bulawayo quilting guild

Bulawayo Quilting Guild

The Bulawayo Quilting Guild is an organisation for people who are ardent sewers of fabric creations.

What Is Patchwork?

Patchwork is sewing smaller pieces of fabric together to create special patterns, optical illusions, or pictures, and then turning these larger pieces of fabric into wall hangings, bed covers, or even wearable items.

What is Quilting?

Quilting is the putting together of three layers: the top, batting or wadding in the middle, and a backing layer. Stitching through the layers is called quilting.


The Bulawayo Quilting Guild History

In 1992, a lady placed an advertisement in the Chronicle looking for other interested parties who might like to do patchwork and quilting. Up until then, she had regularly been going to Harare to sew with fellow enthusiasts. The guild officially formed in 1993. It began with about 15 ladies meeting a few times a week to sew together and help each other learn new techniques.

In those days, all the information came from American magazines and had to be sourced by whatever means possible. Equipment included sewing machines, hand sewing, and scissors, rather than the fancy cutters and rulers available today.

From these humble beginnings, the Bulawayo Quilting Guild grew. Originally, a quilt show was held both in Bulawayo and in Harare every year, but eventually the two guilds decided that was placing too much pressure on everyone. It was agreed that the two cities would take turns to host a show, and it became the National Quilt Show of Zimbabwe.

How To Quilt

A quilt is three layers of fabric sewn together to form a quilt. The quilting is the stitching that goes through the layers, holding everything together.

Patchwork and quilting originated as a method of recycling and reusing fabric from clothing into household items. Bed covers, of course, became the most popular.

Patchwork and quilting are the very opposite of the modern trend of things being disposable. Before recycle, repurpose, and reuse was a slogan, patchwork sewists were already doing it!

Our Achievements

Over the years, Zimbabwe has produced six South African accredited quilting teachers and three South African accredited quilt judges. The courses these ladies go through include techniques, copyright and contracts, teaching workshops, and much more.

Quilting has developed from just being bed covers, to fibre art and a means of artistic expression that hang in galleries, buildings, and homes. Both men and women are now involved in this art form, which is a $4 billion industry in America alone.


Beginners’ courses are still held so that new people interested in patchwork and quilting can learn and develop their skills.

Contact The Bulawayo Quilting Guild

The Bulawayo Quilting Guild meets every second Saturday of the month and is contactable on guildpatterns@gmail.com.

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