Sandia Spirits

Running along the Rio Grande

My dad's family was from Placitas, New Mexico. It is located in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains near Albuquerque. Last year I went to the funeral of the last close family member left in the area. While there I visited a quilt shop called Southwest Decoratives and Kokopelli Quilting Company. They have an amazing variety of southwest styled patterns, kits, and fabrics. Their batik collection is amazing. So the dilemna was what to chose. I settled on this quilt mainly for what it represented to me.

In the background are the Sandia Mountains where my Grandfather Byard Boyce lived most of his adult life. My Aunt Vianna Bettis and my Uncle Walter Boyce also built places near Granddad. My dad's cousin Ellis Armstrong and his wife Ruth built a beautiful home in nearby Corrales that was next to the Rio Grande River. Those two places and those five people who have all passed hold a special place in my heart. The five horses made of pastel batiks seemed like ghostly spirits so I thought they would be perfect representatives of Byard, Vi, Ruth, Walter, and Ellis.

I struggled to find the right fabric for the river. A recent airplane ride over Albuquerque told me I have it all wrong. The Rio Grande was very muddy. Oh well. The quilt is made from a kit called Sandia's Painted Pretty. It is machine appliquéd, pieced, and quilted. It has a bit of beading added to the feathered manes. The designs on the horses are done with sharpie pens. It is finished at 42" x 34".

Next: Stepping Out