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There was a sizeable turnout at the January meeting.  We had three new members register and a few visitors were present. Chairperson Patty Arensen welcomed members back from the long holiday and wished everyone a Happy New Year.

Patty reminded everyone that subscriptions are due to be paid.  There is a questionnaire  for members to complete so the Committee can get a ‘feel’ for matching interests, skills and talents with needs for help this year.

It is important that we have up-to-date information on members so the address book can be current and everyone receives monthly Snippets.  We had some complaints that emails are not getting through; however, we had a lot of bounces from email, too.  This happens when members fail to notify Jharna of email address changes. Please make sure we have your current email address; thanks!

To make our meetings more sociable, we would like members to sign up to bring plates.  At present only a few members bring food for the coffee break.  We need volunteers to run audio/visual equipment. Members are encouraged to write articles about their quilting experiences for Snippets.

The Kenya Quilt Guild has a big year coming up with our patchwork quilt exhibition scheduled for the first weekend in October. We need as many quilts as possible.  The raffle quilts are underway. The Exhibition takes place 7th-8th-9th October; quilt hanging is on the Thursday beforehand.

The first Exhibition Committee meets soon after our January monthly meeting.  Again, we call on members to hang the quilts and to work during the show.

Sarah Brewin brings with her this year a group of quilting visitors. They are interested in taking classes.  The hall may be shared with the Kenya Embroiderers’ Guild, 1/3 KEG and 2/3 KQG; this is yet to be confirmed.

We have had no reply from Daphne Sheldrick about the donation of the Challenge Quilts, but we have another contact to try.

We will print raffle tickets when we receive permission from the Kenya Betting Control and Licensing Board.  Members receive two books each; each book contains 10 tickets @ Shs. 100.00 each.  It is important for these tickets to be sold as the raffle is the main fundraiser to assist in paying for rental of the hall.

Eight KQG members are participating in the PanAfrican Friendship Quilt project.  Each member received 5 fat quarters and they were to add another 5 fabrics to construct the beginnings of a wall-hanging.  Once done the piece is to be sent to their ‘twin’ in another African country and their ‘twin’ will send theirs to the KQG member.  Each in turn adds their bit and returns the quilt to the original quilter.

These quilts will be exhibited in South Africa just one week before our exhibition in October.  If anyone knows someone flying from S.A. to Kenya on Wednesday 5th October or Thursday 6th October who would be willing to bring the wall-hangings, we would appreciate the contact information on this person.  We will pay for the extra piece of luggage.  This will be a wonderful addition to our own exhibition.  Please contact either Gretchen or Patty.

We intend to sell quilt kits at the exhibition.  Once the patterns are made and the supplies organised, we need volunteers to come to the workshop on Thursday mornings to help cut them out and package them.

Patty Arensen’s 2015 projects for church wall-hangings have been completed. However, the work has worn out the presser foot on her machine.  Rohini Desai undertook to secure the part and repair her machine.  She is a trained, certified Bernina repair person and her work is reasonably priced. She also tutored Patty on the use of her machine. Use the contact form in the sidebar to ask us to put you in touch with Rohini.

We move forward with education and hope to have many classes and workshops this year. The next class scheduled is Gretchen Mwaura’s offering on Crazy Quilts on 16th March.  Spaces are limited to 15, so please sign up as soon as possible.  The charge is only Shs. 1500.00 for the full day, proceeds to be donated to charity.  Full payment must be made by the February meeting.  Patty will teach her photo transfer to raw edge appliqué class, too, but she can take only a few students.  Please contact her for more information.

Library discards were for sale at the meeting.  It costs only KES 100 to check out a book for a month.  Patty recommends ‘Art Quilts,’ which is a new book.

Most of the Kenya Quilt Guild 2016 calendars sold, but there are some members who have not either returned unsold calendars or brought in money for calendar sales.  It is quite important that we close the books on these calendars, so please return or pay for calendars immediately; thanks!

The Mystery Quilt is in full swing.  Sheryl Fowler had the instructions and the samples for the January edition.  There are some members who are in the process of making the quilts. These quilts will be displayed at the exhibition.

The Guild has made a donation of KES 20,000 to Freemo, a maternity hospital in Kenya.  They need more baby supplies and clothing.

Show and Tell:  Elizabeth Cheserem had finished her Elephant Challenge. Brij Datta made a baby applique quilt.  Gretchen Sanders Mwaura also finished her Challenge using Crazy Quilt techniques. She also had another small quilt that incorporated transparent windows filled with colourful beads.  Suzanne Waithaka had handbags, patchwork and quilted.  Lois had a table runner that was pieced and machine quilted, along with an iPad case.  Jasvinder Phull made a teddy bear baby quilt.  Raghbir made a child’s quilt with cars.  Tina Fataure hand-painted and quilted a wall-hanging.  Lakhbir Virdee showed her colourful alphabet quilt and Gill had a variety of African fabric bags that Pat had made.  Bindi won the door prize after coffee.

