The Kenya Quilt Guild February meeting was centered around education – we want to become better quilters!

This past month Gill Rebelo began a new series for beginners.

 

Gill Rebelo, Education Officer for Kenya Quilt Guild

Gill Rebelo

 

Sheryl Fowler taught a strip quilt technique class in her home. Everyone had a great time and learned all about strip piecing.

 

Sheryl Fowler, Secretary of Kenya Quilt Guild

Sheryl Fowler

 

We began to sign up for next month’s 2 days class by Dena Dale Crain, “Reflections.” This class will be held at Simba Union 10:00 – 3, 25-26 March. The cost is 4000/=. You may sign up at the next meeting. To reserve your spot, you must pay in full.

 

Reflections, art quilt class by Dena Dale Crain

Revelation, a Reflections quilt by Dena Dale Crain

 

We are purchasing a sewing machine to use in our revived workshop. Gill and Sheryl have donated the proceeds from their recent classes.

We are also going to have a jewelry sale to raise money. Go through your collection of jewelry for some items that you are no longer wearing. Bring them to the March meeting and the following meeting, priced and ready for sale. We will have a sale of our jewelry and all money will go to a new Kenya Quilt Guild sewing machine!

Gretchen Sanders demonstrated how to ice dye cloth. The effect is a watery, irregular pattern. Beautiful! We hope you all found the demonstration exciting and you are eager to experiment!

 

Gretchen Sanders-Mwaura's ice dyed cloth

Gretchen Sanders-Mwaura

 

Here are Gretchen’s directions:

 

Ice Dyeing

Supplies:

  • Plastic sheet
  • Newspaper
  • An old washing up bowl
  • A wire mesh that fits over the bowl
  • A small bucket
  • A measuring jug
  • A small yogurt pot
  • Rubber gloves
  • Water
  • Magadi soda ash
  • Dyes (powders)
  • Ice cubes
  • Washed, dried and ironed fabric- americani (cotton muslin), silk

 

Method:

  1. Prepare a soda mix according to how much fabric you have. Use 50g of magadi soda ash to 2L water. Mix well with gloved hands.
  2. Add the washed, dried and ironed fabric and leave soaking for at least 10 minutes.
  3. Remove fabric from the soda mix and wring it gently to remove excess liquid.
  4. Arrange fabric onto the grid. Top with ice cubes.
  5. Gently sprinkle the powdered dyes (you need very little) onto the ice  as you want.
  6. Leave aside and wait for the ice to melt. Leaving even longer will allow the dyes to penetrate more, making them more light- and wash-fast.
  7. Rinse the dyed fabric under cold water until the water runs clear. Dry and iron the ice-dyed fabrics.
  8. Added experiments–thread, tie, knot, use wax or starch resists, etc.
  9. Keep a bag of ice cubes in the fridge- you never know when you might have the urge to dye again!

 

 

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Reflections, online art quilt class at QuiltEd Online

On March 25-26, the Kenya Quilt Guild is pleased to present the art quilt workshop Reflections, taught by our own Dena Dale Crain! This is the art quilt class for everyone, as it teaches even beginners how to use mirror-imaging to create original patchwork quilt designs.

The class format is different for this workshop, with reduced hours to avoid heavy traffic in Nairobi. The class begins each day at 10:00 a.m. and ends at 3:00 p.m. There is a surprise adjustment to compensate for the shorter time spent in class!

Full information, including the supply list, can be found on our Quilt Workshop Schedule page.

We now accept Mpesa payments, so you can register and pay by telephone. Contact us with the contact form in the sidebar at left to learn the telephone number. Otherwise, register during our regular meeting on March 19 at The Sikh Union off Forest Road in Nairobi.

 


We had a record attendance at the January monthly meeting. It was nice to see so many friends after the long holiday break.

Patty Arensen, our Chairperson, started the meeting by welcoming and introducing our five new members and the two ladies who were visiting.

Brij Datta kindly volunteered to take photographs during the meetings for uploading to the website each month.

Gill Rebelo was welcomed back to Kenya and the Guild after a prolonged absence for family reasons. While she was in England she had the opportunity to attend a local guild meeting and was interviewed by The Quilt Alliance.

Gill brought with her a sampler quilt that was constructed mainly from nine patch squares. Next month the members will compete to name as many squares as possible, winner to receive a small prize. So members, be sure to study traditional block names and be ready for February.

Neela Shah is presently out of the country to visit with her daughter and her new grandchild. Congratulations, Neela!

Patty related her progress on her quilting goals and shared the quilts that she had recently completed for a church in the U.S.A.

The Block of the Month, Tall Ships, was introduced. Twenty kits were distributed and there was a further demand for thirteen more. They will be available from The Woman Shop for members to collect. These blocks have been an overwhelming success and popular with our members.

Programs have been planned for the next three months: January: Demonstration on Easy Prairie Points. February: Demonstration on ice dying. March: Mactavashing, a form of machine quilting.

