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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

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This month we had no visitors, however three of our members were celebrating their birthdays.  Patty blessed them saying, “May your seams be ¼” and irons never spit.”

The newsletter was sent out promptly this month, thanks to Suzanne and other contributors.  Hard copies of Snippets will not be available for members at the meeting due to the expense of photocopying and the time/effort that will be involved.  For PR reasons, all present members and past members will receive Snippets via email, but there will be an unsubscribe tool installed for those who do not wish to receive it.

Anyone who wants to sell a sewing related item or is in need of purchasing one, can send the information to Suzanne to be published in the next edition.

The planning for the 2014 Magical Art of Stitches Exhibition is well under way.  Our deposit has been paid to The Sarit Centre and permission for the raffle has been sought.  Entry forms for the Challenge Quilts will be circulated at the meeting and sponsorship letters are obtainable from Sheryl Fowler.  Members were reminded to bring along a photo of their favourite quilt to the May meeting for the calendar.

Our UFO afternoons are being supported by some members and others were encouraged to take advantage of time and space provided by the Guild.  We will be holding these afternoon regularly after our monthly meetings.

Raji spoke about the library and the new books which should arrive before the April meeting.  The list of books ordered was published in Snippets.  The members accepted the news with enthusiasm.  There are also some library books outstanding and ladies were asked for their assistance to get them back into stock.

As of April, Sheryl will be introducing the Block of the Month. The pattern will be printed in Snippets and the Guild will be providing the background fabric each month.  Members are to bring their blocks along to the May meeting, where there will be a draw and the lucky winner will receive all of the blocks made by members which should be enough to construct a quilt.

Gretchen shared the Red Cross quilt top with the membership and explained the significance of each of the symbols. Patty will be quilting the project after which it will be presented to the Red Cross Society of Kenya.

Quilt for the Red Cross Society of Kenya

Quilt for the Red Cross Society of Kenya

 

During our April meeting, we will  hold our AGM.  Anyone wishing to serve on the Committee is most welcome and should step forward to be nominated.  After the AGM Kundan will be giving her talk on Revolutionary Rulers.

Ladies were again reminded to pay their outstanding membership fees of Shs. 1500.00

A new challenge will be introduced next month, “One Yard Exchange”.  Seven ladies will form their own group and chose a theme for their fabrics, say for instance, all batiks.  There will be a quick demonstration of the fabric snipping and ripping.  Sounds fun.  The Woman Shop will put up a prize for those groups who purchase the fabric from them.

Suzanne also suggested a fat quarter exchange where again a theme is put forward and those wishing to participate bring a fat quarter to the meeting.  Those who have a fat quarter will be eligible to win all the fat quarters in a monthly draw.

Raghbir’s table runner class was a great success and those who took the class brought along their runners to show.  More ladies voiced interest in taking the class.

 

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Show and Tell this month was well supported.  Jasbir Jabal showed her sampler quilt that she had constructed with Gill.  Indu Shah had two baby quilts and also a fine example of smocking and crochet work.  Suzanne Waithaka finished three small UFO quilts made from scraps.  Dorothy Stockwell had a black and white wall hanging made by the Tentmakers of Cairo with verses from the Koran.  Rashmika Patel had a beautiful ABC animal appliqué quilt, Raji Syan shared her patchwork quilt that she had finished on her long arm machine and Sheryl Fowler had a batik quilt made in the pattern of Rail Fence Diamond.

Following coffee break, Gill gave a short talk on the history of the Tentmakers of Cairo.  She described the plain exterior of Bedouin tents and how the magnificent appliqué pieces adorned the interior of the tents.  The beautiful pieces have no batting, so when the light filters through the fabric it gives a stained glass effect.  Jenny Bowker, who was a long time resident of Egypt, has worked to promote this art all over the world. With the economic downfall of Egypt and the political unrest, the Tentmakers have suffered decline.

We watched a fascinating video on the Tentmakers, where there were interviews and demonstrations on the techniques used to appliqué the pieces.  Following this, Estelle shared her many quilts with the meeting and told us of her experiences in Egypt.