The program this month was “Sashing Ideas” by Gill Rebelo.  Gill showed members and visitors how to piece together blocks with plain strips of sashing. She demonstrated simple sashing, but with inserted cornerstones.  The purpose of sashing is that it focuses attention on individual blocks.  If the same fabric is used in the sashing as is used in the background, it makes the blocks ‘float’. Different fabric accentuates the blocks and lifts the quilt.  With no sashing, there is no focus and the blocks merge together.  The more ‘plain’ areas in a quilt, the more quilting is required.  Never overwhelm a quilt with too many sashings or large borders. No more than ¼ or 1/3 of any quilt should be sashing and borders combined.

Next month, Dena Crain will speak about a different method of quilting, one that involves no piecing!  The March program is yet to be organised.

The AGM takes place in April, and we elect new officers then. Think now about whether you can serve as an officer, or if you believe someone else would do the job well. We need nominations soon!

Next meeting: February 18


Patty welcomed back the members after the summer break. Quite a few ladies had their birthdays in August and they were joined by those celebrating theirs in September for a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’. The visitors were then introduced.

Gretchen collected the twenty-three Challenge Quilts. The remainder of the quilts that have not been finished will hopefully be submitted before too long.  Since the appliqué was an elephant, Gretchen is interested in encouraging members to donate their work for sale in aid of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. During the coffee break Guild members had the opportunity to view and vote for the Challenge Quilt of their choice. The winners were:  1st Prize:  Majeet, 2nd Prize: Brij and joint 3rd Prize: Jasvinder and Raghbir.

The artwork for the Kenya Quilt Guild 2016 calendar is not yet complete. The calendars should be ready for sale in the near future and ladies were positive that sales would be good this year. The money derived from the calendars will help pay for the hall rental for the 2017 Kenya Quilt Guild Exhibition at the Sarit Centre.

Gretchen reported on our charity projects. Dream Children’s Home now has no fewer than sixty-nine children. They have a vehicle and a garage, but still are in need of support. FreMo, the small maternity centre, charges KES 5,000/- per birth, but they are pressed for financial support. We have recently donated two blood pressure machines to the organisation. They are in need of baby clothes and nappies. There were embroidery threads for sale, proceeds to go to Christine Kibuka to help her purchase fabrics and to the maternity hospital.

Gill spoke about education. Unfortunately, one of our prospective overseas teachers has had to decline, however Sarah Brewin will teach in November. We had good positive feedback on her suggestion of machine appliqué of her animal shoes. Gill’s beginners’ classes resume in early October.

Gill has also received an invitation from South Africa’s SANQG for those interested in taking an online course to become a certified quilting teacher. Any applicant must make the designated sample block and pay Rand 1500. This is a twleve-month course which begins in February/March. Anyone interested, please contact Gill.

After coffee, Veena Sennik won the door prize, then Show and Tell commenced. Veena had a Ricki Timms four-by-four.  Anne Lyon finished her quilt top made from the June BOM.  Suzanne Waithaka made a small wallhanging from an oil painting the she had repurposed.  Nandan Shah showed her chevrons and Gretchen Mwaura made a pink wallhanging for her great granddaughter.  She also made a pillow case from the machine quilting that she learned from Charu.  Nirmal Jeet showed two pieces, a baby quilt with teddy bears and a sampler.  Summer in the Park, tube quilt technique, was Jasmine Morelli’s share.  Lakhbir Virdee had a bright and colourful crazy 8’s quilt. From a pattern in one of the library books, Raji Syan made a lovely quilt and she also had a table runner that was machine appliquéd. Jasvinder Phull had table mats and a chop block quilt, along with a mystery quilt that Jana Mead introduced.

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Dr. Pauline Macaulay from the UK spoke to us about the Talking Quilts Oral History project, an undertaking by The Quilter’s Guild of the British Isles. Talking Quilts was inspired by a similar project in the USA, QSOS (Quilters Save Our Stories), part of the Alliance for American Quilts.

Pauline and her committee record stories of quilts. The members preserve, record and share people’s stories to be archived.  The project also recognises quilt trends.  Pauline is a volunteer who goes around the UK and interviews people who make quilts and writes their stories.  “Talking Quilts” is linked with the “Fine Cell Work” project, a charity that teaches prisoners quilting as a form of rehabilitation, as ‘paid, skilled, creative needlework to foster hope, discipline and self esteem.”  Pauline shared a lovely story of Sylvester, a Polish prisoner from Wansworth Prison who loves quilting and how it helped him with prison life.  She shared another heartfelt story of a mother who lost her daughter, aged 15, to a motor accident.  She used all of her daughter’s clothing to make a beautiful quilt which was therapy for dealing with her loss.

