In these quilts and textiles, Latter-day Saint artists have expressed their testimonies using needle and thread.
Lyn Daugherty of Sandy, Oregon, read the story in Genesis 37:3: “Israel loved Joseph … and he made him a coat of many colours.” [Gen. 37:3] Recognizing that this coat symbolized a special bond between father and son, Sister Daugherty created a coat, right, for her mother, which represented the special bond between them as a modern-day parent and child.
Like Sister Daugherty, many artists use fabric, needle, and thread to create utilitarian artwork. These artists are usually homemakers who create clothing for their families and use fabric to decorate their homes. Embellishing utilitarian creations, they create art. Although textile arts have been traditionally created by women, men, too, are now exploring these media.
Textile artists, like other folk artists, often use images found in existing artwork. Folk artists consider this a compliment to the original artist. Latter-day Saint folk artists also often use familiar images: Christ, temple, family, missionaries, and stories from the scriptures. Though the creative viewpoint of each artist is different, the familiar images allow the artist to say through his or her work, “I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, too.”
Each time an artist recreates a familiar image, using another medium in combination with elements of his or her culture, a new image evolves. The Philippine embroidery titled Families Are Forever (page 39) is an example of this. Here we see the familiar image of the Salt Lake Temple, but the artist’s culture is reflected in the palm tree and bright colors.
As the Church continues to spread throughout the world, Latter-day Saint art will reflect artists’ testimonies of the gospel with an increasing diversity of cultural expression.