About us


Banner for Wardour Primary School made by Kate Pickard & Irene Burgoyne


How we started

In 1996 Irene Burgoyne, Kate Pickard, Jenny Stokes and Pat Tribe met at Walford Mill while doing their City & Guilds course. They wanted to join a group of quilters but there were none close by in North Dorset so between them they set up the North Dorset Quilters.

They put on an exhibition in Shaftesbury Art Centre at the end of August 1998 and advertised for people who were interested. As a result the first meeting was held on 23 September 1998 and about 30 people came and 20 became members. The four formed a committee and produced a programme of events which ran until January 1999. The committee was then increased to seven and a more formal programme ran to September. The purpose of the group was not so much a social sewing circle but to have speakers and workshops and to encourage everyone to share their love and enthusiasm for textiles. There are now nearly 70 members and a committee of eight.

What we do

Since 1998 we have held four shows in Shaftesbury Art Centre and have raffled five large quilts for charity.
2006 Food Festival in Shaftesbury we designed and made quilts with a food theme.
2007 Food Festival we made quilted bags to take a farmhouse loaf.
2008 We made a banner for Wardour Catholic Primary School representing their patron saint, St Francis of Assisi, who is also the patron saint of animals and the environment.
Quilts were commissioned by Artcare for the Westminster Memorial Hospital in Shaftesbury, which are currently on display. For the Shaftesbury Town Museum we made two large floor length curtains based on the Sun and Moon Cottage.
2009 An exhibition in St Mary the Virgin Church in Gillingham raised money for the homeless in Dorset.
2011 An exhibition in St Peter's Church in Shaftesbury raised money for Dorset Air Ambulance. We have made Christmas place mats for Meals on Wheels.
2012 We made a wall hanging for the Garden Room at Castle Hill House in Shaftesbury.
Quilts for Linus UK is an ongoing project.

Meetings and workshops

We meet in the Royal British Legion Hall in Shaftesbury at 7.00pm monthly except August. In addition, in October, December, February and April we meet on the second Thursday afternoon of the month at 2.30pm; these meetings are usually mini workshops. There are three workshops a year usually held on Saturdays.
June is the highlight of the year when we invite a well-known quilter to the meeting. In the past we have had Katherine Guerrier, Dawn Cameron-Dick, Anja Townrow, Janice Gunner and Gail Lawther.

We have held internal challenges. One year we made Christmas wall hangings, another year we challenged members to make quilts to include an awful fabric; we had a calico challenge, in Gillingham we had a challenge related to music and last year we made journal quilts with a theme and a quilt to represent Shaftesbury.

Subscription and fees

The annual subscription is currently £17.50 and members pay £2.00 at each meeting. Visitors are welcome and pay £3.00 per visit. After two visits, visitors are required to become members. Day workshops cost £25.00 and afternoon workshops cost £7.50. Both include free tea and coffee!


Wall hanging for Castle Hill House, Shaftesbury