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 Kenya Quilt Guild held its April meeting as its Annual General Meeting for 2012.  Chair Neela Shah welcomed a rather limited turn-out of members (29 with one guest) for the AGM.  Apparently, some schools are not yet back in session, so some of our members were still on holiday.  After a brief introduction, Neela held the Election of Officers for 2012.  These were elected as follows:

Chair:  Neela Shah

Vice-Chair:  Deanna Gaudaur

Secretary:  April Webb

Treasurer:  Loise Gitagia

Members-at-Large:  Brij Datta and Jasbir Sokhi


Dena Crain, author of the current KQG Constitution, explained the functions of the Subcommittees which support the Executive Council in six areas of the Guild’s work:  Membership, Education, Exhibitions, Community Outreach and Charitable Works, Advertising and Promotions, and Newsletter Publication.  Dena exhorted members to be involved in this “painless” way! Membership of a Standing Committee is not onerous and only one person from each one is required to attend Executive Council meetings once a month. A sign-up sheet was passed around and a good number of members pitched in as follows:

Membership

Kundan Patti

Education

Gill Rebelo
Philippa Yusuf
Rashmika Patel
Raji Syan (Librarian)

Exhibitions

Brij Datta
Jasvinder Phull
Jasbir Sokhi
Raji Syan
Poley Bhamra
Neela Shah

Community Outreach and Charitable Works

Patty Arensen
Gretchen Mwaura
Christine Kibuka
Mercy Mungai
Margaret Karanja
Elizabeth Cheserem

Advertising and Promotions

Rajminder Kalsey
Dena Crain (IT only)

Newsletter Publication

Margaret Atandi
Jane MacAskill
Gill Rebelo
Rowena Buxton

With Election of Officers and structuring of the Subcommittees out of the way, the Guild voted on the proposed amendments to the Constitution of the Kenya Quilt Guild.  One of these was that Snippets, the KQG newsletter, would be discontinued unless a volunteer editor was found at the AGM; this was obviated by Margaret Atandi and Jane MacAskill who have proffered their skills to maintain the newsletter.  Snippets survives!

The second proposed amendment to the Constitution was to change the date of the AGM to the April meeting date.  Sheryl Fowler proposed (seconded by Gretchen Mwaura) a change to the amendment: the AGM shall take place on or before the third Thursday in May of each year.
  Two thirds of those members present at the meeting needed to approve the change by a show of hands in order for it to be adopted.  There was a unanimous vote in favour of the change to the amendment. The acceptance of the amended proposal was also unanimously supported.

Gill Rebelo reminded members of the exciting programme of workshops on offer in the near future and encouraged those interested to sign up and pay a deposit or in full as soon as possible in order to ensure a place:

  • Mon 7th May a.m. 
or p.m.:  Bev Rebelo, Hand quilting, KSh500 per half day at the Rebelo residence in Loresho
  • Tues 8th May:  Bev Rebelo, Machine quilting, KSh1500 full day at Shalom House
  • Tues 15th May:  Sarah Brewin, Dancing Ladies, KSh2,800, full day including kit at Shalom House
  • Fri 18th May:  Magie Relph, Broken Windows, KSh 1500, full day at Shalom House
  • Mon 21st May:  Magie Relph, African Jazz,* KSh 1500, full day at Shalom House
  • Wed 23rd May:  Magie Relph, Extreme appliqué*, KSh 1500, full day at Shalom House
  • Thurs 24th May a.m.:  Magie Relph, Adinkra Stamping, KSh 800, half day
 at Shalom House
  • Thurs 24th May p.m.:  Magie Relph, Creative Strip Cloth, KSh 1200 incl fabric, half day
 at Shalom House

*Please note change of dates for these 2 classes.

Plans for the upcoming Exhibition at Village Market on 11th, 12th and 13th May are well in order.  Dena designed and had printed 30 copies of a colourful poster advertising the exhibition.  She encouraged members to sign up and take copies to display in public places.  Those who have to pay to display may claim the cost from the Guild if they keep and present their receipts.

Neela suggested that posters should only go up a week to ten days before the exhibition.  
Members were also encouraged to sign a roster to volunteer their services in various roles at the exhibition.  This really is a joint effort, and both posters and the duty roster can be found at The Woman Shop until 5th May.  Stop in and collect a poster for displaying at your church, school or other high-traffic public place.  Sign up for a two-hour stint as a welcoming hostess, raffle table worker, membership recruiter or white glove lady.  Your help will be much appreciated!

Jasbir and Jasvinder were collecting entry forms and fees for quilts which members wish to show or sell at the exhibition.  Members were reminded that any forms submitted after 19th April would attract a penalty fee of KSh300.  All quilts need to be delivered to The Woman Shop or to Neela or Gill by 5th May.  Neela explained that members may submit two quilts each for exhibition but extras will be accepted and may be displayed, depending on the space available. The entrant will be reimbursed their entry fee if the quilt is not included in the show.

Neela announced that formal approval for the raffle of Guild quilts has been received from the Betting Control and Licensing Board. However there has not been time to get the tickets printed for the AGM and members were asked to collect ticket booklets from The Woman Shop and to ensure they bring money, stubs and unsold tickets to the exhibition.

