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Patty welcomed back the members after the summer break. Quite a few ladies had their birthdays in August and they were joined by those celebrating theirs in September for a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’. The visitors were then introduced.

Gretchen collected the twenty-three Challenge Quilts. The remainder of the quilts that have not been finished will hopefully be submitted before too long.  Since the appliqué was an elephant, Gretchen is interested in encouraging members to donate their work for sale in aid of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. During the coffee break Guild members had the opportunity to view and vote for the Challenge Quilt of their choice. The winners were:  1st Prize:  Majeet, 2nd Prize: Brij and joint 3rd Prize: Jasvinder and Raghbir.

The artwork for the Kenya Quilt Guild 2016 calendar is not yet complete. The calendars should be ready for sale in the near future and ladies were positive that sales would be good this year. The money derived from the calendars will help pay for the hall rental for the 2017 Kenya Quilt Guild Exhibition at the Sarit Centre.

Gretchen reported on our charity projects. Dream Children’s Home now has no fewer than sixty-nine children. They have a vehicle and a garage, but still are in need of support. FreMo, the small maternity centre, charges KES 5,000/- per birth, but they are pressed for financial support. We have recently donated two blood pressure machines to the organisation. They are in need of baby clothes and nappies. There were embroidery threads for sale, proceeds to go to Christine Kibuka to help her purchase fabrics and to the maternity hospital.

Gill spoke about education. Unfortunately, one of our prospective overseas teachers has had to decline, however Sarah Brewin will teach in November. We had good positive feedback on her suggestion of machine appliqué of her animal shoes. Gill’s beginners’ classes resume in early October.

Gill has also received an invitation from South Africa’s SANQG for those interested in taking an online course to become a certified quilting teacher. Any applicant must make the designated sample block and pay Rand 1500. This is a twleve-month course which begins in February/March. Anyone interested, please contact Gill.

After coffee, Veena Sennik won the door prize, then Show and Tell commenced. Veena had a Ricki Timms four-by-four.  Anne Lyon finished her quilt top made from the June BOM.  Suzanne Waithaka made a small wallhanging from an oil painting the she had repurposed.  Nandan Shah showed her chevrons and Gretchen Mwaura made a pink wallhanging for her great granddaughter.  She also made a pillow case from the machine quilting that she learned from Charu.  Nirmal Jeet showed two pieces, a baby quilt with teddy bears and a sampler.  Summer in the Park, tube quilt technique, was Jasmine Morelli’s share.  Lakhbir Virdee had a bright and colourful crazy 8’s quilt. From a pattern in one of the library books, Raji Syan made a lovely quilt and she also had a table runner that was machine appliquéd. Jasvinder Phull had table mats and a chop block quilt, along with a mystery quilt that Jana Mead introduced.

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Dr. Pauline Macaulay from the UK spoke to us about the Talking Quilts Oral History project, an undertaking by The Quilter’s Guild of the British Isles. Talking Quilts was inspired by a similar project in the USA, QSOS (Quilters Save Our Stories), part of the Alliance for American Quilts.

Pauline and her committee record stories of quilts. The members preserve, record and share people’s stories to be archived.  The project also recognises quilt trends.  Pauline is a volunteer who goes around the UK and interviews people who make quilts and writes their stories.  “Talking Quilts” is linked with the “Fine Cell Work” project, a charity that teaches prisoners quilting as a form of rehabilitation, as ‘paid, skilled, creative needlework to foster hope, discipline and self esteem.”  Pauline shared a lovely story of Sylvester, a Polish prisoner from Wansworth Prison who loves quilting and how it helped him with prison life.  She shared another heartfelt story of a mother who lost her daughter, aged 15, to a motor accident.  She used all of her daughter’s clothing to make a beautiful quilt which was therapy for dealing with her loss.

The Kenya Quilt Guild meets next on October 15. If you are a quilter living in or visiting Nairobi at that time, we invite you to join us!


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!


The April meeting commenced with the Guild welcoming its newest, youngest member, 10-year-old Wambui, who is Gretchen Sanders’ grand-daughter. Wambui came to the meeting with her first quilt – which is definitely a first for so young a first-time member! Then again, as Patty remarked, Wambui has had the benefit of learning at the feet of an expert, her grandmother!

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The Kenya Quilt Guild’s AGM was then held, during which the Chairperson, Patty Arensen, gave a succinct report of the Guild’s activities during 2014, particularly the successful exhibition held in October 2014, and thanked all the members for making it a good year, overall, for the Guild. The Treasurer, Lakhbir Virdee, also submitted the report and accounts of the Guild for 2014, which have been duly audited. Members present at the AGM duly approved these reports as well as the newly nominated Committee members.

The following were elected: Patty Arensen (Chairman), Charu Patel (Vice Chairman), Jharna Kamdar (Secretary), Lakbir Virdee (Treasurer), Karen Crumpacker and Elizabeth Cheserem (Members at Large). Standing Committee chairs were elected as follows: Dorothy Stockell (Membership), Gill Rebelo (Education), Poley Bhamra (Library), Jharna Kamdar (Newsletter), Gretchen Sanders (Exhibitions), Sheryl Fowler (Public Relations).

Rohini Desai gave a small talk containing various tips for those Guild members who use older machines. Gretchen Sanders-Mwaura reminded members that the Jewellery Sale is now on, and that the Executive Committee has decided that the proceeds from the Jewellery Sale be donated to a maternity home.

Patty reported that the Executive Committee decided Challenge Quilts should now be submitted at the September meeting, instead of the July meeting, since the latter usually has slimmer attendance. The Challenge Quilts will be voted on at the September meeting and the prizes will be Kshs. 1,500/-, Kshs. 1,000/- and Kshs. 500/- gift vouchers for The Woman Shop.

With regard to the Block-of the-Month, Patty advised members that several people who have won the BOM blocks in each month have reported that many of the blocks have been very poorly made. Members were requested to kindly ensure that they use good quality 100% cotton material when doing the BOM, and also ensure that the BOM is made on a best-efforts basis.

Poley Bhamra reported that the Library Committee posted Library rules on a wall in the Library. Members are expected to read and understand these rules before borrowing books. Patty reminded members that the Guild intends to publish a calendar for 2016.

Members are requested to bring a picture of a quilt they have in possession at the June meeting, where the quilts to be included will be chosen. The selected quilts will be professionally photographed in July, and it is hoped that the calendars will be ready for sale in October.

Patty then gave an informative and interesting demonstration on how she converts photographs into raw-edge applique for her quilts. The meeting closed with our usual show-and-tell, and we all got to admire each other’s quilting efforts!

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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.


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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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.

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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.

 

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