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    • 2012
    • International Quilt Festival/Cincinnati
      April 13-15, 2012
      Preview Night & Classes
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      Cincinnati, Ohio
      Duke Energy Convention Center
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      October 27-29, 2012
      Classes begin October 26
      Houston, Texas
      George R. Brown Convention Center
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      November 1-4, 2012
      Preview Night October 31
      Classes begin October 29
      Houston, Texas
      George R. Brown Convention Center
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      Catalogue will be available mid/late July 2012

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Column #70

New Mexico Centennial Quilt

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.


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Archived blogs:

Column 144: Texas Community Marks Juneteenth Sesquicentennial with History Quilts
Column 143: Maya Embroidered Patchwork
Column 142: Huipil Patchwork Quilts
Column 141: Tom Korn’s Military Medal Quilts
Column 140: The Return of Double Knits!
Column 139: Passage Quilts
Column 138: Home of the Brave Quilts
Column 137: The Story of Fabric Yo-Yos
Column 136: Christmas in July
Column 135: Trifles
Column 134: Deaf Initiatives—Communicating Through Quilts
Column 133: My Betty Boop Quilt
Column 132: Maura Grace Ambrose
Column 131: All You Need Is Love
Column 130: Chicken Linens
Column 129: The Quilted Chuppah
Column 128: Patchwork Around the World: Yoruba Dance Costumes
Column 127: The Bowers Co-Op Quilts
Column 126: Fon Appliqué and Haitian Voodoo Flags
Column 125: The Quilt Garden at The North Carolina Arboretum
Column 124: Harriet Powers and Handful’s Mauma
Column 123: Quilters de Mexico
Column 122: An Appliquéd Surprise
Column 121: Matisse’s Fabric Stash
Column 120: Soogan—The Cowboy’s Quilt
Column 119: The Ron Swanson Quilt
Column 118: HClarkdale, Georgia—A Thread of History
Column 117: How WWI Changed the Color of Quilts in the United States
Column 116: Wagga—The Bushman’s Quilt
Column 115: All in the Family
Column 114: The Alabama State Quilt
Column 113: Balloon Quilts of Albuquerque
Column 112: The Family That Quilts Together, Stays Together
Column 111: Two Rivers, Three Sisters
Column 110: Quilters Helping Quilters
Column 109: Community Cookbooks and Fundraiser Quilts—Parallel Histories
Column 108: Quilting to Freedom
Column 107: National Quilting Day
Column 106: The Airing of the Quilts
Column 105: A Call for a National Juneteenth Commemorative Quilt
Column 104: Dominoes
Column 103: 1936 Texas Centennial Bluebonnet Quilt
Column 102: Helen Blackstone, A Texas Quilter
Column 101: Montana CattleWomen Anniversary Brand Quilt
Column 100: 100th Suzy's Fancy Column!
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

See other archived columns here