For our September meeting, we met back at EAWL Headquarters at WEAL House on Bishop’s Road in Nairobi. We welcomed eight new visitors and we hope to see them all come back again for next month’s meeting!

Chairman Neela Shah was well organized with an agenda of announcements and topics for discussion. Amongst these were notices that the Library will begin offering two options in January. Members can pay KES 1,000/= in advance and check out 20 books during the year, or they can pay a charge of KES 100/= for books and KES 150/= for DVDs. That works out to be more expensive if the member uses the library very much.

Also, our membership dues will rise in January to KES 1,500/=. This is consistent with rising costs of venue rentals and activities throughout Kenya, and it seems to be coming as no surprise to anyone!

Our African Challenge quilts were received by Vice Chairman Martine Chamorel, who logged each one in for judging by our newly certified South African Quilters Guild judges, Gill Rebelo and Dena Crain. All African Challenge quilts will be exhibited at our October meeting, and prizes (vouchers applicable to quilt workshops hosted by the Guild) will be awarded to winners of the First and Second Place Judge’s Awards and the Viewer’s Choice Award as selected by the membership present at the October meeting. Be sure to attend and cast YOUR vote!

We had a brief show-and-tell, with the lovely quilts you see below displayed:

Neela informed our members that for our October meeting we would have Paula Benjaminson as our guest speaker. Coming to us from Gabon, Paula will be teaching some very interesting quilt workshops on stamp printing and mixed media in quilts; dates, times and place to be announced. Check our 2011 Quilt Workshop Schedule for more details as they become available.

Neela also called for a show of hands of those who would be interested to attend a retreat weekend for quilters some time next year. The plan is to identify and book space at a resort lodge somewhere outside of Nairobi proper, thus giving us a chance to “get away from it all” for a few days of intensive quilt making. A surprising number of hands went up in approval of this idea, so we will be seeking an appropriate place and time to hold such a working retreat and will publish more information here as soon as possible. Anyone who can suggest a great place for this retreat is asked to contact us through the Contact Form in the sidebar at left; many thanks in advance for your suggestions!

Chairman Neela Shah and Guest Speaker Dena Crain

Chairman Neela Shah and Guest Speaker Dena Crain

Our guest speaker for the September meeting was Dena Crain, who gave a digital presentation called “The World of Color.” Her talk described the difference between value and hue, showing us all how important value is to quilt design. Her slides showed some of Dena’s quilts as expressions of particular color schemes to help us all understand how color schemes are developed. Dena’s talk gave us a mental device for remembering how light and color work as a globe, with the north/south axis as a line of grays running from white to black with no hues added, and the color wheel serving as the Equator. This visualization can help quilters understand how to select contrasting colors, build color schemes, and incorporate stronger value contrasts into their work.

Then Dena presented a brief display of photos of quilts she and Gill Rebelo had seen exhibited at the South African National Quilt Festival in Stellenbosch in June of this year. This five-minute presentation was enough to convince us of the talent of South African quilters, and their emphasis on rich surface texture and embellishment. We were all mightily impressed by the South African quilts, and we are now challenged to outdistance them!

The next Kenya Quilt Guild meeting must be postponed until Friday, October 28. The 20th of October is Kenya’s national holiday, Kenyatta Day, and the fourth Thursday when we had planned to hold the meeting turns out to be Hindu festival of lights Diwali. Everyone present agreed that holding our meeting on the next day, October 28, would be acceptable, so we are making arrangements to hold the meeting at Shalom Centre (EAWL Headquarters is occupied every Friday).