The Executive Council has been working on different educational options to improve patchwork and quilting skills. Gill will resume her beginner classes in February and has registered a number of students. Sheryl Fowler will be offering a full day course in February for making a Jelly Roll quilt, Summer in the Park. Dena Dale Crain will be invited to teach. We are also in correspondence with two overseas teachers who we hope will visit Nairobi and conduct classes.

Hopefully, the workshop will be opened sometime in February. The workshop will be run two mornings a week by volunteers. We expect to buy new sewing machines and have started a fund for this purpose. Fees collected by the beginner quilt classes and Sheryl’s class will go into this fund.

To add to the fund, we will hold a jewellery sale. Members have been asked to give any costume jewellery they no longer want/wear and to bring these items along to the February meeting. Gretchen will co-ordinate the collection, price the pieces and sell them during the March meeting. This promises to be a fun event where members might expect to acquire some new treasures!

Our AGM will be held on 16th April. If anyone is willing to stand for any position, please let Patty know as soon as possible. We are especially looking for someone to chair the Exhibition Committee. We would also like to add a stipulation to the Constitution concerning a year’s extension of an officer. Presently, an officer can only be elected for three consecutive years. If there are no other candidates, then the membership can approve the fourth year. This requires a constitutional admendment, so more information will be forthcoming about this before the AGM.

The 2015 Quilt Challenge was introduced. The challenge this year is an appliqué project with a great deal of scope for one’s imagination. Kits were taken by interested members. More kits will be available at the February meeting.

Show and Tell

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Donna, a new member, made a hexagon quilt to share. Charu Patel then explained how her quilt was made of individually quilted pieces and how they were attached to each other. This technique helped her practice her quilting skills. She also had a piece with intricate thread art.

Carol Davey converted a local circular basket into a sewing basket, padding the lid to make a huge pin cushion. She also had cut her scraps into very small pieces and used these to stuff pillows.

Delia Spring finished her quilt made from the pieces of ripped fabric. Indu Shah made a red, green and beige lap quilt. For a wedding present, Raji Syan made a king size bargello heart quilt. Jasvinder Phull used her long arm machine and frame to quilt her traditional piece and Kuljinder Birdi constructed a French Braid table runner.

After coffee, the door prize was drawn and Karen Crumpacker was the lucky winner.

Sheryl gave her demonstration on Prairie Points. She had two pieces of patchwork with Prairie Points and passed around strips made ‘the easy way’. The PowerPoint was interesting and very informative.

We look forward to having another great turn-out for the February meeting, to be held on February 19!


Kenya Quilt Guild 2015 Challenge Quilt

IT’S TIME FOR THE NEXT CHALLENGE-IT’S THE NEW YEAR!

Our Guild’s Challenge last year was a great chance for our members to experiment with their creativity. We had 39 entries, all different, all interesting. They made a spectacular display at The Magical Art of Stitches Exhibition.

Each member who wishes to participate will be issued a packet that contains the guidelines for the Challenge, such as size restrictions, a template and two pieces of fabric.

Starting with the larger piece of fabric and the template, you are to construct an appliqué elephant. This can be raw edge appliqué using straight stitch, zigzag, blanket stitch, satin stitch or any decorative stitch. If you prefer, you can needle turn the edges, use freezer paper, x-ray sheets or fusible adhesives. This can be attached by hand or machine. The smaller piece of fabric is for the elephant’s ear.

Your finished piece can be no smaller than 12” and no larger than 36” on any side. Shape has no restriction. The piece must be sandwiched and quilted, and it MUST have a hanger sleeve and a label containing the quilter’s name and the name of the piece of work on the back. Hand quilting or machine quilting is acceptable; as little or as much as you would like.

The elephant must be situated somewhere on the front of the quilt. The rest of the design is up to you. Let your imagination run away with ideas. Any type of embellishments may be added to your liking.

You have quite a while to finish this Challenge, so there is no rush. The Committee will decide which future monthly meeting is most appropriate and you will be advised well in advance.

If you are unable to attend the January 2015 meeting, Challenge packs are available for collection from The Woman Shop after the meeting. The cost of the kit is totally subsidized by the Guild, so if you take a pack, please make sure that you finish the Challenge.

 

YOUR CHALLENGE QUILT WILL BE EXHIBITED AT A FUTURE MEETING, VIEWED AND VOTED ‘VIEWERS’ CHOICE.

PRIZES WILL BE AWARDED FOR 1ST, 2ND AND 3RD PLACES.


This isn’t an unusual greeting in this world. What is different is WHEN you say it. Where I come from, it is a greeting used on the first of January. One day. When I moved to Nairobi and lived through my first holiday season, I was surprised how long people kept using this greeting. It seems one continues to say, Happy New Year!” the first time you have seen a person since 1 January. I have been greeted this way throughout January and into February! In Nairobi, “Happy New Year!” is more than a greeting, but it is a blessing one gives their friends for the coming year. So… “Happy New Year,” Kenya Quilt Guild! May 2015 be filled with God’s blessings in each one of our lives!

