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The Annual General Meeting of the Kenya Quilt Guild was held on Thursday, April 18th, at the Simba Union Hall where we have been meeting in recent months.

 

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Chairwoman Neela Shah opened the meeting with a brief discussion about our recent exhibition at Sarit Centre.  The general feeling was that the show was a big success and that we will want to repeat the performance every year in future at the same venue. According to the foot traffic monitor, we had over 3700 visitors!  Even taking off numbers for our own people walking to and fro, this was a lot of people!  Our goal, of course, is to educate the general public about the beauty and functions of patchwork quilting and other needlework; we feel we did that very well this year at Sarit Centre.

On behalf of our general membership, Neela offered thanks to the Exhibitions Committee, under the capable guidance of Sheryl Fowler, who worked hard and tirelessly to put on such a great show.

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The thinking is that we should hold another exhibition next year at the same venue but during the school term so we can invite schools (May?) but not during Easter or any other religious celebrations.  With Easter coming at different times each year, and schools frequently altering their schedules, this may be a little difficult to organize, but our Exhibition Committee will do their best!

We are also grateful to the Kenya Embroiderers Guild for sharing the hall space with it.  Without this partnership, it is doubtful that the Kenya Quilt Guild could have afforded the space.  We will hold various challenges for our patchwork quilters to undertake during the year to increase the number of quilts made, thus making our contribution to each forthcoming show larger than the previous one.

Prizes were awarded during this exhibition for Viewers Choice and Viewers Choice Second Place.  Sarah Brewin was awarded the trophy by Kundan Pattni and the First Place prize, a lovely crystal bowl, was awarded to Sarah by Neela Shah, for her quilt Mnyama Viatu (Animal Shoes).  Natasha Khromova took Second Place for her quilt Point of No Return.

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All our members should have received the entry forms by email for the “Out Of Africa” Exhibition in London, Ontario, Canada.   It is very important that we receive those quilts as soon as possible.  Drop them at The Woman Shop at the Sarit Centre.  One suitcase will go almost immediately, the remainder will follow around the 9th of May.  In order to co-ordinate the quilts and get them packed safely, we would appreciate your co-operation.  When you drop your quilts, be ensure that they are labelled and that the entry forms are attached to each quilt securely so they do not get lost.

Election of officers was held with the following results:

  • Chairwoman:  Patty Arensen
  • Vice-Chairwoman:  Charu Patel
  • Secreary:  Sheryl Fowler
  • Treasurer:  Loise Gitagia
  • Members-at-Large:  Corinne Talbott and Suzanne Waithaka

Of course, our Immediate Past Chairwoman is Neela Shah, whose experience will be most useful and highly appreciated during the coming year.  Executive Council standing committees will be chaired as follows:

  • Education:   Gill Rebelo
  • Membership:  Kundan Pattni
  • Charity and Community Outreach:  Gretchen Sanders-Mwaura
  • Public Relations:  Jasvinder Phull
  • Library:  Raji Syan
  • Snippets Newsletters:  Margaret Atandi and Surinder Thethy
  • Exhibitions:  Sheryl Fowler (whose seat during Executive Council meetings will be filled by another member of the Committee as Sheryl already serves on Council as Secretary)

The Kenya Quilt Guild thanks those Officers and Committee Chairwomen who served for the last year for all their hard work–it paid off handsomely!–and those who have come forward to assume their new duties for the coming year.  Our gratitude and best wishes to all!

With the Election of Officers out of the way, it was time for show-and-tell:

Finally, Gill Rebelo gave a fine talk on the history of kangas, the ubiquitous brightly coloured cloths worn the length of the East African coast,  from Somalia to Zanzibar and inland, wherever Kiswahili is spoken.

Kangas derive from the Portuguese lenco, a handkerchief or headscarf which became popular in Mombasa and Zanzibar in the 1860s.  It is thought that the early designs were spotted, hence the name kanga, which means guinea fowl in Kiswahili.  Kangas are also known as lesos from the Portuguese lenco.

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Kangas always feature a border (pindo), a central panel with a design (mji) and a Kiswahili proverb or saying (jina).  The jina may give a political message or may be a health warning, against the spread of HIV for example, but often it is a more personal message and frequently one to be exchanged between husband and wife.  It might be wise to get the jina translated before gifting a kanga in case the message is not appropriate, although usually these messages are subtle and can be interpreted in different ways.  Examples of kanga jina can be enjoyed here.

