Thursday, 29 November 2012


I have recently come back from a trip to the American southwest with British Patchwork and Quilting.  I have made some lovely friends on this trip and met up with some 'older' friends from previous trips. Even though I have only been on 3 trips  with P&Q,  I am starting to feel like part of the 'family'.

The tour started in Santa Fe, New Mexico and then moved on to Colorado, where we visited Durango, Colorado Springs and Golden as well as a 2 day seminar with Ricky Tims in La Veta. We had plenty of stops at quiltshops as well as some wonderful trips such as the Silverton train and Pikes Peak Cog railway and the Mesa Verde and an unscheduled stop at Four Corners!  Other trips included Estes Park, Denver,  Garden of the Gods and Red Rocks Amphitheatre, where there was the most wonderful quilt displayed in the visitor centre.

Some of us then went on to Las Vegas and then to the North rim of the Grand canyon and Zion National Park.  On our last day, we were given the Team Colorado challenge, with a deadline of 28th March 2013.  Being organised and not one for leaving things to the last minute, I decided to make a start on this last weekend and starting drawing out my designs.  I have all along known that I wanted to base mine on 'Kokopelli', a mythical figure, being the god of fertility and agriculture and now a major tourist 'souvenir' of the southwest.  We saw Kokopelli's everywhere, in New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and Nevada and even in Utah.  The challenge is for a quilt 20" square, no theme specified, just to be a celebration of our trip.

Of course, once I started putting my mind to it, I couldn't switch off and decided there and then what colours to use and the layout and even had some sort of quilting pattern idea although that changed once I had the quilt pieced.

'Santa Fe colours'

My 'Kokopelli' all ready and prepared for appliqué

Started quilting on Monday morning

My inspiration was firstly 'Kokopelli' but also the 'Santa Fe colours', turquoise with earthy tones and as we have been to Las Vegas, I had to incorporate a little bit of glitz too.  I used curved piecing (thanks to Ricky) and have inset both the borders. The fabrics are all from Ricky Tims's studio.  My initial idea for
the quilting was to stitch  pictographs in the border, (Kokopelli is one of a number of symbols that can be seen carved in rocks in this area), but I decided against this as it would be more appropriate in just earthy colours and the bright colours in this quilt did not 'sit' well with this idea.  I decided in stead to use some of the Navajo symbols and shapes.  I have left 4 little squares in the corners of the inner border (in green), this is to represent 'Four Corners', which is the only place in America where 4 states meet at the same place.

I have just finished the binding and all I now have to do, is stitch a sleeve and label on the back.

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