Traditional Special Interest Group


Since we last focused on our Special Interest Groups in 2019, the Traditional Special Interest Group have come a long way. Here to tell you more about the group is coordinator, Tanja Burlison.

With almost 300 members, the Traditional Special Interest Group knew we needed to take action when Covid-19 first arrived, to ensure everyone could still access the many benefits of membership. At this time there were no shows and no face-to-face contact, but new worlds opened to us via Zoom meetings. I must confess that it was strange at first, but it has been a great way to meet members, as we are scattered all over the British Isles and we also have members who live abroad.

Our private Facebook group and our Zoom meetings are a great way to interact and have become an integral part of our creative process. When you have made a quilt or a wall hanging it is so nice to share your work with fellow quilters and to receive feedback and encouragement. In our Zoom meetings we have ‘show and tell’ sessions and conversations on various topics. We also have our regular newsletter, In the Frame, which comes out three times a year in both paper and digital format.

Our regular challenges play a large role in the Traditional Special Interest Group and are very popular. The challenges are most commonly to produce a 12 ½ “ square quilt. The committee choose a theme and decide on any specific requirements. These are not judged and every member has the option to take part. These challenge quilts are then exhibited at various shows throughout the year before being returned to you.

In March 2020, our members had their ‘Star block with a touch of red’ challenge displayed at the Scottish Quilt Show (illustrated in the images). This challenge has now been booked for exhibition at various other shows this year.

A new suitcase collection entitled “Seasons” will be available for hire for 2022. Members have been busy contributing quilts to this. Our suitcase collection is a selection of unique 18″ square quilts. These are made by our members, and demonstrate a variety of styles and techniques. The collection comes in a suitcase, hence the name! Each quilt is accompanied by a commentary; the suitcase also comes with a pair of white gloves for the all-important closer look at these little works of art.

A social retreat is planned for the 11th to 14th March 2022, and instead of having tutors and workshops, members take their own work. Socialising and sewing happens during the day, and in the evenings we sit together for a meal and refreshments – a weekend of therapy I would say! This will soon be available to book.

Please come and join us, if you would like to explore the world of Traditional quilting. If you are interested but would like more information or have questions, please contact me at

Tanja Burlison

Traditional Special Interest Group Co-ordinator

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