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Quilts feature traditions and heritage of the Bear River area

A poster advertising the Southeast Idaho Quilt Show. There is a brown and tan quilt pictured in the center of the image.
Bear River Association of Governments
The show will be at the National Oregon/California Trail Center in Montpelier, Idaho

“My mother quilted for years and years. There was nine kids. We probably all have at least two quilts that she made. It's kind of a family tradition,” Brenda Daniels said.

As the president of the Quilt Guild in Malad, Idaho, she has quilting in her blood.

“I’ve really got seriously into quilts and learning all the different ways to make quilts in the last five years. The Guild has been going on for a lot of years. I remember my mother being in it for years and that helps inspire you,” she said.

Quilts made by guild members like Brenda will be featured in the Southeast Idaho Quilt show at the National Oregon/California Trail Center in Montpelier, Idaho from May 24 to Oct. 15.

“The quilt I made is a mountain scene with an old vault door placed over a cave. It's to tell the story of the legend of the iron door,” Daniels said.

Organizer Emma George said the quilts featured in the show represent the heritage and culture of Idaho.

“We have some historic quilts that are from like the 1880s. Most of our quilts are more modern," George said. "We have some quilts that are focused more on personal stories and family traditions. And then we have some quilts that are based on the heritage or folklore of the area they're from.”

The Bear River Association of Governments, working with theIdaho Humanities Council, is organizing the quilt show as part of their campaign to get the Bear River watershed area designated as a national heritage area.

“It's basically a designation by Congress and it says that this area has some sort of culture or heritage that needs to be preserved,” George said.

George said the quilts they’re featuring are more works of art than they are craft projects, “Nobody really understands how much work goes into a quilt, just the labor and the love and all the work that they put into these quilts.”

A graphic showing three quilts, one with a brown abstract design, one with different colored quilting squares, and one with a bear's face.
Bear River Association of Governments
The show will feature both historic and modern quilts

Anna grew up begging her mom to play music instead of public radio over the car stereo on the way to school. Now, she loves radio and the power of storytelling through sound. While she is happy to report on anything from dance concerts to laughter practice, her main focus at UPR is political reporting. She is studying Journalism and Political Science at Utah State University and wants to work in political communication after she graduates. In her free time, she spends time with her rescue dog Quigley and enjoys rock climbing.