Quilts take spotlight at farm’s spring event
May 19, 2007
The inaugural spring event at Park City’s McPolin Farn Saturday afternoon will celebrate the fine art of quilting a craft that is quickly picking up steam in Utah.
Heber Valley Quilt Guild, and a storybook quilter plan to present a combined collection of 40 quilts in an outdoor gallery from 2 to 4 p.m.
Jim Revel, board member of Friends of the Farm, a volunteer organization with the city, helped to organize the event.
"There are so many quilt organizations state-wide and local — it’s amazing," he says. "It certainly is popular around here."
Revel has four quilts he has purchased at antique stores, and he says one of his quilts was recently determined to be nearly 100 years old and valued at $1,000.
Erin Haugh, a quilt appraiser invited to speak at the event, says that people don’t value quilts as much as they should — especially given the fact that the detailed-oriented work required for one quilt can amount to thousands of hours.
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"[But] I think it is becoming popular, especially for women who are looking for that creative outlet," she says. "What concerns me most about quilting is passing it down to the next generation."
Haugh reports there are 15 quilting stores in Salt Lake. She also notes that the 2007 International Quilt Market, held on the first weekend of May, chose the Salt Palace Convention Center as its location this year. It was the first time that the market, typically staged in Chicago, Minneapolis or Houston, was held in Utah a good indication that Utah is becoming a leading quilting state. Haugh suspects it has something to do with the pioneer spirit of the West, when making blankets from old fabric became a necessity.
An old hand at quilting (she’s quilted for 20 years) and relatively new to the appraisal business, Haugh reports in the few years she has appraised quilts, she has already assessed a quilt more than 100 years old that she valued at $15,000.
Quilts with a story and history are worth more, such as quilts from the Civil War or one of the World Wars, according to Haugh. She says that one of the most famous quilts in Utah is the 14th Ward Quilt, an heirloom ripped in half after a family argument, then reunited decades later, after a wife decided to find long lost relatives.
But quilt value is not just about dollars.
"There’s sentimental value for a quilt, decorative value, historical value and personal value and all of those values have nothing to do with the financial value," she notes.
For storybook quilter Corey Kunde, sentimentality is derived from children’s stories, such as "Curious George," "Cat In the Hat" and "Fun with Dick and Jane," as well as nursery rhymes.
Made to hang, or made for twin beds, Kunde’s quilts tell tales square by square in a grid with brightly colored fabrics. "It really unites my three passions books, children’s books and quilting," she says.
The intricate work and thought present in Kunde’s work, reflects an overall trend in quilting, according to Haugh.
"In the old days, they used leftover fabrics, because they needed blankets to stay warm," she says. "These days, with sewing machines, the stitching is getting really elaborate. People are even putting crystals on their quilts some are so awe-inspiring, you wonder; how did they do that? How did they find the time?"
The Friends of the Farm will present quilts, music and catered food from Kumbaya Kitchens from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Farm on S.R. 224. Parking is available on Meadows Drive. For more information on accessibility, call Jim at 640-3347.