The May 2011 meeting followed a substantially different agenda than usual.  In response to the prior meeting’s focus group responses, the Executive Council restructured the meeting agenda and Chairman Neela Shah did a great job of interpreting that revised program.  The call had been for more “fun stuff,” rather than so much business.  Business, it was generally expressed, should be handled by the duly elected Executive Council, troubling the general membership with mundane and sometimes difficult decision-making processes only an on “as-needed” basis.

The May meeting, therefore, began with show-and-tell.  Many members came forward to display their most recent work, and everyone received a healthy dose of praise and encouragement to do more!

Show-and-tell was followed by a meaningful talk given by The Woman Shop Technical Director, Rohini Desai, on the importance of needle and thread selection for patchwork quilting.  Rohini discussed kinds of needles and their specific uses, and the qualities of a variety of different types of threads.  She dispelled out-dated notions that needle and thread choices were insignificant, explaining that advances in technology among sewing machines required a new outlook about the needles and threads used by machine owners.  A few disastrous case studies were presented to illustrate how important these choices are, and everyone got the message that if they had not already done so it was time to give their thinking a fresh approach, helping to ensure the longevity of their more expensive sewing machine equipment and superior results in their quilting efforts.

After Rohini’s talk, Kundan Pattni gave a brief presentation on 3-dimensional folded patchwork.  She showed how patchwork blocks could be created without piecing, simply by folding and layering squares, rectangles and triangles in creative ways to create an imitation of traditional geometric quilt blocks with a twist.  Well worth looking into!!

Following all this fun and information, the meeting took a coffee break which permitted more socializing.  The Kenya Quilt Guild’s sewing machines and a couple of machines being sold by individual members were on display, and several of them were sold on the spot.  A departing ex-pat member was also selling off her collection of fabrics, notions and tools in preparation for her journey to a new home, so our members were eager to take advantage of the chance to stock up at reasonable prices.

Resuming the meeting, Chairman Neela Shah mentioned several announcements and there was some small discussion to follow before the meeting finally broke up.  With Dena Crain’s Beautiful Bindings workshop to follow in the afternoon, the room was quickly tidied up and furniture rearranged.

We look forward to having another such education and fun focused meeting in June.  We will have Charu Patel as our guest speaker.  Well known for her highly popular tambour beading methods and beautiful art quilts, Charu has a few surprises to share with us about working with embellishments.  We hope that if you are a quilter visiting in Kenya, or if you are one of our Guild members, we will see you then!

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