Specialist Group Focus: Traditional Quilt Group

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The Traditional Quilt Group is one of five Specialist Groups within Quilters’ Guild and is now over 14 years old. We have more than 340 members who share our passion for traditional blocks and techniques while embracing modern life.When I am at exhibitions displaying the Traditional Quilt Group challenges, a lot of visitors are surprised that there aren’t more hexagon quilts on display, as most people first think of hexagons as a traditional quilt. Well, they are, but so are many other styles that our talented members embrace. However things do move on and though hexagons have come back into fashion over the last few years with many new and younger quilters embracing their infinite variety again in fresh new ways, the Traditional Quilt Group has a very diverse membership who enjoy wholecloth, piecing, applique and much more.

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Traditional Quilt Group stand at The Scottish Quilt Show, SEC Glasgow, 2018.

In 2016 the Traditional Quilt Group had the ‘Inspirations from the Past’ showcase at The Festival of Quilts. Members were asked if they had any vintage quilts which they were willing to loan to provide inspiration for smaller quilts to be made for the showcase. Seven vintage quilts were offered. Photographs of the vintage quilts were printed in our newsletter In the Frame. A size 36” x 36” square was chosen and members started to come forward to take this challenge on. Vintage quilts hung beside the smaller interpretations which used the same traditional patterns. The fresh and modern quilts honoured what past generations had started. Folders were displayed for visitors to find out what had inspired the makers to make their quilts. Visitors wrote lovely comments in our visitor’s book; “Wonderful gallery, well done and very inspirational”, “Excellent display”,” Liked the old and the new together”, just to mention a few. After The Festival of Quilts, the interpretation quilts from this gallery were displayed in The Scottish Quilt Show at the SEC in Glasgow in March 2017.

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Traditional Quilt Group stand from The Scottish Quilt Show, SEC Glasgow, March 2019.

We hold a number of challenges during the year for our members to participate in. These are wide ranging, so you might find one you like and take part. Normally, the Traditional Quilt Group have a challenge for the Quilters’ Guild Conference & AGM, The Festival of Quilts, and The Scottish Quilts show in Glasgow. After these events the quilts from the challenge then will go to various exhibitions in the UK and sometimes in Europe.  The quilts from our ‘Fan’ quilt challenge from The Scottish Quilt Show in March 2018 are going to number of Grosvenor Shows this year from September to December. Challenges are very popular and this is a lovely way to encourage a quilter to venture out from their own comfort zone, if they are not very confident displaying their work on their own.

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‘Fan’ Quilt Challenge.

Our Young Quilter Officer looks after our young members; the future quilters. They also have a page in our newsletter for little projects to do.  At the Conference & AGM, The Traditional Quilt Group choose an entry from the Young Quilters quilts challenge and the lucky Young Quilter receives a free one-year Traditional Group membership.

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‘Circles and Flowers’ Quilt Challenge.

We have a Traditional Suitcase Collection titled ‘Into the Woods’ which is available now. It consists of 28 variously sized quilts which have been donated by the members, and this collection has been proved to be very popular. Hire of the ‘Into the Woods’ Collection costs £85, which includes return postage and insurance. You can book the Traditional Suitcase Collection by emailing our Suitcase Officer.

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‘Circles and Flowers’ Quilt Challenge.

The Quilters’ Guild is 40 years old this year and to celebrate this, The Traditional Group has a Ruby and Postcard Challenge. These quilts will be on show at The Festival of Quilts in August 2019. The North Wales Area and Traditional Group invite you to join them for shared lunch to celebrate The Quilters’ Guild 40th Birthday at Abergele, North Wales. To book and for more information contact us.

Having a membership as big as ours means that we are scattered all over the British Isles, but we meet wherever and whenever we can, including Regional Days, The Festival of Quilts, The Conference & AGM and Sit and Sew days. Our Regional day meetings are popular, serving as places where quilters can share ideas, or hold a ‘show and tell’ etc. Every other year we have a Retreat Weekend and next year it will be on the 17-19 July 2020, at Hillscourt Conference Centre, Birmingham. The total cost is £320 for the weekend. The tutors for this fabulous weekend are Pippa Moss, Anja Townrow and Amanda Hall. If you would like to know more please email our Social Secretary.

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‘Circles and Flowers’ Quilt Challenge.

Would you like to be part of this active and forward-looking group? You can delve in as deeply as you wish but you can also just enjoy the membership in a quiet way without any pressure. There is something for all of us. You need to be a Quilters’ Guild member first and then for an additional £10 you can join The Traditional Quilt Group. The membership benefits are our dedicated newsletter In the Frame three times a the year, a dedicated Facebook page for Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles Traditional Quilt Group members, the retreat Weekend, access to special challenges and much more. For further information please visit our website page.

Tanja Burlison, Traditional Quilt Group Co-ordinator.

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