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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.


Kenya Quilt Guild 2015 Challenge Quilt

IT’S TIME FOR THE NEXT CHALLENGE-IT’S THE NEW YEAR!

Our Guild’s Challenge last year was a great chance for our members to experiment with their creativity. We had 39 entries, all different, all interesting. They made a spectacular display at The Magical Art of Stitches Exhibition.

Each member who wishes to participate will be issued a packet that contains the guidelines for the Challenge, such as size restrictions, a template and two pieces of fabric.

Starting with the larger piece of fabric and the template, you are to construct an appliqué elephant. This can be raw edge appliqué using straight stitch, zigzag, blanket stitch, satin stitch or any decorative stitch. If you prefer, you can needle turn the edges, use freezer paper, x-ray sheets or fusible adhesives. This can be attached by hand or machine. The smaller piece of fabric is for the elephant’s ear.

Your finished piece can be no smaller than 12” and no larger than 36” on any side. Shape has no restriction. The piece must be sandwiched and quilted, and it MUST have a hanger sleeve and a label containing the quilter’s name and the name of the piece of work on the back. Hand quilting or machine quilting is acceptable; as little or as much as you would like.

The elephant must be situated somewhere on the front of the quilt. The rest of the design is up to you. Let your imagination run away with ideas. Any type of embellishments may be added to your liking.

You have quite a while to finish this Challenge, so there is no rush. The Committee will decide which future monthly meeting is most appropriate and you will be advised well in advance.

If you are unable to attend the January 2015 meeting, Challenge packs are available for collection from The Woman Shop after the meeting. The cost of the kit is totally subsidized by the Guild, so if you take a pack, please make sure that you finish the Challenge.

 

YOUR CHALLENGE QUILT WILL BE EXHIBITED AT A FUTURE MEETING, VIEWED AND VOTED ‘VIEWERS’ CHOICE.

PRIZES WILL BE AWARDED FOR 1ST, 2ND AND 3RD PLACES.


The October meeting of the KQG was a fun time of remembering the Quilt Show held at the Sarit Center on October 3rd, 4th, and 5th. There were 31 women present, of whom 5 were visitors. Some of the visitors came after attending the show and becoming interested in the group.

We had a drawing for the block of the month; members had made 20 blocks so there were two lucky winners. The calendars have turned out well, and are available for sale at 300 ksh each. Several people had brought quilts for “show and tell.” Even one of the visitors showed the “coffee pot cozy” she had made from one of the Guild kits.

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Photos courtesy of Judith Kamau

Jharna showed slides of all of the quilts at the show (over 150!), and we were able to comment and tell stories both of the quilts and of the reactions of the visitors to those quilts. Neela passed out kits, put together by Sheryl and friends, for making hexagon folded flowers. Each of the women there was then able to make one of the flowers.

Several people stayed and visited and sewed after the meeting.


Magical Art of Stitches

The Magical Art of Stitches Exhibition 2014, organized jointly between the Kenya Quilt Guild and the Kenya Embroiderers Guild, was held at Sarit Centre in Westlands, October 3-5. From the Exhibition Committee Chairman, Sheryl Fowler, we have the following report:

I am sure that everyone will agree that the display for “The Magical Art of Stitches Exhibition 2014” was professional, not cluttered and very pleasing to the eye.  We have to congratulate the Exhibition Committee for hanging the quilts tastefully.  It was an entire day’s work for the ladies, but the end result was fabulous.  The general public was very complimentary in every aspect of the show.  We have a talented membership and their work was highly appreciated.
 
The Challenge Quilts and Mystery Quilts were exceptional and took the interest of our visitors.  This type of group activity is popular with our membership and we should endeavour to hold more in the future.  We hope to start a new Challenge in January and look forward to many exciting new quilts from everyone.  We all have patchwork and quilting in common, enjoy the art of quilting and appreciate each other’s skills.
 
