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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.

Neela Shah, Chairperson, Kenya Quilt Guild

Neela Shah, Chairperson, with Santa bag

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.

Neela Shah with her Goodbye to the Grid quilt top

Neela Shah with her Goodbye to the Grid quilt top

Jasvinder Phull with her Goodbye to the Grid quilt top

Jasvinder Phull with her Goodbye to the Grid quilt top

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 Crain's African beaded quilt, a work in progress

Dena Crain’s African beaded quilt, a work in progress

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:

Kantan Couture, Part 1 of 2

Kantan Couture, Part 2 of 2

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.


Christmas seems to be much the same the whole world over.  Here, Kenya Quilt Guild members gathered for a Christmas Lunch at that home of one of our group on December 8, 2011.  Martine Chamorel, now relocated to Switzerland, was kind enough to post photos from our Christmas Lunch on the Kenya Quilt Guild’s Facebook Group.  They say one picture is worth a thousand words, so we hope you will enjoy seeing how quilters in Kenya celebrate the holidays!

The 2010 Kenya Quilt Guild Christmas Party was held on Wednesday, December 8, at the lovely home of Bibiana Pereira, Guild member and editor of our Snippets Newsletters. About 30 of our members gathered there for an afternoon of food, fun and fellowship, and they were not disappointed!

Sharing a wonderful pot-luck buffet of primarily vegetarian Indian-style dishes, everyone was well fed and glad they came to the party for lunch.  With plenty of punch and gluwein, Bibiana’s wonderful chicken dish (recipe, Bibiana, please?) and cake, the guests enjoyed a real feast.

Members participated in a series of games which entertained and amused them. First was a competition between two teams to see who could unpick a patchwork block fastest. That competition was a “dead heat,” but everyone enjoyed the challenge. Next was a game of charades, played by acting out the names of patchwork quilt blocks, a variation on the game that proved most enjoyable to Kenya Quilt Guild members.

Last was a competition amongst sets of two partners. Each team of 2 selected a few wrapped crayons (so no one knew what colors they would get), and was challenged to design a Christmas gift wrap. This competition explains photos below in which Guild members seem to be drawing on paper. Let’s hope they use their sketches as inspirations to design a few quilts!

We hope those Guild members who were able to attend the Christmas lunch had a wonderful time with their quilting friends.  Many thanks go to Bibiana for the use of her home and the pleasure of her hospitality, and to the Guild’s Executive Committee, especially Chairman Jasvinder Phull, for helping to organize this very special occasion.  Thanks, also, to Lakhbir Virdee and Natasha Khromov for the photos below.

We know those of our friends who could not attend were with us in spirit; perhaps you can join us next year.  For now, we wish everyone a wonderful Holiday Season and patchwork-filled New Year!

Members and friends of the Kenya Quilt Guild are invited to join the Guild for our annual Christmas Party, this year to be held on December 8th.  The party will be held at Bibiana’s house.  If you are a member, you can sign into the Kenya Quilt Guild Members page with the password you received earlier and find there Bibiana’s address and phone number for help in locating her home.

Plan to arrive around noon and depart about 3:00pm.  Bring a plate – a main course, salad or dessert (you might check with Bibiana beforehand to avoid duplication or imbalance).  Non-alcoholic punch and wine will be served.  There will no gift exchange this year.  Some of the members are trying to come up with games – any ideas would be most welcome.  In any event, come join us and be ready for lots of fun!

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