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.
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.
The modern quilt guild I belong to offers a monthly block of the month pattern to all interested members. The pattern and suggested fabric colors are chosen by one individual. Typically my schedule is jammed so full of activities that I seldom participate. On one rare occasion I found myself with time to spare. I used the lull in activity to assemble and submit an entry in the block of the month group activity.
Members of the guild can make as many blocks as they desire. The blocks are gathered once a month at the guild meeting. Names of the participants are placed in a hat. The person whose name is retrieved is the lucky recipient to take home the blocks. The winning seamstress assembles the fruit of her bounty in what ever manner she chooses. The blocks can be stitched together, untouched by a creative imagination, or they can be refashioned into a new design. The masterpieces that have evolved from a pile of donated quilt blocks into works of art have been absolutely amazing.
My oldest daughter is also a member of the same guild. She just happened to be the lucky winner the month I participated. Her finished product, as with so many other specimens, was a fine example of what can be created when a creative imagination and talent collide.
My daughter allows me to quilt about 80% of her projects. This block of the month quilt was one of them. She gave me the artistic license to quilt it as I saw fit. The freedom to quilt as I desired always makes me giggle inside.
My imagination instantly kicked into overdrive formulating a mental plan. This quilt was the culmination of many hands thus I felt it necessary to embellish it with a variety of stitch patterns as well as complimentary thread colors. The quilt itself was modest in size so from start to finish the amount of time spent quilting wasn’t long at all. My daughter is not particularly fond of applying bindings so I did that for her as well. I absolutely had a blast working with this project.
I hope you don’t mind but I had a very difficult time weeding out the myriad of photos I had in my media library. It was so difficult choosing which ones to share so I think I may have gone a bit overboard. Do you like it?
Hours Quilting – 4.25
Quilt Stitch Patterns Used – Bubbles, Paisley, Geometric, Lines, Swirls, etc.
Number of Quilting Stitches Applied – 63,973
Thread Colors Used – Perma Core White, Blue, Red and Yellow
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
Carissa, from this is happy stuff, recently hired me to quilt one of her projects. Perhaps you may have noticed it on my side-bar recently. According to Carissa the quilt, known as Over Due, had been under construction during the past three years. At our guild meeting in March she approached me about the possibility of having it quilted. We exchanged basic information and ideas before parting company.
Am I Already Too Late?
Early in April I saw a post on her blog updating her readers with the quilt’s progress. Her intention, to pursue my services further, was announced in that post. Here is an excerpt from her story.
I was overjoyed to read her words. The posting prompted the exchange of numerous emails eventually leading to a signed contract.
The quilting pattern Carissa chose was divided into two categories. In the white or a.k.a. negative space Carissa wanted an informal square stippling. For the colored blocks she asked me to stitch around their inside borders. Carissa quickly sketched her interpretation of square stippling on a scrap piece of cardboard. Before leaving her home I asked her if I could retain that cardboard as a reference.
As with any project though, there can be unanticipated questions. You know the kind that don’t surface until you get started. The square stippling was easy. I quickly got into a groove and sailed right along. After completing the first panel of white fabric I emailed a photo to Carissa for her approval.
The outlining of the blocks is where I had questions. I sent her the following note:
. . . Do you want the stitching around the inside of each block to be a continuous row of stitching, beginning in the first block and moving on to subsequent blocks? Or do you want me to start and stop (tie-off) in each block?
As is typical for Carissa, I soon received an illustration of her vision (oh, the wonders of modern technology).
The drawing provided the exact information I needed. There was no longer any doubt in my mind how to proceed. Once I had that drawing in my possession I was able to finish Carissa’s quilt without hesitation.
Without Compromising Quality
Knowing that Carissa’s desire was to display her quilt in the MMQG quilt show I made every effort to finish the quilting as quickly as possible, without compromising quality. In less than seven hours I had her quilt finished and removed from my Tin Lizzie. She was totally blown-away when I emailed her to announce the quilt’s completion.
Seven Days Left
I delivered the quilt to Carissa at our April MMQG regular meeting on April 24, 2013. Setup for the quilt show was scheduled for April 30, 2013 so that left her with seven days to apply her binding and make final adjustments. I was so thrilled to meet my deadline and so absolutely pleased with the quilt’s outcome. It truly was a joy to work on this project.
Thrilled Beyond Words!
To say that Carissa was thrilled beyond words would be an understatement. Her out-pouring of praise was evidenced by the comments in her emails and a subsequent posting on her blog. Here are a few excerpts:
This is what she said after seeing the first panel of white fabric quilted:
I LOVE it!! It’s exactly what I had in mind!
After taking the quilt home Carissa emailed me this message:
I had the goofiest grin on my face all the way home and am already plotting my next quilt for you to quilt. 🙂 Thank you, thank you for doing such an amazing job on my quilt–even my husband was impressed! 🙂
I ask all my customers how they found me and why they chose me to do their quilting. This is how Carissa responded:
I chose you because . . . I know that you read my blog and therefore had a good sense of my taste and style, I trusted that you would probably at least quilt it better than I could on my own machine. But those were my minimum expectations.
These were her impressions of my quilting:
The end result that you created is far, FAR better than I could have done and adds so much rich interest to this quilt top that I already loved and made it SO much more interesting and beautiful.
Truly, I feel giddy every time I see it!
Her final words of affirmation were announced to her readers in this way:
Well there you have it! I would say this is one VERY happy customer.
I’ve been participating in this online accountability forum since last summer. Along the way I have shared a plethora of projects. Some of those items have long since been completed and then again some of them are still hanging around.
One of My Favorites
One of my all-time favorite WIP projects has been by-far the Heart & Home quilt by Heart to Hand. This lovely wool quilt has been hanging around in my to-do basket since early last year. Slowly, eversoslowly, I’ve been plodding along. I’ve had two occasions when I’ve actually spent the better part of an entire day focused solely on this quilt. The first was during the Madison Modern Quilt Guild‘s sewing day in December and the second was last Sunday. If my hubby hadn’t been out-of-town the majority of the previous week I probably would have participated in the Madison Modern Quilt Guild’s sewing day on the 19th. My hubby assured me it I stayed home with him all day Saturday he would afford me a day of uninterrupted sewing on the 20th.
Much Was Accomplished
By the time my hubby had filled our home with the most amazing aroma of home-made chicken soup my day of progress on my Heart & Home quilt had come to a close. As I switched off the light on my Pfaff sewing machine I paused to admire the almost finished blocks. All that’s left to do on all but one block is the hand embellishments. Pictured below are the blocks I worked on.
Block # 6 (Hand stitching left to do)
Block # 7 ( Hand stitching left to do)
Block # 8(Hand stitching left to do)
Block # 9(As you can see I still must stitch down the applique pieces)
Block # 10 (Hand stitching left to do)
Block # 11(Hand stitching left to do)
Block # 12(ALL DONE!!!)
Once I complete the miscellaneous tasks on these blocks I can finally sew them all together. I can’t wait to make it to that point. You can be sure I will share an update when that finally happens. Until then I’ll keep working along.
That’s it For Now
My WIP update is now finished. I have linked up with Freshly Pieced. Make sure you visit her blog to see what everyone else has been doing.