Arizona Travel, Part 1, Sedona

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Hello Everyone! I have some pictures to show you from our Arizona trip. We have been fortunate to be able to show our kids different parts of our great country. When they were young, we started doing travel trips one year, then a beach trip the next year. Our beach trips are relaxing, but we stay on the move with the travel trips, often visiting National Parks. During this trip, we flew to Phoenix, then drove to Sedona where we spent several days. From Sedona, we did a day trip to Page to see Antelope Canyon and Powell Lake. On our way to spend a few days at the Grand Canyon, we had lunch and did a little shopping in Flagstaff. On our return to Phoenix, we stopped at the Montezuma Castle National Monument, a Native American cliff dwelling. It was busy, but well worth it.

Unfortunately, my son had to work so he wasn’t with us on this trip. My daughter was on spring break, and what we didn’t know, it must have been spring break in Arizona, for everyone. There were lots of people everywhere. Fortunately, we were on eastern time, so we beat the crowds to a lot of places early in the morning. I’ve put a few pictures (from the thousands that were taken) together to hopefully represent the trip. The pictures were taken either on my iPhone 6 or my daughter’s Canon EOS 80D.

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Thunder Mountain and Sedona from the top of  Airport Mesa

Sedona’s elevation is 4500 feet and is surrounded by red rock mountains. Everywhere you looked, the view was stunning. It is definitely a hiker’s paradise. There are hikes for every level of hiker.  We hiked every day and every hike had a view. We averaged about 4.5 miles of walking and hiking everyday except for one day at the Grand Canyon.

The first morning, my daughter wanted to take pictures of the sunrise, We went down the street from where we were staying and while we waited for the sun to rise, she captured this beautiful moon setting.

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Sedona has several vortexes, places of energy and spiritual healing. We visited several while we were there.

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Bell Rock

 

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Cathedral Rock

 

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Airport Mesa Vortex

You can see in the pictures how the lighting effected the color of the rocks. In the early morning and late afternoon, the colors were much deeper than the middle of the day. The view was always changing. That’s Bell Rock in the middle behind me. I never did feel the spiritual effect of the vortex. My daughter had a go at it too.

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Airport Mesa Vortex

I think she got more from viewing the surrounding mountains. She also liked sitting and standing close to the edge!

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Chapel of the Holy Cross

The Chapel was built into the side of the rocks and had an interesting history on how it came to be. It was a very popular place.

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We tried to go to the Chapel on Sunday, but it was too crowded. We went back on Tuesday and were one of the first ones there. The inside was beautiful and very calming, much more spiritual than the vortexes.

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On the right side of this picture, you can see Oak Creek Canyon between the two ridges. That was a beautiful drive to Flagstaff and points north. The buildings on top of the small mesa in front of the rocks are the old part of Sedona

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Another great view from Airport Mesa Vortex

In this picture, Thunder Mountain is on the left and at the other end of the ridge is Coffee Pot Rock. The little round hill between the two is Sugarloaf Rock. We hiked to the summit and got great views of Coffee Pot and Sedona.

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Coffee Pot

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Chimney Rock from the summit of Sugarloaf

Sugarloaf was a fun hike right in Sedona. It seemed like no one knew about it because it was one of the few places that didn’t have lots of people around it.

My daughter wanted to try to get a Milky Way picture. We got up early, and went down the street and listened to the coyotes while she set up her tripod.

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Unfortunately, the moon was bright all week, so getting a nice dark sky was out. She was able to capture some of it though.  The light in the bottom right corner was from the moon. What a beautiful picture.

As we were driving through town on the first day, a quilt shop sign stood out to me, so we had to visit before we left. I just had to make a few pattern purchases…

I will try to make these this summer. And I have real pictures to work from.

I hope you enjoyed this part of our trip. In a couple of days, I’ll have pictures from Antelope and the Grand Canyon. I also have a couple of finishes for the 2017 Finish-A-Long to share. Thanks for stopping by.

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Posted in Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Traveling and a Little Quilting

Hello Everyone! We traveled to Sedona, Arizona and the Grand Canyon last week during my daughter’s spring break. We had a great time and the scenery was breathtaking. I have a few pictures to tease you with, but there are thousands of pictures to go through. I hope I can get a travel post out by the end of the weekend.

The first two pictures are from Lower Antelope Canyon in Page, AZ.

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Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon that we walked down into and worked our way up and out. The formations and colors were unbelievable.

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This is the Grand Canyon at sunset. Breathtaking! You just didn’t get tired of looking at it.

Right before we left I decided I would participate in the Moda Blockheads, Block of the Week. The designers like traditional and reproduction fabrics and decided to get together to design 48 6″ blocks.

