Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tombstone, AZ Quilt Show & Arizona Quilt Retreat

Bob and I had a five day holiday in Arizona, mainly there to be in warmer weather and to see cacti. However, if you're in Tombstone and the local ladies are having a quilt show, well, you just have to go, don't you?

There was a real variety of quilts, everything from tied, fortrel ones to ones that must have taken hundreds of hours of work. I loved the soft colors used in this one.

I took the next two closeups of a quilt to show you how heavily quilted some of them were. I'm sure they must be stiff as boards to sleep under, but they look beautiful. I kept checking the names of the longarm quilters to see if their guild had the equivalent of our Terry, but theirs were longarmed by many different people.

The quilt show was running for a month in a little gallery on the main street of Tombstone. The ladies have a show every single year and there were three members watching over the show while we were there. They were passing the time by knitting and crocheting so I asked if they hold a show for that too. They don't.

They had various prizes awarded as you can see by the next quilt.

Here is a detail of the quilting on the previous quilt.

The next one has such a wonderful blend of piecing and applique.

There were some quilts and wall hangings with a southwest theme and I wondered how long it took this quilter to collect the perfect colors.

This next one was my favorite. The workmanship was exquisite and it was another one that was heavily machine quilted as you can see from the details.

I like the next one but wonder how monotonous it was for the piecer to make all the identical blocks.

And Jan will be happy to know that the art of yo-yo making is alive and well in Arizona.

The one below was an award winner and I really liked it until I noticed something ...

... the birds on the top border are upsidedown so they look like dead birds! It's probably what the pattern called for, but I would have put them rightsideup.

Here's another with a southwest theme.

We headed back to Scottsdale where our hotel had a tree filled with ripe oranges. Yum!!

Bob is a good and patient man so the next day he drove me over to Mesa where there was a quilting retreat of 36 women who are members of the online quilting forum I frequent. The retreat has been running yearly for 10 years and is so popular that a lottery is held for the spots. Most retreaters are from Arizona but there are ones that fly in from Pennsylvania, Maine, Texas, and California.

The woman are all ages, from all backgrounds, and they are joined as we are, by their passion for quilting. Eight or ten local ladies organize it, and organize it well.

It was a pleasure to meet all the ladies, but I was particularly happy to meet Shelley, the woman on the left in this picture. She has a number of online tutorials which I use often. See the machine she is using? The local ladies lend old, reliable Singer machine for attendees who do not fly in with their own machines.

Ahead of the retreat the attendees can make lotto blocks if they wish and then a number of lucky winners take home enough to make a quilt. Here are those blocks.

Participants also make blocks based on specific patterns and with some material which is sent to each of them. These blocks (shown below) are being made into raffle quilts with the money going to worthy causes.

The retreat is held in a hotel meeting room which is very well organized. The ladies were getting a lot of sewing done, but were meeting to chat at the cutting tables, the ironing boards, and the snack table. The mornings and evenings are spent sewing and the afternoons are used for programs, show-and-tell, and visits to a great quilt shop (Three Dudes Quilt Shop) which is across the road from the hotel.

This final photo is of the attendee from Saskatchewan. Judy lives at Fishing Lake and winters in Mesa. I have known her for a number of years and it was a pleasure to visit with her.

Visiting this retreat made me realize the work that our organizers did last year to start the Crocus Quilters' Retreat. The date didn't work for me last year and, unfortunately, it won't this year either, but one of these years I WILL BE THERE. I encourage all of you who can make it to this year's fall retreat to be there to share in the sisterhood of quilting.

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