I cut all the necessary pieces for just one block.  If things work out correctly, I know I already have one block done.

NEXT — I will just tackle (2) blocks at a time using (1) Fat Quarter and the necessary background fabric.

Backyard Blooms1

Strategy #2.  Now that we have the general strategy, let’s get down to the details.

Step 1.  I would first cut the pieces for the following unit enough for two blocks.  Then, I sit down and make the units.


Then, I get up to press, trim, and cut more fabrics for the subsequent step.

Step 2.  So with the units made in Step 1 and more cut pieces, I will make these units.  At this point, I would make sure I have the orientation correct for all the pieces.  Since mirror-imaged units are involved in the Parcel in the Post blocks, it’s a good idea to keep the units separate.  The Clover Wonder Clips are what I love to use to keep my pieces organized!

Unit 2

Unit 3

So I make these units.  I get up and press and cut the pieces that go in the next step.

Step 3.  Things should be pretty smooth-sailing when I get to this point.

Unit 4

I sew the pieces together, and then proceed to add the sashing pieces to complete the block.

Then, it’s rinse and repeat type of operation.  I would usually keep making (2) blocks at a time for a few more times.  Once I am familiar with the measurements etc, then, I would make (4) to (6) blocks at a time — which at that point, things will go fast!  And soon, I will have all the blocks I need for the quilt top!

At Home Quilt

I hope that sharing this might be helpful to some of you.  I find that piecemeal block construction works best for me because it helps me avoid mistakes.   Let me know if you would like to see how I break down the construction of the blocks in my other for-sale quilt patterns.

I do want to emphasize that my way is NOT the only way.  I always encourage quilters to do what works best for them.  Feel free to share your piecing tips and tricks in the comment section.

Since my last post, I also added a new pattern for sale in my Etsy shop: Maisons de Patchwork.  I will be sharing progress pictures of that quilt soon.  If you know me, you know I adore house quilts, and aspire to make as many house quilts I can!  Next post, I will be sharing all the house quilts I have ever made!


Click HERE to purchase Maison de Patchwork pattern.

HIgh Res_For Sale 1a_76 x 86

That’s all for now, Friends!  Till next time, Happy Quilting!


Find me on Instagram:

My Etsy Shop: 

Thank you to all who have supported my little shop and contributing to my daughter’s college fund.  Remember, threads always ship free!






What’s been happening & Happy Valentines’ Day

Hello Friends, I hope you are well.  This week has flown by for me, and I can’t believe tomorrow is already Valentine’s Day!  And of course I hope you have a sweet day tomorrow.

Valentines Day

While I am pulling back on my magazine feature work, you can still find me regularly featured in American Quilter magazine (the publication by AQS).  My Cicle Symphony Quilt is featured in the latest issue (March 2020).  I have had more than 300 quilts featured in various publications, and this styled shot is probably one of my all-time favorites!

And the quilt is done in all solids — rare for me too, but I am loving this quilt.


Last time I showed you my Parcels in the Post quilt done with Moda’s At Home fabrics.


At Home Quilt

I started making another version of the quilt this week.  This time with Windham Fabrics’ upcoming line Backyard Blooms.  All I can say is a parcel is a parcel no matter the wrapping paper!

Backyard Blooms1

If you have been to any of my trunk shows, you might have heard at some point the story about my daughter being concerned about having to inherit my 350+ quilts!  What I have yet to disclose to her that in the mix will be multiple versions of one quilt design, haha!  Should I let her know explicitly, or should I let her figure out herself — that’s the question!

These parcel blocks go really quickly!  I thought it was going to be a drag making more blocks for the same quilt, but I can honestly say I really like picking out the different “wrapping paper” for the parcels that version 2 has been just as fun!

Patterns are available for purchase HERE.  Quilt shop owners are welcome to email me for wholesale pricing.

Parcels in the Post Cover Photo

I have another pattern that just went live in case you missed it.  It’s a baby/child quilt design called Baby Dreams.  It has the options of doing a bear cub, puppy or kitten sleeping under a quilt!  Except for the animal faces that require a little bit of piecing, the rest should be a cinch.

Click HERE to purchase the pattern.

Cover Image

Yellow Bear

Blue Puppy Final

Pink Cat Final

And I added a little progress to my Louisa sampler.  THANK YOU to those who wrote to tell me you liked the sampler.


Louisa Coulimore is a Bristol Orhpanage sampler, charted by Hands Across the Sea Samplers in England.  The Bristol Orphanage was started by the famous Christmas George Muller in the 1800s.  In his life time, Muller cared of more than ten thousand orphans, established 117 schools which offered Christian education to over 120,000 children.

