Love in Every Stitch


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.

The Morning Stars Sang Together

This detail from Florence Bauer Porter’s quilt The Morning Stars Sang Together (Job 38:7), created in San Diego, California, demonstrates the intricate piecework valued by traditional quilters. The detail shown is one of 56 octagons on the quilt.

“Joseph Smith’s First Prayer”(click to view larger)

“Joseph Smith’s First Prayer” (Hymns, no. 26) inspired Sue Gilgen of Madison, Wisconsin, to create Within the Shady Woodland.

Angel’s Portion: Seeking Virtue(click to view larger)

Jodi G. Warner’s Angel’s Portion: Seeking Virtue portrays seven women—a sentinel, scholar, gardener, guardian, caregiver, musician, and home builder—pursuing and sharing their talents to bless humanity. The artist, from South Jordan, Utah, won a Merit Award in the Sixth International Art Competition.

Persian Snail’s Trail(click to view larger)

Persian Snail’s Trail, by Carol Morgan of Layton, Utah, exemplifies the careful stitches and geometric designs typical of traditional 19th-century quilting.

In her quilt (click to view larger)

In her quilt Malachi 4:6 [Mal. 4:6], Lyric Montgomery Kinard of Cary, North Carolina, depicts Adam and Eve and the tree of life. The quilt symbolizes the linking of families through God’s love and points to mankind’s connection as brothers and sisters.

Golden Legac(click to view larger)

Sisters in the Upland California Stake created Golden Legacy, a quilt honoring Latter-day Saint pioneers in California. Designer: Deon Roberts. Picture artists: Cathy Clark Patrick, Lynn Lundberg Nelson. Quilters: Deon Roberts, Alison Arciniaga Cutler, Krii H. Tuttle, Pat Skousen, Alice Harper, Kay E. Greenig, Virginia T. Matheson, Judy Long.

Symbolic Trees(click to view larger)

From Upland, California, Krii H. Tuttle’s Symbolic Trees depicts the tree of knowledge, the tree of life, the family tree, and the tree of faith. Matthew 7:17, 20 [Matt. 7:17, 20] is embroidered in the center.

We Seek after These Things(click to view larger)

We Seek after These Things, by Ann Winterton Seely of Taylorsville, Utah, and Joyce Winterton Stewart of Deweyville, Utah, features four urns representing faith, hope, charity, and love.

Log Cabin Courthouse Steps(click to view larger)

In her Log Cabin Courthouse Steps, Leslie Pappas of Salt Lake City, Utah, portrays the classic log cabin pattern in celebration of traditional American quilting.

Grace(click to view larger)

From Taylorsville, Utah, Charlotte Warr Andersen’s quilt Grace honors Grace Bagley, an exemplary Latter-day Saint.

That Their Prayers May Be Answered(click to view larger)

Alma and the sons of Mosiah sought to destroy the Church, but because of the prayers of a righteous father, an angel was sent to turn their hearts. Beth Vance of Kennewick, Washington, depicts this scene in That Their Prayers May Be Answered.