I pulled out this bundle that I’ve had for a few years:

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Then I added these fabrics from my stash:

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Once, we were home, I caught up on the first two blocks:

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The blocks are free and are posted every Wednesday. You can check out their Facebook page here and they are on Instagram at #modablockheads.

After catching up with laundry and groceries, I began to sew the binding down on the t-shirt quilt. I’ll be working on that over the next few days.

Thanks for stopping by.

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Posted in Moda Blockhead BOW, Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Free Motion Quilting Progress

Hello Everyone! I thought I would share a little of what I’ve been working on this week. Mostly, I’ve been busy free motion quilting the T-Shirt quilt.

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For the blocks, I used a Hera marker to make a wave across the block, then sort of eye balled the distance between each line using my foot as a guide. I was pretty pleased with how it came out. I just have the borders to finish now. We will be traveling soon, so I hope to get the quilting finished before we leave.

I did take a little bit of a break to get a few steps done on the next three swoon blocks.

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I’m thinking this is going to be a year long project.

I also joined in with Instagram Quilt Fest, #igquiltfest hosted by Amy Ellis of Amy’s Creative Side on March 1. There is a new prompt to share something each day, such as “Where the Magic Happens.”

This is my magic place, half of the basement. I’m fortunate to have a designated space because I’ve got a lot of stuff.

Thanks for stopping by.

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Posted in 2017 Swoon Along, FMQ, Sewing Spaces, T-Shirt Quilts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Minis and More and Other Things

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Happy March! Time has just flown the first two months of this year. I think it’s because we haven’t had much of a winter. We had a few weeks of cold and now it feels like spring. I have a couple of new projects planned this spring, but first, I want to remind you about the Minis and More Parade to showcase February’s Minis hosted by Sherri and Michele.

This month, the requirement was to use red and pink fabrics in any design of our choice. I designed my own mini this month…

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The background is Onyx Grunge and the hearts are scraps from my swoon blocks.  I blogged about it on Valentine’s Day and you can read more about it here. I hope you take the time to check out everyone else’s minis on Sherri’s and Michele’s blogs.

Last week, I decided to take some time and finish piecing Blocks on the Go for Quilts that Grow.

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I used the feather stitch on my machine to piece these together. Now I just need to decide how to quilt it. Probably some straight line quilting. I don’t want to take away from the designs in the blocks. This will have to wait a few more weeks before I start quilting because I started quilting the T-shirt quilt.

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Of Course, not thinking about it, I started with the hardest t-shirt in the quilt and there is also a column of t-shirts on the back in the same area. The rest should be a lot easier, I hope. The t-shirts are heavy, so it can be hard to move the quilt around.

I’m continuing to spend some time on the swoon blocks, but they are going slow. I also have fabric for my niece’s quilt who will be graduating from high school and will have the rest of the fabric for my nephew’s quilt who will also be graduating. I also have to piece the blocks together for my son’s quilt. I think I’m going to have a busy few months coming up!

Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to check out this month’s Mini Parade.

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Posted in Blocks on the Go, for Quilts that Grow, minis, Minis and More, T-Shirt Quilts, The New Hexagon, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

This and That Update

Hello Everyone! I hope you have had a good week. The beginning of the week was busy catching up on household chores after our trip to Mississippi last week, but I managed to get a few fun quilting things done.

During our 7 hour drive each way last week, I finished one panel of embroidery of Crabapple Hill’s Over the River and Through the Woods. I bought this as a kit in 2009.

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This is actually one piece, 9″ x 36″, but I couldn’t get a good picture of the whole thing. These aren’t the best pictures either, but they will do for now. I started this in 2014 and it has done a lot of traveling. You can see in the top picture I spilled coffee on it. I got most of that out where it mattered, but I have another spot in it! I’ll have to give it a good wash. This is the first panel of 3. I hope the others won’t take quite as long to finish.

There are a lot of things I would do differently if I were to start this now. The embroidery is all done in stem stitch because it looked better than my backstitch at the time. I’ll keep the other panel of scenery in stem stitch, but I may do the words in backstitch. The stem stitch is probably faster though. I also used another piece of fabric to back this with instead of interfacing. I had to look for the other 2 panels, and they were not backed in anything yet. I did use some woven fusible interfacing on those and was very careful fusing them because I used a Frixon pen to mark rhem with.

I also got started on this little x-stitch before we left and continued to work on it this week.

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The x-stitch is almost finished now. I plan on making a needle book to hold my x-stitch needles. I would like to make several needle books to hold my different type of needles. I have one that I use now, and my needles are a jumbled mess. Look for those in the future.

This week, I also finished February’s  Quilting Life BOM blocks by Sherri of A Quilting Life.

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I’m using Pondicherry Fabric by French General for Moda for the 12″ block and Figtree Fabrics for Moday for the 6″ block.

Yesterday, I finished the back for the T-shirt quilt. I hope to get that basted today and start quilting it this weekend.