The Kenya Quilt Guild meets next on October 15. If you are a quilter living in or visiting Nairobi at that time, we invite you to join us!


At the meeting three groups participated in the “One Yard Challenge.” About seven women were in each group, with a “brown group,” a “blue group,” and a “black and white group.” Each woman had one yard of her chosen fabric, and tore it in half, kept half, and handed the other piece to the next woman. This was repeated until each member of the group had a piece of each of the fabrics. The challenge will be to use all of the pieces in a project; it is okay to add in other fabrics.

Suzanne showed two short videos from Leahday.com of Leah showing her husband how to machine quilt. These were especially appreciated by the newer quilters in our group.

Gretchen won the fat quarter exchange, black and white pieces, which will go well with her challenge fabrics since she was in the black and white group for the challenge. Neela won the block of the month drawing.

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The July meeting is the last one for the first half of the year. We take a break in August, and we expect to return in August, full of plans and brand new quilts for the Kenya Quilt Guild Exhibition to be held at Sarit Centre, October 3-5!


Our visitors, Bev, Marta, Abigail, Gaudencia, and Veronica were given a warm welcome to our meeting. We are happy to see the return of Estelle, an old member who has been away for 8 years!

Patty expressed her sorrow at recent events which happened at Westgate shopping mall. She felt that it would be nice for the KQG to acknowledge the wonderful work carried out by the Kenya Red Cross during this awful tragedy. Members were asked to sign up to make a red and white ‘Peace’ wall hanging for them and we received a good response.

New library books have been purchased in UK and are expected to arrive soon–be on the look out!

Gill Rebelo is waiting for feedback from Turkey about the possibility of individuals entering quilts into their 2014 show.

Bev Rebelo’s recent classes were excellent!  Gill was disappointed that the response from members was not as good as before. Bev’s visit did not coincide with a Guild meeting at the beginning so perhaps members were unaware of the wonderful learning opportunities to be had from her classes. Do not miss out next time!

Members were asked what skills they would like to learn. One member suggested ‘piecing curves’. If you want to learn a patchwork skill, LET US KNOW! Call or email any of the Executive Committee members.

THURSDAY 7TH NOVEMBER, 09.30 0NWARDS, SIMBA UNION. Put this in your diaries everyone! It is UFO day! Bring your unfinished projects and we will help you finish them. No quilt is a lost quilt! Bring a vegetarian (requirement of the Sikh Union) packed lunch.

WEDNESDAY 11TH DECEMBER IS THE CHRISTMAS LUNCH! Come along and have fun! More details later…..

Show and Tell was, as always, a wonderful array of our members work!

Gill explained the ‘Mystery Quilt’ project to us. It is open to all members at all skill levels. Instructions are in ‘Snippets’ from this month onwards.

Bev Rebelo showed us some of her fantastic quilts. I think this made many members wish they had signed up for her classes! She went on to demonstrate the use of photography and the free computer program called ‘GIMP’ where photographs can be manipulated and printed onto fabric. It was a very inspiring talk.

Finally, our door prize was won by Marcia!

Next regular meeting will be held on Thursday, November 21, at the Sikh Union off Forest Road in Nairobi.


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.


International Quilt Festival of Ireland

Jim West, founder of Sew Many Places and Quiltposium Magazine, will arrive soon in Kenya to personally collect six round-robin quilts made by six of our members especially for the Patchwork Promises Exhibition, part of the International Quilt Festival of Ireland to be held in June of this year.  We cannot show you our quilts for the Exhibition, as all are under wraps until the Festival opens.

Will YOU be there?!


 

Our encounter with Selma Kenter, a Turkish Quilter, visiting Kenya this month was very exciting. Her brief on her quilting life and overcoming many obstacles was worth listening to as the old Chinese Proverb goes that  “... a conversation across the table is worth more than reading a dozen books …”

Selma’s dream of becoming a quilter was difficult during her early stages.  However, doors opened after she met with one of the Turkish Textile Arts Association teachers who was a great  source of encouragement to her.

Selma’s interaction with Kenya quilters gave a good platform for promoting our African theme quilts in Turkey. This was a continuation of what we heard separately from our Kenyan quilter and artist Dena Crain even as she was quoted recently in the Business Daily that  “Our quilters are gradually gaining confidence with the African designs.

Selma has been able to get nuggets of wisdom from The International Quilt Study Center & Museum which is the home of the largest known public collection of quilts in the world.

Kenyan quilters are now wiser and ready to bring forth more designs as needle encounters fabric.

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Find us based in Nairobi, Kenya, happily quilting away. If you're around, look us up. We're always happy to make new quilting friends!
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