AuriKids: Happy to be Me

Today, we have the distinct pleasure of introducing our very first AuriKids project, handcrafted and written especially for all of you by the delightfully talented Gwendolyn Sheppard and her mom, Wendy. If you missed our AuriKids introduction, head here. This series is all about creative expression, innovative thought, and getting the kiddos involved in some seriously fun family time!

Please join us in welcoming Gwen & Wendy to Auribuzz for the first of 6 projects that will be released over the next 6 months. Have fun!

Hello Friends! I am happy to share with you our first mother-daughter (adult/child) collaborative ornament project tutorial, to highlight Aurifil’s Aurikids iniatiative — an effort to pass on the love and joy and needle and thread to the next generation.

To celebrate the release of the Spool-en-dids collection that my daughter curated for Aurifil, we will be highlighting 6 monthly projects to give you ideas on projects suitable for hand-stitching with kids. The projects will all be shared here, on Auribuzz, and on my blog, Ivory Spring.

Before we dive in…

You can read more about Spool-en-dids, and find out the names my daughter has for her selected colors HERE.

We’ve been having so much fun, already, and are pleased to share that Gwen’s stitched piece (on the collection cover) took FIRST PLACE in the 55th Annual Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition!

In addition, I’m honored to say that you can read a bit more about my tips for stitching with kids in the May/June 2018 issue of Quiltmaker Magazine.

PROJECT: “HAPPY TO BE ME” Pillow Ornament


  • Fabric
  • paper-back fusible
  • THIN batting scraps
  • Spool-en-dids Thread Collection by Gwendolyn Sheppard
  • Aurifil 50wt thread
  • 1 piece of ribbon
  • embroidery hoop
  • tapestry or embroidery needle
  • basic sewing supplies
  • 4 pieces of fabrics – one for top, one for monogram, one for backing the stitched piecing, and one for backing the pillow case

TIP: I used a piece of silk batting because it is not as dense. I have also used the Hobbs Tuscany Bleached Cotton batting which worked well too.

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: This project is to get children familiar with the in and out mechanism of stitching. No rules — just random “confetti” stitching around an appliqued monogram.

[for the full tutorial, complete with step-by-step images, please visit Wendy’s blog, here]

1. Start with an appliqued monogram on a background fabric. Remember to reverse your letter(s) when you trace the letter on the paper side of fusible. Click here if you would like a crash course on fusible machine applique.

2. Stitch around the applique shape after it is fused in place. Stitching around the shape gives it a much more finished look. A buttonhole or satin stitch looks fantastic!

2. Hoop the monogrammed piece (facing down), batting, and backing piece (facing up).

3. My daughter’s work began at this point. She used a tapestry needle threaded with 3 strands of floss, and just went at it. Little stitchers may use just ONE color, or as many as they want — let them choose!

note: I would recommend a large tapestry needle for younger children, and an embroidery or even darning needle for the older children for the needle to penetrate through the hooped piece. Tapestry needles are more blunt, so they are a little softer than the sharp embroidery needles.

4. When stitching is complete, sew around the area to secure the hand stitches before cutting to size for the pillow. Anchor a piece of ribbon on the pillow front piece and then cut the pillow back piece to size.

note: I ended up sewing a back pocket to the back of the pillow ornament for storing stitching notions. To do that, I needed 2 pieces of fabric. One cut to size of the pillow front piece, the other to fold in half and place at the bottom of the pillow back piece with raw edges matching.

5. With the pillow front and back pieces facing each other, sew around all 4 sides with a 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving a small opening for turning. Turn pillowcase right side out, and stuff. Close the opening with a series of invisible hand stitches.

note: I started using the stuffing made by Hobbs recently, and have ABSOLUTELY loved it!!

I hope you will enjoy this little stitching project with your kid stitcher, and jump start a lifetime of sweet stitching memories.

Thanks so much for stopping by – till next time!

Don’t forgot to pop by Wendy’s blog for the full detailed tutorial including step by step photos and some more great suggestions for how to expand on this ornament to create more projects for your and your young  stitcher!

If you’re stitching along, don’t forget to snap some photos to share! We may just have a super fun giveaway planned and we want to see what you’re making! 

GWEN SHEPPARD, Age 9 — Spool-en-dids

Gwen stitching a new project

Gwen is the daughter of Aurifil Designer Wendy Sheppard of Ivory Spring. She started stitching with her mom 4 years ago and is already an incredibly skilled cross-stitcher. She stitched a magnificent sampler using threads from her AuriKids collection, a piece that we were honored to showcase in our booth last Fall at International Quilt Market. Gwen is just getting started on her creative journey and is turning her attention to quilting.



10 Small Spools Cotton Floss
Colors included:
2277 – 1104 – 1135 – 2860 – 4663
2520 – 1231 – 4020 – 2225 – 2155






  1. I’m so happy to see projects for young beginners. I started embroidering when I was 9 or 10 and continued through the birth of my first child.

  2. This is my favorite set, can’t wait to get it! love the colors and love the little pillow idea, I think this is something my daughter would enjoy also, excited to share it with her.

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