I remember reading a biography of George Muller when I was a teenager, and his life story changed the perpective of how I viewed life.  So stitching this sampler is my way of paying tribute to George Muller.  And it helps that the stitching has been really enjoyable.

Lots are happening here, and I will show you more of what I have been sewing lately!  Till then, take care, Dear Friends!


Find me on Instagram:

My Etsy Shop: 

Thank you to all who have supported my little shop.  Remember, threads always ship free!




Parcels in the Post & an amazing giveaway!

Hello again, Friends!  Happy Day to you all!  Today, I am back today to share with you my first finish of the year!  My Parcels in the Post quilt is made with At Home fabrics from Moda Fabrics.

At Home Quilt

You may purchase the Parcels in the Post pattern HERE.

Parcels in the Post Cover Photo

I had shared with you at the beginning of the year I have pulled back on my magazine work, and am working to bring my designs direcctly to you.  For every design that makes it to my pattern line, there are probably between 6 to 10 that don’t make the cut.  The designs you see in my pattern line will be versatile, non-fabric specific, and often times, all you need would be Fat Quarters + a background fabric to complete a quilt top.

In the case of Parcels in the Post, you will need 18 FQs + background fabric + binding fabric (part of which will be used in the blocks).  So, get raiding on your stash!



This slightly different direction in my quilting journey has allowed me to have more time to explore the possibilities within each of my quilt designs.  In the following you can see that Parcels in the Post works with any fabrics – themed, Christmas, tonal etc!   I will be making more versions of this quilt, and will share them as I get them completed!

Backyard Blooms

High Res_Joy to the World_Design 1a_67 x 91

high res_At Home1


And The Patchwork Co of Windham, New York is having a most generous giveaway of a total of 30 (!) Diamond Dust (by Windham Fabrics) fat quarters to celebrate the release of my Parcels in the Post pattern!  Remember, you only need 18 for the quilt!  Winner will also receive the pattern in pdf format.  So, check out the details of the giveaway HERE.

NOTE:  Only comments left on The Patchwork Co’s Instagram page will be counted for the giveaway.  Comments on this post here are most appreciated (truly!), but will not be considered for the giveaway.



And here is my take on how to use the Diamond Dust fabrics in Parcels in the Post — and of course, you can absolutely come up with your own version!

Diamond Dust

That is all for now!  Here are a few handy links related to today’s post:

Find me on Instagram:

Find The Patchwork Co on Instagram:

My Etsy Shop: 

Thank you to all who have supported my little shop.  Remember, threads always ship free!

See you next time!  Blessings to you all!

Gingerbread Men Shenanigans

Hello Friends!  Happy Monday, and Happy Week to you!  I hope you are well.

A nice weekend for me always involves a little bit a handwork.  Here is one that I am currently working on – using Aurifil cotton embroidery floss.  If you are curious about this project — check out my Instagram feed under handle ivory_spring!  It is a fun little stitch-along I am doing with famed quilt designer Susan Ache!


I am also very happy to show you the last gingerbread man block I made for my for-sale pattern You Can’t Catch Me!

Click HERE to purchase the pattern pdf download.


I have made all 24 gingerbread man blocks — and here is the 24th block!

Gingerbread Man 24

And here is the entire line-up!  You will notice almost most of the browns I used aren’t Christmas-related.  Point is, these gingerbread man blocks will work with ANY brown, tan, or orange fabrics you have in your stash.  So often, the brown stash isn’t considered for main fabrics for quilt blocks — the gingerbread man blocks are for your browns, tans and orange to shine!

gingerbread man line up

So —- here are a few tips to make your quilt even more personalized if you are making it!

  1.  Notice that all 24 blocks use 24 different brown/tan/orange fabrics.  You can certainly do that, or you can use 12 FQs to cut for (2) blocks each.
  2.  Instead of using the same background as stated in the pattern, I decided I wanted to make my quilt as scrappy as I can.  So, I actually use 24 different fabrics for the background.  You can easily do that by just cutting what you need for each block from each fabric.  So for my 24 blocks, I used 48 different fabrics – how’s that for scrappy?
  3. I found it much easier to keep track of things grouping the pieces according to the head, arm and leg sections.

Gingerbread Man pieces

4.  The blocks go really quickly — EXCEPT you need to pay attention to the pieces for the leg sections.  You make the leg sections mirror-imaging each other!   Ask me how I know. :)

You might find it helpful to jot down what pieces go where on this bonus block diagram.  Download the block pdf HERE.


5.  And who says you have to make all the blocks suggested in the pattern?  Make fewer blocks to make a wallhanging or tabletopper!

I look forward to seeing your version of You Can’t Catch Me!

Now it’s time for me to teach the gingerbread men to get along by making the heart blocks!

