Thread Journey: Quilt Along with Wendy Sheppard

Today, we are thrilled to introduce the incredibly talented (and super sweet) Wendy Sheppard of Ivory Spring. She is a quilter, an author, a pattern designer, an Aurifil thread collection designer, and an educator. Her knowledge is vast, her skills enviable. We are ever in awe of her creations and couldn’t be more excited to welcome her to Auribuzz for a 7-part Quilt Along. Over the course of the next 3 months, you’ll have the opportunity to attend Wendy’s online classroom as she shares her tips & techniques for creating one of her treasured quilts, Thread Journey. So, without further pause, let’s offer a HUGE Aurifil welcome to Wendy!!


Hello Everyone, my name is Wendy Sheppard, and I am an absolute threadaholic (particularly Aurifil’s threads). I blog over at I am very happy to share with you a free Quilt-Along pattern of the quilt that was hung at Aurifil‘s booth at Fall Market last year. I have simply titled my quilt Thread Journey, because the quilt encompasses my own quilting journey from one who never even touched a sewing machine until about 11 years ago, to one who is playing a small part in the quilting industry…

Thread Journey, Wendy Sheppard - 1

Finished Size of Quilt: 54″ x 54″


How this works:
I intend for this Sew-Along to work as kind of playing Round Robin with yourself. What I mean by that is that this entire quilt is going to be made with scraps from your stash. So I will alert you what you should prepare ahead of each installment fabric-wise during the construction process, but this quilt is meant to be as colorful as you wish it to be!

Tentative Schedule:
June 2: Quilt Construction, Intro — Today
June 16: Quilt Construction, Part 1
June 30: Quilt Construction, Part 2
July 14: Quilt Construction, Part 3
July 28: Process of Quilting, Part 1
August 4: Process of Quilting, Part 2
August 11: Process of Quilting, Part 3

1. Simple piecing, with tips for accurate points in the star blocks.

Thread Journey, Wendy Sheppard - 2

2. Fusible machine applique (with a tiny bit of embroidery)

Thread Journey, Wendy Sheppard - 3

3. After the top is constructed, I will spend three separate posts on how I am quilting my quilt, as well as domestic machine quilting tips that I hope would be helpful to you! We might not quilt the Sew-Along quilt exactly like I had quilted the original version because the quilting was pretty all free-handed and unmarked. But we will be doing something similar and FUN!

Thread Journey, Wendy Sheppard - 4

4. And finally, embellishing with yoyo’s.

Thread Journey, Wendy Sheppard - 5

A Few More Pictures:

Subtle Strings:
You will notice from the quilt back pictures that I had used different color threads to quilt my quilt. The colors are from my Subtle Strings collection. You can read more about the collection here:

Sew-Along version of Thread Journey:
1. The original Thread Journey quilt is currently on tour with Alex Veronelli when he lectures at various quilt shops. Perhaps you might get a chance to see it in person.
2. In order for me to show the steps in the entire process for this sew-along version, I am re-making the quilt (so that I can keep it, ha!) with some basic fabrics generously supplied by Windham Fabrics. I picked basic fabrics that aren’t so busy with prints so that I can better show the quilting later on. But feel free to raid your stash to find whichever and whatever that suit your fancy!

Thread Journey, Wendy Sheppard - 9

3. For June 16, we will construct the quilt center that finishes at 20″ x 20″.

a. For the Quilt Center, you may either
–  just use a 20 1/2″ x 20 1/2″ square
– piece the quilt center using my design with 2-1/2″ strips. So collect about 10-20
2-1/2″ strips (all those leftovers from your quilts made with precut strips)
– or you may piece it in anyway you would like as long as the quilt center will
measure 20 1/2″ x 20 1/2″ raw edge to raw edge.

b. You will need scraps of fabric for the applique (using the diagram below as a guide), as well as any fusible you would use for machine applique. If you have never done this before, I will have more details on June 16.


Alrighty Friends, I shall see you again on June16 — I am SO excited!

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Originally from Southeast Asia, Wendy came to the US for her tertiary education.  After her degrees in Chemical Engineering, she worked in research in a wind tunnel for a spell.  Nowadays, she is a stay/work-at-home Mom to a 7 year old.  Wendy’s designs have been featured in major quilting publications, both home and abroad.  She is also an author for Landauer Publishing, as well as an online quilting instructor.  She is passionate about encouraging quilters to enjoy their quilting journey.  During her free time, she loves to read history, and indulges in hand needlework.


  1. Wendy, your quilt is beautiful and I am very excited to try to make it. Choosing fabrics is the most agonizing and difficult part for me, will you offer any tips and suggestions? Did you use all batiks or a mix? Thank you for sharing your beautiful quilt.