The largest collection of kangas in the world is held by the Erie Art Museum in Canada, which held its first exhibition of kangas in 2008.  There is a strong cultural link between this museum and the Lamu Museum in Kenya.  The British Museum in London has recently had an exhibition of kangas amongst other textiles of eastern and southern Africa.  Barack Obama’s victory kanga, popular after his election as USA President, was one of the kangas featured!  There are plans afoot by the British Museum to make a documentary film on the kanga.  The National Museums of Kenya held a very comprehensive exhibition of kangas last year. and produced an interesting DVD to accompany the exhibition.


The Annual General Meeting of the Kenya Quilt Guild will be held on the third Thursday of April, the 18th of the month, at the Simba Union Hall off Forest Road near Limuru Road, starting promptly at 10:00 a.m.  If you wish to become a member of the Kenya Quilt Guild and to vote during this meeting, your dues for 2013 must be paid before the meeting begins.

Dues of KES 1,500/- can be paid at the meeting venue or, more conveniently, to Kundan Pattni at The Woman Shop, Sarit Centre, Westlands.

We hope to see you there in good time to participate fully in this most important meeting of the year!


During the upcoming Annual General Meeting of the Kenya Quilt Guild, to be held at the Simba Union, 10:00 a.m. on April 18th, 2013, we will consider and hopefully approve revisions to the current KQG Constitution.  The proposed revisions can be found as red text in the current document, accompanied by footnote explanations for each proposed revision.  If you have paid your 2013 KQG dues and will be voting for the election of officers and proposed amendments to the Constitution, please familiarize yourself with the new document and be prepared to discuss it:

2013 Proposed Revision of KQG Constitution


Happy New Year, everyone!

We had our first meeting of the year on January 17 at the Sikh Union Clubhouse, a lovely new venue for us and one we look forward to using in coming months.

KQG Exhibition:

Charu Patel mounted a small wall hanging along with an example of a write up.  She circulated a sheet for members to list their quilt entries for the upcoming KQG Exhibition to be held at Sarit Centre in April. Deadline for entries will be the March meeting, but in special cases this can be extended if necessary.

A 4” sleeve, label and flat rod will have to be organised for each quilt.  Entry Fee:  Shs. 200.00 per quilt.  Quilts from the previous exhibition may be accepted if there are not enough new entries.

Jaswinder Phull invited members to submit high resolution quilt photos via email for consideration for printing on posters.  Mike Gaudaur has volunteered to help design the posters.

Kundan Pattni is taking reservations for vendors.  The stalls are 2m x 3m at the cost of Shs. 5000.00 total for the three days.  Deposit:  Shs. 1000.00.   Bookings will be taken for five vendors only.

Deanna Gaudaur will circulate a list for members who wish to sell quilts in the Boutique Stall that are not in the exhibition.  The Guild will take 10% commission.  It was stressed that prices should be reasonable.  Those wishing to take advantage of this stall must volunteer to serve in it at least 2 hours.

Sheryl Fowler explained how the finances will work.  Kundan is the Treasurer and will keep the accounts.  The cost of the hall will be divided between the Kenya Quilt Guild and the Kenya Embroiderers Guild as will be profits from vendors and the raffle.  The expenses will also be divided between the two Guilds.  The only exception will be the workshops, where each Guild will keep their own profits.

The Flying Geese blocks for the raffle quilt were collected and the quilt face will get underway as soon as all the geese are received.  Permission for the raffle is yet to be obtained from the Betting and Licensing Control Board, but the work on it has been begun.

Show Slogan:  This should be a short, catchy phrase and probably not contain the words ‘Quilt or Embroidery’.  The members were broken into ‘brainstorming’ groups and came up with dozens of suggestions.

Sponsorship:  Letters were available for members.  We hope to get as many sponsors as possible this year to help cover the cost of the Sarit Centre Exhibition Hall.

Workshops:  Cost Shs. 500.00 including kits.  Sign up for these at the February meeting.

Constitution:

Dena Crain briefly explained the changes suggested to the current Constitution (available on the website).  The new Constitution has been restructured, the corrections have been highlighted in red.  If anyone has any further changes they must put them forward without delay as the motion to pass the Constitution will come up at the AGM.

Newsletter:

Thank you to Gill Rebelo and Margaret Atandi for a fabulous newsletter this month.

Blog:

The Blog is a place to journal, our presence online. We need a volunteer to submit interesting information onto the website for Dena Crain to include in our Blog.  Dena explained WordPress and said that she would assist a member in learning how to post, write and edit.

Show and Tell:

Members shared their quilts with us; they speak for themselves:

Demonstration:

There was a powerpoint presentation by Sheryl Fowler on Tucks and Embellishments.

Meeting Venue:

It was decided to hold the monthly meetings at the Sikh Union up until and including June.  This will give the Guild time to investigate other venues.

