February 24, 2009

Arizona in February

Next I was headed for the Thumb Butte Quilt Guild in Prescott, AZ. We have a rather mild winter in Atlanta, but I must admit when I booked these events some time back, I thought longingly about Arizona's February sun. Before I left the hotel in Vegas, I got a phone call from my hostess in Prescott, Susie Martin, saying, "It is snowing in Prescott - but we expect it to melt!" To get a decent airfare, I had to fly from Vegas to Salt Lake City to Phoenix. I could have driven this trip in about 5 or 6 hours, but one-way car rentals are very expensive, so I decided to fly. Susie, who used to travel a lot on her job, graciously offered to pick me up, so I did not have to take the shuttle 1 1/2 - 2 hours to Prescott.

A Long Sunday…
8:30 AM Leave hotel to allow extra time for the broken Tram at the airport.
10:40 AM flight. Leave gate and sit on tarmack 20 or 30 minutes before departure. Wonder if I will make the connection in Salt Lake?
1:30 PM (Mountain time) Land in Salt Lake at Gate B-6 and have 10 minutes to get to E-73. Yes, they were as far apart as they sound--further!
1:40 PM Miss my flight, it just left the gate! Call Susie. I'm on standby for the next flight in another hour and a half. The flight will depart from—-you guessed it--Gate B-6!
3:20 PM Make the flight.
4:30 PM (Pacific time) Land in Phoenix but only two bags are there. My third bag with my clothes will be on the next flight to Phoenix.
5:00 PM Susie and I soothe frazzled nerves at the Cheesecake Factory while waiting for the third bag.
6:30 PM Rescue the bag and start the almost-two-hour drive to Prescott in patchy rain and snow.
8:30 PM Get to hotel in Prescott. Whew!

A More Fun Monday
Prescott is a wonderful mile-high town (meaning its elevation is one mile above sea level). One friend described Prescott as a wonderful place to live year-round, but added her neighbor on the right was from Wisconsin and only came for the winter, and her neighbor on the left was from Phoenix and only came for the summer! Susie picked me up at 8:30 AM and we headed for the guild meeting and my trunk show lecture. The weather was looking rough and many of the people who live further up the mountain were not able to get to the guild meeting :( but we had a really nice Seven Sisters Simplified class. These are just a few of the blocks.

By the end of the day there was enough bad weather that we canceled plans for dinner, but the next morning was picture perfect!

Who would have guessed 8" of snow at the hotel and 18-25" the higher up the mountain you went! Only about half the class could get out of their driveways, and several straggled in as the streets were plowed. I have to tell you, I was looking forward to sunshine and 70, not snow and 30!

In spite of the weather, Susie and two of her friends, who had all participated in the Saturday Sampler program at Odegards in Flagstaff, managed a neat surprise for me. The program featured the blocks from a block-of-the-month quilt that I had designed. All three had set their blocks in a different way, and different from the arrangement in the BOM quilt -- Susie even duplicated four to make her quilt bigger -- and they all brought their quilts to show me! How cool is that? And aren't they beautiful:

Quail Country Quilters Guild
By late afternoon, the roads were clear and Mary Lou Evans, my hostess for the next guild, picked me up. She took the low road to Cottonwood, not the high road over the mountain. (Good move, Mary Lou - no snow!) Mary Lou is the Quail Country Quilters Guild program chairman, driver and hostess extraordinaire! She and her husband Mike have a lovely home and wonderful guest cottage. It was so pleasant and charmingly decorated that I threatened to stay!

In addition to another very good class group and a trunk show lecture, Mary Lou treated me to a visit to Jerome for a little shopping and dinner with some of the guild members. Jerome is a unique town hanging off the mountains. It's home to a store called Nellie Bly:

This has to be the world's best Kaleidoscope store, and I love Kaleidoscopes. Jane Lloyd, the manager, was informative, charming, patient, cheery and a good salesperson, everything a manager should be! She showed me how easy it is to take a picture through the eye piece of a "teleidosope", which has a clear glass marble at the end. She said she sends teleidoscope pictures to her grandmother for quilt designs! (Maybe she said her mother. It seems like whenever anyone relates anything about quilting, a grandmother is in the story!)

Of course, when I got home, I took a picture of my fabric collection with my new teleidoscope!

After class on Thursday, we went to beautiful Sedona for lunch. I can never see enough of the red rocks.

Later in the afternoon, we visited with Mary Beth Groseta, who owns Quilter's Quarters, and after a quick fabric fix, we were off to Phoenix. I was taking a red-eye home (flight time 12:50 AM Friday morning) and took advantage of a little free time to have dinner and catch up with my longtime friend Dee Lynn. Among other things, Dee and Audrey Waite run Quilt Camp in the Pines in Flagstaff. I have taught there so often, I've lost count, plus I taught on three wonderful cruises that they organized to Alaska, the Panama Canal and Australia & New Zealand. We had a good visit and soon after, I was headed back home to "refuel" for my next trip.

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