Saturday, March 19, 2016

A Brief Review of Quilting for National Quilting Day.

Image of a quilt
Patchwork Quilt (Pixabay)
National Quilting Day

When: The third Saturday of March

Where: Celebrated worldwide

National Quilting Day was begun in 1991 by the National Quilting Association to celebrate all quilt-makers and quilt lovers and to give recognition to the special art form called 'Quilting”. It has  evolved into a worldwide celebration, often connected with quilting shops with quilters getting together to work on a quilt. 

Basic History of Quilting


Handmade quilted vest
Handmade Quilted Vest - Etsy
Early records date quilting back to the 11th and 12th century where quilted garments were worn by the Crusaders.  Not accustomed to the cooler climate and needing clothes with warmth, quilted vests were invented.  These vests had 3 layers (top, filling, and backing) stabilized by a few stitches at critical points (called counterpoints).  Counterpane quilting (decorative stitches only) evolved from these first vests.

*Handmade Quilted Vest can be found in the Etsy Shop Couleurs Patchwork.

Patchwork Quilts 

Bedford Home Quilt Set for the bedroom
Bedford Home Quilt Set - Amazon
Patchwork quilting goes back to the founding of colonial America and filled the need for warmth and decoration.  The cold weather and a rough life  wore out the original quilts brought with the pioneers from Europe and the quits needed to be repaired ~ thus, beginning the “patchwork” quilt.

Quilting Book
Quilting Book available on eBay

Later, quilting became a social event with women gathering together and cutting fabric into various shapes, resewing them to form a design.  Many designs well-known today came out of these social circles.

Family Quilting

I can remember my grandmother spending hours at a time in her favorite rocking chair hand-sewing tiny pieces of material together for her beautiful quilts.  Since she was an accomplished seamstress as well (making most of the clothes my siblings and I wore), we could often recognize several of the fabric pieces used in her quilts as being from leftover material from the dresses or shirts we were wearing). Fifty years later I still have some of her handmade quilts.  A true treasure. 

Quilting Has Evolved

Quilting is not just for quilt blankets these days.

Collage of handmade quilted items
Quilted Purses, Lanyards & Table Runners

Quilting, both hand-sewn and machine quilted, is used for everything from clothing to accessories to home d├ęcor.  

CutePurseNalities on Etsy creates fantastic machine quilted purses on her quilting sewing machine.  

Green Frogs quilted fabric handmade lanyard
Green Frogs Fabric Lanyard
Kathie, an Iowa quilter, began making quilts and quilted wall hangings, then her quilting evolved to purses.  When she opened her Etsy Shop featuring quilted purses, she used the word purse in her shop name; thus, Cute PurseNalities came about.  

Over time, Kathie has added more quilted items in the form of coin purses and colorful fabric lanyards.  She has a wide variety of lovely creations made in interesting fabrics in her Etsy Shop.  

Quilting Today

Today there are numerous pattern books available for the quilter, as well as classes and quilting workshops.  My creative daughter-in-law attends at least two quilting weekend workshops every year.  She says it brings back the fun of the early days of women getting together in those social quilting circles. 

Heritage Quilts Book Cover
Heritage Quilts on Amazon

So, take a class, get some quilting pattern books with templates for various designs, or get together with a quilting circle at your church or community center to enjoy the art of quilting and celebrate National Quilting Day.  

*Check out more crafting ideas @

(c) Wednesday Elf (Written 3/19/16; Updated 3/19/2022)

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. Very interesting Pat...thanks for the review.

  2. Interesting to learn more about the history of quilting! We lost some very special quilts in our house fire, but the good news is that on our most recent visit "home" I acquired several of my mom's quilts and a couple more. I love the stories that are told in quilts, such as the quilts you mentioned with patches of your own childhood clothing. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks, Susan. I agree -- many quilts tell a story. The Amish and Mennonite quilts, for instance, are quite famous and have a lot of history behind them. Glad you were able to acquire more of your mom's quilts. They are heirlooms to you. I wish I had more of my grandmother's quilts now.

  3. I have always admired quilts and quilting! Many years ago, I had the pleasure to be in a quilting group. I found out quickly how some seamstresses just have an eye for matching pieces and assembling them into gorgeous patchwork spreads. I am not the least bit surprised that you recognize the treasure of owning your grandmother's quilt for a multitude of reasons.

    1. Handmade quilts definitely are a real Treasure, Mouse. Not only for the beauty of the quilt itself, but for the memories it evokes of the beloved person who made it.

  4. My grandmother was a very talented quilter. I wish I could quilt. What a pretty blog post. Thank you.

    1. Glad you enjoyed my post, Dawn Rae. Our grandmothers were the quilters in our families, I see. :) Somehow I never got into that craft, although I do several others. My daughter-in-law is the quilter in my extended family now. I DO greatly admire the talent of quilters.

  5. How could have I forgotten that I specifically was going to work on a quilt on Saturday?!
    I might have sewed a few stitches sewing a binding down on a baby quilt that should be finished....otherwise...just what did I do on National Quilting Day?


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