AuriKids: Gwen’s Cat Sampler

We have a very special guest blogger to welcome to Auribuzz today. Ten-year-old Gwen Sheppard became an AuriKid about 2 years ago and we’ve just loved watching her progress since then! Her debut collection, Spool-en-dids, featured 10 delightfully bright colors of our Aurifloss, Gwen’s preferred thread for her stitching, which she’s now been doing for half of her life!

Gwen’s mom, Wendy Sheppard is also an Aurifil Designer and they are quite the mother-daughter duo. We can’t say for sure if creativity is genetic, but seeing Wendy and Gwen create together makes us pretty certain that it is. We see wonderful things in the future for this talented young lady (including a few new things with Aurifil — keep an eye out!)

HUGE thanks to both Gwen and Wendy for making today’s post possible — we’re thrilled to showcase Gwen’s work and to celebrate her dedication to such a wonderful craft. <3

Hello Aurifil Friends, my name is Gwendolyn “Gwen” Sheppard. I am an Aurikid who loves to read, draw, and explore in my backyard. I also like vibrant colors and my pearl necklace very much. I am 10 and getting ready to be a fifth grader in two weeks, but I try not to think about that for now.

I am so excited to be able to share my recent stitching adventures with you! I feel so grown up to be able to do this! I know my mom does this quite often, but I have never been the one who actually gets to share about my love of stitching.

My mother taught me stitching when I was five. For Christmas that year, I stitched two simple ornaments.  Ever since then, mom and I have always stitched at least one to add to our Christmas tree each year. Here are the two ornaments I started out with.

Here are a few projects I have done since those two Christmas ornaments.

I have actually already stitched my ornament for 2019 using the chart my mother contributed for Merry Stitchmas back in July. (Click here for the FREE chart!)

I was selected to be an Aurikid two years ago. I remember being so proud, and I am still proud to be an Aurikid today! As an Aurikid, I got to pick 10 of my favorite colors for my own thread collection. My Dad was the one who came up with Spool-en-dids for the name of my thread collection.

My most recent finish is a cat sampler (designed by Jardin Privé) that is stitched only with my Spool-en-dids colors! I represented my school in a regional contest with my cat sampler, and I was so happy it won first place!

I had so much fun stitching the cats, giving them personalities with the threads I chose. For example, here is a bionic cat with a blue tail! The border, however, was a different story. I had to stitch and unstitch many times before my border met.

I also mixed my Spool-en-dids colors to make different shades for my cats’ fur. This was so fun.  It’s like mixing acrylic colors when I paint! Here you can see three of my kitties have mix-colored fur!

My mother’s favorite is that fish bowl! She likes how realistic it looks.

Mine is the rainbow block I stitched with all the colors in my collection, right next to the bionic cat!

Mom said we should show a couple more pictures…

My current stitching project is a large one. It is General Washington’s Mount Vernon. I have spent this summer on this project while listening to audio books and watching Great British Garden Revival. My Mom has a rule — if I want to listen to audio books or watch any thing, I have to be stitching. Something about no idle hands. Here is the latest progress picture.

I have also recently stitched with Aurifil’s 12 wt threads, and I really love them as well. But that’s for another time.  I want to thank Aurifil for letting me be an Aurikid.

I have enjoyed talking about my cats!  I hope to be back again.  Thank you!

Website — 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.


GWEN SHEPPARD, Age 10 — 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 5 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 Fall International Quilt Market in 2017. 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. You have inspired me to teach my grand daughters to cross stitch! Thank you! Peggy McGrady

  2. What a talented young lady! Beautiful work. Is there a pattern for that beautiful alphabet sampler she did?

  3. Great post, Gwen! I love your cross stitch! You and your mom are inspiring me to teach my Godchildren how to cross stitch! They are older than you, but they want to learn!

  4. A bit tardy on my part…oops! Love, love, love what I am seeing by a very talented Gwen. Such a great team, mother and daughter!! Please continue to inspire all of us. ❤️❤️

  5. Gwen,
    You are an amazing young lady. I used to teach 5th grade and you will do just fine! I’m pretty sure you’ve make lots of connections with you stitching and quilting. You are using math and geometry skills that are so important to be successful in life. I now teach at Hobby Lobby in Tucson, Arizona and I am so inspired by the youth I teach. Your parents and others must be so proud of you!

    Ms. Linda in Tucson

  6. Wendy I just knew when I interacted with you years ago you would be famous and Miss Baby is so grown up and you have handed down some of your skills. You must be so very proud and well deserved. BRAVO

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