This icon is “Copper” from The Rock Art Series of quilt patterns by Arlene Walsh Designs. I picked up the pattern and kit of materials to make it several years ago when we visited Sedona, AZ, and included a stop at the Quilter's Store Sedona (of course!) We’re planning another visit to Arizona next month, so I decided to get into the feel of area by finally making this project.
It’s another small quilt, but it’s loaded with new-to-me techniques, including a lot of beading. The head of the figure is made with a flat disc of agate surrounded by “pillars” of seed beads. Those pillars were then gathered together along the tops of the pillars. This was done to trap the agate in a cage of sorts so that it stays put. Just to be safe, I added a drop or two of Glue Baste-It under the agate. I learned the hard way to do this because I stitched the bead cage first. Then, while manipulating the layers to complete the rest of the beading, the agate popped out. Glad I was able to wrestle it back in without having to re-sew anything!
There were lots of other little details, too, like the double-sided fused feathers with bead trim. And the copper breast plate is thin copper foil that was punched, curled on the edges, and stitched in place with turquoise beads. I embossed a design in the foil using a bamboo skewer. In Arlene’s sample quilt, the wavy line was made by couching down copper wire, but copper floss was included in the kit as another option. It, too, is couched in place. I see a little tail of Nymo thread that needs to be trimmed from a feather. Tips I learned were to slightly stretch the Nymo thread before stitching with it to secure the beading and avoid stretching after. Also, the directions suggested using Thread Heaven or other silicone coating for the thread to make it slip more easily through the layers and the beads.
It was a very enjoyable project, and while I have a long way to go in making straight beading lines, I did make progress! I’ll look for more of Arlene’s patterns on this trip to Sedona so the Copper guy will have a companion piece. There must be silver, gold, maybe turquoise? You know I’ll shop for one.
And while I’m there, I plan to keep a travel journal. I’ve been playing with paper again! My daughter sent me this 1950s post card photo of Sedona back in the day. So I incorporated it on the cover of the journal. I’m also taking a lettering class online, so maybe I’ll actually write in this one. I have a bad habit of making and collecting journals, and then having nothing to say. Note to self: pack some fancy pens.
Another habit, but not a bad one, is collecting state quilt history books. Grand Endeavors is the result of the Arizona Quilt Project. I often browse through these books, but have not sat down and read through one. But this is certainly the time. How I admire those early quilters who met such challenges in their environment, and still made time to create beautiful quilts. One intriguing story is that of Sedona Schnebly, the woman whose name is immortalized in the beautiful red rock community of Sedona. I felt like a real cream puff after learning the hardships she and her family faced in settling in Arizona. So I’m inspired and ready for travel!