A Simple SPOOL-EN-DIDS project tutorial #2

Hello Friends — have you been sewing along with a little friend, or by yourself since I last shared “Happy To Be ME” ornament?  It’s time for me to share with you the second of six mother-daughter (adult/child) collaborative ornament project (Smar-kly), released to highlight Aurifil’s Aurikids iniatiative — an effort to pass on the love and joy and needle and thread to the next generation.


To dovetail with the release of Spool-en-dids my daughter curated for Aurifil, we will be highlighting 6 monthly projects to give you ideas on hand-stitching with kids. The colors selected are by a kid for kids!  You may purchase Spool-en-dids from the following sources:

#1.  NEW!! ** YOU may now purchase the collection from FAT QUARTER SHOP by clicking HERE.

#2.  YOU may purchase the collection from Donna — email her:  followthatthread@yahoo.com

#3.  YOU may also purchase collection by clicking HERE.

#4.  OR, ask your local Aurifil dealer to order the collection for you.  Click HERE for a dealer near you!

Read more about Spool-en-dids HERE if you aren’t familiar with the Aurikids initiative. And to those of you who purchased the thread collection, please allow me to thank you from the bottom of my heart or contributing to Miss Baby’s college fund!!

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PROJECT: “Smar-kly” Pillow Ornament

SUPPLIES: POLKA DOT fabric scrap, paper-back fusible and THIN batting scraps, Spool-en-did thread (s), Aurifil 50wt thread, a piece of ribbon, embroidery hoop, tapestry or embroidery needle, & basic sewing supplies. 
You will need pieces of fabrics – one for pillow top, and one for backing the pillow case.  I didn’t use a batting piece this time to stabilize the project because I wanted Miss Baby to be aware of the thread tension when stitching just on a fabric piece.
OPTIONAL – however, if your kid stitcher is tiny, it is always a good idea to back your ornament top fabric with a piece of batting and a piece of backing fabric.

NOTE: This tutorial, as well as all subsequent pillow ornament tutorials, is not for a specific finished size. You may make it as big or as small as you wish. Since we hang our pillow ornaments on our Christmas tree, our ornaments do not finish larger than 4″.

GOAL: In ornament #1, we did the random no rule confetti stitching.  For ornament #2, we will introduce structure into stitching within the confine of a circle.

ALSO:  This tutorial will not cover how to finish the pillow ornament, as the steps are already covered in the tutorial for ornament #1.

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Step 1:  This one is light on prep work for the adult.  Once you have the supplies, your kid stitcher is ready to go.  So, everyone has a polka dot fabric collection like I do, right? :)  I picked the polka dot print because the work is all done for us in this quick and easy project.

NOTE:  I notice with children (and adults alike), the excitement of the first project wears off over time.  I also believe keeping on with the projects teaches perseverance in children.  Keeping in mind both aspects, I picked this super easy project to make the experience stress free for both adult and child.

Step 2:  Once you have your fabric hooped, the stitching can begin.  Simply stitch the length of the diamater of the a circle four times (first do a cross, then, the two diagonals), and you are finished!  There is no ruler on how many circles to cover.  The stitching gives the polka dots a bit of dimensional sparkling twinkle!  I happened to find a fabric that provided the background for matching a few Spool-en-dids colors.  Feel free to do a contrasting effect!

Step 3.  To secure the stitches at the center of the circle, you could teach your kid stitcher French knots if she is older.  If not, you can just teach your kid stitcher to take a tiny stitch in the circle center, and your stitches are secure!

Step 4.  Finish up the ornament as we did before, and you will have added another Christmas ornament for your stitching buddy.  Do remember to store the ornaments in a nice clean box, so you don’t have to hunt for them when Christmas comes… ask me how I know!?!

We are actually using this as a sewing pillow companion as summer is just about here — we will be ramping up the stitching!

If you are stitching along — do send me pictures — the plan is to do a couple more of these, and we will have a nice giveaway for those who are participating!

*Smar-kly = Sparkly (Gwen’s version at 5), and we still say her 5 year old version at home.

I hope you have fun with this fun little project.  It should take no more than 20-30 minutes for handstitching.  I will show you additional ideas on stitching on polka dots in a couple of weeks.  And the next installment — cross stitching basics!  If you want to prepare ahead, you will need either 11- or 14- count aida that you can easily purchase at your local craft stores.  

