This month, Gill Rebelo chaired the meeting in Patty Arensen’s absence. After welcoming all of our members and guests, Gill read aloud Corinne Talbott’s article from this month’s Snippets as she felt it summed up the feelings and emotions of our members. This will be Corinne’s last meeting as she will be departing Kenya next month. Dorothy presented Corinne with a wall-hanging made up of Khanga mottos.

Gill related her conversations with overseas visiting quilters when she was commonly told that our Guild is quite the ‘sparky’ women’s group. She went on to give the meeting a brief history of the ladies who formed the KQG.

The Elephant Challenge will be judged in September. All ladies who have taken kits were encouraged to work on them and have them finished in time. This Challenge is the first of many ‘group projects’ that the Guild organizes in preparation for the 2016 KQG Exhibition.

The main raffle quilt for the KQG Exhibition will be a blue and white pinwheel. Some ladies had prepared their donation of blue cotton fabric; five 5” squares. We need a great deal more squares to complete the quilt and the members are urged to dig in their scrap drawers and cut, cut, cut for us.

The June Block of the Month was specifically chosen for a demonstration by Gill Rebelo on the correct method of sewing ¼” seams, both standard and scant. Gill also added that after she presses her blocks, she puts them under a square ruler to set the pressing, which has been very useful for her.

New books have been added to our ever-growing library. These were kindly donated by April Webb who is also leaving the country soon. There is an ongoing budget for new library books. If members have a preference, please speak to our librarian, Poley Bhamra.

The members were reminded that there is no meeting in August, as has always been the case. The Kenya Quilt Guild does not meet in August or December, apart from our annual Christmas Party.

The Executive Committee has been discussing possible donations for future fistula operations and to Sarah Brewin to sponsor the excess baggage incurred when she ships her washable sanitary pads to Kenya. This matter awaits Patty Arensen’s return.

Paramjeet Bawa has agreed to teach later this year. Communication has been difficult and we are not able, at this time, to confirm dates or class details. Unfortunately, Pam Holland is not available in the near future as she is completely booked up. Gill called on members to volunteer to teach and hold classes. We have a lot of local talent that has not been tapped.

Dorothy Stockell suggested members hold informal gatherings at their homes where ladies can come, sew their own projects and seek assistance on any problematic projects. Since traffic is a worry, it would be helpful for ladies in different areas in Nairobi to volunteer, thus making it easier for members living in their vicinity.

Sophie Standing’s exhibition at the Talisman Restaurant in Karen is well worth a visit. Members are encouraged to see Sophie’s work, which is very unusual.

Donna Pido offered a download on ‘left handed’ methods and also shared a belt made by the Hmong with reverse applique.

After Show and Tell, members were given voting papers for the calendar photos. Voting was carried out during coffee time.

A guest of Bibiana’s, who had made her first quilt, shared her work with us. She was inspired by the film, “How to Make an American Quilt.” It was wonderful to hear of her enthusiasm for patchwork/quilting.

Raghbir Syan had a quilt named “Shakespeare in the Park” which comprised of snail trail and stars. She backed her quilt with another quilt so it was reversible. The original design for “Shakespeare in the Park” was developed by Judy Martin.

Poley Bhamra showed a nine patch that was quilted by Raji Syan. Nasreen Arain shared her silk appliqué. Carol Davey had an interesting wall-hanging out of the hexagons she did with Sarah Brewin. Karen Crumpacker made another spiral table runner and beginner Shruthi had a bright sampler quilt. Rohini Desai patchworked a log cabin spiral piece.

After coffee, Charu Patel gave her talk on perfect ¼” seams. The secret of the ¼” is to be consistent!

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The Banyan Tree Project by Eleanor Viegas of Goa   Eleanor Viegas sent out a call for help in Goa. In her own words, Eleanor says,

My aim in Goa is to help keep the textile arts alive and arrange workshops in Peace Cottage to encourage women to  take up or come back to the craft of embroidery and other textile arts. In Goa the skills are dying and I am now linking the craft to the idea of meditation and a stress free life.

I don`t have funding to bring people to Goa but I do have a creative peaceful space near the beach where friends can stay. It would suit someone who was already thinking to travel for inspiration and a holiday. I stay in a very quiet part of Goa and who ever comes may like to travel around and stay in other parts of Goa or India.