Our next meeting will be held on February 21st, starting sharply at 10:00 a.m. at the Sikh Union. It’s a little hard to find, in the general location of the large pink block in the map below, above the label for Forest Road. Approach from Westlands, cross Limuru Road and take the sliproad down to the left. Sikh Union is near Premier Academy.


For the November meeting, Kenya Quilt Guild members discovered to their dismay that our usual meeting room had been booked out to another function!  Our meeting was held in the garden under a tent!

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Guests were introduced and made welcome.  Then it was announced that the next KQG Exhibition will be held at Sarit Centre, Westlands, on the weekend of April 12th through14th, 2013.  We hope to attract a larger audience, meet more prospective buyers and recruit more new members as we educate the general public on the joys and products of patchwork quilting.

The Kenya Embroiderers Guild will be sharing the exhibition hall and the costs with the Kenya Quilt Guild.  We will need sponsors to help offset the expenses.  Guild members were asked to identify and approach prospective sponsors at the 5,000-10,000/- level.  We will need lots of helpers, too!  Members are encouraged to sign up on sheets that will be circulated at the January Guild meeting.

Given this meeting’s change of venue from hall to garden, it is anticipated that we might have to find a new place for our meetings.  Some of our officers have suggested The Simba Union Sikh Club, and that is where we will have our Christmas party on December 6, starting at 11:30 a.m.  That way, we will have a chance to check out that venue and see whether it would suit us better in future.

Guild Chairperson Neela Shah explained the directions to the Simba Union:  Take Parklands Road and do not go over the flyover.  Instead take the left slip road past the temple and Premier Academy, then follow the signs.  A map will be emailed to ensure that no one gets lost.  Failing this, members can carpool from Westgate or The Sarit Centre.  They are to liaise with each other.

For the Christmas party, a potluck lunch list was circulated.  Patty Arensen, our Community Outreach and Charitable Works Committee Chairperson, asked that everyone who attends bring a piece of nonperishable food for Heshima Children’s Centre.  Patty spoke about Heshima Daycare Centre and she had jewelry and shawls from there to sell. She explained that the children’s’ mothers make these things to support their little ones and to pay for their education.

Neela gave Phillipa Yusuf a bouquet of flowers as a thank you gift for all of Phillipa’s hard work over the years as our Secretary.  She will be leaving Kenya next month.  Philippa then presented her talk on crochet and gave a little impromptu workshop on it.

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The Christmas Bags our members had been assembling were collected and displayed.  Members present voted on their favourite and a prize awarded.  The Bags were then sold.

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Sheryl Fowler explained the basis of the raffle quilt and kits were handed out at coffee time. Members were asked to have their sections finished by the January meeting.  The quilt will be raffled during our Exhibition at Sarit Centre with its proceeds going to charity.

It was announced that there will be an Exhibition Committee Meeting.  It has been scheduled for Wednesday 28th November at 10.00 a.m. at Jasvinder Phull’s home.  Please be prompt if you plan to attend it.

Gill Rebelo gave a brief demonstration on the piecing that will be involved in the Crazy Quilt Stocking Class, 22nd November.

Quarke (Quilt Artists of Kenya), a new group made up of those KQG members whose primary interests lie in patchwork quilting as a fine art, will be holding an Exhibition on  23rd – 26th November at the Village Market.  All Guild members and their families have been invited to the opening on Friday, 23rd November, from 4:00-7:00 p.m. in the Old Exhibition Hall.

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Many ideas from patchwork, crochet and beading were shared:

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Happy Holidays to everyone, and we’ll see you in the New Year!!


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.

Neela Shah, Chairperson, Kenya Quilt Guild

Neela Shah, Chairperson, with Santa bag

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.

Neela Shah with her Goodbye to the Grid quilt top

Neela Shah with her Goodbye to the Grid quilt top

Jasvinder Phull with her Goodbye to the Grid quilt top

Jasvinder Phull with her Goodbye to the Grid quilt top

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 Crain's African beaded quilt, a work in progress

Dena Crain’s African beaded quilt, a work in progress

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:

Kantan Couture, Part 1 of 2

Kantan Couture, Part 2 of 2

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.


It was party time at the Kenya Quilt Guild!!  We had our usual monthly meeting but several members brought their children who participated in a cup-cake feast and in making kikoy quilts!  Neela Shah (Chairperson) welcomed several visitors including Australians Meryl Lees from New South Wales and her daughter Lyn Cussons from Canberra.  Darlene and Rose were visiting from the USA and Suzanne is a new member who has recently settled in Kenya having moved from Kansas.

