Eight women gather around the brightly colored fabric stretched tight across the quilting frames. Their voices are animated as the time-tested friends share stories about family, ideas about quilting, and advice about life. Amid the laughter and conversation, scissors snip through thread, needles push through fabric, and minds and fingers busily work to create colorful patterns and elaborate designs.
For centuries, quilting has served not only as a time for socializing and building friendships but also as an avenue for women to make their feelings and ideas tangible as they create beautiful art for their homes and communities. Many Latter-day Saint women make quilts to express love for their families and friends, to honor their heritage, and to share their testimony of the gospel.
Quilters spend hundreds of hours carefully choosing and cutting fabric, designing patterns, and executing tiny stitches. They may follow traditional patterns in honor of the past, or they may use original designs. Because of the substantial time, talent, and effort that quilters are required to give, love reinforces every stitch. Through quilting, women bless generations to come.
The quilts featured in this article were made by Latter-day Saint women in recent years. Quilts by Charlotte Warr Andersen, Sue Gilgen, Lyric Montgomery Kinard, Ann Winterton Seely and Joyce Winterton Stewart, and Jodi G. Warner are from the Sixth International Art Competition, sponsored by the Museum of Church History and Art. Beth Vance’s work is from the Fifth International Art Competition. The quilts of Carol Morgan and Leslie Pappas were displayed at the Brigham Young University Museum of Art exhibit Utah Quilts: Threads of Tradition and Innovation in 2002. The other quilts pictured belong to individuals and Church groups. These quilts demonstrate the powerful messages this art form can convey.
Aimee H. Hansen is a member of the Crescent Sixth Ward, Draper Utah Crescent View Stake.