Thread Journey: My Quilting Heart and Soul & Behind the Scenes!

You might empathize with this sentiment…. sometimes you just sink your entire heart and soul into a project, not necessarily quilting.  My Thread Journey is my most recent heart-and-soul (quilty) project!  It was made as a companion piece for my Subtle Strings Thread collectionYou may remember it hanging at Aurifil‘s booth at Fall Houston Market last year.  You have seen pictures of the quilt quite often on this blog post-Market…

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Thread Journey is my heart-and-soul project because I sought to encompass all that I have learned about quilting (particularly domestic machine quilting) since I took up quilting in 2005, from not ever touching a sewing machine to the present.  It is a quilt of my own original design, and I stayed up many a night just thinking about the design, and colors!  The quilt also has little details from my previous quilts to tie in the “journey” part.

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Thread Journey is being shown in Alex Veronelli’s (of Aurifil) lectures this year.  A great honor.  I actually have a “behind the scene” story to share about Thread Journey.  I would like the story to be more dramatic, but it isn’t really.

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September through November last year were probably the most stressful months I remember experiencing the entire year last year.  I had three trips to make within the span of 3 1/2 weeks that included Market, teaching at Annie’s Craft Festival, and filming three new online classes back to back.  And of course, with each trip, I had to carve out a large chunk of time to make sure things are in order at home (i.e., laying out Miss Baby’s clothes, getting her schedule written out etc) before I could leave in good conscience.  And then, there’s packing props and things which always make me feel uncertain because I was scared to death I would forget something!!!

And of course, a huge (not size, but of importance) prop that I was bringing with me to Fall Market last year was my Thread Journey quilt… because it was going to hang at Aurifil‘s booth!  I took it with me in my carry-on, for fear of losing it if packed in my checked baggage.

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I had fallen sick right up till Market… so, that hampered the progress of my work quite a bit.  I managed to finish quilting the quilt the night before I was to catch my flight to Houston.  I remembered having lunch with Miss Baby on the day I left because I knew I won’t be picking her up as I usually do.  Then off to the airport I went, sharing a van ride with a couple of very cool veterans, one of whom is now an accomplished artist!  As much as I enjoyed the navy officer-turned-artist story, I was thinking about… how unfinished my Thread Journey was:  the binding was not done, the yoyo’s weren’t made, the hand embroidery not yet completed…

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Now, you are SO un-impressed by the way I roll…. yeah, I can understand why!  Last year was an exceptionally busy year for me!   Long story short, I slept little night after I checked into the hotel, and managed to finish up the quilt exactly at 9:45am the following morning when I was supposed to bring by the finished quilt, my heart-and-soul quilt!  That sense of relief — it is unexplainable!!!!  Hearing quilters’ kind words on the quilt at Market meant the world to me.

I was able to have Thread Journey back with me for a few days last month.  For the first time after I completed the quilt, I relived the moments of making the quilting up to the finishing point…. I realized it truly has been a journey!!! I took quite a few more pictures before I sent it on its way again… the following is one of them:

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AND – the journey is continuing, so to speak.  I am re-making this quilt, and will be offering this design as a free pattern in the near future so that we can share a quilting journey/adventure together.  Check back on this blog, and stay tuned for details!

p.s.  If you are new to this blog, Thread Journey’s Fall Market adventure is documented here.

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Care for a Cuppa? It’s…

… National Coffee Day!!! You have see the following picture numerous times…

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Now you see the coffee cup in my Care for a Cuppa? quilt!

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Care for a Cuppa? is a fun project featured in my upcoming book Creative New Quilts & Projects.  Miss Baby calls coffee “Mom’s Stay Awake Juice” because Mom here indeed relies on coffee for her day-to-day survival. :)

So, have yourself a stupendous day… and I hope you have a great cuppa while you are at it!  I shall catch up with you later! I have to get a quilt bound for shipping today before I pick my little one from school!

