What’s it like to win a Blue Ribbon at the International Quilt Festival in Houston? Well, Cindy Richards knows because it happened to her! In 2007. Her quilt, Dancing Ribbons, was awarded the top prize in the Art Miniature category. This famous little quilt measures 12” square and is hand stitched from Thai silk. The warp and weft of the silk are different hues, giving the quilt a glow that makes it really stand out.

Dancing Ribbons

Dancing Ribbons got its start when Cindy needed a handwork project for a trip with her husband who would be busy with work part of each day. Cindy was happy with the resulting quilt, and entered Dancing Ribbons in Georgia Celebrates Quilts®. The judges awarded it a blue ribbon, as did the judges at the Quilters Heritage show in Pennsylvania. From there it went to Paducah for the AQS (American Quilter’s Society) show and on to Houston.

Soon after, AQS asked Cindy to pattern the quilt, and they published it online in 2010 as a foundation paper pieced project. In 2021, they again published the pattern on their blog, and as a result, Dancing Ribbons is in the limelight again.

Cindy learned to sew in grade school. As one of five girls at a time when it was more economical to make your own clothes, and there were plenty of scraps around. So, when the quilting urge struck, Cindy used everything from denim to acetate, cut into squares and sewn together.  Cindy continued to quilt as her own family grew, mostly making smaller pieces. With the onset of the pandemic, Cindy finally fulfilled her husband’s request to make a bed quilt, which we all enjoyed at the 2022 edition of Georgia Celebrates Quilts®.

Cindy is a long-time member of the Guild and finds inspiration and support from other members and from the national teachers’ lectures and classes. Encouragement has come in many forms, such as an invitation to exhibit her quilt in a Christmas display at the Governor’s mansion soon after joining the Guild. Cindy also sees our show Georgia Celebrates Quilts® as an incentive for learning and experimenting with new techniques. After all, that’s where Dancing Ribbons got its start!

Going Dotty was made for the 2002 ECQG 20th Anniversary Challenge which had to have a basket and a recognizable amount of polka-dot fabric.  I made the whole thing about polka-dots.  I finished it in 2004 and entered it into the 2005 ECQG show.

This Amish Visit Thailand was another miniature I did for an ECQG Challenge which was in 2000.  In 2004 it was published in the Small Quilts magazine.  They photographed it and wrote a pattern for a larger size.

Viewing Fujiyama Thru Bamboo was made 7-1-1999.  It was made for one of the ECQG challenges.  The challenge was to make a medallion quilt using 3 border: one pieced border, one applique border and one border you could do what you wanted.  This quilt was a miniature- 11”.

Busy Bees was a photo that she took while she was visiting the Wat of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok in 2014. The lily was in a pot and I cropped the photo down to this image which I sent to Spoonflower to be printed. A year was spent quilting it.

Go for the Gold, a Heart of Gold was made in 1995 for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. It was given to Great Britain. A smaller replica is at the Atlanta History Center.

Busy Fourth of July. This quilt was in the 1993 ECQG Show.  It was the first quilt she entered in ECQG Quilt show and she received a blue ribbon in the “First Quilt” category.

This is one installment of Who We Are, a monthly series in this newsletter and on our blog spotlighting ECQG members and giving them a chance to tell their quilting stories.