There’s nothing like a quick trip up the Mount Lemmon Highway once the temperatures start to heat up here; it’s a stunning drive from the Tucson desert up to 9,000 feet and pine and aspen forests. Not that much forest is left after devastating fires nearly 10 years ago. But it’s a beautiful drive nonetheless and today my mom and I took a lovely drive up to the top. Here’s a photo of my mom, looking very at home in a landscape she loves; I believe this is the Geology Lookout, with a view of Rincon Peak to the left in the distance:
The last 4 months have seen me do little typing–away from work that is–and no sewing. Why? Because I still have tendinitis in my left shoulder, which started in the middle of machine quilting my “Six Windows” piece, and that was 6 months ago. And to make matters worse, I got a cortisone injection that only caused me more pain. So. Not much sewing going on for a while.
I have at least been able to knit and I made a simple hoodie for my nephew; here it is, hanging up after I blocked it:
This is the next sweater in progress, another top down hoodie for my nephew Luke; this one has a cable down the middle: I’m getting adventurous!
Aside from finally having some knitting success–thanks to the good folks at Kiwi Knitting here in Tucson for their instruction–I’ve also had some success on a larger scale: I submitted my “Six Windows” quilt to the Sacred Threads Quilt Exhibition near Washington D.C. this summer, and it was accepted. I’m very pleased, as it’s a well known national show. And I know people will really appreciate seeing it.
This past weekend was the annual quilt show by the Tucson Quilter’s Guild: Quilt Fiesta. It was a fantastic show with lots of excellent work. This year I was happy to be recognized with a third place ribbon in the art quilt category. I’ve put work in past shows, just as good as my current piece, and wasn’t a ribbon winner…so I know there are always many excellent quilts at the show. It’s just the opinion of one judge.
My friend Phyllis Schaefer, who helped me straighten out my piece, won first place in the small art quilt category. She said her art quilt, Night Bloom, started out as an experiment/sampler/practice piece. It’s really cool and a great example of how great art doesn’t have to take all year and lead to a cortisone shot in the shoulder (what I need now due to tendonitis from machine quilting my piece). Some of the techniques include bleach discharge and fused applique, couching, some nice quilting with ancient native animal shapes…..I really appreciate how shapes and creatures seem to morph into each other. I told her it reminds me a bit of some of Sarah Seddon Boulet’s work.
Here’s some detail….
Also, I thought this was one of the most technically amazing pieces at the show, an original medallion quilt by a local quilter I haven’t met, but hope to meet, Keith Dommer, called “The Learning Quilt”. It’s just really an excellent design with a lot of nice repeating elements. Keith teaches at a local quilt shop and I may take a class with him, as I think I could learn a few things! This quilt won just second place in it’s category…..but don’t worry, he also took first place, too, in the same category with a different quilt!
Here’s some more detail…..just the piece-work, the curved applique, the cool fabrics…
And finally, I was happily surprised to see someone–Malcolm Neifield–has finally made a Dr. Who quilt….specifically, “Dr. Who: Adventures with the Tardis”. This was my favorite TV show in my late teen years (full disclosure, I was a nerd) and I was happy to see an original quilt honoring all the doctors….though of course I’m partial to the ones from way back when.
Can’t wait for next year’s quilt show!
For a lot of people, the time between Christmas and New Year’s is a whirl of family activity; I often opt out of Christmas, it’s just too stressful, but this year I traveled to Madison, Wisconsin for the holiday.
Here I am in Madison with my nephews Damien and Sebastian. We’re on top of 18 inches of snow and are about to go sledding. Luckily Sebastian and I wear the same shoe size: I was able to borrow his snow boots!
After sledding, we returned home where we built snow forts; here’s Damian in the snow fort we built…
…and here is Sebastian with is friend Cedric in the snow fort they built. They completely demolished me and Damian within minutes, and had us fleeing into the house to escape their arsenal of snow balls.
My brother Frank lives in Madison, he dropped by with his fiancee Leah; here they are with my nephews, Kasia and Benson, the family dog:
After Christmas, I headed home to Tucson; Frank came out to visit and brought Leah, so she could meet my parents. My sister Roberta, her husband and 20 month old son came down from Portland; my brother John came in from Boston. We had dinner together at the Velvet Elvis in Patagonia, Arizona to celebrate Frank and Leah’s engagement. Too bad Sebastian, Damian and Kasia couldn’t be at dinner– here we all are:
Robert and Luke then came to spend a few nights with me; I made a roast chicken dinner and my brother Eric came over to join us:
Before sunset, Luke joined me and Bearbear for a walk down at the Rillito wash:
Here’s Luke in my back yard looking like quite the pugilist:
The best news is that even with all the chaos of family visiting–and with some of the visits being predictably unexpected!–I was STILL able to finish my art quilt and meet the deadline of January 3rd.
This is how it looked hanging on my living room wall shortly before I dropped it off:
Why haven’t I posted in a month? I just had to bury myself in machine quilting in order to get my project done in time for January’s Quilt Fiesta quilt show in Tucson.
While I haven’t put the binding on yet, or straightened it out, here’s how it looks:
Here are a couple close-ups of the machine quilting:
I’m off to Madison Wisconsin for Christmas and my flight leaves in just a couple hours! I’ll post more right after I get back 12-26-12.
I was in Sonoita yesterday to check out my parents’ new bakery; it’s really very beautiful. I helped make some raspberry cream muffins; here you see a big mixer bowl full of muffin batter, which I’m about to dole out into the muffin tins in the foreground:
Once the batter was scooped in, each glob of batter got a dollop of cheese mix (sweetened cream cheese) and strawberry jam; here’s my mom, looking great, probably because for once someone else made the muffins:
And here are the muffins baking away in the brand-new convection oven. I am totally sold on this type of oven, the baking turns out much better; I want a smaller version for my home!
When the late autumn sun is low in the south, it makes the western face of Cochise Stronghold seem a bit flat; here is our hiking destination, a ginormous jumble of boulders:
My mom’s youngest sister, Theresa, drove down from Phoenix to Tucson this past weekend: she picked me up, along with her friend Jeanie and her son Zach (who also live here), and drove us all to St. David, where me met up with my uncle Thomas, who lives there. My mom drove over separately from Sonoita. I took a photo of our group midway through our hike:
Theresa’s friend Jeanie was a real champ, here she is making her way through the boulders:
I just love the views from the western side of the Cochise Stronghold; this is a photo looking down on Treaty (or “Knob”) Hill:
Along the way there was one thing blooming, what looks like Chamisa, and the few pollinators left were numerous and busy:
And there was a lovely colored lizard headed down a rock face:
I’m sure there were other birds and animals in the area, but the sounds of our voices made them invisible. Personally, I’m happy if big predators like mountain lions stay invisible.
Here’s my mom, looking very sporty:
I’m already looking forward to my next trip back!