Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day takes place in the fourth week of January, and this year it takes place on January 28. Also called Local Quilt Shop Day, this day raises global awareness about the beauty of quilts and the value of local quilt shops, especially in the growth of the local economy. On this day, quilt shops organize special events and exhibitions. This day also presents a wonderful opportunity to celebrate creative quilters, quilt enthusiasts, fans, and crafters around the world.
History of Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day
Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day, or Local Quilt Shop Day is an annual day that was introduced by The Fabric Shop Network. This day aims to acknowledge local quilts and the ingenuity of quilters and to honor the contribution of this historic craft to local economies. Earlier, Local Quilt Shop Day was observed on January 24 in 2013 and 2014. However, the holiday was shifted to the fourth Saturday in January 2015, except for 2017 when it was observed on May 6.
A quilt is a bed cover comprising two layers of fabric stitched or tufted together and padded with soft material-like cotton or wool between the layers. Quilts have been around for quite a long time, traveling across cultures and continents. The earliest known of these historic pieces dates back to around 3400 B.C. when an ivory statue of an Egyptian Pharaoh in Egypt’s First Dynasty was decorated with a quilted garment.
The European advent is largely credited to the late 11th Century Crusaders. During the Middle Ages, quilted garments were used to cover knights’ armor and worn as armor underwear. Subsequently, European settlers brought the art of quilting to the Americas around the seventeenth century.
Quilting thrived in the 19th Century as settlers migrated west. Later, During WWI, the U.S. government admonished Americans to “Make quilts [and] save the blankets for our boys over there.” During the Great Depression in the 1930s, quilting became more popular as families couldn’t afford new blankets. Quilting was also used to raise funds for the Red Cross during WWII.
Quilts served many purposes in ancient times: they were not only used to cover beds, doors, and windows but were also used as floor mats and as a currency. Quilting also became a social event for women to bond and work faster. Young girls also made quilts and were given quilts by older women before their engagements.
Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day timeline
The Tristan Quilt, now known as the oldest surviving quilt, is designed in Sicily.
Measuring three square meters, the Rajah Quilt is created by about 30 convicted women while in transit from Woolwich, England to Hobart, Tasmania.
An ivory carving from the Temple of Osiris at Abydos featuring the First Egyptian Dynasty pharaoh wearing a quilted cloak is found.
A first-century quilted linen carpet is discovered in a Mongolian cave.
Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day FAQs
Who made the first quilt?
The earliest known surviving European bed quilt is known as the Tristan quilt – named after its center blocks depicting scenes from the legend of Tristan. Originating from late-14th-century Sicily, the bed quilt measures 126 × 113 inches and is made of linen and padded with wool. The ancient quilt is now kept in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Why is a quilt called a quilt?
The word ‘quilt’ is linked to the Latin word ‘Culcita’, meaning a cushion or stuffed sack. It is said to have first been used in England in the 13th century.
Why is a quilt special?
A quilt is more than an item for physical comfort, decoration, or warmth. They also serve as souvenirs of a moment in history and symbolize resourcefulness and creativity.
Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day Activities
Pop in at your local quilt shop
What better way is there to observe Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day than to pay a visit to the quilt shop closest to you? Even if you don’t buy anything, you’ll be amazed to see the beautiful designs available and marvel at the effort put into crafting each piece.
Visit a quilt museum
If you love traveling and sightseeing, you could visit a museum or two with quilts on display. Don’t know where to begin? You could start with the International Quilt Study Center Museum (also known as Quilt House) in Lincoln, Nebraska, or the National Quilt Museum in Paducah.
Can’t visit a local quilt shop? No worries! You can also celebrate Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day by acquiring the necessary materials and making your own quilts at home. We promise it will be worth your time!
5 FUN FACTS ABOUT QUILTING YOU SHOULD KNOW
Origin of the word
Dated around the 14th century, the term in Middle English was ‘quilte’, from the old French word ‘cuilte’ derived from the Latin word ‘Culcita,’ meaning ‘mattress.’
Quilters in the U.S.
There are about 21 million quilters in the U.S., predominantly female with an average age of 62.
Cryptic messages on quilts
Some quilts were encoded with secret messages and symbols to help captured slaves escape from slavery.
The world’s largest quilt
The world’s largest patchwork quilt is called Manta da Cultura (Patchwork for Culture), and measures 25,100 square meters!
Quilt capital of world
Paducah, a small town of about 25,000 in Kentucky is known as “the Quilt Capital of the World” and is home to the beautiful National Quilt Museum.
Why We Love Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day
It celebrates creativity
Quilting is more than a pastime, it’s an art with ancient origin and background. Through Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day, we’re not only celebrating creative quilters, but we’re also acknowledging the resourcefulness and ingenuity that goes into the art.
It highlights quilting’s role in economic development
Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day also acknowledges the contributions of independent quilting shops to local economies. In many ways, these local craft shops are a formidable part of the creative arts industry, making money and growing in leaps and bounds.
A time to learn and bond
Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day is not only a day to visit the local quilt shop to buy quilts, this day also presents an opportunity to meet with quilters, and other quilt enthusiasts, and even hang out with friends or partners.
Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day dates