NATIONAL QUILTING DAY
Snuggle up every National Quilting Day on the third Saturday in March. Around the country, special quilting shows, classes, open museums and much more celebrate the day. It also appreciates and recognizes quilt makers, along with all of their long labor, love, and skill that goes into the making of each quilt.
A quilt is a layer of batting or stuffing between two layers of pieced-together fabric. Early American quilts were the result of patched together pieces of worn-out blankets and clothing. Since they had to weave their own fabrics, there was little time for creative piecing together colorful, artful patterns. These items were purely functional.
By the mid 18th century Americans were making elaborate quilts designed to be handed down from mother to daughter, often pieced together from salvaged pieces of clothing and other bedding.
HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL QUILTING DAY
- Celebrate the warmth and the stories behind the quilts you collect. Whether you make them or they’ve been given to you, mark the day.
- Attend a quilt fair. You might learn techniques or discover new quilting styles.
- Take a quilting class. The next family heirloom might be in the making!
- Share the story of a family quilt. Don’t let it become lost to the ages. Take a picture of it and the person who made it.
- Discover the significance of 7 Historical Quilt Patterns.
- Use #NationalQuiltingDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL QUILTING DAY HISTORY
At the 22nd annual show of the National Quilting Association in Lincoln, Nebraska in June of 1991, a resolution was passed and National Quilting Day was started.
Q. What are the basic tools of quilting?
A. Quilters use a variety of tools. Most use a sewing machine for most of the stitching, which speeds up the process. A special sewing machine isn’t required, but a special presser foot is. You’ll also need a rotary cutting tool and mat, rulers, scissors, pins, and needles. Of course, a good supply of cotton thread and cotton quilting fabrics cannot be overlooked.
Q. Do people still hand-sew quilts?
A. Yes, though they might not resemble the quilting bees of time gone by. Quilting bees were a cooperative effort bringing quilters together to create hand-sewn quilts. These gatherings became regular social events where women collectively stitched and quilted large beautiful creations. While some quilting bees follow this tradition, the modern quilting bee is less cooperative in the effort to complete a single quilt but still maintains the spirit that started with the original quilting bees. Today, quilters come together to swap ideas, techniques, and patterns and also to spend time with other quilters. Some are held as workshops or even hosted online.