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NCQSI History

In 1978 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 College
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 (by NCQSI Board)
1995  Asheville, Blue Ridge Assembly
1996  Wilson, Barton College (Greenville, Pamlico River, 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  Capitol 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 winners & photos
2007  Western North Carolina Quilters Guild, Mars Hill College, Mars Hill winners & photos
2008  Quilters by the Sea Quilt Guild, University of NC - Wilmington
2009  Capital Quilters, Peace College, Raleigh
2010  Charlotte Quilters, Johnson and Wales University, Charlotte
2011  Capital Quilters, Peace College, Raleigh, NC
2012  Smoky Mountain Quilters Guild, Franklin. Western Carolina University, Cullowhee
2013  Tarheel Quilters, Fayetteville. 
2014  Quilters By the Sea, Wilmington.  UNC Wilmington
2015  Western North Carolina Quilters Guild, Hendersonville.  Bon Clarken
2016  Capital Quilters, Raleigh, NC  William Peace University
2017  Durham Orange Quilters Guild, Durham

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