Durango resident Barbara Morgan is going to have her fingers crossed in January when her quilt is a semifinalist for a major award in a competition at a show organized by the American Quilt Society.
Her home machine-quilted entry, an op-art red and white creation that can be a little dizzying, will compete in the Best Wall Quilt category. Its name may best describe it – “Oh, Wow!” She started it in March and finished it in July.
Morgan, a member of the La Plata Quilters Guild, has been quilting since 1988 and has made between 200 and 300 of the beautifully pieced textiles. But this is her first competition in all those years, and to make it to the semifinals out of a field of 500 entries from 40 states and eight other countries is pretty impressive.
The quilt will be one of 186 on display at the 2015 QuiltWeek on Jan. 14 to 17 at the Iowa Events Center in Albuquerque.
Morgan has written a book about baby quilts called Children’s Zoo and has done her best to inspire the womenfolk in her family to join her in the avocation. Her grandmother took it up in her ’70s and became the queen of crazy quilts, making them for all her grandchildren and haunting thrift stores for fabric.
Morgan’s mother took it up in her 80s, making four quilts before her death. And her two daughters can sew, know how to quilt and have made some, but it’s not their passion.
I have to admit to a bit of a passion for quilts myself. No, I don’t quilt; it’s all I can do to sew on a button. But I admire the artistry and the attention to detail of an artform that was the only artistic outlet for many women for centuries.
There’s also prize money in the competition. Best in Show will receive $10,000, best in the six subcategories will receive $3,500, and there are prizes for second and third place in each category as well. (I’m betting that if Morgan places in the money, so to speak, at least some of it will go to purchase more fabric!)
Visit www.americanquilter.com for more information about the show and the society.
Congratulations, Barbara, and best of luck in the next stage.
Whether they’re decorating a tree, going shopping or drinking mulled wine, here’s hoping these folks have a fun birthdaythis holiday season – Rita Lee, Richard Gallavan, Paul Duggan, Patrice Lindeman, Ron Lephart, Genna Kidd, Claire Maxwell, Sue Walker, Joe Somrak, Curtis Swanson, Carol Thurman, Donna Ninde, Susan Welty, Norman Broad and Jim Beatty.
Special greetings also go to Tonya Wales – hope you have a sweet one after chairing the effort to feed 1,500 people at the Community Thanksgiving Dinner.
Yikes, I clearly was in space-cadet mode last week. Just the holiday, I guess. Anyway, Rex Emenegger, with a great deal of advance notice, asked me to wish happy birthday to his wife, Donna, for Nov. 28, and I forgot. My apologies, and I hope it was a good one.
Congratulations to the Garden Project of Southwest Colorado for being awarded the Healthy Event Seal of Approval by San Juan Basin Health Department – and for an event featuring pies, no less.
The award was for its Pies in the Garden and signifies that it’s a local asset-builder by providing a safe and healthy community event for La Plata County’s children, youth and families. The event, held at the end of September, was a celebration of the second harvest season at the Ohana Kuleana Community Garden. More than 30 pies were presented for the title Best Pie, including savory, such as vegetable quiche and squash pies, as well as the dessert type, such as chocolate-orange-hazelnut and peach-raspberry-mascarpone pie.
The award was presented at the organization’s annual farm-to-table fundraiser event at Eolus Bar & Dining on Nov. 13. More than 80 local foodies gathered on Eolus’ rooftop patio to enjoy a fall harvest feast prepared by Chef Chris Cowl.
“As candles twinkled on the cozy patio, faces glowed with inspiration - or maybe it was the local hot bourbon apple cider,” Garden Project Executive Director Sandhya Tillotson said. “If you thought you were tired of kale, you haven’t yet tried Chris’ kale in coconut cream sauce.”
Also on the menu were potatoes au gratin layered with sliced potatoes from Wily Carrot Farm and Belford cheese from James Ranch; both a hearty beef stew and vegetarian chili, which warmed up the evening with local produce from Twin Buttes Gardens, Dove Creek beans and Colorado beef.
Tillotson said Wines of the San Juan kept the fruit of the grape flowing while she shared the highlights of the organization’s focus on building school and community gardens in La Plata County.
Speakers from each of the project’s showcase gardens spoke about the impact that the gardens have had on lives. Jason Cloudt, garden manager at Manna Soup Kitchen, talked about sending clients home with fresh vegetables and recipes to prepare them.
Needham Elementary School first grade teacher Nora Stafford talked about the joys of the school’s garden and how it connects to curriculum standards, while fourth grader Macie Fogel enjoyed the afterschool Dirt Club so much, she went back to help the younger students.
And Bruce Spining shared the richness of experience happening at Ohana Kuleana and how its community gardeners are “planting a twig” that will benefit the community for years to come.
Garden Manager Mia Carrasco-Songer said, “We’re not just growing food in the gardens, we’re really growing community.”
In addition to the aforementioned donors, event sponsors included Ecosphere Environmental Services, Zia Taqueria, Pediatric Associates of Durango, the Colorado State University Extension Office, The Payroll Department, Amber Johnson of Coldwell Banker, Monarch Vaults & Ironworks and Animas Chocolate Co.
I wish I had room for all the local farms, ranches and companies that shared their skills and the fruits of their labors to make this dinner happen, but let’s just say this segment of our community continues to show generosity in many ways.
The Garden Project was founded in 1998 and already has built 19 school and community gardens in our county. Their goal, Carrasco-Songer said, is to promote health and wellness, environmental stewardship and a sustainable local food system.
Visit www.thegardenprojectswcolorado.org to learn more about the Garden Project’s work and to donate.
I’m not much of a gardener, but there’s a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote about how to succeed in life – “To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition,” – that I always think of when I see a beautiful garden. Thanks for “leaving the world a bit better.”
Luckily, red roses will fit right in with the holiday color scheme for the anniversary of Mark and Sharon Donahue.
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