Flowers In The Garden, Art Piece 116

Back in 2014 I belonged to the Madison Modern Quilt Guild. As a member of the guild I was entitled to participate in a Michael Miller fabric challenge. Each participant received a predetermined quantity of the challenge fabric. From my allotment I created the art piece I call Flowers In The Garden.

Take One of my Flowers In The Garden Art Piece # 116

Pictured above was my initial attempt at transforming the challenge fabric. As you can see not too much had happened. Had I left my piece in that state it would have been rather unexciting. From there my improvisational fiber art quilt morphed into what it is today.

Flowers In The Garden, Art Piece # 116 was pieced together using the Michael Miller challenge allotment along with fabric of my own. Comparing the first photo with those directly below you can see how drastically the art quilt changed. The center panel, which was surrounded by a coordinating gray border, was then quilted on my long-arm quilt machine (center photo) using a geometric pattern. The last photo shows the back of the art quilt. Rather than making it from a single piece of fabric I decided to incorporate the leftover scraps along with other matching specimens. Also visible on the back are four fabric corners. The corners were used, instead of the typical hanging sleeve, to allow the piece to be displayed on a wall in either a horizontal or vertical orientation. The last item I will mention is the label identifying the piece. Flowers In The Garden, Art Piece # 116 measures 26 1/4” x 19 3/4”.

Flowers In The Garden, Art Piece # 116 is a wonderful addition to my fiber art portfolio. I am thrilled that you were able to be present for its unveiling. If you feel inspired to share your thoughts please feel free to add a comment.

With warm wishes for a wonderful day!

© 2012-2020 Cindy (Olp) Anderson and In A Stitch Quilting

Blue House Renovation: Step One

Way back last summer I shared a sneak peek of an upcoming project.  On that day I finally faced the struggle I’d had between myself an old unfinished quilt? The inability to fall in love with it had haunted me for years. Finding the nerve to turn the quilt into something I would love was my biggest obstacle. After all, quilts are not made in a day. Many hours of labor go into the planning and execution. The thought of re-purposing it almost seemed unheard of yet on the other hand it seemed a shame to continue to hide it away in a closet.

My oldest daughter has no problem re-assembling projects she finds unacceptable. Every attempt is made to turn an unpleasant specimen into an eye appealing creation. I have had the pleasure of watching her achieve success in an area I have often avoided. I’ve occasionally dabbled in this arena, sometimes with a pleasant outcome and other times not. My most recent experience was the quilt I refer to as Flowers in the Garden. The other two items were my Spinning Wheels quilt and the quilt I call Main Street.

Flowers in the Garden
Spinning Wheels
Spinning Wheels
Main Street
Main Street

You can read about the Spinning Wheels quilt here.

Not to long ago, while browsing through the books at one of my favorite quilt stores, I came across this one: create your own free-form quilts written by Rayna Gillman and published by C&T Publishing.


The non-traditional piecing illustrated on the front cover, grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go. I thumbed through the pages with great enthusiasm. Passing up on the opportunity to add this publication, to my arsenal of resources, was not an option. Zip, zip went my credit card in the machine. With my new-found resource in hand, I walked out of the store eager to return to my studio and begin digesting its every word.

Create your own free-form quilts was the catalyst for my Main Street quilt. I used the tips and instructions to guide my exploration into the free-form world. So often the book lay open alongside my workspace as inspiration and encouragement. The words at times jumped off the page so clearly that I almost could imagine Rayna at my side guiding my hands as they worked. Idle, but not forgotten, the book has resided in my studio ever since.

When I moved to my new home I found it necessary to sort through and weed out many of my vintage quilting books. I knew there simply was not room for everything I owned. The purged books were donated to a resale store. This book, however, was sparred from the chopping block. After unpacking my many treasures I made certain create your own free-form quilts held a prominent presence in my new studio.

Ever since placing it on the shelf I’ve had the urge to retrieve my copy of create your own free-form quilts. Acknowledging the urge has spurred me on to once again explore the world of free-form sewing. This time I’m jumping in with both hands and feet. Unlike the private journey I took creating Main Street this exploration will be shared with you. I hope you are as excited as I am. Let’s get going!

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