Visit my etsy shop HERE.  Thread collections always ship free.

Follow me on Instagram HERE.

And — Karen Miller and I are having our second Free Motion Quilting Retreat this year in Hamilton, MO!  Click HERE for details!

What works for me and more!

Hello Friends, I hope the New Year has gone well for you so far!  Please know that I really appreciate the comments you left on my New Year post.  While I am not able to respond to every comment, please know that I read ALL of them!

So, the joke was northern VA ended 2019 without any snow!  Well, we finally got our first round last week… not much.  Maybe 1 1/2″ or so.  But it seems like the whole area comes to a halt whenever we get snow here, regardless of the amount!

Snowflake Quilt

And then of course, snow day is sew day!

WORKS FOR ME!  I was given a 5″ x 8″ mini cutting matt last year, and have put it to good use!  You know how sometimes you cut a piece, and then only realize after you sew it, the measurements aren’t quite right?  That happens to me, especially with smaller pieces.  So I now have this mini cutting matt right by my machine, and I would measure my pieces on the grid printed on the cutting matt when I am not 100%  sure of the measurements before I sew them together!  The mini cutting matt is also where I mark my pieces if I need to.

Works for Me

I just released another NEW PATTERN – Parchels in the Post!  This is FQ Friendly, and a super fun and easy one!  Just add fabrics that catch your fancy!  You can purchase the pattern HERE!  My for sale patterns are non-fabric-specific so you can easily customize the finished look of your quilts.

Remember, all my thread collections ship free when purchased on my Etsy shop.

Parcels in the Post Cover Photo

My Parcels in the Post sample here is made with At Home fabrics by Moda!


Before I go, I also want to let you know that I had an appearance in American Patchwork & Quilting’s podcast a couple of weeks ago!  I revealed my deepest and darkest thoughts — just kidding!  I think I stammered through the entire thing, and I squaeked like a mouse.  However, if you are brave enough to listen to it — the link is HERE.

APQ Podcast

Or scroll to the bottom of the show notes HERE!

That catches me up with you till next time!  In the meantime, be on a lookout for the Spring 2020 issue of Quilts and More!  I might have something fun to go with that issue when it releases on Jan 17!

Hugs to you all!

Happy 2020!

Hello my Quilting Friends!  I want to wish you a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!  I hope you have had a wonderful holiday season!


One of the most asked questions (besides if I actually sleep) is how many quilts I have.  I had a vague idea, but wasn’t sure.  I initially thought I had around 250.  Last year, I did “a quilt a day” posts on my Instagram feed to see if I have enough quilts to make 300.  By the end of the year, I not only did have 300, I actually had over 300.   Due to the hectic pace my life has take over the last couple of years, I have heavily relied on Instagram rather than my blog to keep in touch with quilting friends.  I am able to answer questions at the school parking lot on my phone with Instagram quickly and easily enough.  So, if you haven’t followed me on Instagram, I am hoping you would — just do a search for my name Wendy Sheppard, or ivory_spring.


Miss Baby hit double digit last year, and is definitely keeping me busy!  She has been doing cross-stitching for 5 years now (hard to believe).




She recently delved into hand embroidery.  She ended up liking hand embroidery much better!  In her own words, “Hand embroidery is stitching and daydreaming at the same time!”


And her latest on her second thread collection for Aurifil:




After many years of comtemplating, I also finally took the plunge to take my designs/patterns directly to quilters by make them for sale to quilters!  Each pattern you see represents many hours of hard work pouring over the words, calculations, measurements etc by yours truly, and two lovely ladies Sue and Laurel!  My for-sale patterns are not fabric specific so that quilters can just add fabrics.  Many of them will be Fat Quarter friendly, and SCRAPPY!  So, get collecting those fat quarters, and don’t throw away your scraps!

Here is one I released right before Christmas.




This is a totally new adventure for me — but my patterns and thread collections are available on my Etsy shop: — I will be updating my little shop with patterns within the next few weeks!

New Year definitely brings new projects, but I am also trying to work on my WIPs this year!  How about you?

And with that, I shall wrap up my New Year post with these words by Frances R. Havergal.  I used to sing this hymn during New Year church service growing up.

  1. Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
    In working or in waiting, another year with Thee;
    Another year of progress, another year of praise,
    Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.
  2. Another year of mercies, of faithfulness and grace,
    Another year of gladness in the shining of Thy face;
    Another year of leaning upon Thy loving breast;
    Another year of trusting, of quiet, happy rest.
  3. Another year of service, of witness for Thy love,
    Another year of training for holier work above;
    Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
    On earth, or else in Heaven, another year for Thee.

I shall catch up with you later, hopefully very soon!