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!
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.
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.
Zsuzsanna (Susan) Sziva
FoltModern, Hungarian Modern Quilting Group
Quilts made during the 2020 Quilting Day Sew Along in Hungary