Local Quilt Shop Day, also known as Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day, is held on the fourth Saturday in January every year to celebrate local quilt shops and their contribution to the world. The delightful holiday is an opportunity for quilters to give honor back to the independent quilt shops that bring them such joy.
Quilt shops are underrated in society, but Local Quilt Shop Day shines a light on their role in supplying quilting materials and bringing people together. On cold nights, it is the thick quilt from these shops that keep us warm and cozy. Quilters and quilt shops have done the work of stitching communities together for centuries, and Local Quilt Shop Day celebrates this.
History of Local Quilt Shop Day
Local Quilt Shop Day was created by The Fabric Shop Network, which has 5,000 members worldwide, including local quilt shop owners. The holiday was created in recognition of the great work that local quilt shops do for the communities they serve. There are over 3,000 quilt shops all over the U.S. providing much-needed materials to quilters in local communities. The holiday has received official recognition from various U.S. states. In 2021, several governors of some U.S. states, including Idaho, Wisconsin, Colorado, Michigan, South Carolina, Alabama, and Illinois, signed official proclamations declaring January 23 as Local Quilt Shop Day. Quilting has a rich history in many of the U.S.
Colorado, for example, is home to 71 quilt shops, as well as the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Denver, which has a collection of over 500 quilts in different styles. Similarly, Michigan is the home of the Great Lakes Quilt Center, which is located in the Michigan State University Museum and houses over 500 historical quilts rich in diversity and expression. Quilting is a solid part of U.S. history.
During The Great Depression, quilters made low-cost, much-needed blankets to bring warmth to many families using scrap materials. During the civil rights movement, the famous Quilts of Gee’s Bend were created, one of the most important visual and cultural contributions to African-American history in the U.S. The Freedom Quilting Bee Collaborative stitched its way into history. The Bicentennial celebration of 1976 was also a landmark point for quilting in the U.S. Quilts became a way to express national pride and achievement. You can find some of those quilts in museums across the U.S. today, acting as powerful reminders of our past.
Local Quilt Shop Day timeline
The appliquéing or laid-on style of quilting becomes popular but they can only be afforded by the wealthy.
Powers exhibits her first public quilt, which has 11 panels depicting Biblical stories, at the Athens Cotton Fair.
Jonathan Holstein organizes an exhibition called ‘Abstract Design in American Quilts,’ which launches a new appreciation for quilting.
Quilts Inc. creates the very first International Quilt Market, the only wholesale trade show for the worldwide quilting, textile, and soft crafts industry.
Local Quilt Shop Day FAQs
When is the national quilting month?
March is known as National Quilting Month within the quilting community. The National Quilting Association designated the third Saturday in March as National Quilting Day, and the celebrations unofficially expanded to the entire month of March.
Who brought quilts to America?
Quilting was introduced to the United States by early Dutch and English settlers in the American colonies.
What is the oldest quilt in America?
The oldest American-made whole-cloth quilt is the Martha Howard Quilt, which was donated to the Canton Historical Society around 1910. It was re-discovered in 2008 with letters documenting its history, and it underwent a year-long restoration project. The quilt was completed by Martha Howard sometime between 1761 and 1787.
How to Celebrate Local Quilt Shop Day
Write a letter
You can appreciate your favorite quilt shop by writing a sweet love letter to them about all the ways they make your life better. You could even win some nice merch in the process. Every year, Fabric Shoppers Unite organizes a Local Quilt Shop Day Love Letter Contest, and if your letter is sweet enough, you could just win something.
Buy something from a local quilt shop
Get out your wallet and get ready to go on a nice shopping spree in your local quilt shop. Take your favorite quilter along and make their day by buying them some stash — and maybe design your own quilt for them to make. That’s a win-win.
If you’ve never made a quilt before, there is no better day to start than on Local Quilt Shop Day. Even if you don’t know where to start from, we’re sure the lovely people in your neighborhood quilt shop will answer all your questions and guide you. If you’re already a master quilter, then keep the quilt going!
5 Fascinating Facts About Quilting We Bet You Didn’t Know
It used to be a rite of marriage
In the 19th century, in certain parts of the United States, it was custom for unmarried girls to make quilts before they got engaged, which would then be placed on their marital beds.
During Victorian times, high-brow women would use expensive and brightly colored fabrics to make quilts to showcase their wealth.
Military men do it too
Even though quilting is largely known as an activity for women, some men in the U.S. military use quilting to pass the time, with many creating “convalescent quilts.”
Alice Walker wrote about it
Walker wrote a short story about quilting called “Everyday Use.”
It’s a billion-dollar industry
In 2017, experts estimated that $3.7billion was spent in the quilting industry in the U.S. alone.
Why We Love Local Quilt Shop Day
Quilts are amazing
Quilts are insanely intricate pieces of art that deserve all the recognition they can get. For centuries, people have used them not just to keep warm, but to tell stories and capture history. Local Quilt Shop Day appreciates some of the wonderful people who make these stunning quilts possible.
More people should shop locally
Local businesses foster economic innovation and community well-being while providing jobs. More people need to start shopping from the little corner quilt shops in the community rather than big chains.
Local quilt shops stitch communities together
In times of chaos and problems, quilt shops have been known to keep communities together. From The Great Depression of the 1930s to the troubles of 2020, quilt shops have done their part to contribute to society and provide a spirit of togetherness in times of uncertainty.
Local Quilt Shop Day dates