Shades of Blue, Part 1

For the next three days, we have the distinct pleasure of celebrating our beloved friend, Aurifil Designer and Aurifilosopher Wendy Sheppard. Wendy’s latest thread collection, introduced right here on Auribuzz back in December, is a dreamy collection of blues, inspired by her remarkable collection of  Blue & White English Transferware.

Indigo features 5 Small Spools of Aurifil 50wt and 5 Small Spools of Aurifloss – the perfect combination for piecing, quilting, handwork and embellishing!

To help showcase and celebrate the versatility and beauty of this collection, Wendy assembled an incredibly talented team of makers. We’ll be showcasing their creativity today, tomorrow, and Friday. We’ll also be giving away one collection per day, so make sure to click on the button below to enter-to-win!

Today, we have the pleasure of highlighting projects from Aurifil Designers Pat Sloan & Susan Ache. We hope that you feel as inspired as we do!

Pat Sloan

How did your love of quilting begin?
I’ve been a maker since birth. One thing I remember is my first sewing day in Home Ec class in 9th day. When our teacher said ‘turn on the machine’ the Angels sang! I’ve loved fiber and sewing ever since. I sewed clothing until I found quilts. 

How long have you been quilting or stitching?
I have been doing embroidery or crewel work since about 6th grade. I fell in love with quilts back in 1992 after my friend signed me up for the All by hand, cardboard template, learn to quilt class. I’ve quilted non stop ever since. 

Do you mix machine work and handwork?
I sometimes do! I have made patchwork or appliqué by machine, then added embroidery to it. I have also made my embroidery blocks into quilts. 

Are you are a dish-aholic like Wendy?
Nothing Like Wendy, but I might have more Starbucks mugs than one person needs.. wink!

Where can people can find you?

How did you incorporate Indigo threads into your hop project?
I used the ‘Life’s a Picnic’ Quilt from my new book with Martingale ‘Tantalizing Table Toppers’. My new Birdsong fabric (Benartex) has a beautiful blue hue in it, which was perfect! 

To quilt this I used 3 different shades of blue. Starting with lighter in the center, stretching out to the darker shade. It was a lot of fun to try all the colors!

When I was making this quilt I had the extra triangles from the sew and flip. Those were used to create a mug rug. To quilt it I used 2 strands of floss and a big stitch.

What is one tip you would share with a beginner regarding your specialty/skill?
My best advice for a beginner to make a lot of things. You get better the more you do. 

Susan Ache

There is always such excitement when I get asked to come and visit you through Aurifil! If you haven’t met me before, I am Susan Ache (@yardgrl60 on Instagram) and I come here to chat and type in long run on sentences. (LOL) I am always thrilled to have any opportunity to talk about cross stitch and today is no exception. I am super excited to talk all about Wendy Shepard’s newest collection, Indigo. Of course I jumped at the chance to pull out the 5 spools of embroidery floss and play.  

Before I really dive in, how would you like some of the fun friends facts about Wendy and I? I know I always love a behind the scenes peek at things!

Wendy and I have followed each other on Instagram for years and I have always had such an appreciation for her mad quilting skills and all the cool blocks she has posted.  And, of course, when the cross stitch pops up you know I am all in on that. Apparently, we do love the same types of stitching, because there are times when she has tagged me through comments on other peoples stitching about the same time I was going to tag her. We then started doing the DM thing on Instagram, deciding that we should work on the same chart and invite others to play along at their own speed. Let’s fast forward a couple of years– YES, I did meet Wendy in person. Of course there wasn’t even enough time to get out everything we wanted to talk about, but we did finally exchange numbers so we can just text each other a cool chart we want to work on and trade fun info back and forth. 

This year we decided to take our love of sharing what we are working on together to another level and give ourselves our own hashtag. On Instagram we have called it #wendyandsusanSAL. That way you can find all of the information for our charts in one location. I think it’s fun because I am still working on my red sampler wall and Wendy has a true love of blue.

Which now brings me to the part where I talk about the stitching I chose for this gorgeous blue Indigo collection. A while back, I designed a chart for Aurifil called Stitches using Minick and Simpson’s fabulous quilt pattern Stitched as inspiration. At that time, the pattern was done in red, so I stitched my little sampler in red.

Well, along came Indigo and lo and behold, Minick and Simpson also redid their original pattern in blues. Okay, was that a match made in heaven or what? The timing was perfect so now there are two charts in 2 colorways that actually match real quilts. That’s what I call fun!

With the release of my new color box Rosso Rubino, Wendy and I are now on the hunt for red and blue sampler charts that we both love. You will have to follow us both on IG and of course add that new hashtag #wendyandsusansal to your follow list because we love to share and love it even more when others want to play the same game as us.  

I think that I was supposed to follow some sort of guideline of what I was supposed to talk about here, but… you know, y’all have have been around my ramblings enough to know that I love to talk about all things cross stitch and will always answer any questions you may have at anytime. I had to take the opportunity to tell the Susan & Wendy story because it’s fun, and we’re having fun, and we want you all to have fun too! 

Thank you SO much to both Pat and Susan for these beautiful projects and for taking the time to share them with us! We are so grateful for our quilty/stitchy friends and are looking forward to a week full with Shades of Blue!


  1. Enjoyed reading about Pat and Susan. I am an avid fan of Pat Sloan. Love the designs of all three.

  2. I’m very interested in purchasing these indigo spools of thread they are beautiful

  3. Love the colors. I’m addicted to both quilting and cross-stitch and my favorite color is blue so this post hits all my likes.

  4. I am so inspired by all of you. Everything is gorgeous. Great article!

  5. Looking so forward to getting some of Pat Sloan’s Birdsong fabrics and a box of your lovely Indigo threads so I can make something just for me!

  6. Thank you Pat, Wendy & Susan for doing this interview on quilting and cross stitching! I love both crafts and a few more like crocheting and cooking! The fabric and threads really make these projects shine! Thank you Aurifil for this AWESOME interview with these 3 wonderful ladies!

  7. I love this series! I follow and love Pat Sloan now I have new designers to follow! Thank you for sharing I love Aurafil!

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