Issue 09: Utah
It takes a lot of work to make an issue of Quiltfolk, and in the case of Issue 09, it took a lot of miles. As you might’ve noticed, Utah is pretty big as far as states go, and we canvassed it from Park Valley to Salt Lake City to Bluff to bring you stories of quilters of all stripes. We talked quilts with ranchers, farmers, entrepreneurs, professors — we even found quilts in national parks. You’ll see.
Issue 09: Utah is packed with great stories and head-spinningly beautiful photography of quilts, quilters, and the natural landscape of the Beehive State. When you get your copy, you’ll feel like you’re in Utah — and if you’re a quilter, it’s a good place to be.
See you on the road!
Previews from Issue 09
American Beauty: Quilts in the National Parks
Utah boasts five national parks: Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Capitol Reef, and Canyonlands, and they are diverse in their grandeur. Quiltfolk had a chance to explore two of these parks, and they awed us. We worried that the vintage quilts we brought to these wild places might look lost and small. But the juxtaposition of rock and cloth turned out to be visceral and invigorating.
Panguitch Quilt Walk: When Quilts Saved the Day
In the bitter winter of 1864, as the townspeople of Panguitch faced starvation, seven brave men set out with an oxen-pulled cart to buy grain in a town 40 miles away. When they found themselves in hip-deep snow, quilts saved their lives. Learn more about the famous “Quilt Walk,” the festival it inspired, and the quilter behind it all.
Quilter to the Rescue: Laurel Barrus
Craving more time to be a grandmother and gardener, Laurel Barrus sold her stake in Handi Quilter, the company she founded in 1999. She took Quiltfolk through her professional journey, from designing a small, portable quilting frame to heading a quilting machine empire, and gave us a tour of the Handi Quilter factory. Barrus faced resistance from manufacturers and men in the business, but she pushed forward with her love of creating quilting tools — to the delight of sewists everywhere.
Making Their Marks: Brand Quilts in Utah
Branding livestock helps ranchers prevent theft and document their family history. But in the quiet ranching community of Park Valley, brands are also sewn into quilts. Holly Carter and Shelly Kunzler received the first two brand quilts made in Park Valley, in honor of their respective weddings in the 1970s. The brands are iconic emblems of Western ranch culture but also deeply personal family symbols. These quilts represent the Western lifestyle and honor their heritage.
A Patchwork Songbook: Quilts and the Tabernacle Choir
The Salt Lake City Tabernacle has long had a reputation as one of the most acoustically perfect buildings in the world, but a major renovation 15 years ago affected these acoustics. Management decided the wooden pews should be covered with quilts to absorb sound during recording sessions — a colorful tradition was born! Several quilters who sing in the famed Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square met with Quiltfolk before rehearsal to discuss how quilting and singing intersect in their lives.
Heart of the Family: Two Quilting Journeys
Ralyn Montoya was always close to her grandmother, Marilyn Carol Klopfenstein, and grew up with Granny K’s industrial sewing machine humming at all hours. Klopfenstein made hundreds of quilts through her lifetime and helped Montoya make her first quilt nine years ago. Quiltmaking is in Montoya’s blood, but the craft has become more meaningful since her beloved grandmother passed away.