Wayne County Quilting: Extending the Tradition

Pioneers settled in Wayne County over 140 years ago bringing their family and community traditions. The art and craft of quilting often combined used cloth with new materials to produce cozy bedspreads and valued keepsakes.

From discarded dresses and shirts to fabric samples, quilts are filled with memories of family and friends. While creating quilts can be a solitary winter activity, quilting can also be an opportunity to meet with friends and neighbors year round for socializing and a shared project.

The National Endowment for the Humanities Sparking Humanities grant is intended to encourage conversations about the past, present, and future of our local traditions. Since quilting has played such a central role in community builting in the past, the planning committee decided to spread activities throughout the winter and spring.

Everyone is welcome. Participants of all ages (grades three through adults) will be making four quilt blocks and finishing their project over the five months of the cultural heritage program. USU Extension, 4-H, and the Entrada Institute are partnering to offer seven sessions (January 9, February 6, March 6 and 20, April 10 and 24, May 8). These workshops will take place Wednesday afternoons from 3-6PM. If you need to miss a session or can’t attend the entire session, no worries. Extra time is built into the schedule to catch up. Instructional videos will also be available online to help produce each of the traditional quilt blocks.

The grant will be paying for the project, so the quilting materials are FREE. This is your chance to learn new skills, connect with the community, and create a beautiful keepsake you can hand down through the generations. The quilts will be shared in a special exhibit during the Wednesday May 15 quilt theme free community dinner and also at the Wayne County Fair next summer.

We’ll be featuring local, antique quilts throughout the winter and spring. For instance, Barbara Coombs Pace’s Wedding Ring Quilt. The quilt top was made by Eva Coleman and it was quilted by the Teasdale Ward Relief Society in 1939-1940. The quilt was in Barbara Coombs Pace’s trousseau when she married in 1942. The colors are still vivid because the quilt has never been used. The quilt was kept in a cedar chest (hope chest) while Barbara was waiting to be married.

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. Simply scan or take photos of your historical images and email them to Annette Lamb at info@entradainstitute.org. Or, give us a call at 435-425-3415 and we’ll come to your home to help. If you’d like to participate in our activities, go to https://www.facebook.com/sparkinghumanities/. – Annette Lamb, The Entrada Institute

Photo: Barbara Coombs Pace’s Wedding Ring Quilt (1939-1940), Teasdale. Photo Credit: Annette Lamb

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