FARMINGTON Two Four Corners quilting groups met Saturday for a friendly competition that benefitted local charities.

In January, the San Juan Quilters Guild challenged the La Plata Quilters Guild to a "quilt-off." On Saturday, members of both guilds met at Crestview Southern Baptist Church in Farmington to create as many quilts as they could in about fours hours.

By 2 p.m., the roughly 50 quilters had made just less than 40 quilts, with more than half of those created by San Juan Quilters Guild members.

All of the quilts will be donated to charities. The San Juan Quilters Guild — which consists of quilters from Farmington, Aztec and Bloomfield — chose to donate its quilts to People Assisting the Homeless, which provides basic services to San Juan County's homeless. The La Plata Quilters Guild, which includes Durango, Colo. quilters, chose to Project LINUS, an organization that distributes blankets to children in hospitals, shelters and social service agencies.

Quilters began quilting around 9:45 a.m., and within an hour they were halfway done with their quilts, said Gail Aspromonte, a San Juan Quilters Guild member, said. Aspromonte, who has been quilting for about 20 years, owns Quilt It! Ya Ya in Aztec.


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Each quilter on Saturday came armed with a sewing machine. Some brought modern machines, while others brought older, antique machines. The oldest sewing machine in the room Saturday was a black 1938 Singer Featherweight that Shellie Purcell, a member of the San Juan Quilters Guild, found in an antique shop in Cortez, Colo.

"Those of us who have Featherweights love them," Purcell said. "They're just little workhorses that go forever."

Jill Fischer, left, and Elaine Harden with the San Juan Quilters Guild work on their quilts Saturday during a quilt-off between the San Juan and La Plata
Jill Fischer, left, and Elaine Harden with the San Juan Quilters Guild work on their quilts Saturday during a quilt-off between the San Juan and La Plata quilters guilds at Crestview Southern Baptist Church in Farmington. (Jon Austria — The Daily Times)

Patty Hanscom, also with the San Juan Quilters Guild, said she inherited her reliable 1950s Featherweight from her mother-in-law. Hansom added she likes the machine's portability.

"They're lightweight, and they're easy to take along," she said.

The number of sewing machines operating briefly caused the electricity to go out around 11:30 a.m. The guilds took that as a sign it was time for lunch, which was provided by Rubio's, Si Señor and Zebadiah's.

While this was the first quilt-off between the two guilds, they meet frequently for quilting events, such as the annual Four Corners Quilt Gathering. Barb Morgan, a member of the La Plata guild, helps organize the annual gathering.

She said she likes to get together with the San Juan Quilters Guild, as well as guilds in Cortez and Pagosa Springs, Colo., because each group has its own quilting style, though, in some cases, its members live only an hour apart.

"We all have kind of different tastes in the quilts that we make," Morgan said.

She said San Juan quilters tend to sew more traditional quilts, while La Plata quilters make more "artsy" ones.

On Saturday, Morgan worked on a quilt with a horse theme. She placed the quilt's pieces on the floor to show how they would eventually fit together, explaining which fabrics were originally a single panel before she cut them into sections.

"That's what quilters do," she said. "We cut it apart and put it back together."

A La Plata Quilters Guild member’s quilt hangs on Saturday at a quilt-off between the San Juan and La Plata quilters guilds at Crestview Southern
A La Plata Quilters Guild member's quilt hangs on Saturday at a quilt-off between the San Juan and La Plata quilters guilds at Crestview Southern Baptist Church in Farmington. The quilters make just less than 40 quilts to donate to local charities. (Jon Austria — The Daily Times)

IF YOU GO

What: San Juan Quilters Guild meeting
When: 9:30 a.m. or 6 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month
Where: Farmington Civic Center, 200 W. Arrington St., Farmington
Membership: $30. Download a form at www.sjqg.org.
More info: Contact Kim Duke at 505-325-0860.

What: Four Corners Quilt Gathering
When: April 11 to 13
Where: Durango Community Recreation Center, 2700 Main Ave., Durango, Colo.
Cost: $35
Register: Call Barb Morgan at 970-259-1079.

Hannah Grover covers news, arts and religion for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and hgrover@daily-times.com. Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.