Yvonne Fuchs' First Quilt - Card Trick, Grandma's Hand Quilting, Chunky Binding
OLFA Creators

National Quilting Month & Learning to Quilt

My first thought on hearing that March is National Quilting Month was, “What does that mean how did it get started?” I found the answer from The Kentucky Quilt Project, Inc. site, Why Quilts Matter:

The National Quilting Association (NQA) began sponsoring National Quilting Day with a resolution passed by members attending the 22nd Annual Show in Lincoln, Nebraska, in June 1991. The NQA designated the third Saturday in March as National Quilting Day, but over the years it has been unofficially expanded to the entire month of March.

National Quilting day was a week ago today (March 17, 2018), but I also learned from Why Quilts Matter that there are other upcoming holidays to look forward to as well!

  • National Sewing Machine Day (June 13) – Celebrates the day the sewing machine was patented.
  • National Thread the Needle Day (July 25) – This holiday is also about metaphorically threading the needle – walking a fine line between two issues.
  • National Sewing Month (September) – Proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1982 “in recognition of the importance of home sewing to our Nation.”
Yvonne Fuchs' First Quilt - Card Trick, Grandma's Hand Quilting, Chunky Binding

Yvonne Fuchs’ First Quilt – Card Trick, Grandma’s Hand Quilting, Chunky Binding

In recognition of National Quilting Month, OLFA is featuring each of the OLFA Creators design team and asking us about how we learned to quilt. You can read my interview on the OLFA Creates blog.

I would love to hear about how you got started quilting or if you have done anything special to celebrate National Quilting Day or Month this year.

17 thoughts on “National Quilting Month & Learning to Quilt

  1. Patricia Reid says:

    I learnt to patchwork and quilt by hand in 1981 in Australia. Fabric was either florals or plains and templates were used to trace around with pencil then fabric cut with scissors. I am extremely passionate about my sewing but now sew everything by machine including all my own quilting. I have even had a quilt displayed at the Yokohama International Quilt show in Japan. Arthritis has not been kind to my hands but this does not stop me. I do sell some quilts in a small local craft shop or donate them to local charities. I really enjoy reading your blog, keep up making all those wonderful quilts Yvonne.

    1. Sue Rostron says:

      I am a new follower of Yvonne’s blog which is why I am only commenting now. At 55 I have arthritis in my major joints. I consciously try and bear weight and put pressure on things with out using my fingers cos I want them to last for when I retire. I do wonder if this is going to help or not but it’s worth a try. #savingmyselfforquilting

  2. Kate says:

    Beautiful quilting on those card trick blocks!

  3. kaholly says:

    Such a treasure! I recognize those fabrics. As a matter of fact, I’m sure there are still some scraps in my little scrap bins in my storage unit. In my generation, sewing and cooking we’re mandatory in jr. High school. I took to sewing right away, but not so much the cooking! Fast forward a few years, and my fascination for quilting came out of the blue. Before I had a sewing machine, I’d take quilt books out of the library and copy the blocks into a sketch book. When I married, I asked for a sewing machine in lieu of an engagement ring, and the rest is history. My first big quilt was a Quilt in a Day double Irish chain.

  4. TinaC says:

    A work colleague who was in her 20’s and hailed from Wisconsin talked me into take a class from a wonderful teacher at JoAnne fabrics…..despite having sworn I would never be one of the ladies buying the small pieces of fabric…I tried it and fell in love when I saw the precision one could get using the rotary cutter and the 1/4 inch seam….I am now a quilt-o-holic and loving every minute!

  5. janequiltsslowly says:

    I wanted to make a doll quilt for my daughter & got a quilting book from the library. I was sewing a lot of my daughters clothes & made a quilt for her from the scraps with muslin as the background fabric. After that I was hooked!

  6. Elizabeth E. says:

    When we were in Brooklyn a few years ago, we went to the Brooklyn Cemetery to pay our respects at the grave Elias Howe, who was one of the inventors of the sewing machine. I wondered, since the celebratory day is about when it was *patented,* if the day honors Singer, Howe, or Wilson. Since we had so many claiming that they invented it, maybe it’s best we just honor the day.

    I take my first quilt around with me when I do Trunk Shows. It’s a good backdrop to what comes later (mine is baby-quilt sized). Fun to see your first!

  7. Rochelle Summers says:

    A wonderful interview, Yvonne. I went to Catholic school all the way through high school. In grade school, the Parent’s Club would have a fall bazaar and the girls interested in learning needle work would embroider pillow cases, dresser scarves, tea towels and quilt blocks for a baby quilt. The quilt blocks would be sashed and sewn into a quilt top by a mother and we would meet at someone’s house to tie the quilt. This quilt always sold for the most money. Fast forward to having my first child and that’s what I did. Later I started experimenting with some small projects (a batiking project that was in a magazine) until I finally took a quilt class and got hooked. There were breaks after that when working to help support our family had to take priority but quilting has always called me back. I’ve worked with my granddaughters on making quilted projects and even my oldest grandson helped on a quilt too.

  8. Wanda Bamberg says:

    This is not the first quilt I made all by myself but here is my story…Once upon a time in the mid 1950s and I was about 10 or so, a dear friend who lived down our East Texas dirt road from us made a quilt for me. Her name was Clara and she made a Dutch Doll quilt with umbrellas. (She was not called Sunbonnet Sue then, in my world). I loved and love this quilt and will until my dying day.

    After many, many years, my dear quilt was just about in threads. Now I know that quilters around the world shutter and roll their eyes in terror at this thought but……so beware…..but I decided to mend this quilt so I could continue to use and enjoy looking at it. I did not know about quilting except for the amazement in my eyes as I watched my grandmother cut tiny pieces of fabric and sew them together again. But I DID know how to appliqué and embroider and sew.

    I was careful to choose fabrics that matched Dutch Girl dresses and umbrellas the best I could. And did the best I could to restore my treasure. I have a picture of it but can’t see a way to add it here. After this, I repaired another quilt and then made lap quilts for my mother and other family…and my adventures just kept going and are still in full bloom though at a slower pace.

  9. My favourite sewing related day is the Japanese day of honouring broken and bent pins and needles. Early Feb I think.

  10. Kaja says:

    I didn’t even know it was national quilting month! Good thing too, since it’s not been a productive month for me, but I am putting all those other dates in my diary and shall insist I do nothing but sew on each one (well, I can try at least).

  11. Danice G says:

    I was aware of National Quilting Day, but not the other dates. Thank you for posting them. Hooray for sewing and quilting!

  12. I liked your Olfa post and enjoying seeing your first quilt!

  13. I quilted at my LQS for a few hours and maybe bought some fabric. ☺ Thanks for the head’s up on the other dates.

  14. Kathleen McCormick says:

    I learned to quilt ten years after I learned to sew – making clothes. I took a class with at a local store, which was the mother of the store I worked at for the last 17 years. It’s been an adventure and for the first time in my life I am focusing only on my quilting.

  15. Yvonne, nice to read about your start as a quilter. I totally agree about the seam allowance! Great tip!

  16. Liz says:

    I took sewing a sewing class in high school, that’s where I learned how to sew garments. Fast forward about 10 years and I saw a quilt on a pattern book in my local Joann’s fabrics, I bought the book and followed the pattern… the rest is history! I kept reading my patterns in the books and just kept going, then I was tying my quilts. I didn’t start actually hand or machine quilting until about 5 years ago. The only machine quilting I have done is straight lines across, or diagonally across the quilts, and my hand quilting is improving with every quilt I do, my stitches are starting to become straighter, and more even. I’ve been slacking on my reading that’s why I’m so late on writing this btw

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)