The Spools Quilt

Today, we’re delighted to welcome our beloved friend and Aurifil Designer, Wendy Sheppard back to Auribuzz. Wendy is a mainstay here on the blog and we relish every opportunity we have to showcase her talents, whether through her thread collections, her cross stitch patterns, her quilt alongs, her thread experimentation, or through Aurifilosophy.

Earlier this year, we introduced Wendy’s brand new collection, Candies, featuring 10 small spools in sweet and versatile colors in 4 different thread weights. She generously shared instructions for a lovely (and full) Aurifil Spool block. A month later she shared instructions for an equally lovely, but empty, Aurifil spool block. Today, she is back to share her instructions for the the full quilt, because now that we’ve got our spools assembled and ready, why not make something that we can admire for years to come!

Thanks so much to Wendy! 

Hello and Happy Spring to you all!  I hope you have stayed well and healthy during this stay-at-home time! Like many of you, I suddenly found myself being teacher’s aide helping with school for my daughter during the day.  We are keeping as much normalcy as we can during this time. I hope playing with needle and threads provides that sense of normalcy for you in your life, regardless of the changes.

The last couple of times I had was here with you on Auribuzz, I shared instructions for how to make these simple Aurifil thread spool blocks (full and empty).

I have been using Aurifil thread since 2006. If I had to choose between Aurifil threads and fabrics, I would choose the former (always!).

I’m sure you can understand my excitement in designing the spool blocks to go into a quilt to celebrate the launch of my Candies collection!

Candies is a sampler collection perfect for quilters who want to try the various thread weights that Aurifil has to offer in addition to a range of delightful colors. Click here to read about how I normally use the thread weights included in Candies.

Here is my actual quilt. I made mine without the outer print border (that you’ll see in the pattern) to keep all the focus on the thread spools.

These blocks are incredibly quick to finish. I made all of mine as leaders and enders as I pieced other quilt tops. They finish at 6” x 8” (6-1/2” x 8-1/2” raw edge to raw edge). For the quilt as shown, you’ll want to make a total of 36 blocks, but this is really your decision. You may choose to make more or less full/empty blocks and you may decide the number of blocks you want to make for the various thread weights. My quilt features more of the 50wt spools because that’s the weight I have the most in my thread stash.

Today, I am happy to share instructions for finishing the full spools quilt!

Cutting Instructions

Background Fabric (same use for background in the spool blocks):

sashing pieces –
(8) 1-1/2” x wof strips. Subcut (30) 1-1/2” x 8-1/2” rectangles.
(5) 1-1/2” x wof strips. Subcut (5) 1-1/2” x 41-1/2” strips.

background border –
(5) 1-1/2” x wof strips.
Piece strips and subcut (2) 1-1/2” x 44-1/2” and (2) 1-1/2” x 53-1/2” strips.

Outer print border (if you’re adding one), cut from print:
(6) 2-1/2” x wof strips.
Piece strips and subcut (2) 2-1/2” x 48-1/2” and (2) 2-1/2” x 56-1/2” strips.


1.  Piece rows —
Arrange and sew together (6) spool blocks and (5) 1-1/2” x 8-1/2” background sashing rectangles to make a pieced row. Remember, this pattern is open-ended in that you may arrange the blocks however you wish within the pieced row.

Make a total of (6) pieced rows.

2.  Quilt center —
Sew together pieced rows and (5) 1-1/2” x 41-1/2” background sashing strips to complete quilt center.

3.  Background border —
Sew (2) 2-1/2” x 53-1/2” background strips to the left and right sides of quilt center, followed by (2) 2-1/2” x 44-1/2” background strips to the top and bottom of quilt center.

4. Print border —
Sew (2) 2-1/2” x 56-1/2” print strips to the left and right of quilt center, followed by (2) 2-1/2” x 48-1/2” print strips to the top and bottom of quilt center to complete quilt top.

And there you have it!  Should you like to have the pattern installments all in one place, click the HERE to download the pattern in pdf format!

Finally, it’s time for quilting! I decided on a textured look resulting from feather wreaths quilted randomly throughout the quilt.

Because the feathers are for texture and not as individual focal points, this is a piece with many mistakes while I am trying out new ways to maneuver and fine tune my feathers. But, the mistakes are nicely masked in the flowing texture of the feathers.

I have a secret to share:  After quilting a quilt, I leave it alone for 24-72 hours. Once I return to it, the mistakes have slipped away, never to be found again!

I wrote more about quilting feather wreaths HERE and HERE on my blog should you be interested in trying out this very versatile feather motif.

For the quilting, I used the 40wt and 50wt threads from my Candies collection. Quite a few years ago, I decided to try out quilting with subtle colors other than the standard beige, white, and light cream – and I’ve never looked back. Now, I almost always quilt with subtle colors that add a little extra burst of color to my quilting! Aurifil offers 270 colors for lots of experimental fun… just sayin’!

I spent about 15 hours quilting the spool quilt. So, changing the thread colors throughout the quilting process broke the monotony for me.

This was a fun quilt for me to make, quilt, and even to bind (I used the 28wt spool from Candies for that job)! I hope you will have fun too.

Thank you SO much to Wendy for sharing this quilt with us. What will your spools quilt look like? Will it be filled with empty 50wt spools, or will you throw in a few full ones + a few varied weight spools in there? Don’t forget to tag us (#aurifil) and Wendy (#ivoryspring) as you’re sewing so that we can applaud your work!

10 Small Spools Cotton
Colors included:
50wt: 6730, 2847, 2405, 2886, 2437 (220yds/spool)
40wt: 5008, 6727 (164yds/spool) || 28wt: 2425, 2612 (109yds/spool)
12wt: 5015 (54yds/spool)

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.


  1. I like this pretty and soft quilt. While I mostly use 50 weight thread, I have some 40 and 28 weight as well. Thank you for the pattern.

  2. Discovering your site is awesome, it’s so beautiful too. I’ve had a featherweight for many years and just started using it. I’ve been sewing face masks. It’s the perfect, quiet little machine, while
    I enjoy movies in the same room with my husband, he has no complaints about noise. As we are in our sixties and house bound these days, I’m getting hooked on my little jem. I’m not familiar with the Aurifil thread. As soon as we are all set free, I look forward to giving it a try.

  3. Love this quilt Wendy! I’ll have to download the pattern (thank you) and start it soon. I’m practicing my feathers everyday so I’m excited to follow your example and use the feather wreaths across the entire quilt! Thanks Aurifil for providing such interesting and relevant content and thank you, Wendy, for sharing your talent. Respectfully, Linda

  4. Hello. I’d like to make the spools quilt. Do you have the cutting instructions for the spools? Or did I miss it. Thank you.

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