Colorful quilting

Jeanne Kircher and her family, from left, Kaitlyn, Cole and Savannah take time to visit the High Plains Quilt Festival at the Memorial Building in Portales on Friday. The girls said they thought the quilts were pretty. CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks

By Casey Peacock: Freedom Newspapers

Full of color and rich with history, dozens of quilts are being displayed this weekend at the High Plains Quilt Festival at the Memorial Building in Portales.

Festival chairwoman Elizabeth Lawrence said turnout for the event has been good. Vendors are also reporting that they are happy with the show at this point, Lawrence said.

“Everything is going very well,” said Lawrence.

Ann Podany, the featured quilter for the festival, has a wide range of quilts on display. An Artesia resident, Podany has been quilting for about 20 years. Her quilts range from traditional patterns to more elaborate three-dimensional ones. The quilts, in various sizes, can be used for wall hangings, placed on the backs of chairs or displayed on a table, Podany said.

“I like to do all kinds of quilting and try all sorts of techniques,” Podany said.

Podany’s work includes a quilt that looks like stained glass. The effect is achieved by putting colors down and appliqueing bias strips on top, Podany said.

Displayed behind the stage is a quilt that dates back to the Civil War era. In the Indian Headdress or Whigs Defeat pattern, the quilt belongs to Mary Goff of Elida, and has been passed down through five generations.

“Everyone cherished it or it wouldn’t be here,” Goff said.

The festival is a bustle of activity as ladies visit and reminisce about the materials used in their quilts. Seminars are taking place at intervals throughout the day as the festival continues today. In addition, festival-goers are coloring blocks that will be quilted and donated to local charities.

With support from the quilting community, Brenda Ansel and Helen King from Down Home Quilts in Dumas, Texas, were able to overcome a car accident Thursday that destroyed much of their equipment.

“We really appreciated what they have done for us,” King said.

Elaine Harrison of Edmond, Okla., and her friend James Akins of Portales were enjoying strolling through the festival and looking at the quilts.

“I enjoy it,” Akins said. “We’ve had a lot of fun at quilt shows.”

“I’m very impressed,” Harrison said. “They have a lot of neat quilts.”