Detail from "Rain Dance," an original quilt by Sherrie Spangler

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wrapping up loose ends, saying good-bye

We have to head back home tomorrow, so this will be my last blog post from Sedona for this year. I just packed up my sewing supplies, including these latest wool birds that I've been embroidering and beading.

I also packed away what turned out NOT to be a Jelly Roll 1600. When I sewed the last two sections together, below, I realized it wasn't as big as it should be. Oops. The packet of fabric I used only had 27 strips, not the required 40 for a Jelly Roll 1600. (Forty strips at 40 inches each adds up to 1,600.) I think I may make six placemats out of it.

Speaking of fabric, we saw these prayer flags this week at a Tibetan Buddhist shrine here at Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park. We would have spent more time there, but it was a wicked windy, cold day.

I can't leave without taking pictures of the pictures in our rental house. I love these two and will look at them on rainy, gray days back home. 

And here is the final photo of the desert. I took this yesterday from the town of Jerome, perched high on a hillside outside of Cottonwood. It was hazy because of the wind and dust, but I love the shades of blue.

Good-bye desert

Have a colorful day

Monday, March 28, 2016

No signs of bears

Our Easter hike was a six-miler along Bear Sign Trail. Fortunately, we saw no signs of bears!

In order to get to the trailhead, we had to bounce along a rocky, rutted road for half an hour in Dave's "Beast," his FJ Cruiser. My hands were soaked with sweat after that white-knuckle drive.

But it was worth it because it put us far out of reach of the hiking crowds. In four hours we only saw one other person.

The trail follows a mostly dry creek bed through a canyon to the base of the Mogollon Rim. We didn't go quite to the end, but almost.

It was a beautiful, intimate trail. Although it didn't have the panoramic vistas of some of our other hikes, it had magical spots like this grove of trees below:

It smelled piney and fresh and the sky was blue. Birds called and lizards scooted across logs. Memories to carry back to the Northwest in a few days.

Have a colorful day

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Teacup Trail to Coffeepot Rock

Yesterday's hike was up Teacup Trail to the base of Coffeepot Rock. The rock, below, is shaped like an old-fashioned percolator coffeepot, with the spout facing right.

The trail begins at the edge of a neighborhood. Here's a shot showing roofs nestled near the start of the trail.

The farther up the trail, the more panoramic the view becomes.

Flowers were more prolific here than on many of the other trails we've hiked. Here are a few.

 This is a yucca getting ready to burst into bloom:

Above is a perfect prickly pear pad. Below is a group that's been munched on by javelinas. We saw some snuffling around in our neighborhood the other night but we haven't encountered any this trip in the daytime.

 Below is another yucca. I love the simple, striking lines of this plant.

Above is an ocotillo, stretching its arms to the sky. Below are some buds on the tips of the branches. Ocotillos have bright red flowers, but it's a little too early here to see them in full bloom. I hear they're gorgeous down around Phoenix now, where it's warmer.

At the top of the trail, we took a long break to gaze out over the desert. We only have five more days here, and I want to hang on to each one.

 Headed back down.

Have a colorful day

Friday, March 25, 2016

Jelly roll time and Starbucks

I finally started this year's Sedona Jelly Roll 1600. (Google that for directions.) I'm using cool blues and greens that remind me of Gig Harbor in the summer and sea glass on the beach. For an accent color, I'm inserting little strips of sandy beige.

You start by sewing all of the strips together end to end, inserting the accent color every few strips. When that's done, you have a piece 2 1/2 inches wide by 1,600 inches long, plus the extra length from the accent strips.

I join my strips at a 45-degree angle and save the triangle clippings to use in Sulky Solve scarves. This is as far as I've gotten.

Then I took a break for another hike and a stop at Starbucks. Believe it or not, this is the view from the outdoor tables at Starbucks! Worth every cent you pay for a cup of coffee.

By the front door of Starbucks is this colorful sculpture. It was hard to find a good angle because of the shadows and busy background, but the detail shot shows the pattern and colors better.

And now we're off for another hike!
Have a colorful day

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Visitors and more hiking

Hiking around Courthouse Butte with Kandi and Bruce.
We had a flurry of visitors over a 24-hour period this week, then we got back to more hiking. It was such fun having two couples from back home stop by, even though the visits were brief.

Dave and Bruce scramble up Muffin Rock.
Kandi, one of my Feet & Forks partners, and her husband, Bruce, drove up from Phoenix for a day of hiking and dinner. We took them around Courthouse Butte and Bell Rock, earning our meals at the Javelina Cantina.

Feet & Forks, Arizona chapter

The day before, Sew Day sister Linda P. and her husband, Jim, stopped by in their camper on their way up to the Grand Canyon. There's evidence of Linda all through my little sewing area here: She gave me the portable light, thread catcher and needle case. We had good conversation and pizza at Pisa Lisa before watching the sunset from Airport Mesa. (See earlier post for that photo.)

Linda and Jim visit in their camper.

Then it was back to our hiking. Boynton Canyon is a favorite of ours, with some great vistas as well as enchanting shady stretches through trees near the canyon floor. It's about six miles round trip, so we brought tamales and oranges to snack on halfway through.

Near the beginning of the trail is this clearing with four crosses. It appears to be a sort of ceremonial site, but I can't find any info on it. Are any of you familiar with it?

Have a colorful day

Monday, March 21, 2016

Wool birds sited in the desert

I finally pulled out my embroidery threads and resumed work on the wool birds. I'd been so busy hiking that I wasn't getting any stitching done, but last week I set that straight. I took my supplies out on the back deck with a glass of iced tea and stitched in the desert warmth.

Here's one of the views from my work station. It's hard to concentrate on stitching with such a breathtaking view.

I'm using patterns from Sue Spargo's "Bird Dance" book. Above is the latest bird that I appliqued down. Below shows some chain stitching around the bird.

I used some new silk thread by Trebizond and I love the luster. It's a three-ply twisted thread that you can separate, but I used all three strands together for a nice hefty stitch.

Like I said, the stitching had fallen by the wayside because of my hiking. Here's a shot from a recent hike in the red rocks of Sedona:

And here is last night's sunset, taken from the popular sunset viewing spot on Airport Mesa:

Have a colorful day