Events News & Information

Study Tour to North Wales - October 2019

Study Tour – North Wales   - 18th – 22nd October 2019

Departing by coach on 18th October 2018 from pick-up points in Edinburgh and Glasgow, you will head to North Wales, stopping en-route at Sizergh Castle near Kendal.

After lunch you will continue your journey onto to the Celtic Royal Hotel in Caernarfon and check in for the next four nights, all bedrooms have en-suite facilities.

Over the next few days you will travel to Colwyn Bay, visit Bodnant Gardens, Conwy Castle, Portmeirion Village and Gardens.  There will be a scenic drive south through the Vale of Conwy to Porthmadog.  Once you arrive at Porthmadog train station, you will take a journey on the Welsh Highland Railway to Caernarfon. The study tour will continue with a visit to Caernarfon Castle. 

 On the journey home, you will stop at Dalemain House, Penrith.

 Included in the price:

  •  Four nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the 3* Celtic Royal Hotel, Caernarfon
  • Comfortable coaching throughout
  • Visits to Sizergh Castle, Bodnant Gardens, Conwy Castle, Caernarfon Castle, Portmeirion, Dalemain House & Gardens and a single journey on the Welsh Highland Railway from Porthmadog to Caernarfon
  • Services of a Brightwater Holidays tour manager

The booking form and further information is available from the E&I Committee Secretary at or call directly on 0131 285 7116.  The closing date is 29th March 2019.




Gardening Scotland will be held at Ingliston on the 31st May 1st & 2nd of June 2019. Once again SWI has been offered an opportunity to have a stand at this event. Throughout the weekend a variety of crafts will be demonstrated.

The Federation competition is for A Decorated Flower Pot (max 8”). Federations organise their own eliminations – contact your Federation Secretary for more information.

The individual competition is for ‘3 Decorated Cupcakes’ and is open to all members of institutes. Any number of members per institute can enter. Contact your Institute Secretary for more information.

Window Boxes – for this competition they can be any size up to 60 cm in length – generally 20cm wide – plastic containers can be used for ease of transport. These can feature either ornamental or culinary plants. Window boxes will be judged from the front only.

Please note that all application forms should be sent to SWI and not Gardening Scotland. 

The Window Box and 3 Cupcake application forms can be downloaded from the members area of the website (under Event Information/Gardening Scotland).  The information has been sent to Federation Secretaries.

Forms are also available from the H&H Secretary at headquarters-email or call:  0131 285 7117. The closing date is the 26th April 2019.



We will need stewards throughout the show for these events and we would be grateful if members would volunteer to steward for two hours. The shifts are from 10 a.m. – 12noon, 12noon – 2pm, 2pm-4pm with the rest of the time available to enjoy the show. Stewards will be offered entry tickets but no travel expenses.

If you are willing to steward at either or both of these shows, please complete the form, which can be downloaded from the Members' Area, and return to Headquarters as soon as possible. You will be contacted directly by Headquarters nearer the time.



Handcrafts & Housewives Conference 2019

The Theme is ‘Stepping out’

This will be held at the Beach Ballroom in Aberdeenshire.

Exhibition - The dates for the Exhibition are the afternoon of Tuesday 10th September 2019  2 – 5pm and all day Wednesday11th  September – 9 – 5pm.

Conference - The conference itself will be held on the Wednesday 11th and Thursday 12th September. Further details and information will follow. Correspondence will be sent out to all Federations and Institutes once these are confirmed.

Accommodation: We have sourced a preferential rate for a nearby hotel.  For details of how to book, please login to the members area of the website (and then Committees/Handcrafts and Housewives Committee/H&H Conference) to find the link to book online, alternatively there is also a telephone number and booking code if you prefer to book by telephone.

Competitions - Notifications and application forms – information 

The entry forms are now available please click on the links below to download.

Please note due to a recent enquiry – The Vaughan Nash Competition – Theme – Oranges & Lemons – This is a general theme but other colours can be added if necessary.

