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Quilting: A South Jordan City Fad

Mar 10, 2016 09:09AM ● Published by Bryan Scott

By Tori La Rue | tori@mycityjournals.com

South Jordan - South Jordan’s one of the few cities in the state that offers quilting activities, and according to the arts council, it’s because of the residents’ interest in the decorative blanket-making art. 

The city’s annual quilt show has been a tradition in South Jordan, according to Sandi Kirkendoll, member of the city arts council. At that event, residents started asking how they could get involved and learn more about that art.

In response to these inquiries, Kirkendoll began teaching a series of quilting classes for the city each year.

This year’s group was meeting Tuesday evenings at the Gale Center during the month of February, and it was such an engaged class that Kirkendoll is thinking about hosting a quilting group at the Gale once a month.

The monthly group would offer a time for residents to bring quilts they are working on and work on them in a group setting. Kirkendoll, an experience quilter, said she’d offer one-on-one help to the participants 

Roxanne Knight said that Kirkendoll’s instruction is what kept her coming to the quilting classes. Knight’s mother was an avid quilter and won awards for her work. She’d always wanted to join in the hobby with her mother but never got around to it.

“I thought she would live forever, but when she passed away, I realized that I missed an opportunity to quilt with her,” Knight said. “I didn’t want to miss out anymore, so I thought I’d take it up and do it as well.” 

When she got a flyer in the mail for a free quilting class, she knew it was an opportunity to fulfill her desire to quilt.

“The best thing about quilting is that it is really quite simple, but the hardest thing is just starting,” Knight said. 

Knight and the other participants in Kirkendoll’s quilting class, learned how to make a small table-top quilt through step-by-step instructions.

Lenita Gilveath said she had “dabbled here and there” with quilting, but that the class was her first “serious attempt” at becoming a quilter. Like Knight, Gilveath’s family roots have some weight on her desire to quilt. Her husband’s mother and grandmother made quilts for him that he cherishes. 

“Quilts are kind of your legacy piece that you hope someone who may not have even met you will know you by,” she said. “My ultimate goal would be to create things to give to people that I love that give them a little piece of me.” 

Gayle Handrahan, a seamstress of 40 years, said she’s been trying quilting at the Gale as a new spin on an old hobby. 

Handrahan said the biggest difference between quilting and making clothes is the preciseness that a quilter needs to exemplify. 

“Cut your dress too long – you can always take it up in the hem. Miss a fraction of an inch in a quilt, and you could destroy the whole thing,” she said. 

While quilting is time-consuming, it’s a precise, beautiful and usable art, Gilveath said. 

“A piece of art that hangs on the wall is fun to look at, but you can’t wrap up in it and get all snuggly,” she said. 

City quilt artists can look forward to the South Jordan Arts Council’s annual quilt show, which is set for Saturday, Aug. 20. The registration fee is $5, and participants may display two of their quilts. Updates will be posted on sjc.utah.gov as it becomes availabl

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