New Mexico Centennial Quilt
New Mexico Centennial Quilt
People have been living in New Mexico for over 13,000 years, according to archeologists, making it one of the oldest sites of human habitation in the United States. In addition to its many centuries of population by Native Americans, New Mexico’s long and storied history includes time under the dominion of Spain and Mexico and six decades as a U.S. territory prior to becoming a state on January 6, 1912.
To celebrate the statehood centennial in 2012, a group of quilters in Alamogordo, New Mexico, known as the Love Knots, created a quilt called 47 Stars, so named because it commemorates New Mexico’s entry into the union as the 47th state. New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez proclaimed a special day honoring the 47 Stars quilt as a fitting tribute to the state’s move from 63 years as a territory to full statehood.
The driving force behind the centennial quilt was 86-year-old Ruth Vaughan, who has a deep love for her home state, saying, “I wasn’t born in New Mexico, but I got here as soon as I could!” Ruth grew up around quilting, but didn’t take it up herself until she retired. After completing a community education class in quilting, her instructor suggested that Ruth start teaching the class. She then helped form the Enchanted Quilter’s Guild in Alamogordo, and served as its president for two years. Some of the guild members wanted to meet more often than the monthly guild meeting, and the Love Knots quilting bee was started in 1989.
When the 12 members of the Love Knots decided to make a centennial quilt, they discussed a number of ideas before agreeing on stars to depict New Mexico’s position as the nation’s 47th state. They then set about finding fabrics in colors that reflect those found in the state’s landscape.
Using Eleanor Burns’ “Radiant Star” pattern (from her Quilt in A Day series) as the quilt’s centerpiece, they decided to surround it with 46 smaller star blocks in a variety of patterns. They studied various sources for star blocks, searching books and looking at other quilts for inspiration. The finished blocks went up on the design wall in Ruth’s studio for placement. Some of the blocks turned out to be too large, and those were later made into charity quilts.
When the final block selections were made and the top was pieced, quilted, and bound, the resulting quilt measured 108” by 118”. The extensive hand quilting included flora and fauna native to the state.
It took the 12 members of the Love Knots over 500 hours to complete the quilt. “It means a lot to have a little part in celebrating the New Mexico state centennial. I wanted to do something to honor this very momentous occasion,” Vaughan says. “I quilted on it nearly every day—sometimes even on Sunday—for three months.”
Some lucky person is going to be able to own this piece of New Mexico history. The Love Knots are selling tickets to win the quilt ($5 for one ticket or $20 for six) and a drawing will take place on December 12, 2012. If you are interested, you can contact Ruth Vaughan by calling 575-437-4085 or 575-437-5162.
Click here to return to top.
Column 99: Montana Stockgrowers Anniversary Brand Quilt
Column 98: The Tobacco Sack Connection
Column 97: Meet the Sisters Who Are State Fair Quilting Queens
Column 96: The connection between fairs and quilts.
Column 95: Her Mother Pieced Quilts
Column 94: Rebecca Barker’s Quiltscapes
Column 93: The Thread and Thimble Club Mystery
Column 92: The Ballerina Quilter
Column 91: Grandmother's Flower Garden Comes Alive at Texas Quilt Museum
Column 90: Leitmotif for a Lifelong Love Affair
Column 89: Quilting in The Bahamas
Column 88: Joan of Arc: A Quilter's Inspiration
Column 87: Home Demonstration Clubs and Quilting
Column 86: Linzi Upton and the Quilted Yurt
Column 85: A Bounty of Quilts
Column 84: Desert Trader
Column 83: Quilts and the Women’s Liberation Movement
Column 82: Replicating the Past: Reproduction Fabrics for Today’s Quilts
Column 81: Why So Many Quilt Shops in Bozeman, Montana?
Column 80: Southeastern Quilt and Textile Museum
Column 79: 54 Tons of Quilt
Column 78: Ollie Steele Burden’s Quilt Blocks
Column 77: Quilting with AMD
Column 76: Maverick Quilts and Cowgirls
Column 75: The Modern Quilt Guild—Cyberculture Quilting Ramps Up
Column 74: The Membership Quilt—Czech Quilting in Texas
Column 73: Maximum Security Quilts
Column 72: Author: Terri Thayer
Column 71: The Christmas Quilt
Column 70: New Mexico Centennial Quilt
Column 69: Scrub Quilts
Column 68: “Think Pink” Quilt Raises Funds for Rare Cancer Research
Column 67: Righting Old Wrongs.
Column 66: 100 Years, 100 Quilts - More on the Arizona Centennial.
Column 65: Arizona Centennial Quilt Project
Column 64: Capt. John Files Tom’s Family Tree
Column 63: The Fat Quarters
Column 62: Quilt Fiction Author: Clare O’Donohue
Column 61: Louisiana Bicentennial Quilt
Column 60: The Camo Quilt Project.
Column 59: Thread Wit
Column 58: Ralli Quilts
Column 57: Preschool Quilters
Column 56: The Story Quilt
Column 55: Red and Green Quilts
Column 54: On the Trail
Column 53: Quilt Trail Gathering
Column 52: True Confessions: First Quilt
Column 51: Quilted Pages
Column 50: Doll Quilts
Column 49: More Than a Quilt Shop
Column 48: Las Colchas of the Texas-Mexico Border
Column 47: Literary Gifts
Column 46: A Different Way of Seeing
Column 45: Sampling
Column 44: Hen and Chicks
Column 43: A Star Studied Event
Column 42: Shoo Fly Pattern
Column 41: Awareness Quilts
Column 40: Tivaevae
Column 39: UnOILed UnspOILed Coast Quilt Project
Column 38: Katrina Recovery Quilts
Column 37: Quilted Vermont
Column 36: The Labyrinth Quilt—A Meditative Endeavor
See other archived columns here