The Silver Thimble Award is an honor that may be given to a member of Las Colcheras Quilt Guild each year. It belongs to someone who has contributed more than her share to make the wheels turn smoothly in this organization and she is chosen by the outgoing President. The guild president may choose the award recipient or can ask the guild members for recommendations.
Silver Thimble Recipients
2017 Silver Thimble Award
Josephina (Pepa) Chavez
President Judy Gillen has given her award to Josephina Chavez, known to most as Pepa. A longtime member of a hand quilting group, the Wednesday Morning Hand Quilting and Coffee Society, now referred to as the Old Batts. This Bee stems from a group of women who met regularly to quilt long before the guild was organized. These women were called the Sew and Sews and quilted in the Hospitality Building on Alameda. Pepa, along with most of the group joined the new guild, Las Colcheras de Las Cruces and became charter members.
With the early inspiration and help of a neighbor, Virginia Kane. Pepa began her quilting career. Her first quilt was for her daughter’s 8th birthday. It was an appliqué butterfly block pattern and after about 45 years of continuous use, she took it apart, repaired worn blocks, replaced the batt, and then hand quilted it, again .
Many of Pepa’s quilts reflect her love of red, green and white and her favorite technique, needle turned appliqué. She designs her quilt tops using poinsettias, poppies, and other large flowers in these favorite colors. Though many of Pepa’s quilts are bed sized she also makes small community service quilts for children and she makes a lot of them, mostly hand quilted.
She has won top awards in both the Southern New Mexico State Fair and in the guild quilt shows – including Best of Show . In addition to the quilts, she also created beautiful Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy dolls, as well as Teddy Bears. All this while helping to care for her farm. Nellie Nieto, a guild member and Pepa’s niece remembers 17 years ago being inspired and helped “by this wonderful aunt to make her first quilt. Thank you, Tia! She started me on a 9 patch block, and she told me that I could do anything I put my mind to do.” “I remember her making all sorts of crafty things including baby quilts and dolls to sell at the farmers market.” Pepa has contributed so much to our quilting community. AND for that, we thank you.