Mending Fences in UK’s POPULAR PATCHWORK (April 2014)

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Hello Friends,  thanks so much for your get well wishes.  I am not feeling any better today, but I am hanging in there (by a thread, pun intended, ha!) Nonetheless, I am most excited to share with you my “joint venture” feature with Lynette Anderson in the latest issue of Popular Patchwork (April 2014), a UK publication!  A special thank you to Kay Harmon for constructing the quilt top so that I could jump right into quilting it.

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Lynette added the applique portion to my pieced design, and made the quilt into a really fun one!

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Here are more shots of the quilt:

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Mending Fences uses fabrics from Lynette Anderson’s Mending Fences fabrics.

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[image source: Lynette Anderson Designs]

You may recall I already have two other featured quilts, both named Farm Crossing, made using fabrics from the same collection.  Click here, and here to view additional quilt photos, and for information on the magazines in which the quilts are featured.

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Now back to UK Popular Patchwork’s Mending Fences quilt… this quilt afforded me many opportunities to do some fun quilting.  The following pictures will show you what I mean.  Quilting is done using Aurifil Mako 50 cotton threads over Hobbs Tuscany Silk batting.  The quilting is done totally unmarked and free-handed.

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See what I mean about the quilting being “fun”?  Can you tell I thoroughly enjoyed the quilting the quilt?

There are many things I like about this quilt, but I think what I love best is the feel of coziness that permeates throughout.

Now, I am not sure where one could buy Popular Patchwork issues in the States. If you do, please let me know!

Thanks for stopping by.  I would love to hear your thoughts on this quilt.  Hugs to you all.

p.s.  I am still waiting for favorable weather conditions to take pictures of my other currently featured quilts.  Stay tuned for details.

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My 2014 lineup to date:

Annie’s Row Quilt Book (March 2014): Stardom

Fons & Porter’s Easy Quilts (Summer 2014): Teething Rings

Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting (January/February 2014): Hurry Home

McCall’s Quilting (January/February 2014): Spiral Squared

Popular Patchwork, UK (April 2014): Mending Fences

Quilt Trends (Winter 2014): Enchanted Forest

Quilt Trends (Winter 2014): Urban Stars

Quilter’s World (Spring 2014): Urban Oasis

Quilter’s World (Summer 2014): Starry Repetitions

The Quilter (December 2013/January 2014): Farm Crossing

The Quilter (December 2013/January 2014): Boxing Day

The Quilter (April/May 2014): All Squared Up

The Quilter (April/May 2014): Tulip Trail

January: Midori’s Place using Gramercy by Benartex

January: View on Lexington using Gramercy by Benartex

January: Everything’s Coming Up Rosey using English Rosey by Benartex

February: Verde (Quilt) by Quilting Treasures

February: Verde (Banner/Runner) by Quilting Treasures

March: Hot Topic by Quilting Treasures

March: Poseidon’s Adventure using Neptune’s Dream by Benartex

March: My Cozy Sweater using Palm Springs by Benartex

Hot Chili Peppers in THE QUILTER (January 2011)


For my chili-loving friends, here are some HOT CHILI PEPPERS for you!


This is a SUPER easy applique project (featured in The Quilter‘s January 2011) that would be a quick and easy to make gift if you are home-making your Christmas gifts this year… don’t you just love those vibrant colors on the chilies? The fabrics I used for the project is a combination of RJR‘s Pin Dots and Henry Glass‘ Summertime.


I used Hobbs‘ Tuscany Silk Batting, and Aurifil Mako 50 to quilt this banner.  The quilting was minimal for this project – I picked  and quilted on a few floral designs on the black background fabric.  I thought the background fabric spoke for itself, and didn’t need quilting to make it look better.


Go to www.quakertownquilts.com if you are interested in purchasing a kit for the project.  My “ARMCHAIR QUILTER’S” SUGGESTION: Not interested in making the banner?  How about just making the individual blocks and frame them in separate frames for a visual statement?

Thanks for stopping by!  And, go and enjoy some chilies to spice up your new week!

p.s.  Click here for my other project featured in the same magazine.