Love and hugs to you all — till next time!

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Have you seen the Aurikid SPOOL-EN-DIDS thread box?

Good morning, Friends!  I have shared with you last year that Miss Baby was selected by Aurifil to be one of their first batch of Aurkids in an initiative to pass down the love of needle and thread to the next and upcoming generation.  Have you see Miss Baby’s Spool-en-dids collection?  This is a collection of 6-ply cotton embroidery floss (Aurifloss) produced by Aurifil.  If you have liked Aurifil’s signature 50wt threads, you WILL love these floss for your handwork.  You know the part of very little  lint on any of their sewing threads?  Same is true with the floss.  I know the reason behind the little lint on Aurifil’s threads, but I will let Alex Veronelli tell you if he ever stops by your area to do a free lecture.  It is worth going!  ANYWAY, with the floss, your hand worked stitches will look much more crisp and defined with the little lint on the threads.

If you have heard me share about my daughter, you will know that my daughter very often has her own mind on things.  She took it upon herself to name the colors she selected to go into her embroidery floss collection.

From left to right:  Billy Brown, Ribby Red, Papita Peach, Oscar Orange, Yodel Yellow, Grouchy Green, GWENDOLYN GREEN (!), Bobby Blue, Polly Purple, Petunia Pink

Here are some pictures of how the colors have been used.

And the latest… a tutorial is coming SOON as soon as I get the green light with the people at higher places. :-)

One thing I really like about the AURIKIDS program is that each child is asked to select a charity to support with the proceeds from the thread sales.  Miss Baby was so excited receiving her first royalty check two weeks ago! :)  She has selected Samaritan’s Purse as her charity of choice, specifically in their medical missions effort.  And the rest, she decided to save for college.

If you haven’t heard of Samaritan’s Purse, check out their amazing work, in the name and with the love of Christ, here.

SO, if you have purchased the Spool-en-dids collection, Miss Baby and I want to THANK YOU for contributing to Miss Baby’s college fund, as well as supporting the work of Samaritans Purse. :)

#1.  YOU MAY PURCHASE THE COLLECTION FROM Donna — email her:  followthatthread@yahoo.com

#2.  YOU MAY ALSO PURCHASE THE COLLECTION BY CLICKING HERE.

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Remember I had shared with you a few weeks ago Miss Baby and I both entered our respective pieces in shows?

My Thread Journey quilt was juried into the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival?  Mine didn’t win anything.  Totally fine.  Miss Baby entered her stitched pieced in the 55th Woodlawn Needlework Show.  We are really excited her ABC Des Maisons won a first place blue ribbon!  We spent a day last week at Woodlawn House in Alexandria, VA admiring the entries, and was really glad my husband was able to meet us for lunch there for some precious family time together.

[For those who like historical tidbits:  The land where Woodlawn sits was part of Mount Vernon.  It was gifted in 1799 to Nelly Custis, Martha Washington’s niece, upon her marriage to General Washington’s nephew, Lawrence Lewis.  Woodlawn is historic site within the framework of  the National Historic Trust for Preservation.  The annual Needlework Show is a fundraiser toward the specific preservation of Woodlawn.  And if you don’t know Nelly Custis, she was brought to Mount Vernon, along with brother George Washington Parke Custis, to be raised by the Washingtons after Martha’s son (John) died in Yorktown, VA shortly after the Surrender at Yorktown.  George Washington Parke Custis built the Arlington House, where it stands still today on the hill at the Arlington National Cemetery.  So there…. all the intertwining threads of history which I love to unwind.]

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We are gearing up for more stitching fun at our house.  Miss Baby recently finished her first machine pieced quilt if you are following my Instagram feed.  We are getting ready to have her quilt the quilt herself… and moving on to her next quilt — if she ever gets her academic work and music practices done with time to spare before bedtime!  We are EXCITED!!!

Easter Eggstravaganza in McCall’s Quilting March/April 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aurifil’s Embroidery Floss Collection: Marmalade Meadows

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks so much for stopping by.  Till next time!

Happy Monday!

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

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

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

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