October brought us “home” to Yuma. In 2007 we sold our place in the country in southern Indiana to live fulltime in an RV. Our family is beginning to scatter, but many members are still in Indiana. However, we’ve now spent 7 winters in Yuma, AZ, so it has begun to feel like home as well.
Yuma is a city of contrasts. RV parks sit next to commercial establishments which exist side by side with the lettuce fields. Yuma probably grows more lettuce than any other state.
The area is low desert, elevation of 200 feet above sea level, yet is bordered by the foothills to the east.
Sunrises and Sunsets can be beautiful.
Often at sunrise, you’ll spot hot air balloons in the sky.
I wanted to portray both the foothills and the lettuce fields in my quilt block. I decided to include hot air balloons as well.
I had thought to do a landscape pattern including the foothills and lettuce fields, but when I began laying it out, there were just too many colors when I included the different shades of green. I decided to use desert and sunrise colors, but to lay a patch portraying a vintage postcard on top of the block.
This would be a way to show the lettuce fields with a “Welcome Back to Yuma” theme as well.
Using Photoshop Elements, I created my postcard from two photos I had taken earlier, one of the lettuce fields and one of a sunrise (I used the colors of the sunrise to form the fill for the letters of “Yuma”. I really enjoy playing with Photoshop. Once I had the design, I lightened it to “age” it and printed it on Tailor Sew-In Colorfast Sheets
Here, I’m still choosing among colors and trying to decide how to create a sunrise effect. I loved the patch with the cacti, but had a hard time deciding how to make it blend in with the other colors.
It was now time to design the balloons and decide on their placement. The highway common to my “travel” blocks would come to an end with our arrival in Yuma.
At this point, the colors did not seem to be working well together, and my idea of a sunrise was not coming together. Trying to decide what I could do to make the fabric colors blend together better, I finally went to the fabric shop and purchased a very sheer apricot organza. I overlaid it for the top portion of the block, trying to simulate the hazy glow that appears just at the moment of sunrise. This seemed to be the element I needed to make the block work. I stitched down the fabrics to the backing. Here it has not been trimmed at the top yet.
I wanted to include my white-on-white fabric common to all my blocks, so I cut the balloon fabric from it. For the baskets, I used cream colored Aida cross stitch fabric. The TAST stitches for the month would create the design on the balloons. They were Buttonhole Wheel Cups (balloon on left), Closed Base Needlewoven Picot (Balloon center), Italian Border Stitch, Knotted Loop Stitch (both on right balloon), and Beaded Hedebo Stitch (baskets).
One more element left to include…some tatting. After quite a bit of thought, I decided to create a hummingbird. There are always a few flitting around in our park. A few beads created it’s luminescent wing. A little bit of glitter paint created sunrays on the organza.
Finally, Yuma Sunrise was complete.