Saturday, February 13, 2016

Gardening and Quilting Connection

Two things I love the most in terms of hobbies I’ve had over the years: gardening and quilting.

I’ve gardened for a whole lot of years. Having a garden for me is equivalent to putting furniture in my house. There just is no choice.  This actually is what this blog is all about – taking my bare lot and turning it into beautiful gardens! Yes, it feels pretty naked out in my back yard, except for the frozen blanket of snow that covers it.

Many years ago, I discovered a quirky lady by the name of Eleanor Burns. She was teaching quilting on TV. I fell in love with her “Quilt In A Day” program and techniques, and my desire to learn to quilt was born.  I admit I haven’t been as successful at quilting, as I have at gardening, but I love it to this day. I have a humongous stash of fabric and go through it regularly to figure out what I should make. (I know you quilters are out there chuckling.) Sadly I do more gazing than sewing, I'm afraid.

I'm in awe at all the beautiful and inspiring garden blogs on the web and I'm amazed at how many of the bloggers also quilt. (And many are artists - paint or drawing or other.)

I wondered what the magical connection between the two might be. For me, I love bright colorful flowers in the garden in the summer and my favorite fabric are the floral types. Maybe it’s the idea that if I can’t have flowers in the winter, I can have them through my fabric. And perhaps it's just the colors....many gardeners are quilters but don't care as much for the floral as the more modern geometric shapes, circles, solids, as well as the brightest of colors you might find in the garden.

Creativity factor's in here, too, as both gardening and quilting can satisfy as wonderful outlets.

Quilting and gardening are intertwined throughout life. There are quilt gardens – gardens that are grown with the design of various quilt blocks.

You can visit the quilt gardens along the Heritage Trail in Elkhart County Northern Indiana Amish Country:
"The Quilt Gardens along the Heritage Trail joins quilting, gardening and art into a one-of-a-kind event. This colorful patchwork of quilt inspired gardens and quilt-themed murals is linked by the roads that form the Heritage Trail."
For more information, visit here:

Quilt shows take place all over the world. They often are juried, meaning that it is a competition and is judged. Winners can earn big bucks in the big shows. Here in West Virginia the West Virginia Division of Culture and History has an annual juried quilt show. Floral-themed quilts, such as the one below, probably make up the majority of entries.


Evelyn M. Miller of Charleston, Kanawha County West Virginia won first place for this floral appliqued quilt Rose Garden.

Another form of flower-love is seen in incredible creations called landscape quilting.

Nancy Zieman is a renowned sewist, quilter and teacher with a show that has been on public TV for about 30 years, I believe. She introduced  Natalie Sewell, nationally known landscape quilt artist to teach quilters how to do landscape quilting, a very creative and detail-oriented form of quilting flowers and other greenery.  You can go here to learn more. /
                                       Natalie Sewell, landscape quilt artist

Flowers: We’ll take them any way we can get them- gardening, quilting, drawing, painting – and so much more.

What favorite form do your flowers take?


  1. Lovely blog post, Ann. I loved the photos. From one fellow quilter to you- yes, I'll take flowers any way I can get them!

    1. Thanks, Sue. That's what retirement should be all about for us - quilting, gardening, and writing....

  2. Great post! The fabric of your landscape and the landscape of your fabric - yeah, kind of poetic when you think about it!

  3. What a nice blog. I don't garden, but I do quilt and like all the shows you do!

  4. Thank you so much for your kind comment, Liz! I'd love to see the quilts you make! Have a wonderful day!