“Quilt Exhibit Depicts LDS Heritage,” Ensign, Feb. 1988, 79–80
Bright colors, original patterns, and painstaking handwork aren’t the only highlights of the quilt exhibit on display through February 15 at the Museum of Church History and Art, just west of Temple Square in Salt Lake City.
The exhibit, titled “Stitches in Time: Latter-day Saint Quilts of Family and Faith,” shows what both contemporary and historic LDS quiltmakers are saying about their beliefs and history.
“These quilts are made up of visual patterns that communicate religious faith and important events in family life,” says exhibit curator Richard G. Oman. “They express a long-standing tradition among Latter-day Saint women to celebrate closely held values through the art of quiltmaking.”
“Stitches in Time” includes quilts from the museum’s own extensive collection and from private owners. Family heritage is celebrated with quilts for birth, graduation, missions, marriage, and wedding anniversaries. Among the religious themes are messages from scripture, Church history, and LDS youth programs.
Included in the historical section are an 1860 “Ark and Doves” quilt brought to Utah by a convert from Texas, a nineteenth-century quilt made by the first child born to Mormon pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley, a “bishop’s quilt” made in 1872 by the Salt Lake Eighth Ward Relief Society, and quilts celebrating the pioneer jubilee of 1897.
Many contemporary quilts are also on display. These include a quilt made two years ago in Provo by Peggy Childress and Valerie Busio with “wise and witty sayings” presented as advice from the Relief Society presidency of the Edgemont Fourth Ward.
Scouting is represented with a quilt made of neckerchiefs from LDS Scout encampments. The quilt was crafted by Rexalee Jolley, Salt Lake City, for Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone of the First Quorum of the Seventy. Elder Featherstone is a Scout executive and Young Men General President.
To celebrate the centennial of the Young Women in 1969, presidents of several Bountiful, Utah, stake Young Women’s organizations created a quilt featuring class medallions.
Other celebrations noted in exhibited quilts include the Church sesquicentennial in 1980 and a birthday quilt made by Primary children in New Mexico for President Spencer W. Kimball.
Latter-day Saint theology is the theme of quilts depicting “Worlds without End” and “Lehi’s Vision of the Tree of Life.”
“These quilts represent significant achievements in quiltmaking as an art form, while communicating the spiritual ideals of their makers,” Oman said.
He noted that this is the museum’s first major quilt exhibition, and one of the few in the nation to feature quilts on the basis of both a thematic message and artistic quality.
The museum is open from 9:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M. weekdays and from 10:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. On Saturdays and Sundays.