Northern Star Quilters’ Guild (NSQG) grew out of two successful fundraising shows for the American Field Service of Somers, NY. The obvious interest shown led to the founding of NSQG in June of 1981. An annual Quilt Show became an integral part of our activities and it’s charitable raffle contribution continues with the recipient changing each year by membership vote.
We are a not-for-profit(501c3) corporation whose purpose is to promote the art of quilting. Nationally known guest speakers and workshops are provided; in-house educational programs as well as some Zoom meetings and workshops are offered; we create and provide quilts for numerous charitable organizations.
Our monthly in-person meetings are at Kennedy Catholic High School, located at 54 Route 138, Somers, NY. There are no meetings in July or August; the May weekend before Mothers Day is reserved for the Quilt Show. During the winter months of January and February, we plan Zoom meetings and speakers.
Our diverse membership of around 200 traditional, contemporary, and art quilters spans the ability range from novice to professional and comes from a wide geographical area that includes NYC, Westchester, Putnam and Rockland counties in NY, Fairfield and Litchfield counties in CT as well as further afield.
Our Guild members come from all walks of life and backgrounds. The common thread that draws us together is our love of quilting in all its forms of expression, from traditional to abstract. We invite all those who enjoy quilting, fabric arts and the craft of sewing to join us, take part in our Guild activities, and keep our community of quilters vibrant and creative. We welcome new members to join us at any time with the promise of friendship and sharing for which quilters are known.
Extensive up-to-date lending Libraryof books and magazines
Charitable activities like Comfort Quilts to help those in need of a little ‘comfort’ and creating a Raffle Quilt in support of a charity chosen yearly
Guests are always welcome, the guest fee is deducted from the annual dues if you choose to join the Guild. Annual membership dues are $45. The guild year runs July 1st-June 30th with monthly meetings Sept-June.
The roots of NSQG start in 1980 with the first “A World of Quilts” show. It was the brainchild of one of our founding members, for the benefit of the American Field Service, a group at Somers High School that her children were very involved in. She teamed up with three other women, who together organized the show. It was a success so they repeated it the following year.
The popularity of the shows led the group to form a guild, called Northern Star Quilters’ Guild, holding its first meeting on May 19, 1981 at the Elephant Hotel in Somers. Within the first two months of its formation, NSQG had 40 members paying $15 in dues.
As the guild grew, its meetings were moved to the Somers Intermediate School starting in March 1982. Guild membership continued to increase with 305 members in 1985. In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s the guild initiated several activities that continue on to today. One of these was our first Super Saturday held in February 1989, as a day with classes taught by guild members. Another, the guild library, that today has over 400 books, magazines and DVD’s available for loan to members, started in the spring of 1992. Comfort Quilters meet regularly to make and donate quilts to various charities.
The new activities and increased membership made the guild realize that the Somers Intermediate School could no longer accommodate it. In January 1994, all meetings were moved to Kennedy Catholic High School using its cafeteria and auditorium. The arrangement with Kennedy Catholic High School hosting guild meetings has continued thru today.
Quilt Show History
A World of Quilts Showwas the impetus for the formation of the Northern Star Quilters’ Guild. What started as a small show to raffle a quilt and raise money to support the local American Field Service has grown into a large event that helps promote the art of quilting. A World of Quilts is now held the first weekend in May of each year. The show has several hundred quilts on display including about 200 registered quilts, a charity raffle quilt, and invitational displays by award winning quilters as well as displays by our special interest group(SIG) members and quilts made during the year as part of NSQG activities. Additionally, there are quilts for sale, numerous vendors, demonstrations, and lectures by a nationally known speaker.
A World of Quilts helps NSQG maintain its purpose of promoting interest in and encouraging participation in the art of quilting, while stimulating and coordinating the efforts and talents of individuals interested in quilting. Proceeds from the raffle quilt support a chosen charity, other funds raised support the educational activities of NSQG that in turn help to keep the art of quilting flourishing.
All aspects of quilting – traditional to modern to improvisational to fiber arts – can be found at our show.
The first two “A World of Quilts” shows (1980 and 1981) were small, fund raising events, admission was $3, held at Somers Intermediate School; however, by the third show, more space was needed. The guild approached Sr. Barbara, who was Principal of John F. Kennedy Catholic High School (now Kennedy Catholic High School), about using the school for this purpose. In 1981, “A World of Quilts” moved to its new home at JFK, where it remained for 34 years.
“A World of Quilts” continued to grow with an attendance of 3,300 in 1983. Initially the show was held in early to mid-April, but in its fifth year, 1984, the show date was moved to the first weekend in May – the weekend it has been held ever since. The quilt show flourished even more with a peak attendance at the 1990 show of 3,602 that included 15 buses!
The arrangement with Kennedy hosting guild meetings and quilt shows continued until 2015. In that year, “A World of Quilts” moved to the O’Neill Center, on the campus of Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, CT. No shows were held during the Covid pandemic years of 2020 and 2021. In 2022, the show relocated to SUNY Purchase College, NY.