March is a month to celebrate women not only as mothers and wives, but as pioneers with regard to social issues, science, education, the arts, etc. So it is no surprise that it is also quilt history month, since women not often use quilts as an art form to commemorate family events, as well as, political, social and scientific issues.
It is wonderful that we are celebrating women and quilts, but how did this celebration start? I did a little digging and came up with a few answers thanks to the History Channel and the Kentucky Quilt Project.
- February 28, 1909 – The first National Women’ Day event was held in New York City.
- March 19, 1911 – The first International Women’s Day event occurred. The event was designed to highlight equality issues, particularly for voting rights. As of 1911, women were allowed to vote in some local elections, but only New Zealand allowed women to vote in national elections (1893). To learn more about when women were granted the right to vote see ThoughtCo‘ s article.
- March 8, 1917- Women’s Day was declared a Soviet holiday.
- March 8, 1975 – Women’s Day is recognized by the United Nations. Since then, over 100 countries recognize the day and more than 25 have designated it as a national holiday.
- 1978 – Sonoma, California held a week-long celebration of women who had a historical influence.
- 1980 – A U.S. Presidential Proclamation declared the week of March 8th as Women’s History Week.
- 1981 – US Congress officially makes the week of March 8th, Women’s History Week.
- 1987 – US Congress expands Women’s History Week to Women’s History Month.
- 1989 – Kentucky Heritage Quilt Society arranged the first “quilter’s day out” on the 3rd Saturday of March.
- June 1991 – National Quilting Association declared the 3rd Saturday in March as National Quilting Day. That has expanded over the years to become National Quilting Month.
To celebration National Quilt Month, the Quilt Alliance has a list of free projects from their partners. You may want to check them out.
I plan to spend my Quilt Month preparing my first online workshop – Snowflake Whimsy. If you or your guild are interested, please contact me. I will be posting more details on it later.