National Quilting Day
"Celebrate America" the 2013 National Quilting Day quilt designed by Kathy Lichtendahl. Miniature version pieced and quilted by Freda Jones.
Sharing has always been a fundamental aspect of quilting, and it was a shared idea that led to the creation of National Quilting Day, which has been held annually on the third Saturday in March for more than two decades.
In 1989, the Kentucky Heritage Quilt Society held a “Quilters’ Day Out” event to honor the deep-rooted tradition of quiltmaking in Kentucky.
National Quilting Association (NQA) officers who participated in that event were so inspired by its intent and its success, that they shared the idea with the NQA membership at the group’s 22nd Annual Show in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1991.
The NQA members in turn passed a resolution establishing National Quilting Day as an annual holiday and the first celebration occurred in March of 1992.
“The purpose of National Quilting Day is to encourage quilters of all genres to hold special events to celebrate the tradition of quilts and quilting through education and service,” said Marcel Miller, current NQA President.
Helen Storbeck was one of the founders of National Quilting Day. In an article written for the NQA’s magazine, Quilting Quarterly, she described the event:
"Groups of quilters were encouraged to hold special events, publishers and shop owners were invited to sponsor promotions especially for quilters, and it quickly became a grass roots endeavor with quilters in every part of the country participating. In the first year of National Quilting Day, quilters in other countries asked to participate. They were welcomed with open arms. As our feeling of a community network has evolved to include a world community, it is only appropriate that quilters and quilt lovers everywhere united to give recognition to this special art form."
In addition to becoming a global event, the observance has evolved to include the entire month of March as National Quilting Month. The NQA hopes that quilters everywhere will get involved—be it for the National Quilting Day or National Quilting Month. One of the NQA-sponsored activities for its membership is a design contest for the National Quilting Day free quilt pattern from which quilters are encouraged to create a specific quilt to commemorate National Quilt Day.
According to Freda Jones, the current National Quilting Day Coordinator, “Beginning the very first year, a specific quilt block design was created for quilters of all skill levels to make a quilt to be donated to their favorite charitable organizations. Many quilters donate the quilt to the first baby born on that day in their local hospital.
“Others celebrate by having community activities to promote quilting. Some years the proposed quilt has been tied to the theme of the National Quilting Association Show, although that was not a requirement for the contest. For instance in 2013, the theme was “Celebrate America” and the quilt design was of red, white, and blue stars.”
Click here to return to top.
Column 117: How WWI Changed the Color of Quilts in the United States
Column 116: Wagga—The Bushman’s Quilt
Column 115: All in the Family
Column 114: The Alabama State Quilt
Column 113: Balloon Quilts of Albuquerque
Column 112: The Family That Quilts Together, Stays Together
Column 111: Two Rivers, Three Sisters
Column 110: Quilters Helping Quilters
Column 109: Community Cookbooks and Fundraiser Quilts—Parallel Histories
Column 108: Quilting to Freedom
Column 107: National Quilting Day
Column 106: The Airing of the Quilts
Column 105: A Call for a National Juneteenth Commemorative Quilt
Column 104: Dominoes
Column 103: 1936 Texas Centennial Bluebonnet Quilt
Column 102: Helen Blackstone, A Texas Quilter
Column 101: Montana CattleWomen Anniversary Brand Quilt
Column 100: 100th Suzy's Fancy Column!
Column 99: Montana Stockgrowers Anniversary Brand Quilt
Column 98: The Tobacco Sack Connection
Column 97: Meet the Sisters Who Are State Fair Quilting Queens
Column 96: The connection between fairs and quilts.
Column 95: Her Mother Pieced Quilts
Column 94: Rebecca Barker’s Quiltscapes
Column 93: The Thread and Thimble Club Mystery
Column 92: The Ballerina Quilter
Column 91: Grandmother's Flower Garden Comes Alive at Texas Quilt Museum
Column 90: Leitmotif for a Lifelong Love Affair
Column 89: Quilting in The Bahamas
Column 88: Joan of Arc: A Quilter's Inspiration
Column 87: Home Demonstration Clubs and Quilting
Column 86: Linzi Upton and the Quilted Yurt
Column 85: A Bounty of Quilts
Column 84: Desert Trader
Column 83: Quilts and the Women’s Liberation Movement
Column 82: Replicating the Past: Reproduction Fabrics for Today’s Quilts
Column 81: Why So Many Quilt Shops in Bozeman, Montana?
Column 80: Southeastern Quilt and Textile Museum
Column 79: 54 Tons of Quilt
Column 78: Ollie Steele Burden’s Quilt Blocks
Column 77: Quilting with AMD
Column 76: Maverick Quilts and Cowgirls
Column 75: The Modern Quilt Guild—Cyberculture Quilting Ramps Up
Column 74: The Membership Quilt—Czech Quilting in Texas
Column 73: Maximum Security Quilts
Column 72: Author: Terri Thayer
Column 71: The Christmas Quilt
Column 70: New Mexico Centennial Quilt
Column 69: Scrub Quilts
Column 68: “Think Pink” Quilt Raises Funds for Rare Cancer Research
Column 67: Righting Old Wrongs.
Column 66: 100 Years, 100 Quilts - More on the Arizona Centennial.
Column 65: Arizona Centennial Quilt Project
Column 64: Capt. John Files Tom’s Family Tree
Column 63: The Fat Quarters
Column 62: Quilt Fiction Author: Clare O’Donohue
Column 61: Louisiana Bicentennial Quilt
Column 60: The Camo Quilt Project.
Column 59: Thread Wit
Column 58: Ralli Quilts
Column 57: Preschool Quilters
Column 56: The Story Quilt
Column 55: Red and Green Quilts
Column 54: On the Trail
Column 53: Quilt Trail Gathering
Column 52: True Confessions: First Quilt
Column 51: Quilted Pages
Column 50: Doll Quilts
Column 49: More Than a Quilt Shop
Column 48: Las Colchas of the Texas-Mexico Border
Column 47: Literary Gifts
Column 46: A Different Way of Seeing
Column 45: Sampling
Column 44: Hen and Chicks
Column 43: A Star Studied Event
Column 42: Shoo Fly Pattern
Column 41: Awareness Quilts
Column 40: Tivaevae
Column 39: UnOILed UnspOILed Coast Quilt Project
Column 38: Katrina Recovery Quilts
Column 37: Quilted Vermont
Column 36: The Labyrinth Quilt—A Meditative Endeavor
See other archived columns here