A little piece of dad’s blue jeans here, a piece of grandma’s apron there and a scrap of mother’s Sunday dress on the side, all quilted together in a patchwork of memories.
Quilters can produce enduring family heirlooms and precious gifts. More recently, quilters are also producing elaborate works of art, never meant to touch a mattress. Members of the Utah Valley Quilt Guild are producing both types of quilts and more, spreading art, serving our community and building a network of friendship.
The Utah Valley Quilt Guild, which meets on the third Wednesday of each month in Lindon, has approximately 240 members and welcomes more, be they complete beginners or seasoned experts. The group meets to learn new quilting techniques, participate in an annual retreat, share quilting books, listen to guest speakers, share their art and participate in humanitarian service.
The guild participates in a variety of service projects throughout the year. Each year, the guild holds a day of service. For their 2012 service day, the guild finished and donated 23 quilts to cancer survivors. Also, the guild donates dozens of quilts throughout the year to service men and women through a program called Quilts of Valor.
These quantities may not sound large to those unfamiliar with quilting. However, as guild president Laurel Christensen explained, an average quilt takes about 60 hours of work. More intricate quilts can take many more hours, even up to 1,000 hours for a single quilt.
For those interested in seeing these more intricate quilts, Christensen recommends this July’s 39th Annual Quilt Show, which will be held at the Springville Museum of Art. The show, which is juried and gives out awards, will feature exquisite examples of art quilts. Christensen says those who attend the show are “amazed” by what they see.
“[The quilts] are a work of art; they’re not a blanket anymore,” Christensen said.
Many Utah quilters have received national acclaim and Christensen explains that while quilting is “huge” in Utah, it’s also an international phenomenon. For proof, she says one can just check out a row of magazines and take note of all those dedicated to quilting.
Christensen explained that quilting is more accessible now. It’s no longer the wooden frame system some may imagine.
When asked what she loves about quilting, Christensen, who has been a quilter for about 20 years, noted that she loves the “tactile” nature of it, the design, the color and the chance to make something meaningful.
“Quilts seem to hold a special place in people’s lives,” Christensen said, who has given away many quilts throughout her life. “[They are] a part of yourself you can leave behind for your family. [They] become heirlooms and carry history with them.”
Christensen has seen many unique quilts in her life. One was made of died coffee filters. Another quilt featured pieces of cut up soda cans. She has also seen quilts made of t-shirts or screen-printed photos to preserve memories.
Whatever type of quilting interests you, the Utah Valley Quilt Guild welcomes anyone interested to come and learn.
“You’ll find the friendliest people in quilting groups.” Christensen said.
To learn more about the guild, visit their website at uvqg.org
90 W. Center St. Provo