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The Kenya Quilt Guild February meeting was centered around education – we want to become better quilters!
This past month Gill Rebelo began a new series for beginners.
Sheryl Fowler taught a strip quilt technique class in her home. Everyone had a great time and learned all about strip piecing.
We began to sign up for next month’s 2 days class by Dena Dale Crain, “Reflections.” This class will be held at Simba Union 10:00 – 3, 25-26 March. The cost is 4000/=. You may sign up at the next meeting. To reserve your spot, you must pay in full.
We are purchasing a sewing machine to use in our revived workshop. Gill and Sheryl have donated the proceeds from their recent classes.
We are also going to have a jewelry sale to raise money. Go through your collection of jewelry for some items that you are no longer wearing. Bring them to the March meeting and the following meeting, priced and ready for sale. We will have a sale of our jewelry and all money will go to a new Kenya Quilt Guild sewing machine!
Gretchen Sanders demonstrated how to ice dye cloth. The effect is a watery, irregular pattern. Beautiful! We hope you all found the demonstration exciting and you are eager to experiment!
Here are Gretchen’s directions:
- Plastic sheet
- An old washing up bowl
- A wire mesh that fits over the bowl
- A small bucket
- A measuring jug
- A small yogurt pot
- Rubber gloves
- Magadi soda ash
- Dyes (powders)
- Ice cubes
- Washed, dried and ironed fabric- americani (cotton muslin), silk
- Prepare a soda mix according to how much fabric you have. Use 50g of magadi soda ash to 2L water. Mix well with gloved hands.
- Add the washed, dried and ironed fabric and leave soaking for at least 10 minutes.
- Remove fabric from the soda mix and wring it gently to remove excess liquid.
- Arrange fabric onto the grid. Top with ice cubes.
- Gently sprinkle the powdered dyes (you need very little) onto the ice as you want.
- Leave aside and wait for the ice to melt. Leaving even longer will allow the dyes to penetrate more, making them more light- and wash-fast.
- Rinse the dyed fabric under cold water until the water runs clear. Dry and iron the ice-dyed fabrics.
- Added experiments–thread, tie, knot, use wax or starch resists, etc.
- Keep a bag of ice cubes in the fridge- you never know when you might have the urge to dye again!
On March 25-26, the Kenya Quilt Guild is pleased to present the art quilt workshop Reflections, taught by our own Dena Dale Crain! This is the art quilt class for everyone, as it teaches even beginners how to use mirror-imaging to create original patchwork quilt designs.
The class format is different for this workshop, with reduced hours to avoid heavy traffic in Nairobi. The class begins each day at 10:00 a.m. and ends at 3:00 p.m. There is a surprise adjustment to compensate for the shorter time spent in class!
Full information, including the supply list, can be found on our Quilt Workshop Schedule page.
We now accept Mpesa payments, so you can register and pay by telephone. Contact us with the contact form in the sidebar at left to learn the telephone number. Otherwise, register during our regular meeting on March 19 at The Sikh Union off Forest Road in Nairobi.
Patty opened the meeting, welcoming the visitors and then wished our members with birthdays in November a happy day. She then shared the applique pillow slips that she purchased in Zanzibar over her holiday.
Sheryl gave a short talk on the importance of pressing correctly, followed by a PowerPoint video supporting the main steps.
Dorothy collected the Block of the Month ‘Chevrons’ and performed the draw. The Winner, Poley Bhamra, kindly returned the blocks for a redraw as she had also won the previous month. Our newest member, Janet Wildsmith, was then the lucky winner. Janet was also drawn the winner of the door prize, but returned it. April Webb won a pack of Moda squares and folding scissors.
We made a small profit from the Exhibition and the Committee had approved a donation of KES 50,000.00/- to The Kenya Red Cross. We had already presented the wall hanging to them during the closing of the Exhibition last month.
Anyone who participated in the ‘Torn Fabric’ activity was asked to bring their projects along to the January meeting. The Block of the Month will continue in January as our Christmas luncheon will be held in lieu of the December meeting.
Future teachers and education was discussed. Jasvinder Phull is contacting Paramjit Bawa from Oman to see if she will consider travelling to Nairobi to teach. Members were encouraged to research her on the web. Gill Rebelo, who will be attending the London Quilt Show, will seek out teachers for the Guild.
The Christmas lunch, 4th December, will be held at Patty’s home in Lavington. Directions and a poster will be sent out the members closer to the time. This will be potluck affair and each member/guest has been asked to bring along a gift worth no more than Shs. 500.00.
In January members have been asked to speak about their individual accomplishments over 2014 and Sheryl will demonstrate Prairie Points.
Bibiana, who is relocating to South Africa soon, shared a new technique for making chevrons. Instead of constructing them in the traditional patchwork method, she cut and folded a piece of fabric. See http://www.make-it-do.com/sew-it/crazy-for-zig-zags/
We have calendars and kits for sale; this will continue at each monthly meeting.
Show and Tell: Carol Davey shared her ‘Summer in the Park’ quilt. Gretchen had a number of small wall hangings which she had made for a specific project, along with a large blue and white quilt. Janet Wildsmith presented her baby quilt and her fussy cut Dresden plate wall-hanging. Bibiana finished her spiral table runner and Marcia had her beaded lizard. Tinu had two table runners that were made from old curtains.
After the coffee break, Dorothy Stockell had a number of ‘upcycling’ projects to demonstrate. Her talk was enjoyable and informative. She began her talk with two cushions that were made from old men’s shirts. The front of the shirt was used for the back of the cushion, buttons being the opening for the cushion insert, the front the background for the applique. She had a quilt made from head bandanas and a crazy quilt made from men’s ties. There were denim handbags made from jeans and wall-hangings that incorporated buttons.
Dena Dale Crain, co-founder (with Anne Mains of Canada) and long time member of the Kenya Quilt Guild, has just opened a new Web site.
Check out QuiltEd Online, and do it quickly! There’s an offer of a FREE online patchwork quilt course that expires in a couple of days. Find the coupon and instructions to use it on the home page; do the coursework whenever you have time!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.