Guild Spotlight: Thimbleweed Quilters


Thanks to Colleen Konetzni and Donna Barnitz for providing OnPoint with information about their fun and fabulous group from Rio Rancho, New Mexico. They were a big help at QuiltWeek in Albuquerque!

Our little group began in 1992 when we put a notice in the local paper about a group forming. Who knew there were so many quilters interested in making friends and quilts? We far exceeded the capacity of the library meeting room, so Rio Rancho Parks and Recreation welcomed us with open arms, and we’ve been in the same meeting place all these years! We have around 100 members who enjoy getting together for fun and frivolity. Like we always say, “We’re not setting the quilting world afire, but we’re having a great time.”

15Feb-guildspotlight-580x361A few of our favorite traditions are our yearly retreat to Hummingbird Music Camp, Four Projects and a Potato, New Mexico’s largest and longest running Outdoor Quilt Show, Soup in a Muffin Pan, and our tea party.

Our meetings primarily feature one of our members teaching the rest of us how to do something, whether it’s a new quilt, a dyeing project, tote bag, a new technique, or a little hand project. We love goofy games like Left, Right, Center; Bingo; and the Can Game. We also like to laugh and generally do at every chance we can!

clothesline quiltsOver the years we’ve been involved in lots of community outreach like making little quilts for a couple hundred doll beds made by local woodworkers, making and selling aprons to buy a washer and dryer for Haven House, and making reusable sanitary pads to send with a friend to Africa. We adopted a family who required adapted clothing for Christmas, just the perfect challenge for ladies with sewing machines!

Our abiding tenets include “If you’re in charge, you can do it any way you want!,” “Saving money is the Thimbleweeds way,” “Can’t you find that on sale?,” and “If the schools are closed due to the weather, stay home and sew.” One of the reasons our group works so well is because everybody pitches in to come up with ideas and helps with different projects. If anyone has an idea, we can give it a try.

We also have a huge stage that is generally covered with free stuff from members and other people. We call it our free table, and anyone can leave stuff or take stuff, and whatever remains is donated to a senior center nearby. Lots of good freebie projects have blossomed from the free table.

It’s been fun over the years to see many new friendships grow and flourish. Thimbleweeds is a big friendship group as much as it is a quilting group. We’ve been lucky to make so many new friends. It’s like a big family, only better!

Hummingbird retreat

Read more about Thimbleweed Quilters at their blog:

If you’d like your guild to be considered for a future feature, please contact Jill Antoniou at

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Thank you so much for sharing!