Many National Quilting Day plans were laid aside this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. But quilters still celebrated quilts and community on March 21st virtually: sharing photos, gathering together online, and continuing to rally together (and apart) to support essential workers through the making of masks, gowns, and other supplies. Here are a few ways quilters around the world celebrated National Quilting Day this year.

Quilts in the fresh air

Our celebration at the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky was cancelled in order to follow important social distancing rules. True to form, resourceful quiltmakers and quilt lovers across the world hung quilts outside of their homes to mark the day and to send a comforting and inspirational message to their neighbors. You can see a fantastic slide show of posts showing quilts wrapped around trees, hanging from porch rails and out of windows on the Quilt Alliance Instagram account (@quiltalliance) here.

Activated and agile quiltmakers

We are a resilient planet of humans and quilters, who are playing an important role right now–using our sewing skills to make masks, headbands, hats and gowns for our healthcare heroes. Others are using their organizing skills to coordinate mask requests, production and distribution. Those with design and fundraising skills are raising funds for materials and shipping costs. This is a group effort on a massive scale and the results are incredible. I started sewing masks on National Quilting Day for a Masks for Heroes group based here in North Carolina that has provided over 10,000 masks since March 21!

T-shirts with this design are being sold to support another group, Masks of Love of Western NC.

Happy Birth Day Baby in Hungary!

A group in Hungary got a jump on their National Quilting Day project and although this is a bit late, we’re so proud to share their story. Thank you to Hungarian quilter Zsuzsanna (Susan) Sziva for contacting us and sharing her groups’ story. Susan’s group, FoltModern, Hungarian Modern Quilting Group took on the Happy Birth Day Baby project this year. They adapted a pattern, Stepping Stones, designed by Janet White, founder of the project that debuted in 2003 as part of the Ohio Quilts! celebration of the Ohio bicentennial. The concept for Happy Birth Day Baby is simple and sweet: quilters make a quilt for the first baby born on National Quilting Day in their local hospital.

Susan writes:

A warm welcome from Hungary to all quilters around the world. We hope you will have a wonderful Quilting Day this year too. We are a small group of quilters following modern quilting principles. We are small but passionate so we organize a special day for Hungarian quilters second time this year.

Last year was very exciting for us. In January we decided to celebrate Quilting Day in Hungary. We planned a virtual sew-along for the day itself and a Happy Birth Day action for the weekend. We chose a simple traditional block, flying geese as a base of the sew-along. We modernized it, but just a bit. We planned a table runner, but it could be easily converted to any size and format. In the special Facebook group of the day, we had 687 members by the end of the day. Some of them was just chatting, some of them was sewing the modified flying geese block, others just a traditional one or a 3D version. We had some sponsors so we drew small gifts a few times. The whole day was fun.

Our team members sewed 15 baby blankets using different patterns. As celebrating the Happy Birth Day we gifted all newborn in 3 different hospitals. This year we asked fellow quilters to volunteer our action with blocks if they do not have time or energy for making a whole quilt. These blocks will be sewed together by our team and friends joining the event we organized for this. It is going to be a huge challenge, we have got around 60 blocks so far.

Happy stitching,
Zsuzsanna (Susan) Sziva
FoltModern, Hungarian Modern Quilting Group

Baby Quilts made by the FoltModern group in 2019

Quilts made during the 2020 Quilting Day Sew Along in Hungary


How To Trim Flying Geese Without A Specialty Ruler

If you don’t have a Bloc-Loc ruler, you may find trimming these flying geese challenging. But by following these steps, you should be able to get four accurate geese in each color!

First, line up your ruler so the point of the flying geese unit will be trimmed exactly ¼” above the point. Try to line the unit up as straight as possible on the other three sides.

Next, flip the unit over. Line up the edge you just cut on the 2” line of the ruler as shown below, and trim the excess from the top.

Flip the unit right side up again. Line the lower left corner up with the 3 ½” mark on your ruler as shown above. Trim the excess on the right.

Finally, flip the unit over again so the point is pointing towards the 2” line. Align the left edge of the unit with the 3 ½” ruler mark as shown above and trim the excess on the right. Your flying goose unit is now ready to be pieced into your block!

Quilt Documentation Tip

 Andrea’s block story is all about the importance of quilt guilds. Quilting can feel solitary, but guilds bring us together. It’s a topic of conversation that was discussed with two Birthday Block of the Month Designers in a recent Textile Talk where the participants all shared emotional stories about their love for their guilds. 

Did you know that your guild can document your quilts as a group? Consider hosting a quilt documentation day in your guild! Follow these instructions and have members share three minute stories about one meaningful quilt in the Quilt Alliance’s signature Go Tell It documentation program. You could even host a screening so all of your members can see the videos! Get in touch at:

See You in October for Month Seven!

Thank you so much to everyone who has participated in the Quilt Alliance’s Birthday Block of the Month so far! Our designer for next month, the seventh block we’re making together, is Bonnie Hunter herself! 

Be sure to tag @quiltalliance and @3rdstoryworkshop on Instagram with your block photos this month, and use the hashtag #QuiltAllianceBOM. And leave any questions about this month’s block in the comments below!