See Utah's current history making at quilt guild exhibition

Tuesday , March 14, 2017 - 8:28 PM

Photo supplied/Brigham City Museum of Art and History

“Galileo,” a quilt by Helen Butler of Alpine is one of many on display now at the Brigham City Museum of Art and History in the Utah Quilt Guild’s Ruby Jubilee Exhibition through March 25.

JANAE FRANCIS, Standard-Examiner Staff

BRIGHAM CITY — There’s nothing old or long forgotten at the “Utah Quilt Guild Ruby Jubilee Exhibition,” available to view through Saturday, March 25, at the Brigham City Museum of Art and History.

The free display offers more than 40 recently made quilts, all in red and white, created with a large variety of techniques in celebration of 40 years of history for the Utah Quilt Guild.

Some quilts are representations of historical techniques preserved by contemporary quilt makers. Others show modern methods of piecing and sewing that allow the smallest of details.

LaRae Clark of Plain City visited the exhibit last week. She said she thoroughly enjoyed herself.

“It’s really a combination of traditional or imaginative quilt making,” she said. “It’s very creative. There’s not just one type of quilt.”

A third generation quilter, Clark said she was fascinated by how many combinations and hues came out of a charge to each quilting guild in the state to create a quilt for the exhibition.

“The quilts in the exhibition are an optical design phenomenon with their different shapes, textures, lines, depths, tones and space,” said a news release from the museum “Even though the quilts are all red and white, the reds differ in hue, saturation and brilliance.”

The release describes the many quilts as “a kaleidoscope in fabric, minus the mirrors and bits of glass.”

“One of my favorite was 12 squares that are connected by ribbons,” she said.

Clark was one of the quilters in the Brigham City Quilt Set guild who pieced squares for a "Snowmen on Parade" quilt in the show.

“We had a pattern,” she said, noting that each participant was given a block to sew for the quilt.

Val Moulton did the quilting once the squares were completed. Others in the 40-member guild worked to sew squares of the quilt together. 

Clark said the exhibit is large, taking up all the walls in three big rooms and the foyer of the museum, located in the Brigham City Senior Citizens Center.

Organizers say the exhibit marks recent Utah history.

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“Our organization is the first state quilting guild organized in America,” said Barbara Walsh of Woodland Hills, who coordinated the event. Walsh is a past president of the Utah Quilt Guild.

The Utah Quilt Guild was formed in 1977 by Betty Jean Chandler Christensen, who was born in North Ogden, to encourage, promote and preserve the art of quilt making in Utah.

The news release said as a child, Christensen played under the quilting frames of her mother and her two grandmothers. Before Christensen died at 89 in 2013, she saw the Utah Quilt Guild exceed 1,000 members.

Marathon sessions at sewing machines and long hours of hand-sewing produced quilts, said the news release. 

Titles of some of the quilts include “Squiggles and Squares,” “English Ivy,” “Red Yo-yo Mania,“ “Joyful Poinsettias,” “French Quarter,” “Maple Mountains Celebration” and “Swiss Days.”

The museum is located at 24 North 300 West in Brigham City. The entrance is on the west side. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. For further information, call (435) 226-1439 or visit their website. 

A companion quilt exhibit, also organized by Walsh, is on display through Saturday, March 18, at Brigham City’s Community Presbyterian Church at 122 East 300 South. That display includes quilts by guild and non-guild members.

The Brigham City museum also will host the International Art Quilt Invitational Exhibition, which will run June 16 through Aug. 31.

You may reach reporter JaNae Francis at jfrancis@standard.net or 801-625-4228. Follow her on Twitter at @JaNaeFrancisSE or like her on Facebook at facebook.com/SEJaNaeFrancis.