• To promote the art of patchwork and quilting.
  • To provide a forum for quilters in South Australia.
  • To encourage the formation and maintenance of quilters’ groups within South Australia.
  • To seek, encourage and maintain a high standard of design and technique in both traditional and contemporary quilt making.
  • To foster and maintain an interest in the history of patchwork and quilting.
  • To hold, organise and take part in exhibitions and workshops whether in South Australia or elsewhere.
  • To provide information, knowledge and skills with regard to quilt making in South Australia or elsewhere.
  • To do such other acts and things as are in the opinion of the organisation ancillary or conducive to the achievement of any one or more of the above objects.


In January 1984, four South Australian women met to discuss the idea of creating a South Australian Quilting Guild. A steering committee was formed with the involvement of the Crafts Council of South Australia, the Embroiderers’ Guild of South Australia, the Arts Council and many others.

In March 1984 the inaugural meeting was held attended by 39 people with Rachel Dettman as Co-Convenor and Laine Gardner from the Embroiderers’ Guild. The big task was to set up all the committees from scratch with everyone taking on multiple tasks. There was commitment, fun, energy and enthusiasm.

Another task of the committee was the planning of the Constitution and the design of a logo and banner. A competition was announced and the successful entry was designed by Una Lawson, who also suggested the name ‘Patches’ for the newsletter.

The first Annual General Meeting was held in May 1985 when the constitution was accepted by the membership of 75 and the Guild was on its way to incorporation. Rachel Dettman was elected as the inaugural President.

As an incorporated association, Quilters’ Guild of South Australia Inc (SA Quilters) members elect an Executive Committee to manage SA Quilters business. The Annual General Meeting is held in May each year and member nominations are encouraged.

The first Guild newsletter was published in May 1984 with Jude Adams and Ing Schwerdtfeger as the editors. Patches, as a name, first appeared in the June/July 1985 edition.  In January 2019, a digital version, I-Patch, was produced to provide members with up-to-date news of the month.

The final edition of Patches was produced in April/May 2020 when I- Patch was expanded to include information on SA Quilters meetings, quilt shows, workshops, special events, feature articles, videos, member information and latest news, with online distribution extended to cover all areas of SA Quilters. I-Patch is managed by the SA Quilters Communications Team.

In 2022 the name SA Quilters was registered and is used throughout the web site and in material distributed to members. Quilters’ Guild of South Australia Inc remains the Constitutional (Incorporated Association) name.

Emphasis has always been on education, sharing of expertise, the improvement of methods and the fostering of creativity.

For details on SA Quilters Privacy Policy, please go to Link to SA Quilters Policies

To further enhance the transition to a modern look a new logo was also designed in 2022.  The new web site was launched in May 2023.

The SA Quilters financial and membership year runs from 1 January to 31 December. Members enjoy numerous opportunities to gather, to learn, to become involved in community focused activities and to share their interest in quilt making. Link to Membership Page


  • The first exhibition ‘The Beginnings’, displaying 125 items, was convened by Maree Gebhardt. It was held at the Unley Civic Centre in August 1985 and was visited by over 3,000 people.  Festival of Quilts continues to be a major annual drawcard for quilters and others. Link to Festival of Quilts Page
  • The first Quilt Encounter, which was convened by Lessa Siegele OAM, was held at the Red Shield Camp at Victor Harbor in August 1993. Quilt Encounter is held every year and attracts participants from all over the country with local, national and international tutors. Link to Quilt Encounter Page
  • In June 1994, the Guild held its first ‘non-traditional’ juried exhibition ‘Dare to Differ’ as part of the Guild’s ten-year celebrations. Dare to Differ is held every second year and continues to push the boundaries of the art of quilting. Link to Dare to Differ Page
  • The Appraisal Panel (originally the Valuation Panel) provides a service by volunteer members on behalf of SA Quilters. It was formed on 3rd May 1992 at a meeting convened by Marion Cox and Neta Lewis who had both attended appraisal workshops in NSW. It provides an appraisal service to quilters to have their quilts objectively appraised for replacement by trained appraisers. Link to Appraisal Panel Page
  • The Judging Panel, which provides a service by volunteer members on behalf of SA Quilters, was formed in October 1998. The panel consists of trained judges with a knowledge of the craft, skills and techniques involved in all aspects of quilt making. Link to Judging Panel Page
  • The Little Quilts of Love programme was first convened by Jean Pearce OAM in South Australia in 1996. The group makes quilts specifically for grieving families who have lost a baby in childbirth.  The group name was amended to ‘Quilts of Love’ in 2020 when Jill Clausen, on behalf of member group After Dark Quilters, took on the role of co-ordinating the programme. At that time the programme embraced providing isolette covers for maternity hospitals and crib/bassinet quilts as well. Link to Community Quilts Page
  • Country Forum is a bi-annual get together, in Adelaide, of delegates from SA Quilters affiliated member groups. The event is hosted by SA Quilters and enables members to meet and share their quilting experiences. Link to Country Forum Page. In alternate years a rural group hosts a day of activities, called Rural Roundup. Link to Rural Roundup Page.
  • SA Quilters runs a vibrant workshop programme with workshops tailored to suit all experience levels. Link to Workshops Page
  • A number of Sit and Sews are offered to enable anyone to fit a relaxing fun day into their schedule. Sew it’s Wednesday, Unplugged Stitchers and Saturday Stars. Everyone is welcome to join in. Link to Sit and Sew Page
  • SA Quilters supports groups to make charity quilts through the Community Quilts programme. Flinders Kids, SA Quilters: Comfort Quilts and Quilts of Love. Link to Community Quilts Page
  • The SA Quilters Library was established in 1985 and continues to provide resources for all SA Quilters members and affiliated Groups with books in a variety of quilting and design categories. Link to Library Page
  • The Modern Mix SA was formed in 2020 with Monique Reed co-ordinating this group of modern quilters. Link to Modern Mix SA Page

 Information source/Acknowledgments:

  • SA Quilters Archives – Candy Walker
  • April/May 1994 – Patches Article by Helen Callander
  • Decade of Quilting 1984-1985 by Jenny Loveder
  • Judging Panel Handbook – 2016
  • Appraisal Panel History – Heather Ford
  • Little Quilts of Love by Jean Pearce OAM – Patches Aug/Sep 1996