Thread Journey: Process of Quilting, Part 4


We are quickly approaching the end of our Thread Journey Quilt Along with Wendy Sheppard. It has been an amazing process thus far and we’ve been so impressed with the progress you’ve all been making. We’re so excited to see your finished quilts, so  don’t forget to tag us when you share your photos —  Wendy (@ivory_spring), Aurifil (@aurifilthread)and #threadjourneyquiltalong. As always, we are so grateful for Wendy’s instruction and kind collaboration.

Have fun and happy stitching!

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Hello Quilting Friends, I hope you have been well.  We are nearing the end of our Thready Journey Quilt Along together.  I hope you have enjoyed the journey, as I have mine.  I have used this quilt to practice in taking the time and being more careful when I quilt.  My daughter’s violin teacher has always admonished her to play sloppy.  So I have used my Thread Journey quilt as a personal challenge to not quilt sloppy.


With that, let’s move on to quilting the outer border, shall we?

a.  How I am going to quilt mine

Applique Portion:
As in quilting the quilt center, I used the tree branch as the “spine” for my feather plumes, and I would occasionally add more branches with my quilting.

Here is my chicken-scratched schematic showing what’s going on.


And here is how they are stitched out in real life.  You will notice that instead of pebbles, I am echoing around the feathers. I have also used different color threads from my Subtle Strings collection to quilt various areas of the outer border.





I learned a few important things from quilting this quilt:

— feathers + pebbles = feathers don’t stand out as much
— feathers + tightly quilted echos = feathers POP!

feathers with pebbles
Feathers with tightly quilted echoes

For this quilt, I challenged myself to quilt the echoes really tight.  These echoes are about 1/16″ each apart, sometimes less, most likely because the pebbles I had quilted weren’t teeny-tiny.  I suspect the same popping effect would be apparent if the pebbles were quilted 1/16″ across too. 🙂 This next photo shows an add-on I quilted coming off one of the feather plumes with tight echoing.


The Rest of the Border:
Now, there is a lot of empty space in the border!  I mulled over many options.  I decided to keep the feather quilting theme, except this time instead of plumes, I am confining the feathers to randomly placed wreaths.

Here is a quick schematic.


Here you see I am using my dishes to mark two differently sized circles.


Here is the feather wreath quilted out.  I am quilting REALLY tiny pebbles to see if the feathers will pop as much as when echoes are used as background quilting.


b.  Other options: You may definitely use some of the ideas suggested for quilting the quilt center for the border, as previously discussed.

1.  Nifty little “S” – This is my interpretation of McTavishing using a domestic machine.  Click here to see my stitching path.


2.  Pebbles – I like to mix in different sizes of pebbles (circles) — the visual effect is always striking when pebbles are quilted.  Click here to see what I mean.  I do want to note that the circles do not all have to be perfectly round.  In fact, for me it’s impossible to quilt circles free-motion perfectly round.  So I find pebbling is a really forgiving motif to quilt.


3.  Sand dunes – I like sand dunes because it is echoing without the stress of keeping the distance even, and I can quilt the dunes far apart for a quick finish.  Click here to see how to quilt sand dunes.


4.  What I think might be really cute is to quilt random circles on the rest of the border.  Click here for a method you can use to mark your circles without actually marking it.


5.  How about quilting Ohio Star on the rest of the border?  I think that would be so visually striking as well.



That’s all I have for today!  I was shooting to have my quilt completely finished with the binding and hanging sleeve sewn on and everything, but unfortunately I didn’t get that far ahead.  I have a few areas on the outer border left to cover.  I will be showing you pictures of the completed quilt VERY soon, so stay tuned!


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June 2: Thread Journey: Quilt Along with Wendy Sheppard
June 16: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 1
June 30: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 2
July 14: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 3
July 28: Batting & Thread
August 11: Process of Quilting, Part 1
August 18: Process of Quilting, Part 2
August 25: Process of Quilting, Part 3
September 8: Process of Quilting, Part 4
September 15: The Finish!

QBV03_PieceBlock_12_crop_smallWebsite — Instagram
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.

ABOUT SUBTLE STRINGS: (Wendy’s 2015 Aurifil Thread Collection)

12 Large Spools of 100% Aurifil Cotton, 50wt
Colors included:
2310 – 2847 – 4060 – 2130 – 2715 – 5021
2210 – 2510 – 2886 – 2326 – 2423 – 5014


  1. I have enjoyed this quilt along so much. My quilting is not my strong point, but I have to say that I really enjoyed using Aurifil threads. I became acquainted with Aurifil through Wendy’s blog. They are not available locally, so I try to order whentry I have the opportunity and my budget allows. Thank you, Aurifil, for sponsoring this informative quilt along!

  2. “Thread Journey” is awesome. Thanks for guiding us through the process from start to finish, Wendy. 😊

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