Fruit Of The Vine in THE QUILTER (October/November 2010)

So I was going to take pictures of my “Fruit of the Vine” quilt outdoors, and it rained on me. I am not complaining because we need the rain. Anyway, I am very happy that “Fruit of the Vine” is featured in the latest issue of The Quilter:

I had to make 135 circles fruits for this quilt. I thought I would never get done while I was working on the circles.

Fabrics for this quilt are from Benartex’s Sew Chick collection. The little chicks are just too adorable! Somehow it’s hard to imagine chick-related fabrics would turn into a fruit-and-vine themed quilt. But that’s the fun part of quilting – sometimes playing with fabrics inspires quilters to come up with something totally unexpected:

As usual, due to time constraint, I didn’t have time to mark the quilt prior to quilting. Quilting was done free-motion, unmarked and free-hand using YLI Silk 100 thread (color 239) over Hobbs‘ Tuscany Silk Batt.

Again, the quilting is done on my domestic home machine. I want to encourage all the other home machine quilters out there that it is possible to quilt on your home machine! :)

I really like how it was photographed for the magazine. I was especially excited about the photographer capturing the quilting:

[Picture from http://www.thequiltermag.com]

Ever since I got the quilt back from the editor, Miss Baby has enjoyed pointing at and counting the fruit. Well, she does the pointing, and I do the counting.

Instructions to make the quilt are found in the October/November 2010 issue of The Quilter. Kits are also available from Quakertown Quilts.

Thanks again for stopping by. I always enjoy your visits and comments. Have a wonderful day.

Yucca Whimsy: Sneak Peek #2

Good day, my friends.  I thank you again for stopping by…

My Yucca Whimsy blocks gave me FITS a couple of nights ago, and just sent me into the depths of despair. The bottom curvy stems didn’t quite match up when I put the blocks together. Sorry, no pictures were taken as I was too caught up in my despair.

So, I went to sleep. I spent the next day doing some minor surgery on the quilt top. I took the stitches out of the ends of the curvy stems, and matched them up, applied my hot iron, and stitched them in place! Voila – the stems are now continuous!

You can see bunny can even drive her car along the “track” without any mishaps due to mis-matched tracks:

I was quite happy about the happy ending, at least for now.  I can have a better attitude going into my weekend! I hope you have a great weekend – any special plans at your end? I think Baby and I are going do some finger/hand painting for a Father’s Day card, and home-made Thank-You’s.


French Bouquet: Sneak Peeks

Remember these fabrics I had shown you a couple of weeks ago in my red & green post? They are from RJR‘s Fancy Hill Farm collection. I think they are just released — it is another winner by Robyn Pandolph. I especially like the reds in the collection:

Here is a sneak peek of what I have done with the fabrics:

I had a dingbat moment with this project — I was very proud of myself at 1am one night this week for getting the project done. On the way downstairs to show my husband my latest “checked off” project, I noticed that something was amiss, QUITE amiss actually! One of the inner borders was 1/4″ larger than the rest. Keep in mind, this thing was already quilted, and all is left was the binding! I didn’t know whether to cry or scream or jump off a cliff!!! So I sat and took out every single stitch on the border to free up that section for me to re-piece the inner border with the right measurement, thinking that whole time I was such a dingbat!

Here you can see the scaling of the quilting. I love to do micro and dense quilting – in fact, I am passionate about it although I don’t get the opportunity to do it very much due to the time factor:

The center motif is adapted from an old Persian motif “prettied” up with some feathers:

Here you can see my “puffed up” flowers because of the wool batt I used:

And here is my home-machine version of McTavishing outside the wreath:

Before I leave, I want to thank you for all your comments on my doll post — armed with some “horror” cute doll stories, I am looking forward more of Baby’s destruction adventures! ;) Baby is not all destruction. She brought this home for me when she returned home from her walk with Daddy. I thought I would share it with you to top off my “bouquet” project:

Thanks for stopping by. I always love your comments. I look forward to visiting you back. Have a wonderful weekend. I shall see you next Monday!

