Stitched for a queen

The 2013 Mancos Days Queen Quilt is on display at Mancos Valley Bank in Mancos. Members of the local VFW Ladies Auxiliary No. 5231 make a quilt each year in honor of the new queen and the past queens, to be raffled. Money from the raffle is used for youth projects the Auxiliary sponsors. Tickets for the quilt are $1 each or 6/$5. Tickets will be available at Mancos Valley Bank or by calling Bev Humiston at 759-1332 or Queenie Barz at 749-9320. Enlargephoto

The 2013 Mancos Days Queen Quilt is on display at Mancos Valley Bank in Mancos. Members of the local VFW Ladies Auxiliary No. 5231 make a quilt each year in honor of the new queen and the past queens, to be raffled. Money from the raffle is used for youth projects the Auxiliary sponsors. Tickets for the quilt are $1 each or 6/$5. Tickets will be available at Mancos Valley Bank or by calling Bev Humiston at 759-1332 or Queenie Barz at 749-9320.

Using material from the gowns of former Pioneer Queens, the 2013 Mancos Days Queen Quilt required approximately 150 stitching hours.

"It's a one-of-a-kind collector's item," said Queenie Barz.

Currently on display at the Mancos Valley Bank in Mancos, the quilt was hand-fabricated with needles and thread by several members of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary #5231. Barz said a dozen or so thumb pricks and countless stitches were used in making the 2013 quilt.

"There are up to 3,000 zigzag stitches in each doll," she explained. "The quilt features a total of 54 dolls."

The VFW Ladies Auxiliary has crowned a Mancos Days Pioneer Queen annually since 1961. A small-embroidered doll on the quilt represents each former queen, and a larger embroidered doll as the quilt's centerpiece represents this year's queen, Shirley Whipple.

"We started meeting in January to design the quilt," Barz said. "We actually started quilting in March, and it took us a couple of months to complete."

In addition to the raffled quilt, the VFW Ladies Auxiliary also replicates the featured centerpiece of the quilt as a wall hanging, which is then bestowed to the Pioneer Queen of Mancos Days.

The community is invited to meet the 2013 Pioneer Queen and the 12 surviving former queens at a 1 p.m. Queen's Tea at the Bauer House on Friday, July 26. The public can also catch a peek at all the queens at the Mancos Days Parade on Saturday morning as they wave to the crowd from horse-drawn carriages.

After the Valley Inn-sponsored Queen's Luncheon, the raffle drawing takes place Saturday, July 27, at 1 p.m. in the park.

Raffle tickets for the 2013 Mancos Days Queen Quilt are available for $1 or six tickets for $5. Tickets are available at Mancos Valley Bank or by calling Bev Humiston at 759-1332 or Queenie Barz at 749-9320.

The VFW Ladies Auxiliary raffles off the queen-size quilt to help fund several youth-oriented projects, including the Just Say No art contest. First- through eighth-grade students across Montezuma County are encouraged to enter the drug-awareness competition.