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Chairperson Neela Shah opened the meeting with acknowledgement of guests, visitors and new members. She and Vice-Chairperson Deanna Gaudaur showed a few Santa bags, encouraging members to sign up to make more of them for the upcoming holiday season in hopes that we might sell them to benefit our charities. Deanna had coordinated shapes ready for appliqué, and offered a prize for the most popular “people’s choice” from all the bags that would be made.
Gill Rebelo displayed a few crazy-pieced Christmas stockings. She will be offering a workshop teaching our members how to make these charming holiday novelty items on Thursday, November 15th, in the afternoon after our regular meeting at Shalom House on that day. Phillippa Yusuf will also be teaching some fun crochet items that afternoon. Those interested in participating should sign up with Phillippa Yusuf as Gill will be out of the country until much nearer that day.
A suitable venue is needed for our annual Christmas party this year. If any of our members can host our group, please volunteer by letting Neela Shah know. Deanna suggested that instead of giving gifts to each other, this year we might think to bring food donations for those less fortunate. Stay tuned as plans for the Christmas party are made; we will let you know full details in due course.
Reports on Dena Crain’s two-day workshop held in September, Goodbye to the Grid, were most positive. Everyone enjoyed the workshop and a few people brought their works in progress to show what they designed and made.
This discussion led into show-and-tell.
Dena finished show-and-tell with a presentation of her African beaded quilt, a work in progress, as an introduction to the morning’s demonstrations. She and Charu Patel presented two different ways of beading with a hook instead of a needle.
Dena’s method uses a latch hook, something hard to find in Kenya but we hope Kundan Pattni will bring some back from her trip to the US for the International Quilt Festival and Market in Houston. Working with beads pre-strung on a thread that is still attached to the spool, Dena practices Kantan couture beading. She keeps the beads on the face of the work and the hook underneath it, making chain stitches on the underside of the quilt top that catch one or more beads on the surface of the work.
Instructional videos on YouTube:
Beading Supplies: Lacis Tools & Materials
Charu Patel works with the tiniest of crochet hooks. She keeps the thread underneath the fabric, draws it up with the crochet hook into a loop on the surface, drops the loop, picks up a bead with the hook, then picks up the loop again and passes the bead over the loop. Reinserting the hook into the fabric, she catches the thread again to complete the first stitch and begin the next one.
Dena’s method is fast but Charu’s method produces exquisite quality. Which method might suit you best is for you to decide, perhaps different methods for different projects, but it was certainly good to see both methods demonstrated side-by-side.
The Exhibition Committee will hold a meeting on October 19th at Jasvinder Phull’s house. It is still not too late to join the Exhibition Committee if you are interested. You will be most welcome to attend the meeting and lend a helping hand, especially as we are facing a very busy year in 2013. We are in contact with International Quilt Festival Houston and American Quilter’s Society about the possibility of showing our quilts after the London International Quilt Festival in Canada in the United States.
We are also negotiating with the FibreWorks artists from South Africa about having their Major Minors IV exhibition of some fifty 10-inch square quilts shipped up to Nairobi for exhibition here on its way to or from Canada where it will be included in our show there, along with work from Gabon (Paula Benjaminson), Zimbabwe (through Bev Rebelo) and possibly Tanzania. We hope to have about 200 quilts of our own on exhibition in London, Canada, so please–keep working on your African quilts!
Dena announced that Quarke, Quilt Artists of Kenya, had a couple of sales during their recent exhibition at Karen Country Club and that they will be holding another exhibition at Village Market over the weekend of November 23-26, open 10 am until 7 pm each day. Kenya Quilt Guild members are welcome to visit the show and to bring their family and friends along.
We had a brief discussion about acquiring retail selling space at one or more of the various craft fairs held throughout Nairobi in conjunction with holidays (Christmas or summer). Everyone agreed this is something we should do. Now all we need are members to be making things for sale and letting us know about upcoming events in time for us to apply for selling space in them. The Council will do the rest by making the applications for space, paying the fees, and calling for volunteers from amongst our members to be present to sell our goods. Money from this venture can go either to offset the expenses of workshops or exhibitions, or it may go to charity. Either way, everyone’s help will be much appreciated.
Next meeting: November 15th, Shalom House. Note on your calendar that there will be no regularly scheduled meeting in December. Details about our annual Christmas party will be forthcoming via email notification.
Sometime ago, the Kenya Quilt Guild received unfinished baby quilts from The Hobby Horse Quilt Shoppe in Georgetown, Ontario, Canada, visited by our own Kundan Pattni in 2009. Owner Gail Spence donated the tops. Backing and batting were provided by Jane Burke, also from Canada.
Members of the Kenya Quilt Guild completed the 18 quilts and were ready to find homes for them earlier this year. The Community Outreach and Charities Committee decided to take the quilts to the Heshima Children’s Center. Heshima is a daycare home for special needs children near Lenana School. There are 17 children who come to school with their mothers every day. The mothers work at a bead project in order to support themselves while their children get occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech therapy. We have 18 quilts, so each child would have their own!
On Wednesday, October 10, Elizabeth Cheserem and Patty Arensen visited Heshima Children’s Center to deliver quilts. The faces tell the joy that these quilts brought to these children with more than their share of life’s challenges.
Thank you to all Kenya Quilt Guild members who worked on the quilts.
The Kenya Quilt Guild needs your help!
We have an exhibition scheduled for the weekend of May 10 at the Village Market. The price for the hall rental has risen almost 25% over what we paid for our last show. We are looking for sponsors to help offset this increased rental as well as to help cover our other expenses. An increase in entry fees for exhibitors will help, but it cannot cover the total shortfall.
If you can see your way clear to help us raise our goal of 50,000/= (about USD 600 or € 460 or £ 390), please contact us immediately, using the contact form in the sidebar at left.
Many thanks for your kindness and generosity!
The Kenya Quilt Guild has been involved in helping women with fistula for the last few years. Surgical procedures are expensive, so our ability to assist has been limited. Seeking a way to stretch our ability to help a bit further, KQG member Gretchen Sanders-Mwaura has done some research on the subject. She says she likes very much the program operated by AMREF:
AMREF have a very extensive outreach program in Kenya and were extremely helpful when I went to visit. They will place any donation where the donor wishes – towards operations, education, training, or equipment – and follow-up is given. I have also been invited to attend one of their camps! I had a very good feeling about this program and how the donated funds were being used.
Help us help AMREF, won’t you, please?
A call has gone out for comfort quilts for Japan, where so many people are having a hard time coping with recent disasters. If you have a quilt to donate, or are willing to make one or more quickly, you can find out more about it at Taniwa: Patchwork Quilt Tsushin. You will also want to see the magazine’s website in English.
If you live in Kenya, and you want to contribute a quilt or quilts, bring along your donations to, or state your intentions at, the meeting on Thursday, March 24. We can then discuss how best to send our quilts off to Japan.