Pauline Mang’ana displayed the cup which will be awarded to the “People’s choice” for the best quilt in the show. The second prize will be a kanga.

For Show-and-Tell, Indu Shah showed the progress she has made on a quilt for a young girl.  She has embroidered the pieces most attractively.
  Brij displayed a delightful quilt made of Amish fabrics she acquired on the Guild’s trip to Canada.
  Bria Gaudaur showed two quilts – one an image containing the letters LOVE was well received and the second, designed for a toddler, was most suitable for the Kenyan environment as appliquéd cars attempted to climb rick-rack hills!
  Deanna showed a quilt with appliquéd letters of the alphabet and a fun image to go with each one.  This is the “first grand-child quilt” although she may have to wait a while before she can give it away!
  Deanna Gaudaur, Bria’s mum, then showed us a masterpiece of machine quilting.  A New York Beauty design, the quilt had not been pieced but squares and complex designs were traced onto the fabric and then coloured with machine stitched free motion quilting.  It was absolutely stunning!

 

Dena Crain then gave a masterly talk on the subject of how to care for our quilts.  She listed the factors that damage quilts, such as

  • light which can fade colours and cause fibre disintegration, 
moisture which can encourage the growth of moulds and other decomposers,
  • staining by sugar solutions, wine, chocolate or tea or the sebum from finger tips which can all cause permanent marks,
  • physical damage can be caused by insects, rodents, dogs and cats and their body fluids can also cause permanent staining,
  • dirt from dusty environments causes discolouration,
  • abrasion – friction can damage fibres and result in holes in fabric, and
  • temperature extremes have similar effects.

In order to avoid the factors listed above and the permanent creasing caused by folding, quilts should be stored face down in stacks on a flat surface such as a mattress protected by a cotton (100%) sheet.  The stacks should be evenly distributed so that there is no lumpiness to warp the quilts.
  A white cotton sheet should cover the stacks and the curtains of the room can be kept drawn.

Alternatively, the quilts can be rolled, with rod in place. The rolling should begin from the top end, ensuring the edges do not catch and crease, and with the top side of the quilt on the outside of the roll. This expands the top fabric a little so that any creases form on the underside of the quilt.  The presence of the rod stops the roll collapsing inwards, again introducing creases into the fabric.  Rolling from the top downwards ensures that loose curling is at the bottom end of the quilt and this will fall out when the quilt is hung from the rod again.

The rolled quilts can be stored individually in cotton drawstring bags, which are longer than the quilt is wide, thus closure of the bag can be more effective.  Plastic bags are not good for quilt storage.

A sleeve is attached to the top of the underside of the quilt to contain the rod.  
The sleeve should be pleated in such a way that there is more fabric on the outer surface of the sleeve than in the portion of the fabric attached to the back of the quilt.  The sleeve then accommodates the rod so that the quilt lies flat and does not curl around the rod when hung.
  A double hanger sleeve means the quilt can be hung from the centre of the rod as well as by the two ends.
  If a rectangular bar of wood is used for hanging the quilt (rather than a round one) then the screw eyes should be attached on the two ends of the bar closer to the top edge.  This ensures the quilt is not tipped forward as it hangs.

Exhibitors were also reminded that the rod from which the quilt is suspended for display must be one inch shorter than the width of the quilt.
  It is useful to write the name of the quilt on the rod in felt tip pen as well as the dimensions of the rod.  This makes it easier to locate appropriate rods from your collection.

When carrying a quilt as hand luggage, Dena has designed a canvas belted bag that contains the rolled quilt wrapped in a white cotton sheet.
  When transporting larger numbers of quilted pieces, Dena advises hard-sided luggage. However, aeroplane weight restrictions have forced many quilters to resort to soft-sided luggage.  Dena protects the quilts from damage in such a bag by packing (bundling) them in a very specific way.  She has cut a cardboard template that fits the base of the bag.  She lays the quilts on a flat surface in an even stack so that the pieces all lie diagonally to one another.  She then places the template on the top of the stack and folds the quilts around it so that each is folded on the bias.  This means the folds are softer and the creasing less pronounced.  The folded packet can then be placed neatly in the bag.
  Dena advises that the items to be packed are laid out ready and only placed in the bag just prior to departure to minimise their time in the folded state.  An overnight stop means the quilts get some relief too.  They should be unpacked and laid out on a flat surface or draped over a spare bed or the back of a sofa, then re-packed immediately before departure.

After Dena’s fine presentation, the meeting was adjourned.


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 15,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


The latest issue of Snippets is now available here on our blog. Read all the latest news before our next meeting, which is on Thursday, February 17!

Snippets, newsletter of the Kenya Quilt Guild

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