Bill Schroeder III is New Owner of AQS
By Bill Hughes
PADUCAH - The annual quilt show is a Paducah tradition, and the American Quilter's Society will remain a family tradition as Bill Schroeder III has purchased and taken leadership of the company. 

Schroeder told West Kentucky Star, "This whole experience is very humbling. This company is very near and dear to my heart, obviously, with my grandparents starting it and my father has been running it for the last several years. So, to be able to take it over is something that's very special and humbling to me all at the same time, so yeah, I'm really excited about it."

He said casual conversations about the purchase started in October, and, "it got pretty serious around January-February," and they closed the deal on Wednesday. 

Meredith Schroeder, who founded the company with her late husband, Bill, offered support to her grandson, saying she was just a phone call away if he needs anything. 

Bill Schroeder III said, "My family has really supported me through all of this, and they're all still here, they're all still going to work Paducah quilt shows. It's kind of been a team effort from the beginning and it's going to stay that way. "

Bill and Meredith formed AQS with their daughter, Lynn Loyd in 1984 and began offering a $10,000 prize at their show and contest. Since then, they have hosted the annual show in Paducah for 36 years, awarded $6.3 million in prize money, and AQS has become the largest quilting membership organization in the world. 

In a press release, Meredith Schroeder said, “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.”

The annual events have created more than a $500 million economic impact for the community and have earned Paducah the nickname of Quilt City USA®.  

Bill Schroeder III plans to implement some changes as the new owner, but for now, he said they need to get back to what they've done best - shows.

He said, "That's our bread and butter, and the Paducah show is extremely big. So, hopefully - people getting vaccines and all that - we obviously still need to take the precautionary measures to make sure everybody is healthy and all that, but we need to get back to doing quilt shows."

Bill Schroeder III has worked with the company for several years and also owns Rainbow International in Paducah. 

AQS says there will be a seamless transition for current American Quilter’s Society customers and members. 

On Monday, AQS also announced dates for their four events next year, with Paducah's Quilt Week scheduled for April 27-30, 2022. Events in 2020 and 2021 were all canceled due to the pandemic.

Published 05:51 PM, Monday Apr. 05, 2021
Updated 05:43 PM, Tuesday Apr. 06, 2021



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