At the exhibition, our loyal members were prompt to serve their duties and every post was manned.  The white glove ladies were on hand to help, assist and answer any questions.  They endeavoured to promote our art.  The impromptu workshops run by Sarah Brewin were well attended and enjoyed by the public as were the complimentary classes given to our members as a gift from our Guild.  Peponi Preparatory School sent 58 children and teachers on Friday.  The children enjoyed their workshop and the tours given by both Guilds.
 
The prize ribbons were awarded on Sunday morning: 

  • 1st Prize to Sarah Brewin for Kitange Cloth
  • 2nd Prize to Jaya & Jharna Kamdar for The Wedding Quilt
  • 3rd Prize to Lakhbir Virdee for Infinity
  • 4th Prize to Jasvinder Phull for Tribemen
  • 5th Prize to Kundan Pattni for Omigosh.

The Challenge Quilts were also awarded ribbons:

  • 1st Place to Jasvinder Phull for Day Lillies
  • 2nd Place to Anne Lyon for Dragonfly
  • 3rd Place to Kulwinder Birdi for Spring Flowers
  • 4th Place to Carol Davey for Comforts of Home

 
Well done to all the ladies who served on the Exhibition Committee and to our talented members who submitted quilts for the show.  With everyone’s participation, we held a very successful exhibition!

See photos of the exhibition quilts on our Gallery page.


Magical Art of Stitches 2014 Poster


Giriama Village, patchwork quilt by Hamuda Tahir, on display at Birmingham, England, Festival of Quilts

Giriama Village, patchwork quilt by Hamuda Tahir, on display at Birmingham, England, Festival of Quilts

Our own Hamuda Tahir is in Birmingham, England, enjoying the Festival of Quilts. She sends us this photo of her quilt, Giriama Village, on display there, and says the following:

This is Hamuda from the Mombasa quilting group. I am currently in Birmingham in the uk at the festival of quilts where I entered my quilt ‘Giriama Village’ in the competition in the Pictorial Quilts category. I have attached a picture for you to see.

The exhibition is amazing and there are some truly beautiful quilts on display including a functioning 3 dimensional grandfather clock 7 feet tall made entirely from quilted panels! 

We wish Hamuda well, and we hope she continues to enjoy the Birmingham Festival of Quilts, running August 7-10!

Thanks, Hamuda, for sharing your lovely quilt and your happy smile with us!!


Our July meeting was highlighted with the turning in of twelve mystery quilts for our exhibition in October. The quilts were varied with their creator’s choice of fabrics and each was beautifully unique.

We had a People’s Choice vote. Congratulations go to Sheryl Fowler, first place and a gift certificate for the Woman’s Shop of 1500/ ksh, April Webb for second place  (1000/ ksh certificate), and Jharna and Jaya Kamdar, third place (500/ksh). We look forward to seeing these quilts in our show at Sarit Centre, October 3-5.

Block of the month continued with fifteen members participating.  Elizabeth Cheserem and Kuljinder Birdi won the blocks.  There is no Block of the Month this month, but we will continue in September.

Charu Patel has offered to give tutoring on machine quilting. She is opening up her home to Guild members during the month of August.  If members are interested, please call her soon so she may arrange a day convenient to most.  She is also willing to do the same after the monthly meeting in September.

Our demonstration this month was by Patty Arensen.  She showed a video by Bonnie Browning of the American Quilter’s Society on How to put a sleeve on your quilt. This was a review for most, but a good reminder to all in light of finishing our quilts for the coming exhibition.

Patty then spoke on the duties of a white glove lady at a quilt show.  She emphasized that the white glove lady’s job is to act as a hostess at the show, welcoming people and answering questions.  Secondly, her job is to protect the quilts. We talked about ways to do this politely especially with the matter of guests drinking tea and coffee around the quilts.  We will talk about this more at future meetings.

There is no monthly meeting in August and we are looking forward to our next meeting 18 September 2014.  The main event will be to turn in our quilts for the exhibition.

 

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