Siyadala Quilt Festival

19th South African National Quilt Festival
Presented By
Dias Quilters' Guild
Port Elizabeth
3 - 8 July 2017

Welcome to the official website

The members of the Dias Quilters’ Guild extend a warm and friendly Nelson Mandela Bay welcome to all quilters.   The aim of the dedicated Festival Committee is to host a festival for quilters by quilters.  We trust that the workshops and lectures will challenge you to take your creativity to the next level and that the wonderful display of competition quilts will be an inspiration for your own creative journey.  A Festival is that special event where like minded souls gather, renewing old friendships and making new ones.  May the time you spend with us in our friendly Metro be enjoyable, informative and great fun.  We hope that you fill your tote bag with special memories, shopping treasures and soon to be finished projects.

As we are in the final stretch of preparations for Siyadala, we can feel the increasing levels of excitement amongst quilters!   The committee decided to extend the period of selling tickets for Workshops, Lectures and Functions through until 24th June at 24:00.  Although many workshops and lectures were already sold out, there are still places available in various workshops.  We hope to offer those delegates who can only decide at the last minute to attend the Festival, the opportunity to find a place in an interesting workshop.  Limited tickets for Lectures and Functions are also available.  No tickets for Functions will be available at Siyadala due to catering restrictions.


The festival is open to day visitors.  An Entrance Fee is payable at the Registration Office where all day visitors will be issued with coloured wristbands which will allow them access to the exhibitions, shops in the Shopping Mall/Alley as well as the Ivy Leaf Cafeteria.   

Entrance fee per day:

  • Adults R50
  • Scholars R20
  • Children U/12 Free

As information becomes available, it will be posted on the official Facebook page 2017 South African National Quilt Festival, Port Elizabeth.  Please “like” this page to be informed of news immediately.

Marilyn Pretorius
Festival Chairlady

The Tentmakers Of Cairo

For the first time ever at a South African National Quilt Festival - The Tentmakers of Cairo teaching Stitch Like an Egyptian!

This NOT TO BE MISSED workshop will be repeated to give as many quilters as possible the opportunity to learn this age old craft from these master stitchers! Come and watch them stitching, using techniques passed on from generation to generation. Their exquisite work will be on display in a satellite exhibition in the Auditorium on the first floor of Collegiate. The decorative hand stitched appliqued textiles in Egypt are known as Khayamiya and are used to decorate tents, as well as wall hangings and pillow covers. The oldest known tent was found in an Egyptian tomb and was made more than four thousand years ago. There are gaps in the known history of the work, but the Egyptian tradition is known to have been consistent and ongoing since the Ottoman period. There are samples of appliqué with linen fabric from Tutenkhamen's tomb and from the Maamluk era (1250 - 1517 AD).

Also: Do not miss the lecture by Jenny Bowker - The Tentmakers of Old Cairo on Wednesday 5 July @ 12:30

Please Note: Items made by The Tentmakers can be purchased through the Etsy online shop at

Keiskamma Project

The Keiskamma Art Project is a collaborative community-owned art workshop, based in Hamburg in the Eastern Cape. The Project provides much needed income and is a creative outlet for more than 100 local artists and crafters from the Keiskamma and Hamburg areas. The Project was founded in 2000 and was later registered as a Trust. Through the years there have been numerous International showings of their work, as well as a number of domestic and International commissions.

There are now five individual art studios, each specializing in a particular craft ranging from beading to ceramics. They offer high quality, hand-made African crafts and products that, as an added bonus, contribute to community upliftment.

The most notable work from the Project is the 120 metre long Keiskamma Tapestry, an exquisite embroidery that tells the intricate history of the Eastern Cape Frontier. It was created by over 100 women from the Hamburg area and represents a group interaction of understanding and relationship development in the region. Assisting them were Jackie Downs and Tanya Jordaan, two South African Fine Arts graduates. The Keiskamma Tapestry was done in the tradition of the world renowned Bayeux Tapestry and now hangs in the Parliament Buildings in Cape Town.

Make sure to visit the Keiskamma Project stall in the Shopping Alley at Siyadala!

Note:  Cebo Mvubu, one of the crafters, will share his story in a most interesting lecture on Tuesday, 4th July.

67 Blankets For Nelson Mandela Bay

KnitWits unite!!! 67 Blankets for Mandela Day will be part of the Festival. Delegates are welcome to do their bit towards this worthy charity project by knitting or crocheting at designated workstations during the festival under expert guidance of ladies of this organisation. Delegates can bring their own supplies of balls of wool, knitting needles and/or crochet hooks to work with or they can use the supplies at the workstations. Any donations of balls of wool, knitting needles, crochet hooks or completed items will be most welcome and can be handed in at these workstations at Siyadala.

For more information should you like to become part of this wonderful Organization:

Long-Arm Quilting Workshops

For the first time at a National Quilt Festival! Long-arm quilting workshops!!

The Bernina classroom will be fitted with a range of mid- and long-arm machines, either fitted on quilt frames or set up as sit-down quilting machines. Quilters are welcome to attend these workshops irrespective of whether you have quilted on such machines before or not. This will be a wonderful opportunity to see whether you would like to invest in one of these machines to take your quilting experience to the next level. On Thursday 6 July, Bernina is offering free one-hour test drive sessions to delegates - booking is essential. Visit the Bernina Stall in the Shopping Mall during the festival to secure your session.

Workshops conducted by Telene Jeffrey, Global BERNINA Long-Arm Quilt Ambassador.

Become A Sponsor

Would you like to sponsor the hanging of a quilt on exhibition?
Can you sponsor a page in the Festival Brochure?

Please contact Lauren on for more information and details on how you can help sponsor us.


The Collegiate High School for Girls
Kestell Street
Parsons Hill
Port Elizabeth
South Africa

Although the Collegiate High School for Girls offers excellent facilities for our Festival, it unfortunately does not cater for the needs of the physically disabled. Both the hostel and the school are double storey buildings with only staircase access. The Committee can be approached should you have special needs and we hope that we will be able to accommodate you. No smoking will be allowed in any of the buildings.

Important Dates

24June 2017

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