We all had that grandparent who was deeply obsessed with creating complex and beautiful blankets through quilting. If you’ve inherited this passion or know someone who still carries on the tradition, then National Quilting Day is for you.
This ancient art has produced comfortable pieces used to keep us warm on long summer nights, and have been given as gifts on birthdays and weddings. Quilting practices can be found in almost every area of the world, and National Quilting Day celebrates them all.
History of National Quilting Day
The roots of National Quilting Day can be found in a “Quilters’ Day Out” organized by the Kentucky Heritage Quilt Society in 1989 to celebrate this ancient tradition and how it was practiced in the state of Kentucky.
2 years later the event was so popular that the National Quilting Association took steps to have it declared an official holiday! At that point, the name got changed to “National Quilting Day” and has attracted celebrants all over the world to participate, helping to build and maintain the global heritage of quilting.
The first remnants of quilting were dated to 3400BC, showing that this art form had existed far into pre-history. By the 5th Century AD in Europe, it was an integral part of their tradition of needlework.
While they were traded extensively they wouldn’t become commonplace until sometime in the 12th century when these types of trade goods were returned from the Middle East by the Crusaders.
Since then the tradition of quilting has been ongoing and developing, with local styles developing everywhere the artform traveled. Quilting was an integral part of the Colonial textile arts and is one of the things that these colonists were known for.
How to celebrate National Quilting Day
Celebrate National Quilting Day by learning as much as you can about this ancient tradition. No matter where in the world you’re from you’re sure to find a local quilting tradition that reaches back into antiquity.
If you have an old quilt in your family you can also research its history, you may be surprised to find out how old that quilt really is! It’s not unusual to find quilts that have had layers added over old quilts as the blanket wore out, resulting in a blanket that appears new but actually dates back generations!
National Quilting Day is your opportunity to make contact with a textile tradition that reaches back far into history and help carry it forward into the future.