The Giraffe challenge was an amazing success! We had 20 entries, and they were all so different from each other, it was hard to pick a favorite. Next year’s Quilt Guild calendar will be our best yet!

Congratulations to all our members who gave us a wonderful show yesterday.

Dorothy Stockell



It was a beautiful Show and Tell like every month, from hand bags to table mats and some quilt tops.

Enjoy the beauty of creativity with fabric.

Greetings Fellow Quilters!
The green hand mug rugs from the January challenge were fabulous!
Our February challenge is to create place-mats (11″ by 18″) using the string piecing method Gill Rebello talked about at our last meeting. The color we chose is bright red.
We handed out little pieces of a shiny African fabric at the meeting to give everybody a chance to work with it.
If you weren’t there, fear not! Any old bright red will do! Just cut some thin strips
(between 3/4″ and 1 1/2″) of a variety of fabrics and sew them together using your preferred string piecing method. The internet is full of videos and instructions but if you’re not sure how to string piece, reach out! That’s what your guild is here for…drop us a line if you get stuck.
Here is my place-mat using the chaos method which avoided the paper piecing or foundation fabric methods.
We will take a vote at the March meeting for our favorite, and the winner gets a door prize!
There will be a second door prize for the place-mat closest to being exactly 11 x 18 inches. It pays to be accurate!
Looking forward to seeing some fabulous place-mats in March!

Message from the Chairperson, Dorothy Stockell :

Dear Members, we are back live on the Kenya Quilt Guild Blog!!!  Make sure you stay tuned as we keep updating our blog.  Here’s looking forward to some interesting challenges in 2017!

It was wonderful to see so many of you at last month’s Guild meeting! It was a great meeting, and there was a fantastic response when we announced our Challenge for January 2017.

Each month, we will make a little quilt in one of these sizes:
– coaster (4×4)
– mug rug (7×11)
– placemat (11×18)

To decide what we will make, we’ll pick a color, a theme and a technique from a chart.

This month we picked green, hand(s) and appliqué.

We’re going to make mug rugs! If you can find an electric lime green like the photo, sew on.

You can use any appliqué method, and use the green for the background or the hands. The hand can be your hand, a child’s hand or an imaginary hand. You can use as many hand shapes as you want. The mug rug should be quilted, with binding, and the finished size should be 7×11 inches.

We will collect the little jewels and eventually sell them for charity.

The idea behind the challenge is to give us an excuse to try different techniques and be creative and to bring us together in a joint effort.

If you have any questions or need help with learning appliqué, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re happy to help!

I hope you will enjoy the challenge, and I can’t wait to see the show of hands next month!

Happy Sewing !!!

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I recently attended a work shop with Patty Arensen of Kenya Quilt Guild about turning pictures into quilts. All the attendees thoroughly enjoyed seeing photographs taken by cameras or phones transform into beautiful handmade wall hangings.

I adored the idea so much and found another convenient way to do the same. I found this link of printing directly onto fabric: Yes, it is very possible.

print on fabric


A few months ago I attended a cutwork embroidery class by Mary Hickmott. She used the same method, and it came out beautifully on cotton fabric.

There will be a few trial and errors sessions (and a lot of printer ink) but it’s worth giving this method a try. The link above has complete instructions for printer settings and materials required.

Happy printing!

After Patty congratulated those who had birthdays in March, we welcomed back a past member, Kamer, and she introduced our visitors, Adele and Jenny.

Those ladies who had not completed subscription forms were asked to do so as we are desperate to update our membership list and email addresses.

Sponsorship needs for the exhibition were discussed and members were encouraged to seek donations from any contacts they may have.

Gretchen taught her ‘Crazy Quilt’ class and those who attended shared they work with the group.  Patty will hold her class on 14th April, but has made it mandatory that fees are paid in advance to avoid any absentees.  She has asked that no one attempt to transfer faces, be they human or animal, in this class.

In April we will hold our AGM and Donna Pido will be giving us an interesting visual talk on Masai beading.  For the AGM we have volunteers for most of the positions, but we are still looking for someone to fill Membership and Charity places.

Anyone who still has outstanding money from sales of calendars, please turn it over to Neela or Lakhbir.

Sheryl explained the March issue of the Mystery Quilt and had samples for the members to examine.  There is still time to start the Mystery Quilt.

The raffle has been approved for the Exhibition.  We are waiting for the complete list of sponsors before we go to print.  The workshop will open next Thursday where kits will be made for sale.  Only Elephant Applique Challenge quilts will be printed on the calendar and the note cards.

There has been a hold up on the Pan African Friendship Quilts, Good Hope Quilters Guild, South African, but they are scheduled to arrive soon.

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Show and Tell was tremendous this month with dozens of pieces shared with the meeting:

  • Suzanne made a travel wallet and book-bag.  Both patterns are for sale online.
  • Raji, Jasvinder and Jaya all made Bargello table runners.
  • Raji finished her Elephant Applique Challenge and also had a baby quilt to share.
  • Kamer presented a quilt that she had made from embroidered blocks.
  • Lakhbir had a quilt piece with brightly coloured stars and also a baby quilt with a giraffe motif.
  • Veena made a quilt from a jelly roll and a Drunkard’s Path.
  • Ragbir had a baby quilt with Scotty dogs.
  • Carol made a woven carpet from khanga fabric and another quilt made from scraps that resembled those made by Gee’s Bend.
  • Indu had a Bargello bag and a Masai painting that she had beaded.  She also made a quilt with small cars.
  • Joyce’s first attempt at patchwork quilting was a set of tablemats and a table runner.
  • Charu had wonderful examples of her intricate machine quilting which consisted of a whole cloth quilt.  She shared her methods with the group.
  • Patty made another ‘Serengeti Sojourners’’ on consignment.
  • Jasmine finished a quilt made with 2 ½” squares. She had found the pattern on Pinterest.
  • Jasvinder made an applique baby quilt.
  • Rose had blocks that she had won in a BOM and pieced them together to make a lovely quilt.  She machine quilted the piece.

The talk from FreMo Birth Centre was interesting.  They provide prenatal care for mothers in Kawangari and are on call for any pregnant woman in need.  They opened two years ago and have been successful in assisting many women.  Adele made a donation and brought a bag of baby essentials for donation.  The Guild has already donated to this organisation and will consider another in the future.

Sheryl gave a talk on methods of making the Le Moyne Star and showed a video on a quick technique.

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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