"Rio Vista" -- 2019 Balloon Fiesta Raffle Quilt
It only takes one ticket to win!
As the dawn patrol rises against the darkness, New Mexico Quilters Association members gather inside their chilly booth at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta to set up for a day of sales during the nine day event held each October. For the quilt guild, it is a 37-year tradition, beginning in 1982. The star of the show is the unique balloon quilt created for that year.
Any balloon owner who has submitted a release form may find their balloon on one of our quilts!
Each year, a one-of-a-kind hot air balloon quilt is designed and completed by the guild members, and serves as the major fundraiser for the organization. Visitors from around the world are thrilled to see the handmade treasure that they have an opportunity to win for the price of a $5 raffle ticket. A drawing is held the last day of each fiesta. Winners have come from across the globe. NMQA’s booth at the Balloon Fiesta also features numerous other balloon-themed crafts made by our members for sale as well.
The guild conducts a competition requiring the submission of a drawing for the quilt design. Once a design is chosen, the members start assembling applique parts representing the actual hot air balloons chosen to depict on that year’s quilt. Balloon pilots provide written permission for their balloons to be displayed on the quilts. The quilt typically requires more than 700 hours to complete, and involves as many as 30-50 quilters working as a team. A single applique balloon may require up to 20 hours of handwork. Each quilt is an original. Once done, there will never be another one like it.
Proceeds from the raffle ticket sales support the quilting guild’s outreach efforts in the Albuquerque community, such as providing literally hundreds of quilts for sick and injured children and adults in hospitals and service organizations. Balloon Fiesta proceeds help pay for local and internationally known instructors to offer state-of-the-art inspiration and education for members and friends to support their passion for quilting. The proceeds from this one major initiative help support Quilt Bank, and support funding for judges for the annual New Mexico State Fair and the biennial Fiber Arts Quilt Show.
Any Member may submit a quilt design for consideration. Entries are due September 1. Please see the rules for submission.