New Year’s is also a time of setting resolutions, or goals, for the new year. You may remember that last year I set a goal of making a new quilt every month. I saw a need to simply speed up the process of quilting. What I thought was a matter of speed ended up being more of an issue of making time to quilt. I love to sew and create, but life had a way of crowding out what I love. So I cleared away time eating things, became more efficient in the tasks about the house, and learned to say “No!” to things that I could do but wasn’t particularly good at doing. Then I had the time to do what I really love. Quilting.

In September, opportunity knocked, a request beyond what I had even hoped for. My pastor from my home in Minneapolis came for a visit and commissioned me to design and make 6 double-fronted quilts for the sanctuary of our church. They are huge – 3.5 feet by 8 feet. They would like them done by May when we visit the States. I don’t think it possible for me to have all 6 done, but possibly 5. I would have never even considered this task, if I hadn’t first discovered that I could make a quilt a month. So clean up your schedule and make time for what you REALLY love – quilting.

Happy quilting! Happy New Year, Kenya Quilt Guild!
Patty Arensen


Patty opened the meeting, welcoming the visitors and then wished our members with birthdays in November a happy day. She then shared the applique pillow slips that she purchased in Zanzibar over her holiday.

Sheryl gave a short talk on the importance of pressing correctly, followed by a PowerPoint video supporting the main steps.

Dorothy collected the Block of the Month ‘Chevrons’ and performed the draw. The Winner, Poley Bhamra, kindly returned the blocks for a redraw as she had also won the previous month. Our newest member, Janet Wildsmith, was then the lucky winner. Janet was also drawn the winner of the door prize, but returned it. April Webb won a pack of Moda squares and folding scissors.

We made a small profit from the Exhibition and the Committee had approved a donation of KES 50,000.00/- to The Kenya Red Cross. We had already presented the wall hanging to them during the closing of the Exhibition last month.

Anyone who participated in the ‘Torn Fabric’ activity was asked to bring their projects along to the January meeting. The Block of the Month will continue in January as our Christmas luncheon will be held in lieu of the December meeting.

Future teachers and education was discussed. Jasvinder Phull is contacting Paramjit Bawa from Oman to see if she will consider travelling to Nairobi to teach. Members were encouraged to research her on the web. Gill Rebelo, who will be attending the London Quilt Show, will seek out teachers for the Guild.

The Christmas lunch, 4th December, will be held at Patty’s home in Lavington. Directions and a poster will be sent out the members closer to the time. This will be potluck affair and each member/guest has been asked to bring along a gift worth no more than Shs. 500.00.

In January members have been asked to speak about their individual accomplishments over 2014 and Sheryl will demonstrate Prairie Points.

Bibiana, who is relocating to South Africa soon, shared a new technique for making chevrons. Instead of constructing them in the traditional patchwork method, she cut and folded a piece of fabric. See http://www.make-it-do.com/sew-it/crazy-for-zig-zags/

We have calendars and kits for sale; this will continue at each monthly meeting.

Show and Tell: Carol Davey shared her ‘Summer in the Park’ quilt. Gretchen had a number of small wall hangings which she had made for a specific project, along with a large blue and white quilt. Janet Wildsmith presented her baby quilt and her fussy cut Dresden plate wall-hanging. Bibiana finished her spiral table runner and Marcia had her beaded lizard. Tinu had two table runners that were made from old curtains.

After the coffee break, Dorothy Stockell had a number of ‘upcycling’ projects to demonstrate. Her talk was enjoyable and informative. She began her talk with two cushions that were made from old men’s shirts. The front of the shirt was used for the back of the cushion, buttons being the opening for the cushion insert, the front the background for the applique. She had a quilt made from head bandanas and a crazy quilt made from men’s ties. There were denim handbags made from jeans and wall-hangings that incorporated buttons.


The October meeting of the KQG was a fun time of remembering the Quilt Show held at the Sarit Center on October 3rd, 4th, and 5th. There were 31 women present, of whom 5 were visitors. Some of the visitors came after attending the show and becoming interested in the group.

We had a drawing for the block of the month; members had made 20 blocks so there were two lucky winners. The calendars have turned out well, and are available for sale at 300 ksh each. Several people had brought quilts for “show and tell.” Even one of the visitors showed the “coffee pot cozy” she had made from one of the Guild kits.

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Photos courtesy of Judith Kamau

Jharna showed slides of all of the quilts at the show (over 150!), and we were able to comment and tell stories both of the quilts and of the reactions of the visitors to those quilts. Neela passed out kits, put together by Sheryl and friends, for making hexagon folded flowers. Each of the women there was then able to make one of the flowers.

Several people stayed and visited and sewed after the meeting.

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