Ode to Tucson
I live where there are green trees with green trunks.
Flowers grow rampant here making me sneeze.
The mountains are as high as you can see,
packed with intertwining trails perfect for trainees.
Our skies are deep blue and reach great degrees
but the sunsets are priceless they bring a fresh breeze.
Here I have seen snakes, jabalinas and bambis.
In our front yard ground squirrels eat peapods and newly
transplanted cactus which sends my husband into frenzies.
Butterflies flutter above cactus as I drink my morning tea.
Gato hunts lizards and mice just to tease.
Coyotes yelp in near by burrows which bring me a little unease.
But I keep going, keep creating blocks for my quilting bee.
Some may think it is too hot but to this I disagree.
Its beauty here is endless, funky and carefree.
Here in Tucson nature is the key.
This is home now among its green trees.
Ok so I am not a great poet. I know, I know… I definitely won’t quit my day job. But this pattern that I created called The Transplant Mini Quilt is my true Ode to Tucson. It is a free downloadable pattern. Awesome right?! I named the pattern The Transplant because that is what I am. In fact the majority of the USA are all transplants. Transplants are intriguing. They are hungry to survive. I am not sure how much you know about cactuses, but you can cut a pad or chunk off of a cactus plant. Let the cut part of the cactus dry to a callus. This usually takes about a week or two. Take that pad and plant it in a totally different location and it will persevere unless it is too cold.
The flowers the cactuses create are the most stunning things. I have seen some that are actually larger than the prickly plant itself. Most flowers bloom for one day or less. They are spectacular things these cactus and I have been obsessed ever since I moved here. I have always lived in the desert. When I lived in El Paso, I had grass and tried to plant many different things. I always had a hard time growing them and would get bug infestations in my brussel sprouts, grapes and watermelons. I take my hat off to farmers because it is not easily. Since I moved, I have been focused on planting things that are native and don’t need a whole lot of water to survive. Cactuses have been my answer. I love getting piecing from friends, family and even looting the clippings from a neighbor’s front yard trash piles. Yes… If you live in Tucson too, that might have been me or my husband. But hey it’s free. And cactus have been expensive. 🙂
Sage by Bari J
My inspiration for The Transplant Mini Quilt was Tucson, as well as my sister Michelle. My last post talked about her Cactus Creations that are just lovely and only furthered my obsession with these water-based plants. I found the perfect fabric to make my vision attainable. All of the fabrics you see here in this cactus mini were provided by Art Gallery Fabrics #WeAreFabric. I just love working with AGF. This collection is called Sage by Bari J. Isn’t it tranquil and captivating? The color palette is like it was picked out of a sunset. I think I would have to say that I have two extreme favorites. The teal flowers called Bougainvillea Evergreen(I used that fabric in my flying geese mini quilt swap too, see) and the lemon fabric called Yuma Lemons Mist. I just love the lemons. I have seen this print in a canvas. Can you imagine a tote bag made from this lemon print, or better, a computer bag? Someone has got to make one and show me because I definitely want to see it.
Here is a close up on the palette of a few of the Sage prints so you can get a feel for this collection. It was perfect for The Transplant Mini Quilt. This color palette allowed me to create the perfect gradation for light yellow and bright greens to deep dark teal greens. This collection has been out since the beginning of the year so if you have been thinking about getting it, don’t wait too long. Hawthorne fabrics still has a lot in stock. And I love me some Hawthorne.
The Transplant Mini Quilt
The pattern is paper pieced. I think it is a pretty easy pattern. If you are new to paper piecing, you might want to check out How to Paper Piece and What is Paper Piecing. There is a lot of helpful information in these posts and you get to meet Nicole who makes the best Paper Piecing patterns. However you can totally jump right into this pattern cold turkey. I give you a foundation for paper piecing with some tips and step-by-step images. If you do still have questions just shoot me an email; I would be happy to help.
The trickiest part of this pattern for me was quilting it. But I always have trouble with this. What I should have done was outline the inside of the cactus first and then quilt the background, but I did the opposite so I made two. The trouble I had was at the point where the cactus and the pot meet. When I quilted the background first, I didn’t stretch it properly. So when I outlined the inside of the cactus I got a pucker. 🙁 We have all been told this right? Start from the inside and work out. I just like to make it hard for myself. Oh well. I love making jewelry and have a ton of beads so the flower that I made and show you how to make is made out of fabric and tacked down with thread and beads. I think that it makes the flower special, but you really don’t have to add it if you don’t want to. You can also place the flower anywhere you would like. So be creative. I would love to see variations.
Pattern and Giveaway
Now that you have beared with me through my rambling, let’s get to the free pattern and giveaway. To get your free downloadable cactus pattern called The Transplant Mini Quilt click here. Share what you make on Instagram using #thetransplantminiquilt. I can’t wait to see what you make. To enter into the giveaway go to Instagram. Follow me, like and repost the Transplant giveaway image. What you have a chance to win includes six inch squares of some of the Sage collection, one fat quarters of Art Gallery Fabrics, Paper Piecing paper, a printed pattern of The Transplant, Aurifil thread and some beads and a scrap bag of fabric. I will announce the winner on June 1st so Good Luck!!