PROJECTS to welcome Spring!

If you are looking for fun quilt projects to welcome spring, may I suggest —

1. Pieceful Garden (featured in the November 2008 issue of “The Quilter”) — the kits are very limited in number. Only three left. Order yours today at my website:

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2. Cozy Patch (featured in the May 2009 issue of “The Quilter”) — available at http://www.heartbeatquilts.com (or phone (800) 393-8050 or (508) 771-0011):

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3. Bluebird Ballad (featured in the May 2009 issue of “The Quilter”) — available at http://www.quakertownquilts.com (or phone (888) 464-7845):

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4. Simple Pleasures (featured in the May 2009 issue of “The Quilter”) — available at http://www.quakertownquilts.com (or phone (888) 464-7845):

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Thanks for stopping by. As always, I love to hear from you. Do feel free to leave comments on my blog, or contact me personally at wendy@wendysheppard.net! Have a nice day!

Quilting makes the Quilt

It’s always challenging for me to capture the actual quilting I do on quilts due to the limitations of my camera — the lighting has to be just right, the stars have to line up, the barometric pressure has to be exact…

I stumbled upon the moment this past weekend where everything was just right for me to take pictures of the quilting I had done on Roslynn:

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I have done all the quilting on my quilts using my home machine so far — it is possible! I want to encourage all quilters out there who do not have a longarm to not ever give up the possibility of using your home machine to free-motion quilt!

Happy Monday, Everyone!

The Quilter 20th Anniversary Issue (March 2009)

My first quilt published in “The Quilter” was in their 19th Anniversary issue:

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I feel honored to have another quilt featured in their 20th Anniversary issue (HAPPY BIRTHDAY to a fabulous quilt magazine!). This time, it’s Roslynn. Remember this?

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The quilt in its entirety used to decorate a tabletop:

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Additional shots (I just love that burgundy fabric from Benartex’s Noble Familie):

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We are experiencing a snow storm right now, won’t you join me for a hot cup of coffee and some petits four? I learned something new while making sure of the spelling — petit four is a small cake generally eaten at the end of a meal or served as part of a large buffet. The name is from the French petit four, meaning “small oven” (from Wikipedia):

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Stay warm, everyone!

Sneak peek on Roslynn

My husband was the one who came up with the name “Roslynn” for the applique quilt I was working on a few months ago (since I am most UNcreative when it comes to naming anything):

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It is now featured in the March 2009 Issue of “The Quilter” – I like how it was photographed as a table topper:

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I will have more pictures once I receive the quilt back from the editor with the complimentary issue of the magazine. Meanwhile, HAPPY MONDAY everyone! See you tomorrow!

Shop News: Why, of course…

This is a busy day for me, but this is the day I get to attach the collars onto my daygown! EXCITING. I can’t wait to show you pictures when I get those collars on! I hope wherever you are, you would have a safe and blessed day!

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People ask if I sell my work… my answer is always, “Why, of course!” From time to time, I do put some of my quilts up for sale to go to a good home.

Currently, I am offering “Count Your Blessings” – a baby girl heirloom/blessing quilt that is custom-made with over 30 fabrics all mixed in together for a girlish whimsical look. There are nine girl bears that are appliqued onto the quilt with machine embroidery. Only the 100% genuine quilting fabrics were used, with Italian and German made threads for the assembling the quilt. Everything is done by yours truly! Finished size is 36.5″. You may click here to access my shop page.  There is only ONE of this quilt for sale offered at a much lower price than a custom-order quilt in the same style, so the sale is on a first come first served basis.

I am able to do custom orders for quilts in this style should you be interested in having one made for a boy. I am also able to do the applique for letters to make the name of a child, or even all 26 alphabets. Please do not hesitate to contact me for pricing at wendy@wendysheppard.net should you be interested.

I am also planning to offer some custom made Children’s Items in the very near future, brought to you by an extremely talented lady (NOT ME!) who specializes in children’s clothing. Come back tomorrow when I do a show and tell on a Christening gown she has made that is now in my possession.