NCQSI History

In 1979, Ruth Janesick, a Raleigh quilter, attended the Kansas Quilt Symposium and returned home full of enthusiasm to bring a quilt conference to North Carolina.  As a Continuing Education teacher at Meredith College, Ruth presented slides of the show, which interested the department head so much that she contacted members of several Raleigh groups:  The Museum of History, The Museum of History Associates, The Raleigh Fine Arts Society, Modecai Historical Society, the fledgling Capital Quilters Guild, and some of the Meredith College staff.  After an organizational meeting, these six groups decided to host the first North Carolina Quilt Symposium.

They secured a grant from the Raleigh Arts Council, organized a committee to administer the conference, hired teachers, did national publicity, and held the Symposium in May 1979.  It was a great success, with 97 full-time students, 87 day students, a quilt show, and national teachers (including Michael James, Jinny Beyer, and the Hamiltons).  The closing ceremony was held outside, with a reception and folk singers (“Aunt Dinah’s Quilting Party”).

The group finished with a profit, which they attempted to give back to the Raleigh Arts Council.  However, since the money had been in the form of a grant, it was not returnable.  They were told they must either divide the money among the six participating groups, or incorporate into an organization.  They chose to do the latter, with the express purpose of promoting an annual Quilt Symposium in North Carolina.  The Charlotte Quilters Guild, with 12 members, offered to hold the next one, so two women from that guild were added to the existing Board.  There were 16 members in the original Charter, representing the initial organizing groups, the majority of whom were not quilters.

As non-quilters’ Board terms expired, quilters were appointed to the Board, representing different areas of the state.  Greensboro was to host the third Symposium, so two members of that guild were elected to the Board.  At some point in the first four or five years, it was apparent that the number of members of the Board was too small, so the Articles of Incorporation were rewritten to allow for 21 members.

The large guilds were always represented: Raleigh, Greensboro, Charlotte, Greenville, and Fayetteville, often by two members.  They were appointed, not elected by their guilds.

List of Symposia

  • 1979 Raleigh, Meredith College
  • 1980 Charlotte, Queen’s College
  • 1981 Greensboro, Guilford College
  • 1982 Greenville, East Carolina University
  • 1983 Winston-Salem, Wake Forest University
  • 1984 Hendersonville, Camp Kanuga
  • 1985 Fayetteville, Methodist College
  • 1986 Raleigh, Peace Collage
  • 1987 Greensboro, Guilford College
  • 1988 Winston-Salem, Wake Forest University
  • 1989 Fayetteville, Methodist College
  • 1990 Charlotte, UNC Charlotte
  • 1991 Raleigh, Peace College
  • 1992 Hendersonville, Camp Kanuga
  • 1993 Fayetteville, Holiday Inn
  • 1994 Raleigh, Peace College (hosted by NCQSI Board)
  • 1995 Asheville, Blue Ridge Assembly
  • 1996 Wilson, Barton College (hosted by Greenville, Pamlico, and Twin Rivers Guilds)
  • 1997 Winston-Salem, Wake Forest University
  • 1998 Raleigh, Peace College
  • 1999 Brevard, Brevard College
  • 2000 Charlotte, UNC Charlotte
  • 2001 Wilmington, UNC Wilmington
  • 2002 Asheville, Black Mountain
  • 2003 Capital Quilters, Peace College, Raleigh
  • 2004 Durham-Orange Quilters, Peace College, Raleigh
  • 2005 Pamlico River Quilters/Greenville Quilters/Colonial Quilt Lovers, Chowan College, Murfreesboro
  • 2006 Forsyth Piecers and Quilters, Convention Center, Winston-Salem
  • 2007 Western Carolina Quilters Guild, Mars Hill College
  • 2008 Quilters by the Sea Quilt Guild, UNC Wilmington
  • 2009 Capital Quilters, Peace College, Raleigh
  • 2010 Charlotte Quilters, Johnson and Wales University, Charlotte
  • 2011 Capital Quilters, Peace College, Raleigh
  • 2012 Smoky Mountain Quilters Guild, Franklin, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee
  • 2013 Tarheel Quilters, Methodist College, Fayetteville
  • 2014 Quilters by the Sea, Wilmington, UNC Wilmington
  • 2015 Western North Carolina Quilters Guild, Hendersonville, Bon Clarken, Flat Rock
  • 2016 Capital Quilters, Raleigh, William Peace University, Raleigh
  • 2017 Durham Orange Quilters, William Peace University, Raleigh
  • 2018 Asheville Quilt Guild, UNC Asheville
  • 2019 NCQSI Board, Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center