April’s TAST and CQJP

April is a month of change for us as each year we leave our winter home in Yuma AZ and head eastward.  As I thought about what to do with my CQJP April Crazy Quilt Block, I decided to create “Twilight in the Desert” for just as the day comes to an end in the desert, so does our time in the desert end each April.

The TAST project decided to take a week off for Week 13, so this chronicle begins with 

TAST Week 14


I’ve used Satin Stitch before, and always had trouble keeping the stitches even and getting good coverage.  My sampler fabric helped with it’s evenweave.  I created a saguaro in the desert sunlight.


For my CQJP Block, I created another saguaro with the satin stitch.  This time, I  first cut a saguaro shape from dark green fabric, and attached it to the block with Wonder Under.  I then drew a line down the center as  a stitching guideline.  The completed saguaro looks like this.  The green fabric underneath really helped to hide any minor “cracks” in the stitching.  I’ve grown to like the satin stitch a lot more as I worked with it this week.2012-04-27 - CQJP May - Twilight in the Desert - Saguaro

2007 Trip Slideshow Part 1 (576)  

Although the stitched saguaro is depicted at twilight, we have photographed the saguaro at sunset, which is a beautiful time of day!

Tast Week 15

Stem Stitch has probably been my most used embroidery stitch over the years, although I usually thought of it as outline stitch. 


Sharon, of Pintangle and coordinator of TAST,  says there is a difference between stem and outline, although I have a hard time seeing it.  I think I probably switch back and forth between the two, depending on the curve I’m creating.

I used it to create Pampas Grass, an ornamental grass, on my sampler.

22            pampas

For the Crazy Quilt Block, I created an Ocotillo in bloom, using the stem stitch and the detached chain stitch covered a few weeks ago.

2012-04-27 - CQJP May - Twilight in the Desert - blooming Ocotillo         2012-04-14 - AZ, On the Road, Ocotillo

week 16 tast french knot

French Knots have always been hard for me, so I decided to make several on the  sampler.  By the time I finished my depiction of Snow in the Pines, my french knots were becoming a little more uniform, although they will never be a favorite stitch of mine.  I did like the way the bottom row of knots turned out.

2002 IN, Snow222        

I love the snow, especially when a new wet snow of huge flakes is falling.  I love to walk in a falling snow… once, when I had a big decision to make I took a long walk by myself.  The snow was drifting down, snowflakes as large as silver half dollars.  I remember removing my gloves and can still feel the wet flakes as they fell on my palm.  It was during that walk that I decided to marry my husband.  We celebrated 33 wonderful years together this week… perhaps that’s one reason I like a snowfall so much!

From Snowflakes to Stones…. My Twilight in the Desert called for something far removed from snowflakes.  When you follow a blazed trail through the desert, often the only way to mark the trail is with rocks.  They can be piled as cairns, or  laid on the sand in the shape of an arrow pointing the way.

2009-03-24 - AZ, Yuma - Foothills Hike (1034)b 2012-04-27 - CQJP May - Twilight in the Desert -stones     

Week 17 Tast Wheatear stitch

I’d never seen the wheatear stitch before, but I love it.  It’s such a pretty stitch, and I can imagine lots of future applications for it.

With a name like wheatear, it had to become Amber Waves of Grain on the sampler.

2004-07-30 - MT - On the Road (1)2222      

In the background, you can see the grain elevator.  

2009-08-24 -3- MT, Reed Point (1008) For the CQJP block, I used the wheatear stitch to create a transition between sections of the sky.

2012-04-27 - CQJP May - Twilight in the Desert - sky transition

I’ve decided to symbolize our travels throughout the summer with a highway running through my blocks.  To accomplish this, I used a bias cut black strip, with a running stitch down the middle.

2012-04-27 - CQJP May - Twilight in the Desert - Highway We left Arizona to travel through New Mexico and then into Texas, where we are currently for a month.  I used printable fabric to make the boards for a road sign.

2012-04-27 - CQJP May - Twilight in the Desert - Road SignTo complete the scene, the  Harvest moon appears large on the horizon.  We’ve never gotten a photo of the occurrence, but we have observed the moon over the desert when it looked as large as it does in this photo from the NASA website.2012-04-27 - CQJP May - Twilight in the Desert - Harvest MoonsaguaroMoon_seip




As twilight deepens, the animals that found shady refuges during the day begin to come out.  A small newt (Netty the Newt – pattern by Anne Bruvold) is spotted near the road, and in the distance there appears to be movement.  Is it really a group of animals, or perhaps mythical creatures created from the dying heat mirages of the day?  Twilight in the Desert can truly be magical!

2012-04-27 - CQJP May - Twilight in the Desert

8 thoughts on “April’s TAST and CQJP

  1. I love these samples. Your stitching is great, as are your ideas of how to utilize them in the scenes you are depicting. I also like the cheeky little newt! Beautiful work YumaTatter! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Pingback: Blogs I Enjoy! « One Mad Tatter

  3. Love your work Yuma and reading about your inspiration. I’ve just prepared some fabric for a new block and am looking for an inspirational starting point, I know the ideas will flow as I begin. Thank you for a lovely blog. Regards Mandy Currie

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