A Challenge It Is!


I belong to the national Modern Quilt Guild as well as the Madison Modern Quilt Guild. For the past three years the Modern Quilt Guild has held a members fabric challenge. This would be the first year I had the opportunity to participate. Fabrics for this year’s challenge were provided by Michael Miller. A bulk shipment of fabric was received by the local modern quilt guilds and then distributed to the members. How awesome to have the privilege to receive FREE fabric. I can’t think of any quilters that would want to turn it down.

The fabric line for this year was Petal Pinwheels. The rules of the challenge were pretty simple. Create anything you want, provided it is quilted, using all or some of the fabric pieces received. Solids from other manufacturers could be added to the project but no prints. Additional yardage of the Petal Pinwheels could be purchased at your own expense.

To be eligible for the prizes a photo(s) of your item had to be posted in the Modern Quilt Guild Forum. The deadline for posting your photo was July 25, 2014. Three lucky winners would be chosen by early August. To recognize their achievement each winner would receive a year of free fabric.

The Madison Modern Quilt Guild received and distributed six fat eights to its eligible members. I consider myself to be lucky to be one of those participating. The real challenge was deciding what to create. Originally I used the fabrics to make a simple but pretty table topper. Although I was pleased with the outcome I wasn’t quite sure it was putting my best foot forward. I set the project aside for a while to ponder its fate. After much contemplation I arrived at the conclusion that my project needed a bit of tweaking.

The best way I know to make improvements is to lay my project on my cutting table, grab my rotary cutter and begin zipping away. Some people wouldn’t have the heart, even though they might not like what they see, to subject something they had made to such drastic measures. Instead they might give it away or hide it in their UFO (unfinished objects) box. As far as I am concerned, if I don’t like my project’s current status I have nothing to lose by changing it. Zipping my rotary cutter through the fabrics and seams is the best way I know to accomplish an improved outcome. Besides, I tend to like free form quilting better anyway.

I labored at deconstructing my original creation until I was satisfied with the pieces. Then I set about re-assembling the various segments into a new design. The rehabilitation process was slow but fruitful. What eventually transpired was a brand new wall hanging.

Watching the flower, as I prefer to call it, unfold was pure joy. I was so totally pleased with its appearance and so very thankful that I had made the decision to press on towards perfection. I chose to surround my new blossom with a solid border fashioned from fabric I had on hand. Having fabric in my stash that complimented my project was a bonus.

After quilting my refashioned creation, on my long-arm quilt machine, adding binding and a label I declared my project finished. I paused a moment to step back and admire my wall hanging. A big smile washed over my face. This was one project I was proud to say I had made.

Not much time was wasted taking photos and uploading them to the Modern Quilt Guild website. There was no way I was going to miss out on the opportunity to gain recognition as well as compete for one of the three prizes. Although I certainly would love to win, in my heart I already consider myself triumphant. I have a brand new wall hanging to add to my collection.

Now the big reveal…..I present to you

F L O W E R S   I N   T H E   G A R D E N

An Original Design Sewn and Quilted by Cindy Anderson

Using Michael Miller Petal Pinwheels Fabric

July, 2014

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It’s Going To Be Close!


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My daughter and I have occasionally participated in the Wisconsin Shop Hop. It’s an annual event occurring during the month of June encompassing 50+ quilting shops all over the state. To visit each merchant it would take days of traveling and thousands of miles. Typically we manage to visit 4-5 shops. Finding time to extend ourselves beyond that has been difficult.

This year, however, was the exception. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not implying that we managed to visit every shop on the tour. Good heavens, I think I would need my head examined if I were to contemplate tackling that challenge. Our goal was much more realistic. Visiting all of the shops in one whole section was the plan. That’s 14 irresistible opportunities to snag the best and very latest morsel of fabric, sure to please any quilters pallet.

We began our journey at 9:00 a.m. with loads of enthusiasm, a detailed map, money in our pockets and the determination to successfully attain our goal. The rules of the Shop Hop required the participating businesses remain open until 6:00 p.m. Somehow we thought 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. was enough time to achieve our goal along with a stop for nourishment and refreshment.

One by one we methodically checked off the shops on our itinerary. As the day wore on, the miles racked up and our pockets became lighter, our energy as well as our enthusiasm faded. What started out as fun had morphed into a mountainous climb. Since we are not ones to admit defeat, quitting was not an option, although the thought did cross our minds.

Late in the day it became obvious the miles yet to travel and the number of shops yet to visit were greater than the hours left on the clock. With that realization came the sense of defeat. The light at the end of the tunnel just wasn’t coming quickly enough. It was obvious that finishing what we had set out to do was going to take one more day.