2019 Art Competition

2019 Playfair-Hannay Competition

2019 Sutton Competition

2019 Warnock Competition

The Blackwood Trophy for Embroidery 2019

The Handcrafts Trophy 2019

Isobel Mackenzie Trophy for Flower Arrangement 2019 - A

Isobel Mackenzie Trophy for Flower Arrangement 2019 - B

The Lena Meiklejohn Trophy Competition 2019

The Mary Aitken Trophy for Preserving 2019

The North East Trophy Competition 2019

Vaughan Nash Community Competition 2019

The Whitecross Trophy for Knitting Competition 2019

The Whitecross Trophy for Sewing Competition 2019

Anne Wallace Sugar Sifter Trophy 2019

The Evelyn Baxter Trophy 2019

Aberdeenshire Host Federation Competition 2019 - This competition is restricted to Instiitutes in the Aberdeenshire Federation



The 2019 Choirs Competion Final will take place at Teviot Church, Hawick on Saturday 27th April 2019.  Choirs from all areas are eligible to compete in next year's competition, which will be hosted by Roxburghshire Federation. The application form is available by logging into the members' area of the website (Committees/Education & International section) or by contacting  The closing date for applications has been extended to Friday 25th January 2019. Full details of the choir(s) representing each federation should be sent on Part 2 of the form by Friday 15th February 2019 (please note this date has also been changed).



The Theme is ‘Senses’

The 2019 Variations on a Theme competition will be hosted by the Ayrshire Federation at the Stewarton Area Centre on Saturday, 13 April, 2019.

It is open to Federations in the South, the closing date for Federation entries has been extended to 25 January 2019.  The closing date for names of competing Institutes is 8 February 2019.  The application form is available in the Member's Area of the website (under Committees/Education and International section). 

For further information, please contact the Education and International Secretary email:




The Walking Weekend will take place on 10-12 May 2019 and is based at the New Lanark Mill Hotel.  A walk of approximately 10 miles will take place on Saturday and a walk of approximately 5 miles on Sunday.  The walks may include ascents and descents.  The walks will be suitable for all levels of walkers.  However, you should be physically capable of completing a 10 mile walk comfortably.

The application form and further information is available on the Member's Area of the website under (Committees/Education and International section).  The closing date for application forms was Friday 11th January 2019, however, applications are still being accepted.

For further information, please contact the Education and International Secretary email:

Weekend Residential Schools

SWI offers members the opportunity to attend weekend schools, particularly in handcrafts and Scottish Country Dancing. These are held in suitable venues in various parts of the Scotland.

Scottish Country Dance Weekend

The 2019 Scottish Country Dance Weekend for SWI members will be held in Fisher’s Hotel, Pitlochry on 8, 9 and 10 March.

Applications have now closed for the weekend. For more information please contact the Education and International Secretary at SWI Headquarters, email:

Handcrafts Residential Weekend School

The next handcrafts weekend school is scheduled to take place in the Spring of 2020. Details will follow nearer this time.

Royal Highland Show 20-23 June 2019

The Royal Highland Show is from 20 - 23 June 2019.

SWI is responsible for managing the Handcrafts Pavilion.  In order to cover the pavilion, volunteer stewards are required for 2 hour shifts during the event. Further information and the stewards form are available in the members' area (event information section).

Handcraft Competitions – 2019

 Please click on the link below to access the 2019 schedule and entry forms..

2019 Handcrafts Schedule




SWI organises national competitions in curling, stadium bowling, outdoor bowling and golf. Federations select a team(s), usually by competition, to represent them in the competition.

Due to issues with catering at previous sports competitions, all refreshments must be ordered and paid for in advance for players and spectators.  Refreshment vouchers will be distributed on the day and these should be handed over for refreshments. 

The dates of the next National Competitions are:

Outdoor Bowling Competition

Date and venue to be confirmed.

Curling Bonspiel

19th March 2019 at Curl Aberdeen

Walking Weekend

The next Walking Weekend for SWI Members will take place at the New Lanark Mill Hotel from 10-12 May 2019.

Golf Competition 2019

27 August 2019, Shiskine Golf & Tennis Club, Arran Federation

Stadium Bowling Competition

15th April, Coatbridge Indoor Bowling Centre, Lanarkshire Federation


*Please click the side arrow to access the Guidelines relating to these events.

