Monday, December 22, 2008

Joseph Smith Tribute Quilt

Joseph Smith, Jr. (December 23, 1805-June 27, 1844)

Tomorrow, December 23rd is the birthday of the founder and Prophet of our church "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints".
In 2005, members of our church world wide celebrated Joseph Smith's life on what would have been his 200th birthday. We honored him through books, plays, music and pageants.
A tribute quilt was designed by Nancy Nielson and Joylyn Rigby of Highland, Utah.
The quilt was introduced at the beginning of 2005 as a block of the month with 12 patterns. My girlfriend Judi called me one day and asked if I would be interested in joining her for the first preview of the quilt at Broadbents in Lehi, Utah and to sign up for their monthly kits. The minute I walked in and saw a standing room only crowd, I knew this quilt would be a hit.
We immediately called Ruth (with two of her daughters) along with Beth and made plans to have them join us in making the tribute quilt. We spent many wonderful days together in 2005 working on our blocks. Each month we received not only fabric and instructions, but also ""biographical information on the life of the prophet, the events in his history, and the people he loved."
This quilt now hangs in my living room as a special reminder and tribute to Joseph Smith.
Each block has a special meaning in the life of Joseph. The first month we made a row of log cabin blocks. Inside the pattern was the story of the cabin where Joseph Smith was born, and a history of the events that took place in his parents home.
Below is "Kings Highway" with the black squares representing the martyrdom of Joseph and his brother Hyrum.

This block is called "True Lovers Knot". The authors shared with us the love story of Joseph and his wife Emma, along with some of the love letters he wrote to her.

Nancy and JoyLyn not only selected quilt patterns with names that fit Joseph's story, but also used colors with symbolic meaning to emphasis an event. They also tried to find fabrics that had been reproduced from the time period of Joseph's life. For example, Joseph's wife Emma might have been able to purchase these very same fabrics.
Our friend Janis is the buyer for Broadbents. She is actually the one who gave Judi the heads up on the making of this quilt so we could be included. Janis and the staff at Broadbents worked very hard that year trying to keep up with the tremendous response they received of people doing the BOM.
Tree of Life Block, representing Lehi's dream and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.

For the back of the quilt Nancy and JoyLyn designed a beautiful stitched label. The Sampler was "created to serve as a map or legend to the quilt".

Happy Birthday Joseph.


Trisha said...

Thank you Nedra for posting about the Joseph Smith Tribute Quilt. I have heard about it but haven't seen one before and I really wanted to know the symbolism of the blocks. I really enjoyed your post. It is a beautiful quilt!

amy smart said...

Beautiful, Nedra. I have one of these started- thanks for the reminder and motivation to get mine out and finish!

Elizabeth said...

Ok, I need to finish mine. It was in my beginning days as a quilter... like very beginning and I probably should start all over again. I love yours and it makes me want to finish mine.

Nanette Merrill said...

Nancy and Joylyn are both fabulous people. I didn't make the quilt but I loved when they came to our group and talked about it and showed their quilt. We had so many participants from Alpine. It is a very lovely symbolic quilt. I miss Nancy now that she is back east.

Julia said...

Hi, I love this quilt. Do you have any idea if the pattern is still available? And if so, where can I get it?

Kristine said...

I also would like to find how to get a copy of the pattens. Do you know how or where to get them and how much they would cost?

cindy said...

I also would love to get a copy of this pattern. Please let us know if there is place we can order this pattern. You can contact me via e-mail at
Thank you.

mouse said...

I purchased the booklet I saw on your web page called 'JOSEPH THE PROPHET" TRIBUTE QUILT, when I was visiting your store.
Unfortunately it was damaged. I was heart sickened and have been trying to to replace it. Do you have just one more you could please spare? i would be forever greatful!

Thank You,
Shannon from Wyoming

Unknown said...

I have all of the pieces for this quilt, but not the pattern. Does anyone know where I can get the pattern. Thank you for all of your help. Cindy Leming