Neela drew the attention of the meeting to the date change for the Kijabe field trip to see Deanna Gaudaur’s long-arm quilting machine.  It will now take place on 1st August.  A form was handed round for members to sign up for the trip and to indicate what they would contribute to the pot-luck lunch and whether they would be willing to transport others.  Deanna will email directions to all who have signed up.

Neela also reminded members that there is no KQG meeting in August as so many members are away.  Consequently, books from the library can be borrowed for two months instead of one.

Gill Rebelo (Education) reminded members to sign up and pay for the classes being offered by Dena Crain in September.  Information is published in ‘Snippets’.   ‘Goodbye to the Grid’ is a two day class Dena offers for the Quilt University which introduces the skills required for making art quilts.  Neela underlined the good value of Dena’s classes, as she has attended them herself and picked up lots of useful tips and skills.  The other class Dena is offering is entitled ‘True Quilts’ and includes Stack to the Back, Quilting From the Outside In, and Fuss-Free Binding.  These sessions are offered 25th, 26th and 27th September.  Check the Quilt Workshop Schedule for more information.

Gill announced that Pippa Moore will be coming from Canada to teach in October and suggested members look at her web site.  Gill also encouraged members to join the workshop after the meeting where those who attended in June could finish the Shoo-Fly block started then and hopefully complete a Calico Puzzle block as well.  These will go towards a sampler quilt to be completed during these workshops over several months.  Gill had little packs of appropriate fabrics available for sale at 100/-.

Neela then introduced Darlene Tapie who is visiting Kenya on a mission trip for the Presbyterian Women of New Jersey.  Darlene explained the work of a group of women who knit or crochet prayer shawls.  These are voluminous, warm shawls made of a soft yarn that the makers pray over as they are fashioned. The shawls are then donated to people at the birth of a baby or when someone is ill or bereaved.  Darlene asked that anyone who would like to be involved would communicate with her.

Neela then asked Maureen Dougherty to tell the group about her visit to the International Quilt Festival of Ireland in June.  Maureen had been delighted to meet Martine Chamorel, our former Vice-Chairperson, there and they had looked together at the Round Robin quilts, including those from Kenya to which they had contributed.  They recognized the hand blocks made by Carol Davey and Martine in the huge welcome quilt at the entrance.  Maureen really enjoyed the whole exhibition which had lots of character but was most impressed by the quilted garden feature.

Neela displayed the glass crystal mounted plaque that has been awarded to Sabine as winner of the ‘best quilt in show’ at our recent exhibition.

Show-and-Tell:

  • Members had been asked to display quilts they had made for children but there were also lots of other beautiful things on offer.
  • Deanna showed a lovely single bed sized quilt in black and white fabrics with a bright green line in.  She had made this for her son’s girlfriend!
  • Brij displayed a pair of jeans she had decorated with multiple colourful appliqué of elephants for Village Market’s Jeanius competition.  The jeans were greeted with a chorus of impressed ooohs and aaahs!
  • Stacey Davis had made a fun quilt for her son with a design of trains in primary colours.
  • Veena showed a bargello quilt wall hanging, a delightful combination of blues and rich browns.
  • Gill is well prepared for the advent of future grandchildren with a charming rag quilt, decorated with a teddy.
  • Lakhbir displayed a gorgeous double bed sized bargello quilt in twenty shades of red and black with a Möbius strip shaped design on it.  She was challenged to make it as a wedding present for her daughter who must have been so pleased with it!
  • Jasvinder showed her stunning dancing ladies wall hanging and a second one she had made using the same method but with Maasai dancers.
  • Maureen had been stash-busting and had made a pleasing rainbow colours quilt for one of her staff members.
  • Induben has been working on a beautiful Maasai village scene with a bead embellishment.
  • Cheryl displayed two very pretty quilts she had made with little girls in mind.  One was appliquéd with a girl in a bonnet motif and the other with pink perambulators!

Meryl Lees and Lyn Cussons had brought some samples of indigenous print fabrics from Australia which featured snakes and witchetty grubs or sylised lizards in interesting patterns and colours.  Members of Meryl’s quilt guild had also made gifts for KQG.  Each member present was given a beautifully embroidered handkerchief.  It was such a lovely kind thought and action and very much appreciated.

We then had the draw for the prizes of the day – some kikoys!  These were won by good fortune by Meryl and Lyn!  There were also some KQG winners …. Neela!

In the extended break we all enjoyed delicious cup cakes brought by members and a fizzy punch made by Deanna Gaudaur.

The meeting finished with Stacy Davis from Kijabe showing some of the kikoy quilts she has made using a very simple quilt-as-you-go method.  She explained how it is done and then the children who had joined the Guild for the day had a go at making them.  Everyone went off happy and satisfied that we had enjoyed a great meeting and would be looking forward to meeting again in September.

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