'Stitches in time' record artist's memories

Beverly Melrose has only been quilting for three years, but already her work is receiving national attention.

Sister Melrose, a former Relief Society president in the Medina Ward, had never been interested in quilting, although her mother was an avid quilter. "As a child, I preferred to crawl under the quilt and draw and play," Sister Melrose remembered.However, three years ago Sister Melrose retired after teaching art for 28 years. She still had a desire to be creative and was inspired by well-known quilter Nancy Crow, whose quilts "looked like paintings."

Sister Melrose decided that she could use her art skills to design her own quilts. "Now I draw as I am sewing," she explained. "I use my needle as a brush and the fabric like paints. My quilts are like cloth paintings."

Two years ago Sister Melrose read a magazine advertisement about the Great American Arts Festival and decided to enter a quilt. The theme for the quilt entries was "Memories of Childhood."

Remembering what fun she had had as a child dressing up in adult clothes, Sister Melrose decided that "Dress Up" would be the title of her quilt. It took her 14 different designs before she finally came up with something she liked, but it was worth the effort. "Dress Up," one of 1,200 quilts received from many parts of the world, was chosen as the Ohio winner and one of 61 quilts making up an exhibit scheduled to travel throughout the world during the next three years.

"Quilts such as `Dress Up' capture a moment in time and will provide our children, and future children, and future generations, a pictorial history of childhood and artistic expression of today's craftsmen," said Sister Melrose.

Sister Melrose and her husband, Walter, first became interested in the Church 11 years ago, while visiting Temple Square. They filled out a referral card inviting the missionaries to visit them. After two meetings, Sister Melrose was ready to be baptized. "It took me a little longer," Brother Melrose said. "But not much."

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