I hope you have a good weekend and thanks for stopping by!

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Posted in Cross-Stitch, embroidery, Quilting Life BOM, Stitchery, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Feelin’ Fruity and Other Things

 

Hello Everyone! Happy Monday! We were in the Mississippi delta most of last week watching my daughter’s conference swim meet. Although the girls were swimming best times, they came in third. They had a good meet though, some set new records and made NCAA D2 times. My daughter made finals every night and swam some of her best times. I even did my part and timed one day, something I haven’t done in a couple of years.

This year I took my smaller Pfaff machine and finished my first three swoon blocks.

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My husband laughed at me, but I was able to sew about 1 1/2 hours each morning and we spent one afternoon in the room. There is not that much to do in that part of Mississippi and what there is to do, we did last year. I was able to finish some hand embroidery, but I  don’t have a picture yet.

Now on to Feelin’ Fruity…

Feelin’ Fruity is Jacquelynne Steve’s Art of Home Club pattern for February and I made the sample for her.

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The pattern includes 6 fruity embroidery patterns and instructions to make the table runner and the placemat.  As usual, Jacquelynne’s design is fresh and fun and her instructions are easy to follow. If you are a club member, you’ll enjoy making these, if not, you can sign up for her newsletter so you will know when she opens the club again for sign ups.

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I used fabrics from Lori Holt’s Calico Days by Riley Blake. The blocks in the table runner uses all the same fabrics for each block. The placemats use the same color scheme, but are different fabrics. img_2777

The fruit designs were embroidered with Aurifloss by Aurifil and of course Aurifil 50 wt thread to free motion quilt with.

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I quilted around the embroidered pieces to make them pop, then used my ruler foot and straight template to make the diamonds. The pink quilting is a new design that I practiced first by drawing it, then quilting it on some practice pieces. I used a drafting circle template to mark the circles with an air erasable marker.

The stitcheries are about 4 1/2 inches and would be cute as a long narrow wall hanging (bell pull type) to hang in your kitchen. Jacquelynne always has some great ideas on how to use the designs.

 

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From the Art of Home Club

 

I hope you enjoyed Feelin’ Fruity. Thanks Jacquelynne for asking me to make them. Don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter. Thanks for stopping by.

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Posted in Art if Home Club, embroidery, FMQ, Free Motion Ruler Work, Stitchery, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Happy Valentines Day and Another FAL

Hello Everyone, Happy Valentines Day! We are on the road today to Greenville, MS, but I have a Valentines Finish-A-Long I want to share. You can find my FAL list here.

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This my mini for the February Minis and More Parade hosted by Sherri and Michele. We were to use pink and red in any design that we wanted. This is my original design and a little more modern looking than what I usually make. I have to be honest, I’m not much of a heart person, but I do like how this came out. I’ve seen a lot of pieced hearts on IG but I didn’t want to spend the time figuring out the cutting dimensions. I thought it would be easier to applique the hearts and I was right. The mini is 12″ by 12″, just the right size to fit on my little quilt stand in the foyer.

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The quilting inspiration came from the workshop I took with Christa Watson. I used the Hera tool to mark the straight lines and it worked out really well. It was a little hard to see on the black, but the marks didn’t fade which is something I was worried about. I used my walking foot to quilt it. The heart is quilted in the ditch and it’s all quilted with 50 wt Aurifil thread.

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You can see the quilting better from the back. Also, you can see where I got lazy and backstitched at the heart. The thing is, from the front you can’t see it with the black on black, so it saved me a little time.

The big heart started like this…

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These are strips and scraps leftover from cutting the swoon blocks and hexie Blocks on the Go for Quilts that Grow. I cut different widths for the strips and sewed them together.

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I pressed all the seams open to make the piece lay flatter.

Because I cannot not draw very well, I found two heart designs on my Quiltmaker quilting designs CD that I’ve had for a long time. I liked that neither one was a perfectly symmetric.

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I traced the design onto the fusible side of lightweight interfacing. I used fusible because that’s what I had, but sew in would probably be better so you don’t have to worry about which side to draw on.

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I placed the fusible side up and placed it on my fabric until I thought is looked good, then sewed on the traced line.

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I clipped the curves, then cut a slit in the interfacing and turned it. I repeated this method with the small heart on the single piece of fabric.

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Now I have two nicely rounded hearts! My original idea was to use gray fabric for the background, but when I put the strips on top of my black Grunge by Basic Grey for Moda, I knew that was what I needed to use.

My daughter’s NSISC Swim and Dive Championship is this week in Cleveland, MS at Delta State. We’re excited to be able to see her and the team swim, but I think I’ll be working on some embroidery during the meet.

Thanks for stopping by.

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Posted in 2017 Finish-A-Long, applique, minis, Minis and More, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 3 Comments