Craft/object, Creative Kōrero

Tauranga Patchwork & Quilters Group – 30th Anniversary & History

Tauranga Patchwork & Quilters Group are celebrating their 30th anniversary. To honour their achievement, we found out a little bit about the group’s history…

The advertisement in the image was placed in the Bay of Plenty Times in 1988 and started a group which was eventually to become the Tauranga Patchwork and Quilters Group.

Margaret moved to Tauranga and after spending a year or two settling down, wanted to get back to patchwork. At that time no group existed in Tauranga, so she put the advertisement in the paper hoping to start a small home group.

There was a great response, and so they initially joined a weekly craft group at the Tauranga Boys’ College until the end of the year. At that stage it was felt that a separate patchwork group was needed, and so three ladies got together and decided to form a club where they could extend their knowledge and have tutors and workshops.

The first meeting of the Tauranga Patchwork and Quilters Group was held in the Art & Craft Centre, Elizabeth Street West, Tauranga on 21 February 1989. Fourteen ladies set up the group and became its first members, several of whom are still members. The subscription was set at $25, mainly to cover the cost of hiring the centre, which was $240 for 20 evenings. The group met on the first and third Tuesday evenings of each month where members sat and stitched. It was a small informal and friendly group where members helped each other and shared ideas.

The Tauranga Spinners and Weavers had an Easter exhibition at Baycourt in 1989 and the Tauranga Patchwork and Quilters Group were one of the guest exhibitors, with 31 pieces on show. An exhibition was also held in the Art & Craft Centre in the first year, which was a great achievement.

In 1990, an exhibition was held in the mezzanine floor at Baycourt, but this was found to be too hot and so the following one was once again held in the Art and Craft Centre. The club now has an exhibition every 2nd year and these have been held previously at Baycourt, Memorial Park and this year it will be held at the Tauranga Racecourse.

In the beginning workshops were tutored on a Saturday each month and were popular. It was at these sessions many patchworkers received a good grounding in the craft.

In 1991 the club became more formally based when a president, secretary and a treasurer were elected. The group’s first newsletter was printed in January 1993 and these have been issued on a
monthly basis ever since.

Initially membership was about 25 members. The club had a period of rapid growth and by 1997 numbers had reached 95. At present we have about 80 members.

The Club still holds meetings on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday evening of the month as well as every 2nd and 4th Friday which are day meetings and held at the Arts and Crafts Centre, Elizabeth Street, Tauranga.

Today they still invite tutors for workshops and also have some amazing talent in the club who have exhibited overseas and are willing to share their experience.

The club holds a weekend retreat once a year in May with a daytime workshop on the Saturday.

They are always open to new ideas and welcome new members who either just want to make quilts or quilted items.

Craft/object, Creative Kōrero

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