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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.


Patty Arensen, our Chairman, is still overseas. In her absence Gretchen Mwaura chaired the July meeting.

Suzanne Waithaka was welcomed back after a year away, as was her mother who visited Kenya. There were no other guests or new members present. Neela Shah was congratulated on her birthday.

Gretchen drew everyone’s attention to her article in Snippets which was about ‘inspiration’. She spoke about her recent visit to a French cathedral and how the magnificent ceiling was the highlight. It had been constructed using tiles to create intricate geometric patterns and designs.

We are already starting to prepare for the Kenya Quilt Guild Exhibition next year. The Sarit Centre hall has been booked but will be very expensive. The planning of raffle quilts is underway and members were reminded that we will need hundreds of blue five-inch squares to complete it. Everyone has stash and a scrap bin, so please help the Guild and give as many squares as possible.

The workshop will be up and running in September. Volunteers are needed to work on kits and the raffle quilts. Members are asked to come forward with ideas for kits to sell. Some suggestions are luggage tags, table runners, tray clothes, cushion covers, etc. We wish to raise money by selling these kits to help in funding the rental fee for the hall.

Sponsors are also necessary. Members are asked to name companies that might be interested in supporting the exhibition. The planning for the calendar is in progress. The deadline for submitting quilts is the end of the month. The photographer and art designer are responsible for choosing the most photogenic pieces, but we plan to use only one quilt per member. We expect to have the calendar published by the end of September. Again, the proceeds from the calendar go towards the hall rental.

Since the Challenge and Mystery Quilt displays in the last exhibition were such a success, we will prepare similar presentations next year. The Challenge quilts will be judged in September and the Mystery Quilt will be introduced at the same time. We also intend testing our members’ creativity closer to the exhibition when we have a table mat competition, details of which will be sent out next year.

Our jewellery sale raised KES 16,000/-. The Guild will add another 24,000/-, so a total of 40,000/- will be donated to Fremo Maternity Unit in Dagoretti. They need curtains, blood pressure machines and drip stands. Charu Patel also donated 25,000/- earned from the sale of her quilts to The Dream Project.

Show-and-Tell, as always, was exciting! Kundan Pattni had a large hand quilted piece constructed of broken blocks entitled ‘Sea Breeze’. Jasmine Morelli made a patchwork quilt, bordered by a hand appliqued border, ‘Blue Birds’. Gretchen Mwaura presented an art quilt wall-hanging ‘Half a Yellow Sun’. Raghbir had stitched table mats and a hexagon centre piece. Kulwinder Birdi and Jasvinder Phull shared their advanced machine quilting samples that they had done with Charu Patel. Tinu Bhachu used a 9 degree triangular ruler to cut fabric and then pieced the fabric together to form a circular pattern.

After coffee break, the door prizes and Block of the Month were drawn. We stress the importance of reading the directions for the BOM as there were a few mishaps where members used the incorrect colours and the pieces were not stitched together correctly. Unfortunately, not all members who took BOM kits in June returned the finished blocks.

Dorothy Stockell gave a talk on “Embroidery Embellishment”. She spoke about how she uses embroidery stitches in her work and how the stitches actually quilt her pieces. She emphasized that it is extremely beneficial to use a thimble while sewing. Dorothy does not use a hoop when she works. She sits at a table and holds the fabric taut. If using embroidery floss, use 2 – 3 strands, but she suggested using Perle as it does not split. The most useful stitches are chain, feather and blanket.

Dorothy recommended YouTube videos by Mary Corbet which contain simple and clear instructions for basic and complicated stitches. Amanda Rolfe also has good videos.

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There is no Kenya Quilt Guild meeting in August; we will see all our quilting friends again in September!


This link is just in from our member, Kundan Pattni of The Woman Shop at Sarit Centre, Westlands, Kenya’s exclusive Bernina dealer:

http://weallsew.com/2014/08/28/diy-embellished-checkbook-cover-featuring-circular-embroidery-attachment-83/


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.


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.


Looking for interesting websites that are all about quilting?

Check out Judy Martin’s Website of the Week:  http://www.judymartin.com/website-of-the-week.cfm


 

Find more help with your free motion quilting at Free Motion Quilting Technique.

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