Today, we are delighted to introduce our beloved friend and Aurifil Designer, Wendy Sheppard. If you’ve been following along with us, you’ve no doubt met Wendy before, whether through her Aurifil thread collections, her cross stitch patterns, her quilt alongs, her collaborations with fellow Aurifil Designer Karen Miller, or through Aurifilosophy… Wendy is a mainstay here on Auribuzz and we relish every opportunity we have to showcase her talents.
Wendy debuted a brand new thread collection at Fall Quilt Market last year and it might just be our new fave. Candies features 10 small spools in sweet and versatile colors in 4 different thread weights to suit every project need.
Wendy created a custom Aurifil spool quilt to complement the collection and has generously offered to share a tutorial for creating the blocks so that you might customize your very own Aurifil quilt! HUGE thanks to Wendy! <3
THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
10 Small Spools Cotton
50wt: 6730, 2847, 2405, 2886, 2437 (220yds/spool)
40wt: 5008, 6727 (164yds/spool) || 28wt: 2425, 2612 (109yds/spool)
12wt: 5015 (54yds/spool)
Happy New Year, all my Aurifil Friends!
I hope your New Year got off a smashing start!
Totally useless fact – I am not a candy person, but I am definitely a thread person, an Aurifil thread person! Yesterday, a friend told me that she mentioned me to someone else, and that person’s reaction was, “Oh, that Aurifil lady!” I find it very gratifying to be associated with Aurifil in my quilting adventures. You see, I started quilting in October 2005 and became besotted with Aurifil threads shortly after. I never looked back. I love threads, and Aurifil threads are my candies!
Today I am happy to be back to share with you my newest thread collection Candies, which debuted at Fall Market in Houston last year. I decided to include fun colors in the sampler collection of different thread weights used for machine sewing & quilting – you know, colors that might not be staples in your thread pantry, but ones that make a candy store look fun! And the ones that would just be the perfect colors for a particular project!
If you are only familiar with one thread weight and have been curious about the others, Candies will give you a nice and practical sampling of the different thread weights for the machine.
In the collection, I included thread weights that I use in my all various projects:
5 spools of 50wt (orange spools) – because the 50wt is my go-to all purpose thread! I use 50wt for machine quilting, piecing, and button-hole stitching around my fusible appliqué shapes. I even used the 50wt for hand needleturn appliqué until Aurifil released their game-changing 80wt a few years ago.
2 spools of 40wt (green spools) – I use 40wt mainly for machine quilting and general sewing for my crafting projects. 40wt gives such a striking definition to my quilting when I want my quilting show a little more than the 50wt. While I personally do not construct garments, I know garment sewists love the 40wt.
2 spools of 28wt (gray spools) – Many find it interesting that I use 28wt for hand sewing my binding. I do! Many of my quilts have been made for editorial features in magazines and the quilts pass through many hands before they return to me. For extra durability in holding down the binding, 28wt is perfect!
I also use 28wt to machine baste my hand appliqué pieces. Machine basting eliminates the use of pins to hold down my needleturn appliqué pieces. 28wt creates the perfect “perforation” for me as I cut away the excess fabric before turning the raw seam under for a Hawaiian-type quilt! The yellow shows the basting stitches done with 28wt.
1 spool of 12wt (red spools) – I mainly use 12wt for hand embroidery. It stitches up beautifully for all handwork.
To celebrate my Candies collection, I designed the following quilt with easy pieced blocks inspired by Aurifil’s large thread spools. The blocks finish at 6” x 8” for you to make as leader/ender blocks as you are piecing another quilt. You can make them to show an assortment of thread weights in your collection, or you can just make all the blocks in your favorite thread weight! You can lay out your final quilt however you wish. My layout is featured below.
Today, I am happy to share simple instructions for how to easily whip up the large spool block in exactly 8 seams! I used 50wt thread to piece this block. Did you know that using 50wt in piecing gives you a perfectly flat seam?
AURIFIL SPOOL BLOCK
*use a 1/4″ seam allowance
Cut (2) 1-1/2” x 3” background rectangles and (1) 1-1/2” x 1-1/2” solid square. Sew them together in the order shown below.
Cut (2) 1-3/4” x 6-1/2” background rectangles and (1) 4” x 6-1/2” print rectangle. Sew them together in the order shown.
Cut (2) 1” x 1-1/2” background rectangles and (1) 1-1/2” x 5-1/2” solid rectangle. Sew them together in the order shown below.
Sew sections together to complete (1) spool block, measuring 6-1/2” x 8-1/2” raw edge to raw edge. This block is such a cinch to whip up. You can see it amongst its kins!
When I am back next time, I hope you will have used up a spool of Aurifil thread or two because I will be sharing how to make an empty spool block! ‘Til then, Happy Crafting/Quilting/Sewing!
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.