We first introduced AuriKids just over 2 years ago — four brilliantly curated collections from four creative young minds. Here in this industry, we herald creative expression, we tout the amazing projects and works of art that we see, most of which are created by grown-ups;). That is certainly all well and good, but it’s fair to say that the most creative among us are children and it’s important to celebrate that creativity!
Today, we’re thrilled to introduce our 5th AuriKids collection and the 2nd for young designer Gwendolyn Sheppard, Woodland Spool-en-dids!
Gwen is the 10-year-old daughter of Aurifil Designer Wendy Sheppard of Ivory Spring. She started stitching with her mom 5 years ago and is already an incredibly skilled maker. Her first collection focused on the practice of cross stitch, something that she still loves doing. This collection, however shines a light on her new love: embroidery. Gwen stitched out a stunning embroidered sampler in a rich range of autumn colors. The motifs are sweet and simple enough to be a great starter for children (or adults!) just getting started on a stitchy journey.
We just love getting to follow along as Gwen progresses in her own creative journey. Follow along with her mom via @ivory_spring to get all the updates!
THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
10 Small Spools, 100% Cotton 12wt
2115, 1104, 2882, 2345, 4241
3910, 2021, 1133, 2145, 5018
Who taught you how to sew/quilt and when did you start on this creative journey?
My mother has so far only been my only teacher when it comes to sewing and quilting. You might know her – her name is Wendy Sheppard. She is a great teacher, but I had to always do it her way starting out. Then she relaxes after she sees me making progress.
Since Mama always worked from home when I was little, I was always around fabric and thread. I remember playing with her jars of buttons. I also remember jumping into her piles of scraps and pretending they were leaves. The jumping part was really fun, but not the clean up.
Mama started to teach me when I was 5. I remember cross-stitching two Christmas ornaments for Christmas that year. The following year, the two ornaments were displayed at the Woodland Needlework Show as “ornaments stitched by a 5 year old”.
What did you love most about the process of stitching and sewing?
I love the planning and picking out colors. And the scissors! My Mom has a wonderful collection of embroidery scissors that I get to use only when I stitch.
We’ve seen your stunning cross stitch projects and see that you’re doing embroidery as well. Do you prefer one over the other?
Thank you so much for your kind words. I have to say I am not always excited about stitching a project a few months after I start it. My mother is the one who makes sure I stay on a project until I complete it.
I really love hand embroidery. I have much to learn. Right now, I love French knots! I think hand embroidery is much more relaxing because I don’t have to count the stitches like I do in cross-stitching. Hand embroidery allows me to stitch and daydream at the same time.
My mother and I have agreed — after I complete two more cross-stitching large projects, I will only cross stitch small projects, and focus on hand embroidery. Here is the latest picture of my Mount Vernon piece that will finish at 2 ft long.
What is your favorite thing to make?
Anything colorful and nice looking, and even better if the design has cats!
What do you love most about putting colors together to create a full color story?
I like to see all bright and vibrant colors I choose come together and make a beautiful picture. I don’t ever want to be a gray person — I want to always see beauty!
This is your second collection with Aurifil, adding to the AuriKids series. What do you love about being an AuriKid?
I love being an Aurikid because I can reach people with my projects and get them started on the creative art of stitching!
Tell us about your second thread collection, Woodland Spool-en-dids!
Thank you for letting me to have a second thread collection! I am so excited about this line mainly because the Woodland embroidery design that you see on the thread box cover is inspired by the fauna and flora in my backyard.
The embroidery pattern is available for purchase right HERE on our Etsy shop. (or click on the image below)
What would you want to tell other kids out there who are just getting started on their creative journey?
Never give up!
FINAL THOUGHTS FROM GWEN
Thank you for interviewing me. I find it all so very exciting. And thank you again for letting me be an Aurikid. And I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!
p.s. There is still time to stitch my mother’s Merry Stitchmas ornament she designed this past July. Here is one I stitched. I mis-counted, and so, my tree looks more like a Douglas Fir than a Frasier like Mama intended. But it’s okay, she says, and calls me the Queen of Fudge.
Click HERE to grab the pattern!!
Thank you SO much to Gwen and her mom Wendy for sharing everything with us today!!