The Moab Art Walk takes place on the second Saturday of every month from April through November, and the next event is coming up on Saturday, May 8. Several locations in the downtown area participate, including the Moab Museum. From 5 to 8 p.m. during the art walk, visitors can stop in at the museum and browse an exhibit of quilts made by Moab’s quilting guild, the Delicate Stitchers. The 13 quilts to be displayed are all 12 by 48 inches in size and reflect the flair and creativity of their makers.
“There’s always a theme; often it’s a color or a topic,” said Mary Langworthy, community relations officer for the museum. “This year it’s the size.”
The show is titled “The Straight Skinny” in reference to the narrow shape of the quilts. Langworthy said most of the entries are displayed in a vertical orientation, and the works employ a variety of motifs, quilting styles, and subject matter.
The Delicate Stitchers Quilt Guild was formed in 1998 and meets monthly; before the pandemic, they met in the Grand Center, but they’ve been meeting outdoors at Rotary Park to mitigate COVID-19 concerns. This will be the 19th year the guild has created a “themed challenge” for exhibition at the museum. Themes from prior years include “Name that Tune,” in which quilts were designed to represent a song, and “Word Play,” in which the quilts were supposed to represent a phrase or saying. For these two themes, viewers had to guess the song or phrase being referenced.
“Probably the show that received the most attention was “Impressions of Canyonlands,” which was held during the 50th anniversary celebration of the creation of Canyonlands National Park,” said Marian Eason, a guild leader.
Viewers can vote on their favorite quilt in The Straight Skinny exhibit. Eason said that each year, the guild also makes an “opportunity” quilt. People can purchase raffle tickets for the quilt, and the raffle drawing is held at the show.
Delicate Stitchers members will be at the museum during the art walk to chat about their craft. Masks will be required to enter the museum, and staff will limit the number of people allowed in the building at one time. The exhibit will remain on display throughout May; to see it at another time, make an appointment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re interested in learning more about quilting or joining the local quilting community, the Delicate Stitchers Quilt Guild is open to new members. No experience is necessary, and due to COVID-19, membership is free this year. Eason said this year’s lessons are refreshers on basic skills and techniques.
Langworthy appreciates the yearly quilt exhibit and the skills and vision that go into making the works.
“It’s such an art form—and the ultimate recycling before recycling was in fashion,” she said. “It’s a cool tradition to see alive in our little home.”
Eason said she enjoys both the process of quilting and the end product, and she observes that each quilter has a slightly different relationship with the craft.
“Quilting is a creative outlet for our members, and the reasons vary from member to member,” she said. “Some enjoy making traditional quilts for themselves, family and friends; and some enjoy the freedom of making ‘non-traditional’ quilts which they might hang on the wall or even wear.”
What: The Straight Skinny quilt exhibit, part of the May Moab Art Walk
Where: The Moab Museum (118 East Center Street)
When: Saturday, May 8 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., or by appointment throughout May
Cost: free during Art Walk