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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!
Our Chairman, Patty Arensen, introduced the visitors and welcomed them to this month’s meeting. She pointed out the latest issue of the newsletter that was posted in the entry hall and asked any members who did not receive it electronically to please check their email address with Kundan Pattni, Membership Officer.
The Challenge Quilts were collected, numbered and hung. There were 41 quilts submitted by members that were very diversified, encompassing a sphere of piecing, quilting and embellishing techniques. The quilts are to be retained so they can be photographed. At coffee break the ladies were to vote on their favourite quilt, prizes to be awarded afterwards.
Patty showed a quick slide presentation of the Canada Exhibition and shared her experiences whilst in Canada. Sheryl Fowler, our Secretary, was able to distribute cheques for sales during the course of the meeting. In Dena Crain’s absence, Patty introduced the idea of showing our quilts in Australia. She gave a short outline of the ‘travelling’ exhibition and said that Dena would expand on the idea at a later date.
We have a variety of workshops coming up soon, the first being Brij Datta’s class on 26th September. Brij showed a sample of the work and she said that she would take names of those interested during the break. Bev Rebelo’s classes start in October. The information was sent out via email to all members in advance and it was also available in the newsletter. Everyone was very excited about the prospect of taking these classes. For those who could not attend the meeting, the lists will be at The Woman Shop from Saturday.
The Simba Union Hall has been booked on 7th November for the UFO day. This will be run as a courtesy to our members where they can bring along any and all of their unfinished projects. Assistance for trouble shooting will be available.
In October, Bev Rebelo will give a presentation on integrating photographs into quilts. This should be of interest to all of our members. The first part of the Mystery Quilt will also be introduced. There will be sample fabrics and samples of the piecing for our ladies to see. We hope to have as many of our members participate in this project and for it to be as successful as the Challenge Quilt.
Show and Tell followed the business of the meeting. Our members have been quite busy over the summer holidays as there were many many quilts shared and stories told.
Raji Syan, our Librarian, still has received no feedback from members about book purchases, so she will go ahead and use her own judgment. We expect quite a few new books before the end of the year.
Sheryl gave a short talk about how she came to know about the 1600 Quilt and how to make your own jelly roll. A fifteen minute demonstration video was shown on the steps of constructing this quilt. For those who missed it, click www.youtube.com/watch?v=EomX7t7to_o. It is well worth seeing.
The Door Prize was presented and the Challenge Quilt votes were counted. 1st Prize was won by Jaya Kamdar and a joint 2nd/3rd prize was won by Neela Shah and Sheryl Fowler.
In Patty’s absence, Neela chaired the meeting.
Welcome to visitors: Sue Deverell, Sabi Meteshi, Kayuri
Attendance: 49 ladies present including visitors
2014 Exhibition: Dates have been confirmed 3rd, 4th and 5th October, venue Sarit Centre
Out of Africa, Canada Exhibition: 133 quilts were sent, of which 40 were sold. Dena kindly brought back half of the unsold quilts which were collected after the meeting ended. Money and accounts will not be settled until Patty returns, which will be at the end of July. Ludmila and Patty worked very hard. We cannot commit to another overseas exhibition unless more ladies travel.
Challenge: Sheryl shared her unfinished effort and more fabric was distributed. Conditions are in last month’s newsletter.
Education: Farhat explained the program for her ‘Silk Painting Class’ to be held Thursday, 27th June at her home. Sheryl held the first session of her landscape class after the meeting, the next being next month. 8 ladies attended. Brij will also offer a one day class in September, introducing jute as a medium. Charu will start to introduce her machine quilting methods at the July meeting, members to practice over the holiday then in September she will continue with more explanation. Marsha wishes to hold her beading class in October or November. Bev will travel to Nairobi to give her ‘Rhino Applique’ towards the end of the year.
Library: Raji asked members to send her suggestions for new books, including the title of the book, author and ISBN. The library is now located in the back annex along with the coffee to allow more space in the main hall for seating.
Door Prize: This will be drawn at monthly meetings for members/guests who have signed in. This month it was won by Sue Deverell.
Programs: Jana gave a short talk about a new method of making a square in a square and how it can be adapted to make flying geese and half square triangles. The library has purchased the book, ruler and DVD. Next month Deanna will present ‘Humble Beginnings’ and requested members to bring in their first quilts to share.
Show and Tell: There was a great deal this month, photos were taken.
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.
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.
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.
Thank you to Gill Rebelo and Margaret Atandi for a fabulous newsletter this month.