    1. Hi Gail! So sorry for the delay in our reply. Wendy offers a few tips in her first construction post, scheduled for tomorrow. We’re so thrilled that you’re sewing along and can’t wait to see your quilt!! — Erin at Aurifil

  2. Wendy, your quilt is a beauty! I am off and running, oops, sewing. Thanks for the opportunity to “sew along” with you. Thanks for your expert advice along the way.🤗

  3. Going to raid my 2 1/2″ strip drawer and make the center. I am so looking forward to your tips on finishing the quilt. Just love how you quilted the finished one. Dreaming of the day when I am quilting mine just like yours. Thanks Aurifil for providing us with this awesome opportunity!!

  4. Oh, I really want to try this. I’m over-committed, but I’m going to squeeze this in. I’m not good with applique and don’t have the buttonhole stitch on my older Bernina, but I’ll figure something out.

  5. This is awesome, and going to be so much fun! Thanks, Wendy! I’m looking forward to it.

  6. Wendy, this is great! I am very excited! I want to participate and I hope I can keep up! See you on June 16! And thanks! XO

  7. Wow wonderful ! I hope to be able to participate…so many tops in progress…but I’m tempted. I love your design, your quilting and Aurifil also.

  8. I just couldn’t be more excited about this Thread Journey with you Wendy. Many thanks to you and Aurifil for the awesome adventure. Oh, and I’m pretty happy that I’ve already purchased your Subtle Strings Collection — yippee!! xo…

  9. I love this beauty! I’m looking forward to your guidance with the machine quilting.
    Is there somewhere to sign up so I don’t miss this?

    1. Hi Karen! The Quilt Along will be based here on Aurifil’s blog. There is no signup necessary, but if you want to make sure you see all posts, you are welcome to subscribe to our RSS feed. Hope you have fun and we’re looking forward to seeing your quilt!! –Erin at Aurifil

  10. Beautiful quilt Wendy. Thanks for the opportunity to make this quilt together with your tutoring to quilt it. I (very) recently was lucky enough to win a pack of your Subtle Strings thread collection by Aurifil via Karen Miller’s blog. Not sure how long it will take for these threads to get to me from Italy – I am in Australia. I was starting to agonise over fabric for the centre panel but I can now see that the Subtle Strings threads are just that, subtle in every way. From my experience (I’m not in a big city), Aurifil threads are easy enough to get here unless you are after particular colours, which I was after in Karen’s Quilt-Along. I look forward to what’s to come……. yay!

  11. I am so looking forward to learning the techniques to make this awesome quilt. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences.


  12. Reblogged this on Treadlemusic and commented:
    Getting the word out!!!! My friend, Wendy Sheppard, is about to take us all along on a “Thread Journey” with a hands-on/step-by-step set of tutorials. The end goal will be a beautiful quilt that uses the same pattern & techniques as the quilt currently on tour with Aurifil rep Alex Veronelli. Sew, gather some scraps from your stash and join the upcoming Sew-along with Wendy and many others who will be spreading (and stretching) their FMQ ‘wings’. The most important thing is to HAVE FUN along this stitching path!!! C’mon!! We’ll all learn together!!!!!!

  13. So excited to try this. I bought your thread collection Subtle Strings so I am ready to go. If we miss the session, it will be online correct. I have never done one of these things online. I don’t know how this works.

    1. Hi Cindy — All installments of Wendy’s Quilt Along will remain here on our blog. You’ll always have access to it here, so you don’t have to worry about timing and there is no pressure. We hope you enjoy it — Wendy is a wonderful instructor (and we simply adore her!) Thanks, Erin at Aurifil

  14. Am I too late to register for the Quilt along that starts tomorrow 16tgh June?
    I would like to join in, as my sister Glenice Jones from Cairns Aust. is doing it as well
    Dianne Mitchell
    Cranbourne, Vic,. Australia

    1. Hi Dianne! You’re not too late — the quilt along will be a free event hosted here on this blog. We’d love for you to join in and are looking forward to seeing your quilt! Please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions along the way and above all, have fun!! — Erin at Aurifil

  15. This quilt is truly magnificent! Your quilting is beautiful- I need a lot more practice before mine could even come close-love your colors.

  16. I have questions about the summer mystery sew along.
    1: When they purchase the fabric how do they sign up for the program?
    2: if they can’t watch on a specific day how do they watch it again?
    3: Can they go back and watch if they need to review a step?
    Please help ASAP. I need to get this out there.

  17. I’m late. Just saw this and I want in! Will this continue to be available and free. I’m low on funds and hubby thinks he needs 3 meals a day. Go figure!

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