The American Quilter’s Society announced on Monday that Bill Schroeder III has bought the Paducah-based company, keeping its ownership within the family that founded it.

“We are extremely excited for AQS to be staying in the family,” Schroeder said in a news release.

“My grandparents started this business, and parents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters and cousins have worked in it at some point. To be able to take over is very humbling, and we look forward to carrying on the tradition Bill and Meredith started.”

Schroeder’s acquisition will provide a “seamless transition” for current AQS customers and members — he’s “focused on continuing the excitement, enthusiasm and loyalty,” according to the news release.

AQS began in 1984, when Bill and Meredith Schroeder and their daughter, Lynn Loyd, formed it to promote quilting artistry. AQS started hosting QuiltWeek shows in Paducah 36 years ago, creating more than $500 million in economic impact, according to the news release.

The Schroeders launched the AQS Quilt Contest, becoming the first contest in the industry to award a $10,000 cash prize. AQS has awarded $6.3 million in prize money to date, and it became the largest quilting membership organization in the world.

“We have had a tremendous run and will be forever grateful to the support of the city of Paducah, the Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the numerous religious and civic organizations and volunteers who have helped us welcome visitors from around the world to Paducah’s QuiltWeek shows,” founder Meredith Schroeder said in the news release.

The Schroeders also founded the Museum of the American Quilter’s Society, which is now the National Quilt Museum. The museum celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

In other news, AQS announced four in-person QuiltWeek shows in 2022.

The Paducah QuiltWeek show is scheduled for April 27-30, 2022, while the other 2022 shows are planned for Daytona Beach, Florida, Branson, Missouri, and Grand Rapids, Michigan. Last October, AQS announced its 2021 QuiltWeek shows were canceled because of COVID-19-related public health and safety concerns. Visit www.quiltweek.com for more information.

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