I’m Designer, Author, Radio show host Pat Sloan.. Our July Designer is Wendy Sheppard of Ivory Spring, as her motto says “Where treasures of past and present connect”. Wendy and I live in the same area and we discovered we have a love of Applique, quilts with great color, Aurifil thread, and days without rain!! We both noticed that when we had a regular Tuesday evening meeting.. it seemed to ALWAYS rain!
What I love is how Wendy’s patterns spam a great many techniques and styles. Besides her applique, my favorites are the pieced patterns that look amazing, but are very easy to do! Wendy is a master at that, which I think you’ll see today.
I have talked with my friend Wendy 2/15/16 on my talk show CLICK to Listen or subscribe by Itunes
Let’s get to know Wendy!
Where do you live and what is your favorite spot there?
I live in northern Virginia. There are so many spots I like about where I live, but if I have to pick one. It would be Mount Vernon, the estate of George Washington. My family visits Mount Vernon quite often. Here is a picture of me after attending a lecture at the Washington Presidential Library.
When was your FIRST quilt sighting?
My first quilt sighting was at the house of my quilting teacher. Barbara was already a dear friend before she taught me how to quilt. I remember seeing this HUGE hand applique and hand quilted quilt hung in Barbara’s house. I was always fascinated by the fabrics etc. BUT, I didn’t know how to sew, and had never touched a sewing machine in my entire life. So, I didn’t ask Barbara to teach me how to quilt. It was years later (in Oct 2005) when Barbara asked if I would be interested in quilting, and that she would teach me.
At first I said no…. because I didn’t like the look of the beginner’s quilt Barbara taught to the other girls. I went to the library, and checked out a book with the picture of a pieced and applique quilt I wanted to make, and asked Barbara if she would teach me with that quilt instead. To Barbara’s credit, she DID — keep in mind, I had no knowledge of sewing at all — and it is because of Barbara, I am where I am in my quilting journey. I will never ever forget!
Did you have a career prior this, what was it?
I had worked in research at an ultra-low wind speed wind tunnel at the University of Arkansas for a few years.
Today, I am a work/stay-at-home Mom. Prior to quilting, I have dabbled in hand needlework like cross-stitching and smocking, which I still do today.
And when time allows, I indulge in hand applique.
Have you had a ‘light bulb’ moment in making
For a long time, I hadn’t liked how “puffy” my binding looks. Then one I day, I decided to try zig-zagging around the quilt edge before attaching the binding to see if that helps… and it did! I had written about it here: ivoryspring.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/binding-thoughts/
What does your studio look like, and what would you change in it?
My sewing space currently is quite utilitarian – It is simply a LARGE table with a large surface to accommodate almost a large portion of my quilt when I machine quilt my quilts, and not have the quilt drag off my table. When I don’t have a quilt draped over the table – it doubles as a hangout place for my daughter to draw and do her homework.
Do you have a GREAT storage, organization, or label making tip?
I store a large number of my quilts in a pine bookcase. Every few months or so, I empty out the bookcase and refold or re-roll my quilts. I was told that helps with minimizing permanent creases forming on quilts. But I do that mainly to re-connect with the quilts I have made over the years, and remembering different times of my life when those quilts were made.
What are your 3 favorite colors of Aurifil thread?
2310, 5021, 4060 (included in my Subtle Strings Thread Box)
Anything else you’d like to share?
Book: Creative New Quilts & Projects using Precuts or Stash:
Pattern (let’s do a blue/white one!): FREE PatternTiles using Windham’s Annabelle:
Online/DVD Domestic Machine Classes:
Magazine Editorial Feature: A Little House on the Hill in Australian Quilters Companion (#79), Pinwheel Parade in Fons and Porter Scrap Quils (Summer 2016)
Aurifil Subtle Strings Thread Box: Learn more about it HERE
About your block – What is blue that inspires you?
It would have to be the blue/white china I dearly adore! See the stippling on that service plate? 🙂
Blue and White are a theme in Wendy’s life!
DOWNLOAD the July Block by Wendy Sheppard
Wendy has been making her own version of the Aurifil 2016 Designer quilt.. and she has a BONUS applique for you
Right handed or left handed.. and can you use the other at all?
Right handed — no, I can’t quite use the other one. I tried to train myself using the left hand, but I ran out of time.
The Color you have always LOVED…..
BLUE (of course), and Red! I mean I have a blue purse. Oh wait, I have a red purse too! Haha.
Visit Wendy at
I am having so much fun with these blocks, using a totally different colorway. THIS Month I share how versatile Wendy’s block is if you just use UNITS.. click over to my site, which is also where you enter YOUR block in our Monthly Challenge .. you could win a box of my thread next month!
ENTER YOUR Challenge BLOCK HERE
Are you on Facebook? I have a fantastic quilt group with the most incredible show and tell going on! You should see it! JOIN me HERE … I’d love to meet you!
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EACH MONTH we will pick one random winner that has made a block.. that person will receive a special Aurifil thread prize! Winners are all contacted email
For more Aurifil project photos visit our FLICKR PAGE HERE
Our RANDOM picker this month selected “Becky’s June Block”! She has WON a BOX of Aurifil thread! Such gorgeous blocks entered .. see all the great versions HERE
REMEMBER – The Photo entry is moved to my website where more people can enter, right HERE
- Sign up for the Aurifil Newsletter… scroll to the NEWSLETTER box
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- See more quilts using Aurifiol thread at our Flickr page
Great interview of one of my favorite designers and quilters. Every that Wendy stitches is awesome!!
hi cannot access the bonus block from the link provided. pls help.
love the patterns so far.