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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.

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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


Find photos of the recent Kenya Quilt Guild/Kenya Embroiderers Guild Exhibition at Sarit Centre listed in our sidebar at the left, or simply click here.

2013-04 KQG:KEG Exhibition at Sarit - 27

 

Canada–have a good look!  We’re coming to you next!

Find us at the London International Quilt Festival: Out of Africa in June!


Happy New Year, everyone!

We had our first meeting of the year on January 17 at the Sikh Union Clubhouse, a lovely new venue for us and one we look forward to using in coming months.

KQG Exhibition:

Charu Patel mounted a small wall hanging along with an example of a write up.  She circulated a sheet for members to list their quilt entries for the upcoming KQG Exhibition to be held at Sarit Centre in April. Deadline for entries will be the March meeting, but in special cases this can be extended if necessary.

A 4” sleeve, label and flat rod will have to be organised for each quilt.  Entry Fee:  Shs. 200.00 per quilt.  Quilts from the previous exhibition may be accepted if there are not enough new entries.

Jaswinder Phull invited members to submit high resolution quilt photos via email for consideration for printing on posters.  Mike Gaudaur has volunteered to help design the posters.

Kundan Pattni is taking reservations for vendors.  The stalls are 2m x 3m at the cost of Shs. 5000.00 total for the three days.  Deposit:  Shs. 1000.00.   Bookings will be taken for five vendors only.

Deanna Gaudaur will circulate a list for members who wish to sell quilts in the Boutique Stall that are not in the exhibition.  The Guild will take 10% commission.  It was stressed that prices should be reasonable.  Those wishing to take advantage of this stall must volunteer to serve in it at least 2 hours.

Sheryl Fowler explained how the finances will work.  Kundan is the Treasurer and will keep the accounts.  The cost of the hall will be divided between the Kenya Quilt Guild and the Kenya Embroiderers Guild as will be profits from vendors and the raffle.  The expenses will also be divided between the two Guilds.  The only exception will be the workshops, where each Guild will keep their own profits.

The Flying Geese blocks for the raffle quilt were collected and the quilt face will get underway as soon as all the geese are received.  Permission for the raffle is yet to be obtained from the Betting and Licensing Control Board, but the work on it has been begun.

Show Slogan:  This should be a short, catchy phrase and probably not contain the words ‘Quilt or Embroidery’.  The members were broken into ‘brainstorming’ groups and came up with dozens of suggestions.

Sponsorship:  Letters were available for members.  We hope to get as many sponsors as possible this year to help cover the cost of the Sarit Centre Exhibition Hall.

Workshops:  Cost Shs. 500.00 including kits.  Sign up for these at the February meeting.

Constitution:

Dena Crain briefly explained the changes suggested to the current Constitution (available on the website).  The new Constitution has been restructured, the corrections have been highlighted in red.  If anyone has any further changes they must put them forward without delay as the motion to pass the Constitution will come up at the AGM.

Newsletter:

Thank you to Gill Rebelo and Margaret Atandi for a fabulous newsletter this month.

Blog:

The Blog is a place to journal, our presence online. We need a volunteer to submit interesting information onto the website for Dena Crain to include in our Blog.  Dena explained WordPress and said that she would assist a member in learning how to post, write and edit.

Show and Tell:

Members shared their quilts with us; they speak for themselves:

Demonstration:

There was a powerpoint presentation by Sheryl Fowler on Tucks and Embellishments.

Meeting Venue:

It was decided to hold the monthly meetings at the Sikh Union up until and including June.  This will give the Guild time to investigate other venues.

Our next meeting will be held on February 21st, starting sharply at 10:00 a.m. at the Sikh Union. It’s a little hard to find, in the general location of the large pink block in the map below, above the label for Forest Road. Approach from Westlands, cross Limuru Road and take the sliproad down to the left. Sikh Union is near Premier Academy.


The following message has been received by the Kenya Quilt Guild, sent to us by Gail Langton, Chairperson of the Kenya Embroiderers Guild, to inform us of an upcoming sale of the sewing, quilting and embroidery materials and supplies from the estate of recently deceased Rowena Buxton:

We will be holding a sale of Rowena Buxton’s sewing stuff at East African Women’s League Headquarters (WEAL House) on August 9th.  Doors open around 9.30, doors to hall and sale open at 10:00.  Entry cost 50/= will cover the cost of hall hire.  Tea and coffee will be available. 

There will be lots of wonderful things to purchase – please see the list below – so please come along, bring lots of money and spend (change will be appreciated).

The proceeds from this sale will be going to various charities, one of which will be the Flying Doctor Services who valiantly battled to save Rowena’s life on 11th June.  

Goods for sale include:

  • several boxes of books – embroidery and quilting
  • 1 box magazines
  • sewing fabric, some large pieces for dress making and some metres, fat quarters etc. for quilting
  • wool and embroidery threads
  • haberdashery items (rickrack, lace, zips, bias, sewing thread, etc.)
  • sewing gadgets (bias tape maker, etc.)
  • quilting items (wadding, boards, shapes, etc.)
  • frames and hoops–at least 2 freestanding frames
  • cross stitch kits
  • cross stich fabrics (aida, etc.)
  • 2 sewing machines (if interested please contact KQG through the Contact Form in the sidebar at left)
  • tablecloths, cushion covers, gloves, scarves, khangas, small bags, etc. 

There will also be an opportunity to sign up for Mary Hickmott’s Embroidery classes, or to pay the deposit/balance if you have already signed up.


 

The Kenya Embroiderers Guild is a small group of embroiderers who meet at the East African Women’s League Headquarters at WEAL House on Bishop’s Road in Nairobi on the second Thursday of every month except for August.  We open the doors at 9.30 a.m. and we all enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and a snack.  The meeting starts at 10.00.

We have an annual membership subscription of KES 1,200/-.  We also have a monthly charge at the meetings attended of 50/- for members or 150/- for guests – this helps with the charge for use of the room.  We already have an excellent library of donated books and recently we have been able to purchase specific additional books and magazines.

Our aim, as with the Kenya Quilt Guild, is to bring in international embroidery teachers to present workshops.  Towards the end of last year we had our first successful overseas presenter, Mary Hickmott, who created five classes especially for us:  Mountmellick, crewel, canvas stitches, goldwork and hardangar.  Kits with all materials required, plus needles, were part of the subsidised workshop costs.  We are working on another such series for the beginning of next year when new techniques will be introduced.

Our monthly meetings are actually workshops and different subjects are introduced–often by Gail Langton, the Chairman, who has knowledge of a broad range of techniques.  However, we do encourage members to participate and indeed this month Sara Shamil one of our members who comes from Sri Lanka will be introducing cutwork embroidery.

Each presenter creates a small kit so that we can go away and practice what we have been shown.  We keep the cost of the kits to a minimum and sell them for KES 300/- which has to cover the cost of materials in the kit and the Guild.  This is just to give us all a chance to see if the technique is something we may want to explore further.

 

Cut thread embroidery

Cut thread embroidery

We would love to welcome you at a meeting and can perhaps even tempt you to give a workshop on ribbon embroidery at some time in the future.  Our next meeting will be Thursday 13th October.  Workshop on cut thread embroidery by Sara Shamil; this is what we will be making.  Please bring back any library books or magazines.  Small change always appreciated and a plate of something to share if you can.  Many thanks and look forward to seeing you there.

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