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There was a smaller than usual turnout in February as some members were busy with mid-term holidays and others were taking Mary Hickmott‘s embroidery class on paisley designs, organized by the Kenya Embroiderers’ Guild. Chairwoman Patty Arensen chaired the meeting and started by welcoming visitors and new members. Members were happy to welcome back Indu Shah after a long absence necessitated by her husband’s health problems, and Surinder Thethy, recently returned from three years in the UK.

All members were asked to fill in forms to update contact details and to offer their individual skills to help the Guild committee with their expertise.

Sponsorship forms for the Exhibition were distributed with a request for everyone to make an effort to bring in sponsorship money as the fee for the hall hire has risen steeply this year. The minimum donation for sponsors to be acknowledged on our posters etc is K Sh 5,000/-

At the March meeting a member of staff from FreMo, Kawangare, to whom we have recently made donations, will tell us about their work. Sheryl Fowler will show a quilting video.

The April meeting is the KQG AGM. Members are requested to be present to elect a new committee for the coming year. Patty requested nominations for two places on the Executive Committee. Please check with Patty or other Committee members if you are interested in serving. There will also be a presentation on Art Quilts.

On March 16th, Gretchen Saunders will be holding a fun class on Crazy Quilting at the Sikh Union. This will be a full day class for 1,500/- and the proceeds will be donated to charity. There are a few places left. Contact Gretchen for further details or send a message to the KQG Gmail address.

In April there will either be a fabric dyeing class held at Amani ya Juu, off Riverside Drive, or Patty will hold a class at her home on transferring photos onto quilts. More news on these later.

Members were requested to return unsold calendars, and sales money received for those they sold, to the Guild committee, so that accounts can be finalized. It is proposed that a calendar will be designed for 2017 using photos from the recent elephant quilt challenge, together with elephant note cards. These are to be ready for sale at the exhibition.

Re the exhibition, KEG have agreed to join KQG on a one third basis and they will have one third of the hall for their exhibits. It has been agreed that KQG will have no final judging, There will be two awards – Vistors’ Choice and Guild Choice (each Guild member having one vote only).

The Workshop is scheduled to open at Sheryl’s house on Lower Kabete Road on March 3rd and will be open every Thursday morning, apart from the 3rd Thursday of the month, following the opening.

Gretchen demonstrated the next stage of the Mystery Quilt in Sheryl’s absence.

The PanAfrican Friendship Quilt Challenge is underway and the quilts will shortly leave for South Africa.

We had a good selection of quilts for Show and Tell, including colourful kanga quilts from Carol Davey and a quilt made for her son’s wedding by Patty, with her own dress fabric from her wedding outfit used on the back. The door prize was won by Jasvinder Phull.

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After the coffee break we were glad to welcome Dena Crain, down from Baringo to give us a most interesting talk on Kawandi quilts from India. These distinctive quilts are made by the Siddi people, descended from Africans, who were transported to India by the Portuguese and other nations over the last four hundred years. Their quilts were brought to the attention of the art and quilting world by Professor Henry Drewal, from the Department of Art History at University of Wisconsin, Madison. He describes the making of a Kawandi quilt below:

“The quilters start at one of the corners of the sari and work their way around it, usually in a counterclockwise direction,” he says. “They fix patches made from the family’s old clothing to the sari with a running back stitch that eventually covers the entire quilt, both patchwork top and sari bottom. Some quilters create small, close-spaced stitches, others spread them further apart. The stitches exhibit a distinctive rhythm that is part of the individual quilter’s visual signature.”

All That Jazz

All That Jazz by Dena Dale Crain

Inspired by the Siddi quilts, Dena has devised her own version, of this technique, worked by machine, which she has called Quilt-As-You-Sew. Dena explained the technique as patchwork with no piecing, and showed us several beautiful samples of her quilts made in this way. She challenged members to try the method and to teach it to others in Kenya – in other words to bring the technique back to Africa.

A 2011 exhibition of Kawandi quilts can be seen at Museum of the African Diaspora.


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


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


After welcoming our guests and new members to the meeting, our Chairperson Patty Arensen asked the ladies that have their birthday in February to stand.  They all received a round of applause.

Suzanne Waithaka was introduced to the meeting as the new Assistant Editor for Snippets and all contributors past and present were thanked. Suzanne requested that any photos taken during the meeting be sent to her for reformatting and then she will in turn forward them so they can be posted on the website.

The 2014 Exhibition Committee had met and the dates of 3rd – 5th October were confirmed for the Sarit Centre.  We will be publishing a calendar in conjunction with the KEG, proceeds to help with the funding of the hall.  Members are asked to bring along a photograph of one of their quilting projects, then in May the members will vote on the photos.  A short list of most popular photos will be taken to the photographer and he/she will select seven quilts to be printed on the calendar.  The quilts must be available for the professional photographer.

