Santa’s Tree Farm and Summer in Quebec: Wendy Sheppard | McCall’s Quilting Blog

Hello Quilting Friends,

It’s wonderful to be back on the McCall’s Quilting blog to chat quilting with you again! Before I forget, I want to thank you for the kind and warm responses you have sent me about my quilts in the last issue (Village Square and County Fair). I am starting to see your versions of Village Square on social media, and I hope you are enjoying the Village Square series quilt. At this past Spring Market in St. Louis, I got to meet up with the sample makers who made the quilt top of Village Square. The person missing in the picture is my dear quilter, Darlene Szabo, who is the only other person (besides myself) who quilts my quilts.

Besides part 2 of Village Square, I am really happy to see two more of my projects being featured in the latest issue of McCall’s Quilting! I will be sharing some fun snippets on these two quilts. Click here if you missed the blog post when I shared about Village Square.

Santa’s Tree Farm

McCalls Pic2 236x300 Santas Tree Farm and Summer in Quebec: A Visit with Wendy SheppardAll I can say is, this is a really fun quilt to make. I think there’s just something about making Christmas Tree Quilts! I added 3″ finished Ohio Star units to the top of the trees because… when my daughter was about 3 years old, she told me no uncertain terms a Christmas Tree isn’t a Christmas Tree unless it has a star! That year, we didn’t have a star on our Christmas Tree. I never had a star on my Christmas Tree before she came along and started expressing her opinions on things. I remember she would tell everyone who asked about her Christmas Tree that it didn’t have a star. I wasn’t going to risk another lecture on star-less Christmas Tree now that she is 8, even if I had to make 3″ finished stars!

To be honest, the 3″ stars weren’t that hard to make. I used Aurifil 50wt for piecing, and that helped with the accuracy. I also pressed the seams open to reduce the bulk. When something is that small, sometimes, pressing the seams to one side can build up bulk pretty quickly, and that would in turn affect the alignment of the units when sewing everything together.

stantastreefarm fabric 297x300 Santas Tree Farm and Summer in Quebec: A Visit with Wendy SheppardI loved making this quilt with Moda’s Snowfall fabrics by Minick and Simpson. The prints are so pretty and soft and dainty. I love adding touches of aqua just to give the overall traditional look a more updated and lighthearted feel. I also staggered the block placement in the quilt layout so that it has the feel of a “tree farm”.
I can see this quilt made in a mix of the non-traditional Christmas colors like pink, lime green, lavender and blue for a fun colorway!

We now have a change of gear, and onto something more contemporary…

Summer in Quebec

If you have read any of my blog posts on the McCall’s Quilting blog, you will know that most of my quilts only look complicated and are constructed with simple block elements. Summer in Quebec is definitely the case! Summer in Quebec consists of leaf blocks that are made with square and HST units with accompanying flying geese units throughout the quilt.

One often sees leaf blocks colored for autumn colors. Using yellow and gray on a familiar block gives a sunny and summery feel! I like to play by coloring quilt blocks in unusual colors to see what effect I get. In the case of Summer in Quebec, I really like the light and airy feel when placing the gray and yellow leaf blocks on white! I then peppered flying geese units all over the quilt to pull all the colors together.
For the quilting, I quilted slightly wavy lines all over the quilt for a blending texture. I didn’t want the quilting to dominate the quilt by doing fancy motifs. The lines blended nicely, and kept the airy and contemporary look of the quilt! I used Aurifil 50wt to quilt on the quilt. You might not be able to see if from the picture, but I actually used a light beige color to quilt on the white. I almost never match the color threads because I like the look of my quilting taking on a color that is subtly different from the background fabric. You will also notice that my lines aren’t equally spaced – I meant it that way for a slightly free-spirit look!

McCall Pic3 300x298 Santas Tree Farm and Summer in Quebec: A Visit with Wendy SheppardI can actually see this quilt being made with bright solids of different colors against a black ground for an unexpected and bold look!I hope you have enjoyed going behind the scenes into my brain for a bit of designing snippets. Someone recently asked me how I design – do I sit down at a desk and start drawing? Answer is no, most of the time, my designs happen in my head. I mull over the colors etc also in my head before I sit down in front of the computer and make the design happen digitally before I submit to the magazine editors!

Interview Picture10 threadbox1 300x198 Santas Tree Farm and Summer in Quebec: A Visit with Wendy Sheppard Interview Picture10 threadbox2 300x185 Santas Tree Farm and Summer in Quebec: A Visit with Wendy Sheppard

Thanks so much, Wendy! Leave a comment below before midnight June 15, 2017, and you’ll be entered into our random drawing to win a set of 12 small spools of threads from Wendy’s Subtle Strings collection (see them used in Wendy’s FREE quilt pattern, Thread Journey,  at Aurifil’s blog). The winner will be notified by email with subject line beginning YOU WON.

This contest is open to US and Canadian residents, excluding Quebec.

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