The possibility of an international project which links women and embroidery/patchwork in different parts of the world interests me. One project I am currently working on is The Banyan Tree Embroidery project. I am in the process of setting up a website.

  Eleanor is eager to have quilters come to teach classes at the Peace Cottage in Goa. Find out more about Eleanor Viegas and her call for help: http://www.carpediemgoa.com/news/creative-evolution-social-fabric


The April meeting commenced with the Guild welcoming its newest, youngest member, 10-year-old Wambui, who is Gretchen Sanders’ grand-daughter. Wambui came to the meeting with her first quilt – which is definitely a first for so young a first-time member! Then again, as Patty remarked, Wambui has had the benefit of learning at the feet of an expert, her grandmother!

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The Kenya Quilt Guild’s AGM was then held, during which the Chairperson, Patty Arensen, gave a succinct report of the Guild’s activities during 2014, particularly the successful exhibition held in October 2014, and thanked all the members for making it a good year, overall, for the Guild. The Treasurer, Lakhbir Virdee, also submitted the report and accounts of the Guild for 2014, which have been duly audited. Members present at the AGM duly approved these reports as well as the newly nominated Committee members.

The following were elected: Patty Arensen (Chairman), Charu Patel (Vice Chairman), Jharna Kamdar (Secretary), Lakbir Virdee (Treasurer), Karen Crumpacker and Elizabeth Cheserem (Members at Large). Standing Committee chairs were elected as follows: Dorothy Stockell (Membership), Gill Rebelo (Education), Poley Bhamra (Library), Jharna Kamdar (Newsletter), Gretchen Sanders (Exhibitions), Sheryl Fowler (Public Relations).

Rohini Desai gave a small talk containing various tips for those Guild members who use older machines. Gretchen Sanders-Mwaura reminded members that the Jewellery Sale is now on, and that the Executive Committee has decided that the proceeds from the Jewellery Sale be donated to a maternity home.

Patty reported that the Executive Committee decided Challenge Quilts should now be submitted at the September meeting, instead of the July meeting, since the latter usually has slimmer attendance. The Challenge Quilts will be voted on at the September meeting and the prizes will be Kshs. 1,500/-, Kshs. 1,000/- and Kshs. 500/- gift vouchers for The Woman Shop.

With regard to the Block-of the-Month, Patty advised members that several people who have won the BOM blocks in each month have reported that many of the blocks have been very poorly made. Members were requested to kindly ensure that they use good quality 100% cotton material when doing the BOM, and also ensure that the BOM is made on a best-efforts basis.

Poley Bhamra reported that the Library Committee posted Library rules on a wall in the Library. Members are expected to read and understand these rules before borrowing books. Patty reminded members that the Guild intends to publish a calendar for 2016.

Members are requested to bring a picture of a quilt they have in possession at the June meeting, where the quilts to be included will be chosen. The selected quilts will be professionally photographed in July, and it is hoped that the calendars will be ready for sale in October.

Patty then gave an informative and interesting demonstration on how she converts photographs into raw-edge applique for her quilts. The meeting closed with our usual show-and-tell, and we all got to admire each other’s quilting efforts!

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The March meeting was full of exciting news on the Guild’s upcoming plans and projects.

Dena gave a talk on her upcoming workshop – Reflections, generating considerable excitement for it!

Gretchen reminded everyone about the planned jewelry sale to help raise money to buy sewing machines for the workshop. The jewelry will be on sale in the April meeting.

Patty reminded all members present that April will be the Guild’s AGM. The Notice of the same had been included in March 2015’s Snippets and the Agenda would be circulated that day.

Patty advised members that the Challenge Quilts would be due for submission at the July meeting when they would be voted on. The prizes would be Kshs. 1,500/-, Kshs. 1,000/- and Kshs. 500/- gift vouchers for The Woman Shop.

Karen showed members present some of the wonderful fabrics purchased during the Guild-arranged field trips to the River Road area.

Patty advised members that given the success of the 2015 calendars, the Guild has decided to publish a calendar for 2016, but this time, it will be done solely as a Kenya Quilt Guild project, and not together with the Kenya Embroiderers Guild.

Members will be requested to bring a picture of a quilt they have in possession at the June meeting, where the quilts would be voted on. The selected quilts would be professionally photographed in July, and it is hoped that the calendars will be ready in October.

 

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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!

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