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In my previous posts I've told tales about New York, and then stories about our adventures in Florida. 

The next exciting stop on the Big Daisy US tour was Phoenix, Arizona! 
The reason we were there was to film an episode for The Quilt Show, the popular US production. Super exciting!! But let's start at the beginning of our Phoenix story. 

Apparently it's the city with the friendliest airport. (Mr Daisy is doing a cracker job of impersonating a cactus).

As I mentioned earlier, our main reason for being in Phoenix was to film for The Quilt Show.  Eek!! Very exciting, and a bit nerve wracking! 
We arrived two days prior to the big filming day. I wanted to be early in case we were delayed in any way, or in case the suitcases full of quilts went astray, or of any other things that might have happened along the way. I wasn't leaving anything up to chance.

Plus it was a great opportunity to explore a new city. After New York with its tall buildings and wintery weather,  and then Florida and its lush gardens and balmy warm days, Phoenix was a whole other kettle of fish with cacti and desert plants, rocks and sand in the garden beds. 

This was home for our stay in Phoenix, an Airbnb that I chose because of its style. I loved how different it is from houses that I know in Australia, and the front yard was very typical of area, very dry and desert-like. 

Our street was lined with tall palm trees. 

and more cute houses. 

I love the double chimney of this one.

Wandering around the neighbourhood, we came across this groovy strip of shops with murals,

decorated trees and a colourful pavement. 

How scrumptious is this building for its colour, pretty detailing and spider web iron work.

It's always great to see a lucky sign.

A fun mural on the side of a two story building.

And colourful street planters.

I think more houses should have a painted Mariachi man on them, I can practically hear the music he'd be playing. 

This beautiful scented orange tree was buzzing with bees. 

As a tourist the two things I like to do when I visit a city is to go to the main art gallery and the botanic gardens. Our first day in Phoenix was a rare (for such a dry sun drenched area) overcast, rainy day so we chose to go to the Phoenix Art Museum.

There was a garden of spiky cactus at the entrance. 

And a big spiky light sculpture in the foyer. 

There was a great mix of art from bold modern work including this installation of charred wood suspended to look like an explosion,

To traditional pieces, like these quilted Japanese Firemen jackets from the 19th century. 
In the case of a fire the jackets were dunked in water and worn with the imagery inside as the lining, and when the fire was put out was out the coats would be turned inside out to reveal the pictures. 

You can read more about them here. 

 A close up of the stitches.

We enjoyed seeing an exhibition of the surrealist painter, Phillip C Curtis. 

I'm also happy to see a fashion exhibit. This was an overview of clothes designed by Geoffrey Beene who I'd never heard of before so it was a bonus to learn about someone new to me

Many of the mannequins had been arranged in poses as though they were dancing to give the clothes a sense of movement, and wonderful for showing the drape of the fabrics.

As a quilter who works mostly with cotton fabric I enjoy seeing different fabrics, and interesting embellishments and details. 

Love the clever use of stripes in this dress.

PomPoms make everything more fun!

Another photo for my collection of photos of Mr D looking at art. 
With our minds full of all the wonderful things we'd seen, we went home for a quiet evening. 


The next day was one of those glorious sunny blue sky days!! The perfect day for visiting the Desert Botanical Garden.

It was a special treat to see some Dale Chihuly glass sculptures as we walked to the entrance. 

If you'd like to see more of Dale Chihuly's garden sculptures, I wrote another post with lots of photos of Chihuly's glass sculptures HERE in this post about a visit to Seattle. 

Inside the gardens- what else could I say but "Oh My Golly Goodness!!!".

Wonderful sculptural cacti of all shapes and sizes.

Of course I took a zillion photos!!

Cacti and succulents have such an array of wonderful shapes.

Their spikes add such interesting texture and patterns.

All the shades of green to greys.

And when you see a pop of colour of a flower it's like one of nature's miracles. 

They look fabulous against the blue sky!

And add life to a setting of rocks. 

Flowers that look as though they come from Mars.

Even the way they catch the light is glorious! 

Super tall cacti!!

Taller than Mr D, and he's pretty tall!

Another wonderful sculpture adding colour and fun. 

Barrels of interest and fun!
These ones almost look like people. 

It was all one big cactus party!!


The next day was THE BIG DAY! Filming for The Quilt Show!! Woohoo!