The merchant at the last shop we visited encouraged us to attempt one more stop. She informed us the distance between hers and the next was short. Her encouragement provided enough adrenaline for us to press on. After completing our purchase we swiftly headed back to our vehicle. We set off in the direction we had understood the shop to be. Miles passed before we realized we had made a wrong turn. The reality of our mistake hit us hard. What little enthusiasm we had left escaped like air from a balloon. All that was left was the ride home and the reality that we had missed our mark.

The ride home was at first quiet. We were, after all, exhausted. But as we progressed the thoughts of adding one more day to our adventure were tossed around. Just because we were not able to reach our goal in one day didn’t mean we couldn’t accomplish what we had originally set out to do. A good nights sleep was sure to refresh our spirits and provide the shot in the arm we would need to visit the remaining shops.

The second day of our Shop Hop was tackled at a much slower pace and as a result way more relaxing. As we were to discover it actually was a blessing to have not reached our goal on the first day. One of the shops we had missed turned out to be a real gem. We had never been to the shop before and were amazed to find it only 30+ minutes from home. The fabric selection fit our tastes perfectly. How sad it would have been to have hurried through in order to meet our One Day goal.

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Our 2014 Wisconsin Shop Hop excursion came to an end after traveling well over 300 miles, visiting 14 shops and acquiring wonderful specimens of fabric. With that accomplishment came the satisfaction of qualifying for the drawing of a prize, and the discovery of new and exciting opportunities. With the experience we gained, plans are already being made for the 2015 Wisconsin Shop Hop. Our plan next year will be to divide our travels into two days. Who knows what mischief we will get ourselves into.

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Finally!


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Long, long time ago I told you about the saga of selling my home. Things were moving so slowly and it looked like everything would fall through. Well, surprise, surprise! My house sold, just in the nick of time I might add, and I am now enjoying a new adventure. We downsized to a home half the size of our former one with a yard to match. It took two and one half hours to mow the grass and countless hours maintaining the gardens. I can only imagine how long it will take to mow our small piece of earth. In fact…at this point all we have is clumps of soil. The only thing growing in my yard are a few brave weeds.

Since moving-in 5 weeks ago I have managed to paint all but room. The pile of unopened boxes has dwindled to only a few. Gone are the table cloths and such that covered our windows. In their place are shiny new shades. The makeshift wood sidewalk has been replaced with concrete. The rocky driveway is now finished as well. Left on the To Do list is the leveling of our soil and the planting of grass seed. Once that task is finished we will find ourselves mastering the art of growing grass.

This is the first day I have had to sit, relax and enjoy my new location. As I recline on my back patio, amidst the soil and rocks I’m daydreaming of what is to come. I’m imagining how different my environment will look by the time snow flakes fall. How many trees and what varieties will be planted. Where will the flower beds go?

For now I’m content with things as they are.

San Clemente 6-Pack Tote


I belong to two quilt guilds. One is considered a Modern quilt guild while the other is Traditional. Just last Saturday I spent the day with a group of women from the traditional quilt guild. The purpose of our rendezvous was to meet new friends and create a San Clemente 6-Pack Bag.

Following a pattern for the very first time can be challenging. Understanding the meaning behind the author’s instructions often takes multiple readings before the words can sink in. This pattern had relatively few stumbling blocks. The one and only MAJOR issue I had occurred at the very beginning. The author instructs the reader to cut all of the pattern pieces perpendicular to the selvage. I am well acquainted with the term perpendicular. Being acquainted with and actually applying that knowledge appropriately are two different concepts.

Without thinking, I began cutting my pattern pieces parallel to the selvage. Unfortunately I didn’t realize the error of my ways until I was one-third of the way through the process. I have no idea what finally made the light go on. All I can say is that I am really thankful that it did.

Not being completely finished meant I still had options. When I realized what had happened, the leader of the event was on the opposite side of the room. From where she was standing she could see my look of exasperation. In no time she was by my side offering solutions to my dilemma. Together we mapped out a plan.

Armed with a little ingenuity and a bit of luck I was able to successfully complete my San Clemente tote. If you compare mine with the photo here you will see a slight difference. All that really matters though is whether or not I am pleased with the end result. The answer to that question is ABSOLUTELY!

Here’s my project.

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And Baby Makes Four


While I dearly love my three wonderful daughters, nothing makes my heart sing more than my grandchildren. Late last year I was blessed with my fourth grandchild.

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This new little bundle of joy brings the count to

grandsons = 1

granddaughters = 3

Join me in celebrating this new life!