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JIm West, organizer of the International Quilt Festival of Ireland

Jim West, organizer of the International Quilt Festival of Ireland

Jim West is a multi-faceted quilt enthusiast who travels the world interacting with quilters where he goes.  He is the founder of Sew Many Places and publisher of Quiltposium online magazine. He is one of the most sought after travel experts in North America and one who has traveled 76 countries around the world and explored all 7 continents! It has been a journey for Jim, who has promulgated many changes in the Quilters world. Jim had this to say on Facebook:

 “ Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming – wow … what a ride!” 

Jim was recently in Kenya and the Kenya Quilt Guild enjoyed saying Karibu to him in our land! Jim illuminated some of the challenges we may have in traveling to Ireland for the International Quilt Festival of Ireland to be held this year.  The Kenya Quilt Guild will have six quilts on display in the Patchwork Promises exhibition at the Festival.

Listening to Jim West as he speaks with Sharon Pederson on the quilt market, in one of his video clip samplers, gives a glimpse of what he carries in his heart concerning the International Quilt Festival of Ireland.  Enjoy the video clip, and join us in Ireland in June!

International Quilt Festival of Ireland


International Quilt Festival of Ireland

Jim West, founder of Sew Many Places and Quiltposium Magazine, will arrive soon in Kenya to personally collect six round-robin quilts made by six of our members especially for the Patchwork Promises Exhibition, part of the International Quilt Festival of Ireland to be held in June of this year.  We cannot show you our quilts for the Exhibition, as all are under wraps until the Festival opens.

Will YOU be there?!


This in from Gill Rebelo:

One of the highlights of my trip to the 2011 South African Quilt Festival at Stellenbosch was the lecture given by Australian quilter Pam Holland.  Her blog is subtitled “Taking Quilting One Step Further” and Pam certainly does that!

Pam’s quilting life started when she found mentioned in a book the 1776 quilt from Sorbia, a region bordering on Germany and Poland. This quilt was made by Sorbian soldiers on the battlefield as Prussian troops marched into Bohemia around 1766.

The book Pam wrote about her quilt journey includes the emotional discovery that her own grandfather came from the area of Europe where the quilt was made.  The full title of Pam’s book is The 1776 Quilt: Heartache, Heritage & Happiness and it is published by Breckling Press.

1776 Quilt by Pam Holland

1776 Quilt by Pam Holland

The appliqué-type figures and motifs are made from pieces of the soldiers’ felted wool uniforms, using an old European method known as Silesian quilting.  We now know this inlaid method of piecing as intarsia quilting (also here).

Despite being a relatively inexperienced quilter, Pam replicated the 1776 quilt using modern methods.  The quilt later won Best of Show at the Houston International Quilt Festival in addition to several other awards.

Following the success of the 1776 quilt, Pam has made many more unique pieces.  She has now embarked on another incredible quilt project – recreating the Bayeux Tapestry – all 238 feet of it.

Detail of Bayeux Quilt by Pam Holland
Detail of Bayeux Quilt
Pam Holland's Bayeux Quilt Border Detail
Bayeux Quilt Border Detail

The original Bayeux Tapestry, made around 1070, was embroidered, not woven, on linen.  Pam is re-creating it in appliqué attached by fine machine stitching (1/16” satin stitch) which quilts the panel at the same time.

Eight panels will be assembled to make the finished quilt.  This one shows Harold, Earl of Wessex, with his hounds travelling to Normandy in France.  Pam takes this completed panel along to her lectures.  Having seen it in South Africa, I can vouch that it is an amazing piece of work.  A book and a film of the project will be launched with the quilt when it is finished.

Detail of the Bayeux Quilt by Pam Holland
Detail of the Bayeux Quilt

Pam is a prolific quilter.  She travels, teaching and lecturing, for eight months of the year and tries to quilt for six hours a day when she is at home.  If she spends less than six hours, she makes up for it the following day.

Check out her website http://www.pamhollanddesigns.typepad.com/ and browse the archives – it’s inspiring and a joy to read.  If you are interested in a beautiful set of Pam’s original block-of-the-month designs, you can have them for free, providing they are for your personal use only.


Kenya now boasts two certified patchwork quilt judges! We are pleased to have these two new professionally qualified quilt judges as part of the quilting community in Kenya.

Gill Rebelo and Dena Crain both earned their official patchwork quilt judge certification during the 16th South African National Quilt Festival in Stellenbosch, South Africa. The presentations were made during the “Alive with Colour” Prize-Giving Dinner on June 26, hosted by the Good Hope Quilters’ Guild and were awarded to each candidate by their tutors Sue Prins, Jenny Hermans, Elsa Brits and Odette Tolksdorf.

Gill’s and Dena’s successes were duly acknowledged by the Kenya Quilt Guild at our last meeting.


“This flying geese concept with Ricky unfolds some of the quilting mysteries. Makes me want to quilt more and more…” Princess Mutero has shared a video on YouTube with us:

One Seam Flying Geese Quilt Block: Ricky Tims teaches Alex Anderson how to make a flying geese block with just one seam.

Great blog post: http://auribuzz.wordpress.com/2011/08/04/august-designer-of-the-month-jinny-beyer/


Here are the newest patchwork quilt judges in Africa, shown in this group photograph taken by quilt judge certification tutor Jenny Hermans in Stellenbosch during the 16th South African National Quilt Festival.  Among them are our own Gill Rebelo and Dena Crain.

New quilt judges certified by the South African Quilt Guild on June 26, 2011

New quilt judges certified by the South African Quilt Guild on June 26, 2011. Back row, left to right: Collen Thackery from Zimbabwe, Sheila Walwyn from South Africa, Gill Rebelo from Kenya, Annette Zondagh from South Africa, Delphine Dick from Zimbabwe, Alet Davy from Malawi, Dena Crain from Kenya, Roma Dunn from South Africa, Bev Rebelo from Zimbabwe, Doreen Crause from South Africa. Front row, left to right: Shan Day and Frances van Schalkwyk from South Africa.

The Kenya Quilt Guild is proud to congratulate all of these successful candidates, and to wish them well in their future service to the world of patchwork quilting!

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