Our Cover Artist
Artist Elli Sorensen created the quilt featured on this issue's cover as a fundraiser to benefit the Gila Conservation Coalition, sponsors of this month's Gila River Festival, Sept. 13-16 (see story in this issue). Sorensen, who is represented locally by Seedboat Gallery, lives in the Mimbres Valley and Jackson Hole, Wyo., where her colorful landscapes and wildlife paintings are well known. She also sews and hand paints quilts and one-of-a-kind works of clothing. Her work is included in numerous private collections and has been shown in exhibitions throughout the US. The Festival of the Cranes at the Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge near Socorro chose her painting of singing cranes as its signature festival image for 2008.
Sorensen created the silk face of the Gila River Festival quilt by combining her hand-carved block prints with hand painting, using nontoxic heat-set professional textile pigments. Special effects and finishing touches in the design were created with salt, wax and textile crayons on silk. The batting is silk, bamboo, botanic tencel and cotton, and the quilt backing is cotton. The piece was machine-quilted by the artist on a Grace frame with a Juki sewing machine, and the binding was hand-sewn.
Raffle tickets for a chance to win the quilt are $5 each, or five tickets for $20. You can purchase raffle tickets at the Silco Theater, headquarters for the Gila River Festival, and at the Friday and Saturday evening events at Western New Mexico University. Your last chance to buy raffle tickets is at the Sunday morning brunch, when the winning ticket will be drawn. Proceeds from the raffle will help the Upper Gila Watershed Alliance and the Gila Conservation Coalition keep the Gila River wild and free.