Our Heritage of Quilts and Quilting

Quilting is the process of combining layers of fabric together by hand or with a machine. Quilts as a heritage craft or folk art hold a unique place in American history. These fabric creations are both a form of art and a tool for storytelling. Quilts are visual snapshots representing the time and place they were made. Like a diary, they’re also personal artifacts reflecting the unique history of women in Wayne County, Utah, and America.

Historically, a Quilting Bee was both a practical and social function involving a group of women who met to finish quilts. Generally, the winter was spent piecing quilt tops. The bee was then held for finishing and fine needlework. Participants lacking expert needlework skills were relegated to the kitchen. Children often played under the quilt frame. These meetings were often followed by dinner and a dance or other type of social event that included husbands and children.

Quilts were traditional used as bed coverings. However today, the techniques are applied to a wide range of products including pillow shams, wall hangings, bed runners, stuff animals, and more.

Over 35 Wayne County residents have spent the winter learning the art and craft of quilting. Participants will be sharing their creations as part of the last community dinner of the season. This free dinner will take place on Wednesday May 15 at 6PM. The evening will include demonstrations and exhibitions exploring our cultural heritage of quilts and quilting. We’ll be making four-piece flannel quilts that will be donated to Color Country Animal Welfare.

If you’re planning to join us, please call the USU Extension/4-H Office at 435-836-1312 to let us know how many will participate in the after school program and/or the dinner.

Do you have a quilt and story to share? You can help preserve our amazing past by contributing historical photos and stories to the project. Share a photo or bring your quilt to share in our display. Contact Project Director Annette Lamb at info@entradainstitute.org for more information. This project is made possible through a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Entrada Institute and Wayne County USU Extension. LIKE us at facebook.com/sparkinghumanities. – Annette Lamb

PHOTO. Quilting class participants are creating quilts using both traditional and contemporary patterns and techniques.

Go to the Insider to read the published article.