For as long as humans have had art, art has had patrons, angels driven by what we can maybe call a “nobility of civic purpose.” In Las Cruces, patrons of our quilters make possible the prizes awarded for the best quilts in many different skill categories and for the Judge’s and Viewer’s Choice awards that cross categories.
With a feeling akin to the joy in Mudville when Casey’s at the bat, the Las Colcheras Quilt Guild has scheduled its next show for the weekend of Feb. 3-4 in 2023. On display at the Las Cruces Convention Center will be hundreds of quilts for visitors to enjoy. Many of these quilts will have been judged and those who put in the time and effort to produce an outstanding example of their particular talent will proudly display their rosettes and ribbons.
Traditionally, we have awards for the quilts judged best in each of a number of skill-related categories, culminating in the Best in Show award, which goes to the quilt the judges have deemed best overall.
One of the skills is appliqué, a technique where different pieces of fabric are layered to create a design or picture. The Best of Appliqué award is always sponsored by local dentist Phillip E. Born, Jr. His sponsorship gives him a great deal of pleasure, a feeling of happiness that he is delighted to tell others about.
This year, we have a new award, the Debbie and Tim Johnson Prize, that will be given for the quilt that best exemplifies the guild’s encouragement of artistic creativity and expression. While the Best of award categories value quilting skills, the Debbie and Tim Johnson prize will recognize artistry and creative bravery, for the one who most dared to “step out of the box.”
Best in Show award sponsors are Marsha and Izzy Cowan. Their award goes to that one quilter who has made a quilt that that judges have deemed best of all they have seen in the show. Izzy and Marcia are long-time patrons who are delighted to be part of this enormously fun event.
Women in Network is sponsoring the Viewer’s Choice award. For this award, the winner is chosen by votes from the show attendees. Each of the eligible quilts has a number and people can simply choose which one they like best without have to know about the intricate details of quilting. They can just say, “Oooh, I like That One; I’m going to vote for it.”
Lauren Cunningham, DDS, a quilt lover who shares quilt cuddles with her dog, Bo, is sponsoring the Judge’s Choice award. The Judge’s Choice award is similar to the Viewer’s Choice in that the judges can simply pick the one they like best. These Choice awards offer opportunities for quilts with emotional impact to share in the limelight
Every quilt show has a theme, and ours is “Spring Fling.” The Best Theme Quilt prize is given for the quilt that best exemplifies the expression of the quilter’s interpretation of the theme. The Spring Fling theme could celebrate flowers, new leaves, returning birds, or just as likely, vacations in warm places with other college-aged friends. Patrons Ann and Michael Siewert, new to Las Cruces, are sponsoring the Theme Quilt prize.
Vicki Alarcón is happy to support the embroiderers in our community with the Best of Embroidery award. A common theme that runs through the planning is the anticipation and pure fun of seeing who won the award you sponsored.
A very special treat for this show are the art quilt exhibits by Vicki Conley of Ruidoso and invitational quilting artists 4 Common Corners. Vicki is bringing her collection of quilts celebrating national parks of the Southwest. The 4 Common Corners exhibition will feature items from past exhibits; this will be a rare opportunity to enjoy the beautiful celebrations that have resulted from these fiber artists’ “immersion in the unique beauty of the four corners region...”.
Quilting is a rich cultural activity in our community and the upcoming show will give the general public the opportunity to meet the quilters, talk about quilting history and admire the handiwork, much of which reflects hours of commitment.