Today, we’re delighted to welcome original AuriKid Gwendolyn Sheppard back to Auribuzz. When we first started seeing work from Gwen via her mom Wendy Sheppard, she was only 6 going on 7. These days, she’s 13 and her skill has grown by leaps and bounds. We absolutely adore having a chance to showcase her work… work that is now prize-winning and heralded beyond the confines of this blog.
We know you’ll love seeing a bit more of Gwen’s work and you’ll fall in love with her as much as we have. Start stitching and quilting with your kiddos early! There is so much joy to be had!
Gwen’s second collection, Woodland Spool-en-dids, is still available via Shop Aurifil and you can snag the coordinating pattern as well. Simply click on the buttons below!
Hello again, this is Gwendolyn Sheppard. I am one of Aurifil’s Aurkids from a few years ago. Even though I am now 13, I don’t mind being a kid forever! I am a daughter (the ONLY daughter and child of Wendy Sheppard). I am happy to be back again to share with you my latest completed cross-stich piece.
All Things Bright and Beautiful is, by far, the largest piece I have stitched since I started stitching at age 5. This piece finishes at about 19″ x 21″ and was stitched over the span of 7 months. Much of it was actually stitched in 6 weeks because I had to meet a competition deadline! I represented my school back in March this year with this piece, and placed 1st in the Junior High textile category in both regional and state contests.
All Things Bright and Beautiful is designed by Barbara Ana. It uses words from the first stanza of a well-loved British children’s hymn. It’s one of my mother’s all-time favorite songs, especially when sung by Welsh singer Katherine Jenkins.
I stitched it on 28-count Lugana. I probably would prefer to use Aida, but my mom said it was time for me to graduate to linen/evenweave. The reason I liked stitching this sampler is because I love how varied and attractive the motifs were. Interesting motifs always make samplers more enjoyable. Here are a few close-ups:
I began stitching this sampler on the top right side and worked my way across. Then, I stitched the top two rows of the left side, the wreath, the hill, and next the top bottom left rows and the remaining three right rows. I also changed things when it was convenient to do so. It wouldn’t be a Gwen piece if I didn’t change something! For example, I changed out the way the water is stitched. Instead of regular cross stitches, I back-stitched a wave pattern. It was a bit faster doing it that way!
I used many, many different colors. Just as I like to change the motifs, I also absolutely love to change the color scheme of any piece I’m working on. To me that’s the BEST part of working on a stitched piece. I also like to use a lot of colors. I would estimate that I used around 50-75 colors in this piece. Most of the time my colors are chosen randomly. My mother has our threads arranged in boxes. Basically, whatever comes first in the box, that I use!
I hope you have enjoyed seeing my All Things Bright and Beautiful piece!
Before I go, I thought I would just share a few thoughts on cross-stitching from a teenager’s point of view:
1. I like cross-stitching because it’s very relaxing (though not, of course, when you’re on a deadline)! I also like stitching because it gives me a chance to express myself.
2. It’s also fun! I make several little thoughtful gifts out of it– Christmas ornaments, friendly cards, and much much more! Here are a few of my favorites:
3. Cross-stich provides a relaxing and wholesome hobby for a teenager, and you can even have little stitching parties with your friends! The idea of having stitching parties was popular even in colonial time, when girls would get together to have a show and tell on their samplers.
I am getting ready to start another sampler, and this new one will be slightly larger than All Things Bright and Beautiful. Mom wants me to actually keep track of the time I spend stitching the piece from start to finish. I hope I will be organized enough! And I might write down all the colors I use so that I will be able to tell exactly how many colors I use in the sampler once it is completed.
Thank you for spending the time with me today at Auribuzz! I hope to be back again!
We have to thank Gwen for always being willing to share her work with us. We’re ever in awe of this remarkable teen! Huge thanks, also, to Aurifil Designer, Aurifilosopher, and Gwen’s mom Wendy Sheppard for sharing Gwen with us!
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.
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.