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Crazy for Southwest


The Desert is starting to bloom! It’s an awakening time of year! If you haven’t been out to see the open landscapes, I encourage you to go! If not enjoy pictures posted on the internet.

The big Fabric companies are announcing new specialty fabrics emblazoned with cactus and succulents. So hurry out to buy a few yards of the fun “sandy” fabrics.

The Results

One of my favorite new patterns is “High Desert.” It’s the one filled with my memories. I love to see designs like this stitched out over quilts. It induces the viewer to “zoom in” and have a closer look. It’s so interesting.

Oh yeah! Cactus!  My mom was a crafty sort and she just had to have some of that decorative Cholla Cactus wood.  I can remember her with a handkerchief tied around her face like a mask and wielding a big butcher knife held by big heavy gloves – scraped the “stickers” off the cactus!!  Those stickers are terrors!! They are the enemy! I know that from experience. But, Cactus Flowers were another thing!  They were friendly and had beautiful, brightly colored flowers.

I’m fascinated by the varieties of Desert Landscape. I guess that’s because I am a Southern California girl!   We had a Desert Cabin just outside Joshua Tree National Park. I loved to stand on the large boulder in front of our house and feel the strong wind blow against me! I would dress up in my boots (protection against snakes, you know!) and wander through the dry “wash” and go climbing over the boulders and up “Rattlesnake Hill” behind our cabin. My brother and I would shoot at old tin cans with his Bebe gun and sometimes a jackrabbit, too. 

More Desert patterns: (Not dessert – but still yummy!)

If you like the “hot sandy soil” I’ve drawn lots of patterns for you; Southwest Vistas, Desert Rose, Cactus Garden, Modern SouthwestSpiral SunsSpinning KokopelliCactus FlowerPueblo PotteryYucca Blossom, SnakeskinSimple Saguaro, and High Desert.   Or buy three at a 20% OFF discount in the Southwest Set. 

Maybe “Desert Rose” is my favorite!

But there’s more to the name than that.  When I was a girl our family would often drive from LA to Utah or to Lake Mead in Nevada.  Going through Las Vegas, we always stopped for the night at the “Desert Rose Motel!”  I doubt it’s still there, but if you drive into Las Vegas from the south on the old road, watch for it.

 SOOOoo …I found a great picture of beautiful succulents and decided to mock-up a quilt to match it.  I sewed strips round and round the center in the colors I saw in the photo.  I over-layed the Desert Rose patterns over it.  I love it and hope you do too.  If you make an actual quilt Pleeeze send me a picture!

Read more qbout it here:

Desert Rose Quilt Construction: I had noticed that the succulents often had a tinge of fushia or purple along the outer edge of the petals. I wanted to achieve this look and so inserted thin strips randomly through the blocks.

Mock Desert Rose quilt design. It’s so easy!! I just pulled these fabrics out of my stash and randomly sewed them in place! For this “mock” quilt I made only 2 blocks and tinted them differently so I could show you a “whole” quilt. It’s beautiful, isn’t it? You’ll definitely want to try this!

Hey, all this talk about “Desert” is making me hungry for “Dessert!” What do we eat in the Desert? Prickly Pears? Aloe Vera Juice? Jack Rabbit Stew? Get some ideas at the end.

Cactus Flower – this is the quilt I started as an example.

Hooray, it all went together well and I barely had enough fabric! I quilted it with my Cactus Flower pattern with a variegated deep red thread which stood out great on the black backing! In the side borders I used Saguaros from my Cactus Garden Pattern.

For the spines I finally settled on a rayon thread which frayed pleasantly! And, oh yes, the pink wasn’t as bright as I wanted so I spray-painted the fabric with Neon Pink spray paint.

Try a taste of Desert food! Rattlesnake Hot Dogs, Joshua Tree Date Shakes and Date Crumble.

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