There was a competition during the 2013 Exhibition and a prize offered by Vice-Chairperson Charu Patel for the person who sold the most raffle books.  The beaded necklace wall hanging was presented to Neela Shah, the worthy winner!

The last edition of the Mystery Quilt was included in Snippets.  Quilts should be ready by the July meeting, where they will be voted upon by members and a prize presented.  These quilts will be displayed in a special area in the Exhibition.

The UFO afternoon will continue on from the meeting where members were invited to come and sew.

Ragbir Syan’s Twisted Table Runner class will be held on Thursday, 27th February.  Members who wished to sign up for the class were asked to pay in full to reserve a place.

Librarian Raji Syan asked members for suggestions for library books by the first week in March.  Raji has an up-to-date catalogue of library books for perusal.  No one was particularly interested in starting a magazine subscription.

The Guild workshop should be operational by Easter.  Raji Syan and Poley Bhamra will start up the workshop making small kits for sale during the Exhibition.

Next month, Estelle will speak about The Tentmakers of Cairo (see alsohttp://www.jennybowker.com/tentmakers/), and and she will have a few pieces of their work to share with us.  In April we will have our AGM and Membership Officer Kundan Pattni will have a presentation too.

Kundan is still collecting membership fees.  It is very important that each member completes a form so we have current email addresses.

The Show and Tell was varied this month.  April Webb shared her baby quilt that she made from a jelly roll and her intricate appliqué piece. Suzanne Waithaka made a bag from 5” squares and Carol Davey shared a quilt made by her night guard using octagonal pieces.  Gill Rebelo brought along needlework that she purchased in S.E. Asia which included small bags, tablemats and coasters.  She also shared a book on indigo fabric with us.  Jasbir Jabbal finished her sampler quilt and Maureen Dougherty had her pillows made from the embroidery blocks that Bev Rebelo brought from Zimbabwe.  Indu Shah also had a sampler quilt and Jasvinder Phull made an iPad cover. Pauline Mang’ana had a large quilt with appliqué houses and trees and Patty Arensen shared her baby quilt with us. Dorothy Stockell and Karen Crumpacker finished their “Lala Salama” (sleep well in Kiswahili) quilts.

An announcement was made that Buttons and Bows at Yaya Centre has a 20% off sale until the end of the month!

Petrina Spencer-Walker, qualified physiotherapist, gave us a presentation and talk about “Quilting and its Problems”.  She demonstrated the correct sitting position at the sewing machine and how to avoid getting headaches, tight shoulders, lower back pain, and hand discomfort amongst other problems.  She explained how sitting badly can cause a multitude of harms to the body and suggested taking breaks every 40 minutes or so. She took questions at the end of her talk and everyone found the information very valuable.

 


The meeting began with introduction of new members and guests.

Gill informed us that Jean Classen passed away a few days ago, so we had a minute’s silence for her.
Was also informed that Kulvinder’s father-in-law passed away this week.

Then we talked about the coming Exhibition at Sarit Centre, handing of quilts, posters were ready so members could take some to put wherever they could.  Suzanne kindly offered to be in charge of that.

Jasbir Sokhi was in charge again of giving out the raffle books and receiving the ones already sold.

Brij Datta was in charge of the monthly raffle tickets, which we sold at 100/- for 3 and 50/- for 1. The prizes were: 1st was a rotary blade sharpener, 2nd was a book on quotations, and 3rd was invisible thread.

Charu told the members that even if they could not hand in their quilts today, they should at fill in the forms and hand them over so she could do the write ups.

After that I touched on the Canadian Exhibition, informed those who were going to go should start booking their tickets as the prices were going up.

Then we had show and tell, and had quite a few quilts. Thanks to  Surinder Thethy who took photos of the quilts.

We had a break then, and started the meeting after 20 minutes.  First we did the draw, and then formed 4 groups, as we had fours speakers, and started with the demos. The meeting finished at around 12.30 p.m.

As we had a class with Dena in the afternoon, the ladies had a quick lunch while the room was being reset, then we started the class on bindings.  They were 19 of us. The class went well, and everyone was glad to learn two new binding methods.


During the upcoming Annual General Meeting of the Kenya Quilt Guild, to be held at the Simba Union, 10:00 a.m. on April 18th, 2013, we will consider and hopefully approve revisions to the current KQG Constitution.  The proposed revisions can be found as red text in the current document, accompanied by footnote explanations for each proposed revision.  If you have paid your 2013 KQG dues and will be voting for the election of officers and proposed amendments to the Constitution, please familiarize yourself with the new document and be prepared to discuss it:

2013 Proposed Revision of KQG Constitution

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