Sport Guidelines

For federations who are hosting, or interested in hosting, SWI Sports Competitions, you can view our Guidelines for the following:



 Subject – Basic Embroidery

 (All correspondence has been sent to the Federations)

The 2019 tutors are Susan Finlayson – Roxburghshire and Anne Rodgie - Fife.  Evelyn Baxter Scholars - having attended the course held at headquarters this spring – are both willing to give 2 day classes on this subject at federation level anywhere in Scotland between January and December 2019.

 A school will last two consecutive days (four hours each day) and a maximum of 12 members can be accepted. Once classes are confirmed – information will be sent to the Federations regarding materials. i.e a pack may be provided with a note of the cost and/or a requirements list *In response to enquiries received – Please note the following: The federation does not pay any fees for pupils attending these classes to SWI headquarters. Evelyn Baxter classes are different to the handcrafts - two day school and craft classes.

H & H Secretaries are reminded that all arrangements for these classes (dates and times) should be made through headquarters. In the event of a Federation having to cancel the class, Headquarters and the Scholar must be notified, at least four weeks in advance.

Please can you submit the application form as soon as possible if you wish your class in the early part of 2019, please contact the H&H Secretary (  for further information.


The subject chosen by the H & H Committee for the 2020 Evelyn Baxter Scholarship is Casalguidi. The three day Scholarship School will be held in SWI Headquarters from Tuesday 3rd to Friday 5th April 2019 from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm. (Friday 9.15 to 3.15pm).  Further Information

The tutor will be Jane Currie.


The deadline for this has been extended to February the 1st 2019. We are appealing to Federation & H & H Secretaries to please contact headquarters if you have someone interested for either the scholar or to attend as a fee paying pupil. If anyone else interested in being a pupil wishes to attend, please contact Pamela Black directly at headquarters. A few additional places are available, at a cost of £200.00 to fee paying pupils.

The Scholarship pays for scholars’ travel, accommodation and tuition during the School.

The scholars will be selected by interview and where possible, one will be from the north of the country and one from the south.

The Scholarship is not intended for beginners. The nominee should have a keen interest in Casalguidi in order to gain maximum advantage from the course. It is a condition of the Scholarship that the selected members must be willing to take classes at Federation level, without a tuition fee, during the scholarship year, although travel and accommodation costs will be paid by the federation receiving the tuition. Each Federation should ensure that its nominee understands this condition before putting her name forward for consideration.

Nominations for the Scholar should be sent through Fhe federation, to Headquarters, with brief biographical notes on the applicant. 

Education & International Proficiency Certificate Schedule

Proficiency Certificate Schedule

Welcome to our Education & International Committee Proficiency Certificate Programme.
We are delighted that you are considering sitting a certificate.
The downloadable booklet will give you all the answers to any queries you may have.

Handcrafts and Housewives Proficiency Certificate Schedules

New Proficiency Certificate Schedules

Welcome to our National Proficiency Certificate Programme. We are delighted that you are considering sitting a Certificate.

New Proficiency Certificate Schedules

A new Handcrafts and also Housewives Proficiency Certificate schedule marked ‘Revised & Updated 2017’ has been compiled. If you wish to apply for a Certificate, please ensure that you have a copy of this. Both Proficiency Certificate Schedule ‘Rules for Candidates’ Booklets are available free of charge from Headquarters or please contact Pamela Black by email

**Members please note these are for tests being applied for from 2018 onwards. Application forms and information for Autumn and Spring 2018 tests for the federations eligible have been sent out. If you wish to apply, please contact your Handcrafts & Housewives Secretary. All applications must go through your secretary. These then are forwarded to Headquarters. The deadline for Spring Certificates is the 1st of October for the following year and the deadline for Autumn Certificates is the 1st of March.

The downloadable booklets will give you all the answers to any queries you may have.

Handcrafts Schedule

Housewives Schedule

 Hand Patchwork and Machine Patchwork Certificates

Please note this page has been amended, if you have a copy of the new schedule please download this page and attach it or alternatively download the amended booklet above.

- hand patch certificate

- machine patch certificate


Study Tours

SWI organises Study Tours, both abroad and to other parts of the UK, which include programmes of educational visits and meetings with members of our sister organisations.

For further information, please contact the Education and International Secretary email: