Skip to main content

BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

Sunset Slope Quilters spread love and comfort

Feb 24, 2022 02:44PM ● By Jan Weeks

In an age of high tech and throw-away thinking, there are people who still craft the old-fashioned way. Sunset Slope Quilters encourages members to stitch for pleasure, for heritage, for charity, and for the upcoming Mesas to Monuments quilt show April 8-9 at Grand Junction Convention Center. 

“The quilt show provides an opportunity for our members to show their work to the community and to inspire fellow quilters,” said Judy Allerheiligen, the show’s co-chair.

Sunset Slope Quilters is a 501(c)4 organization that has been stitching since 1986. Members provide comfort and warmth to the community by donating their creations to St Mary’s and Community Hospital’s oncology centers, Latimer House, Western Slope Center for Children, Homeward Bound, and more. The fire department has received quilts to give to victims of house fires, and each house that Habitat for Humanity builds receives a housewarming quilt. Shelter pets receive beds as well.

Once a year, quilters host a “sew-in” to make quilts for charities. Members bring their own sewing machines and materials, and stitch away. Most of the projects have been started at home, and this meeting is a chance to show and sew in an atmosphere of camaraderie. 

Sonia Sanderson began quilting 50 years ago when she became intrigued with “stained glass” quilts, in which each block is separated by a black strip that imitates the leading in a stained glass window. 

Debbie Wolfe, 72, brought her project, a quilt made of tiny hearts using the English paper piecing method in which fabric is shaped around paper hearts. Wolfe started the Healing Hearts quilt on Valentine’s Day 2021 to commemorate Americans who had died of COVID. 

She intended to make one heart for every victim but when the death toll moved past 800,000, she realized she couldn’t hand stitch quickly enough, so now each heart represents 200. She plans to exhibit the finished quilt at this year’s show, then display it at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden. 

Wolfe said, “It was never intended to be my quilt. It belongs to the people.”

When COVID hit, Sunset Slope Quilters rose to the occasion and sewed and donated thousands of masks and other PPEs. 

The quilt show’s co-chair Judy Allerheiligen said that in addition to the local and on-going charity work, the group responds to one-time needs. 

“We donated not only quilts but fabric, tools and sewing machines to the victims of the Paradise fire in California,” she said. “We sent quilt blocks for a project in Australia to make quilts for their wildfire victims.” 

And the Marshall fire victims will be receiving new quilts, too. 

Sunset Slope Quilters meet at Canyon View Vineyards Church’s South Chapel, 736 24 1/2 Road, on the second Wednesday of the month. Visitors are always welcome. 

For more information, visit or contact Allerheiligen at 970-201-6212 or Janet Wheeler at 970-216-6865. You can also find pages for the club and the show on Facebook.

Read more BEACON Guide highlights here.