Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Where in the World is Tortilla Flat?

This post is full of travel photos - shots taken through windows in a moving car, a bit blurry, a bit too zoomed in - but what a day with so much scenery!

First things first - I arrived into Greensboro, NC last evening around 10:15pm and stayed overnight in a hotel in Greensboro so I could drive home today in the daylight. So this girl is ALMOST home!

When Dad suggested we "take a drive" on Monday, I was intrigued enough by the name "Tortilla Flat" to say "Let's go!"

What ensued was a wonderful journey through backroads winding around the Superstitions mountains.

Family has lived in Arizona since I was 15.  Why had we never done this before?

We are still too far away and this is zoomed in to the point of grainy.

Why didn't I bring the "big girl" camera?

From the car while driving -

These mountains are so captivating!

Little tchotchke places like this tickle my fancy - oh, the signage!  And that same majestic mountain rising up behind. 

Welcome to Tortilla Flat, population 6.

No lie!

It's all eateries, souvenir shops (and hand dipped ice cream) and bars.  And a post office.

The folks on motorcycle trips love this as a destination - the roads are winding and scenic.

I'm glad we came on a Monday - it was still packed.  I would hate to see it on a weekend!

With the parking in front of everything, it was hard to get any decent photos - so this is a study in realism.  And if you can find a parking spot close, you are doing well.

But these outcroppings!

I'm waiting for Clint Eastwood to stroll into town toting his 6-shooter.

I spy dad in the red sweatshirt heading over to talk to those two guys riding Gold Wings.  He can talk to anyone at anytime about anything.  And when it comes to Gold Wings, he is like a moth to a flame.

He sold his Gold Wing a few years back when it got too much for him to handle at 80.  Now that he is turning 83 next week, he says it was the right choice at the right time, but I can still see and feel the longing for the open road.

He chatted for quite a while with the 2 guys from Edmonton Alberta (who don't want to go back up north next week and I don't blame them!)

Original Tortilla Flat schoolhouse.

And I thought Mouth of Wilson, Virginia was remote!

Finally locked up by the Quilt Police! LOL!

There is beauty even in desolation.

A happy selfie!

"Souvies" (souvenirs) were purchased. Memories were made.  Lunch filled our bellies.  And many more photos were taken which I will share over the next couple of posts.

This was also finished somewhere between Atlanta and Greensboro last night!

For those asking about the thread, it's Wonderfil 12 wt cotton.  You can of course use 'regular' embroidery floss, perhaps 2 or 3 strands would do the job.  I just like working with the 12 wt as I don't like the twisting and knotting of embroidery floss when you go to separate the plys.

When I get home I'll soak it to dissolve the Sulky Stick N Stitch.  And then I'll make it into our project for our Vietnam trip coming up!

And I guess by now you've figured out that I was too knackered during my layover in Atlanta (Which was shorter than I thought it would be due to a delay on the Phoenix to Atlanta leg) to pull out the lap top and write a post to announce our winners of the Unchained PDF Pattern & Fabric Roll Gift-Away.

So let's do that now!

We had 4,822 entries!  That is absolutely fantastic!  And if you have already dove in to starting your own Unchained adventure, I'd love to keep up with your progress if you are sharing to social media.  Please use hashtag #unchainedquilt so I can follow you!

If you haven't purchased yet, you can find that pattern in both the digital pattern section of the Quiltville Store and the Quiltville Etsy Pattern Shop.

Congrats to our winners Susan Rinehart and Lisa Barlow!  They will each be receiving a PDF copy of Unchained from me AND:

 A Roy G. Biv Color Roll from Cotton to Quilts!

If you don't know what Roy G. Biv means (And I had to ask too!) It's an acronym for the order of the colors in the rainbow. Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet!

This roll is the perfect color enhancement to round out your fabric stash.

Susan & Lisa - please reply to the emails I've already sent to the addresses you included with your entries.  Reply with your mailing addresses so I can have the fine folks from Cotton to Quilts get your fabric prizes out to you.

If you live outside of the USA we can ship the fabric prize to a friend who lives within the USA who can then forward it on to you.  

Congrats, ladies!

With that done, I am ready to start my journey home - but there will also be a Costco/Target run since I am in the vicinity. There are some things I need to pick up before heading up to the mountains.

I'm looking forward to being back home and to diving back into some recently started projects -

I hope everyone had a wonderful week - it's good to be back!

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Optimism is a happiness magnet.
If you look for the positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you. We see what we search for!
Allow the good vibes, positive thoughts and whatever happy juju you can muster to rise to the top.

Vintage spider web quilt found in North Carolina.



  1. I kind of think the guy that wrote The Bridges of Madison County's follow up book was Tortilla Flats. Glad you had such a good time.

  2. Love the selfie -- your smile reflects the smile of the outcropping behind you! 😊

  3. Looks like we need to take a road trip to Tortilla Flat ! (we're snowbirds in Tucson)

  4. Did you eat Tacos at Totilla Flats? I think I have my MOJO going again with my Quilt machine I call Betsy. I neede to quilt for the upcoming Quilt Guild show in Tri-Cities. A few messy stitches I'll have to fiddle with to enter it. Bindings to finish, my favorite part. Welcome Home.

  5. Loved the pictures!! I also have family in AZ :) I too love to take side trips. Use to do that all the time. Now that I am in my 80s I don`t get to do that very much. I have not done much quilting in the past month. Just getting over that cough that is going around. But I am better and heading out to a class with my daughter :)

  6. Love the travelog to Tortilla Flat. I just bought a park model in Apache Junction and the trip out there is so much fun! The drive is so different and the scenery of the reservoirs is gorgeous. Not to mention how interesting it is to read the history of building the Apache Trail. xoxo

  7. So glad you discovered Tortilla Flat. We come to AZ Jan to Mar and sometimes just drive up from Apache Junction for the scenery and have an ice cream cone.

  8. Here in Ireland we use it as a mnemonic, Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain,
    to remember the colours. Hope your trip to Ireland is successful.
    Like the photographs.

  9. God has blessed me with the site of those mountains everyday and I sure do enjoy them. I hope you tried the prickely pear ice cream on your day trip it's the best!

  10. You need to strip embroidery floss. Cut the length of floss you need (elbow length is best). Hold one end of floss and pick One strand, then slowly pull this single strand straight up, till single strand clears the remaining. Set this strand aside, straighten remaining strands and repeat procedure for as many strands as you need (two or three give best stitching results. You will not get any tangles or knots if you strip your floss this way.

  11. Hi Bonnie; so glad you had a good visit with your dad. So nice to be able to visit with our parents. My mom lives in Oregon and I live in Utah... we have the best time together when we get together.
    Funny thing I read this post yesterday then last night (before I went to sleep) I started reading a new book. It's called The Cost of Secrets, by Tyson Abaroa. On page 4, the lead character is thinking about where a body has been found.... in a canyon in Tortilla Flats. So far its pretty suspenseful... but until you mentioned it and going there (they do talk about the places you mentioned there) I don't recall ever hearing of the place. Take care... Jean


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