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:
There was a powerpoint presentation by Sheryl Fowler on Tucks and Embellishments.
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.
Chairperson Neela Shah opened the meeting with acknowledgement of guests, visitors and new members. She and Vice-Chairperson Deanna Gaudaur showed a few Santa bags, encouraging members to sign up to make more of them for the upcoming holiday season in hopes that we might sell them to benefit our charities. Deanna had coordinated shapes ready for appliqué, and offered a prize for the most popular “people’s choice” from all the bags that would be made.
Gill Rebelo displayed a few crazy-pieced Christmas stockings. She will be offering a workshop teaching our members how to make these charming holiday novelty items on Thursday, November 15th, in the afternoon after our regular meeting at Shalom House on that day. Phillippa Yusuf will also be teaching some fun crochet items that afternoon. Those interested in participating should sign up with Phillippa Yusuf as Gill will be out of the country until much nearer that day.
A suitable venue is needed for our annual Christmas party this year. If any of our members can host our group, please volunteer by letting Neela Shah know. Deanna suggested that instead of giving gifts to each other, this year we might think to bring food donations for those less fortunate. Stay tuned as plans for the Christmas party are made; we will let you know full details in due course.
Reports on Dena Crain’s two-day workshop held in September, Goodbye to the Grid, were most positive. Everyone enjoyed the workshop and a few people brought their works in progress to show what they designed and made.
This discussion led into show-and-tell.
Dena finished show-and-tell with a presentation of her African beaded quilt, a work in progress, as an introduction to the morning’s demonstrations. She and Charu Patel presented two different ways of beading with a hook instead of a needle.
Dena’s method uses a latch hook, something hard to find in Kenya but we hope Kundan Pattni will bring some back from her trip to the US for the International Quilt Festival and Market in Houston. Working with beads pre-strung on a thread that is still attached to the spool, Dena practices Kantan couture beading. She keeps the beads on the face of the work and the hook underneath it, making chain stitches on the underside of the quilt top that catch one or more beads on the surface of the work.
Instructional videos on YouTube:
Beading Supplies: Lacis Tools & Materials
Charu Patel works with the tiniest of crochet hooks. She keeps the thread underneath the fabric, draws it up with the crochet hook into a loop on the surface, drops the loop, picks up a bead with the hook, then picks up the loop again and passes the bead over the loop. Reinserting the hook into the fabric, she catches the thread again to complete the first stitch and begin the next one.
Dena’s method is fast but Charu’s method produces exquisite quality. Which method might suit you best is for you to decide, perhaps different methods for different projects, but it was certainly good to see both methods demonstrated side-by-side.
The Exhibition Committee will hold a meeting on October 19th at Jasvinder Phull’s house. It is still not too late to join the Exhibition Committee if you are interested. You will be most welcome to attend the meeting and lend a helping hand, especially as we are facing a very busy year in 2013. We are in contact with International Quilt Festival Houston and American Quilter’s Society about the possibility of showing our quilts after the London International Quilt Festival in Canada in the United States.
We are also negotiating with the FibreWorks artists from South Africa about having their Major Minors IV exhibition of some fifty 10-inch square quilts shipped up to Nairobi for exhibition here on its way to or from Canada where it will be included in our show there, along with work from Gabon (Paula Benjaminson), Zimbabwe (through Bev Rebelo) and possibly Tanzania. We hope to have about 200 quilts of our own on exhibition in London, Canada, so please–keep working on your African quilts!
Dena announced that Quarke, Quilt Artists of Kenya, had a couple of sales during their recent exhibition at Karen Country Club and that they will be holding another exhibition at Village Market over the weekend of November 23-26, open 10 am until 7 pm each day. Kenya Quilt Guild members are welcome to visit the show and to bring their family and friends along.
We had a brief discussion about acquiring retail selling space at one or more of the various craft fairs held throughout Nairobi in conjunction with holidays (Christmas or summer). Everyone agreed this is something we should do. Now all we need are members to be making things for sale and letting us know about upcoming events in time for us to apply for selling space in them. The Council will do the rest by making the applications for space, paying the fees, and calling for volunteers from amongst our members to be present to sell our goods. Money from this venture can go either to offset the expenses of workshops or exhibitions, or it may go to charity. Either way, everyone’s help will be much appreciated.
Next meeting: November 15th, Shalom House. Note on your calendar that there will be no regularly scheduled meeting in December. Details about our annual Christmas party will be forthcoming via email notification.