Augusta Liddic/The Daily Times A woman browses the quilts on display during the San Juan Quilter’s Guild Quilt Show on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012.
Augusta Liddic/The Daily Times A woman browses the quilts on display during the San Juan Quilter's Guild Quilt Show on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012. (Augusta Liddic)
FARMINGTON — The Civic Center exhibition hall was packed, Friday and Saturday, with people eagerly awaiting a peak at the San Juan Quilter's Guild annual Quilt Show.

These aren't your grandmother's quilts. They range in size, shape and style from traditional bed covers to avant garde works of art incorporating three dimensional elements that jump off the surface, bits of shining metal and intricate patterns rivaling even the finest brushstrokes.

"This is the first year for art quilts," said guild member Shari Schmitt. "It is sort of controversial in the community because it includes things like metal."

The show included a special category in celebration of the state centennial. The show's board members asked contestants to create quilts that show what they find enchanting about New Mexico. The 12 works were judged in a juried competition. Vicky Wethington's quilt won best overall in the contest.

Wethington's quilt depicted shards of pottery on a charcoal background. She painted each shard with patterns of actual pieces of pottery found throughout the Four Corners.

"I just love our history here in New Mexico," she said.

Wethingon began quilting about five years ago. She had experience painting and making pottery. She plans to create a companion piece with arrow points, spear heads and an ax head.

Her sister, Susan Bowman, also submitted an unusual quilt. The piece, "A Little Slice of Heaven on Earth," shows a forest scene.


Fairies hover beside a tree. Bowman shows both the tree's roots burrowing into the soil and its branches reaching upward. A little cloth door opens into the tree's heart, revealing a warmly lit home.

The show also included a number of traditional quilts. Edith Anne Galle, 88, submitted a particularly remarkable piece. Her friend Myrtle Lilley, 95, completed design blocks for a quilt 83 years ago. The quilt, however, was left unfinished. Galle put together the quilt for Lilley this year, hand stitching delicate lines and little hearts into the fabric.

"She is one of our treasures," Schmitt said. "We call her the energizer bunny. She is one of the dearest people you will ever meet."

The quilt show drew 69 quilters and 267 individual submissions.