Let's step back for a moment- I had been booked to be on the show in 2020. About a week before I got there filming had to be cancelled due to covid lockdowns and I had to fly home in a hurry before Australia closed its borders. 
Once I was safely home in Oz, I had to self isolate. So with no where to go, I spent days watching The Quilt Show episodes ( I started at the beginning and binged most of them!). As I watched, I sewed a million, zillion Yo-Yos, and those Yo-Yos ended up as the Daisy-Mae YoYo Hexagon quilt that you can see behind Ricky Tims and I. 
It was special that the finished quilt came with me when I finally got to be on the show, especially as it turned out to be Ricky's favourite quilt of mine. 

( I handed my phone over to Mr Daisy to take photos for the day. Thanks Mr D!!)

Ricky Tims is a super star!! A lovely person, funny joker, and excellent show host. He was brilliant at keeping me on track and making me feel comfortable in front of the camera. 

Here are my quilts resting on the bed waiting for their moment in the spotlight. 

Each quilt was thoroughly photographed.

Lots of close up detail photos!

Then it was time to go outside to our set. 

Filming took place in a historic home that was once a date plantation. The location will make the whole series fun because different segments and episodes were filmed in different parts of the house and gardens. 

Loved this tiled staircase.

To keep it real there was a moment where we had to wait while a noisy plane to flew overhead, and then someone nearby started using a noisy leaf blower. But I was happy to be outside and not on an indoor studio set, especially when we lucky to have a perfect blue sky day.

Shelly the wonderful producer had sprinkled little daisies everywhere!!

That's Shelly in the watermelon coloured top keeping her eagle eye on everything. 

The whole crew were amazing! Many of the team have been working on TQS since day one in 2007.

The show started with interview questions about myself and my quilts. We share 5 quilts that I tell the stories of.

Then there are 3 seperate segments where I share different techniques: I showed how to make Folded Stars, Yo-Yo puffs and Bubbly circles. It was a tad tricky sticking to time limits but that's where Ricky was brilliant at keeping me on track.

This is Lilo, who was so welcoming and helpful through the day. I love her clothing colour sense, that purple and orange with a pop of green together makes my colourful heart sing. 
Talking about colour, I had taken a few of my colourful glasses with me, because I always like to have a spare. When Ricky saw them he wanted to wear a pair too, so there is a segment where we are both wearing glasses.
I'll jump in and say - no I'm not pregnant. I've had a few people ask. I put on 20kgs over the covid years that I haven't lost lost. Plus I was wearing a very floaty dress ( I like how it looks like a big garden), and we'd been sampling lots of fun food on our trip so I was looking extra puffy. But hey, I'm okay with it. I know folks look at my quilts, not my waistline. And it IS a gorgeous flowery dress so I don't care if it makes me look big.

Mr Daisy matched the tiles on the fountain.

All up, it took about half a day to film the episode which is due to how organised, professional and experienced the team was. 
I feel incredibly honoured to have been on The Quilt Show. I have so many "Pinch Me" moments in my life and this was one of them. It truely did feel like a dream. Especially when Justin came out dressed as a kangaroo!! I didn't get a photo of that so you'll just have to watch the episode to see him.

If you would like to watch my episode of The Quilt Show it's episode 3212, and aired on 4th June, 2023.

You can watch a trailer for my show here - Rachaeldaisy and Ricky Tims 

Or watch the entire show for free with a 7-day membership! 🌟✨ This is an incredible bonus because it grants you access to a vast library of inspiring episodes, covering every aspect of quilting. I think there are more than 100 episodes. It'll be like having your very own Quilt Festival in your lounge room!

Follow this link - Star Membership trial and look for the button that says " Try a Star Membership for 7 days" 


On the morning of our last day in Phoenix, with our suitcases stacked high!! 

I look like I'm sending a big hug out to the world, so this is a good place to say - "Thank you to everyone who has watched my episode of The Quilt Show. I'm so thankful for your lovely feedback and am happy to hear you were inspired by my quilts and techniques". 

It could also be a hug for Mr Daisy because it was at the Phoenix airport that we parted ways for this trip. He was flying home to Australia and I was off to another destination for more adventures. 

One last random photo.. of a ginornous garlic that we saw in a supermarket!! It was bigger than a normal size avacado! HUGE!! I was impressed!! 
Thats the giant garlic next to the normal size galic.
Well there you go, did you ever think you'd see giant garlic on a quilt blog? 

I'll be back soon with the next exciting chapter of the big US tour, who knows what surprises you'll see in that post!