Quilters gather at annual festival

Freedom New Mexico photo: Casey Peacock Verdena Massey and her daughter Gloria Blackwell stand before the Pineapple Pattern quilt Massey quilted and entered into the second annual High Plains Quilt Festival, held at the Memorial Building in Portales.

By Casey Peacock: Freedom New Mexico

Volunteers and vendors alike were busy among the kaleidoscope of colors and patterns that were on display during the second annual High Plains Quilt Festival, held at the Memorial Building.

“We’ve really enjoyed coming to Portales. The people have been so nice,” said DeeAnn Adams, owner of Country Store Quilt Shop in Lovington.

Adams and her employee, Cindi Sanchez, were busy helping customers and discussing the variety of material and quilting supplies that the duo have on display.

Since opening the store in July of 2006, Adams quickly outgrew the space she was in and had to relocate to a larger storefront, Sanchez said.

The duo said they have traveled to a few quilt shows already to spread the word about the quilt shop. In their travels they have enjoyed the gatherings.

“We get to meet all kinds of people,” Sanchez said.

They recently attended a show in Texas and didn’t realize that one of the customers had not paid them for her purchase. A few days after the show, the lady mailed a check to the store for the amount of her purchase, Adams said.

“Quilters are really nice, honest people,” Adams said.

Verdena Massey and daughter Gloria Blackwell were strolling through and admiring the quilts on display.

“I like to see everybody else’s work at the quilt show. It’s just unbelievable what they do,” said Massey.

Massey entered several quilts in the show last year, and won several merchant’s choice awards. She was only able to enter one quilt this year, but it too won a merchant’s choice award.

The pineapple pattern quilt took Massey a little less than a year to complete and is handsewn. Her daughter used the same pattern for a smaller quilt, Massey said.

“She (daughter) gave me the pattern and I made the big one,” Massey said of her quilt.

Over the years, Massey has quilted, not only for her kids, but also her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Blackwell said.

“She always found time to quilt,” Blackwell said.