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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.

 

Gill Rebelo, Education Officer for Kenya Quilt Guild

Gill Rebelo

 

Sheryl Fowler taught a strip quilt technique class in her home. Everyone had a great time and learned all about strip piecing.

 

Sheryl Fowler, Secretary of Kenya Quilt Guild

Sheryl Fowler

 

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.

 

Reflections, art quilt class by Dena Dale Crain

Revelation, a Reflections quilt by Dena Dale Crain

 

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!

 

Gretchen Sanders-Mwaura's ice dyed cloth

Gretchen Sanders-Mwaura

 

Here are Gretchen’s directions:

 

Ice Dyeing

Supplies:

  • Plastic sheet
  • Newspaper
  • 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
  • Water
  • Magadi soda ash
  • Dyes (powders)
  • Ice cubes
  • Washed, dried and ironed fabric- americani (cotton muslin), silk

 

Method:

  1. 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.
  2. Add the washed, dried and ironed fabric and leave soaking for at least 10 minutes.
  3. Remove fabric from the soda mix and wring it gently to remove excess liquid.
  4. Arrange fabric onto the grid. Top with ice cubes.
  5. Gently sprinkle the powdered dyes (you need very little) onto the ice  as you want.
  6. 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.
  7. Rinse the dyed fabric under cold water until the water runs clear. Dry and iron the ice-dyed fabrics.
  8. Added experiments–thread, tie, knot, use wax or starch resists, etc.
  9. Keep a bag of ice cubes in the fridge- you never know when you might have the urge to dye again!

 

 

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Deanna Gaudaur had invited KQG members to visit her home in Kijabe to see her long-arm quilting machine setup, so a large group of them arrived on August 2.  Everyone had a great time, although the weather was chilly, and they enjoyed a wonderful pot luck lunch.  Thanks, Deanna, for your hospitality!

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Deanna also sends along her recipe for Cranberry/Orange Scones:

Kijabe Cranberry/Orange Scones
Combine in mixing bowl:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar(Or 2 T sugar if you aren’t making icing)

Cut in to the flour in small pieces (size of peas):

  • 1/4 cup shortening (Kimbo)

Add to the flour mixture:

  • 1/4 cup glazed orange peel (beside the glazed cherries in Nakumatt)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

Add and gently stir in

  •  3/4 cup unsweetened lala (or sour milk or 1/2 plain yoghurt and 1/2 milk)
Knead a few times and pat into a 8″ circle. Cut into 6-8 wedges and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven (225 degrees celsius or 450 fahrenheit) for about 15 minutes, or golden brown. Drizzle while still warm with a combination of a couple tablespoons of orange juice and enough powdered sugar to make a thin icing.

The following message has been received by the Kenya Quilt Guild, sent to us by Gail Langton, Chairperson of the Kenya Embroiderers Guild, to inform us of an upcoming sale of the sewing, quilting and embroidery materials and supplies from the estate of recently deceased Rowena Buxton:

We will be holding a sale of Rowena Buxton’s sewing stuff at East African Women’s League Headquarters (WEAL House) on August 9th.  Doors open around 9.30, doors to hall and sale open at 10:00.  Entry cost 50/= will cover the cost of hall hire.  Tea and coffee will be available. 

There will be lots of wonderful things to purchase – please see the list below – so please come along, bring lots of money and spend (change will be appreciated).

The proceeds from this sale will be going to various charities, one of which will be the Flying Doctor Services who valiantly battled to save Rowena’s life on 11th June.  

Goods for sale include:

  • several boxes of books – embroidery and quilting
  • 1 box magazines
  • sewing fabric, some large pieces for dress making and some metres, fat quarters etc. for quilting
  • wool and embroidery threads
  • haberdashery items (rickrack, lace, zips, bias, sewing thread, etc.)
  • sewing gadgets (bias tape maker, etc.)
  • quilting items (wadding, boards, shapes, etc.)
  • frames and hoops–at least 2 freestanding frames
  • cross stitch kits
  • cross stich fabrics (aida, etc.)
  • 2 sewing machines (if interested please contact KQG through the Contact Form in the sidebar at left)
  • tablecloths, cushion covers, gloves, scarves, khangas, small bags, etc. 

There will also be an opportunity to sign up for Mary Hickmott’s Embroidery classes, or to pay the deposit/balance if you have already signed up.


This is just in from our friends at Amani ya Juu:

Amani Ya Juu is holding a fabric scrap sales during this month of May. The scraps include dyed cotton and americana materials, screen print materials and many more.  The sales are on every Wednesdays and Saturdays of the week at the Amani ya Juu shop.

Might be a great place to find scraps of African fabrics at rock-bottom prices!!


The notes below, about patchwork quilt batting, were given to us to publish by Deanna Gaudaur, a member of the Kenya Quilt Guild.  At the March 2012 meeting, Deanna presented a lecture based on these notes, and most generally offered to share them with us here.  Thank you, Deanna!

What is batting/wadding? It is the middle of your quilt sandwich, or the insulating layer that provides warmth. It also adds dimension/thickness.

How is it held together?

  • Bonded: similar to glue, using starch or resin, some will dissipate with water so you might not be able to preshrink them.
  • Scrim: A gauze, a loosely woven fabric sometimes used to stabilize the fibers
  • Needle punched: Fibers are loosely felted together by a process involving many needles. It is more stable but is harder to needle as it is quite firm. More stability for wall hangings means your quilts don’t droop so much. A word here about needle punched batts: put the batting on the quilt with the needle holes the same way you will quilt.

Each type of batting has a long list of pros and cons.  There is no “right” choice for every quilt and it will take some research to find the best one for your project. But how many hours and how much money have you invested into your quilt? Let’s not just put it together with any old batt!

Before we talk about the types of batting and which one you should use, there is a list of questions which can be asked about each project:

 

  • What am I making? A baby quilt requiring frequent washing will require a different choice than a large bed quilt. A table runner or placemats will need to be washed frequently and an art quilt will never come near water but might need dry-cleaning.
  • How will I be finishing it? Will it be tied, hand quilted or machine quilted?
  • What kind of look do I want? Puffy? Flat? Highly defined?  Do I want to see the actual quilting stitch line, or do I want the texture and dimension that quilting creates? You might want a soft cuddly bed quilt but more stiffness for a quilted carry-all.
  • How warm should it be, or do I want it to breathe?
  • Will shrinkage matter? Is the quilt’s finished size important? Quilting causes up to 5% shrinkage, then if you wash and it shrinks another 1-4% due to your batting choice, you might be surprised at how small it ends up!
  • Do I want this quilt to feel weighty or light?
  • What price can I afford to pay?
  • What fiber will be best?
    • Cotton: Feels like a thick flannel. It’s a good option for machine quilting because it doesn’t slip around. Generally it must be quilted closely. Cotton shrinks up to 4%, softening the appearance of the quilt and giving it a comfortable look. It can be sometimes prewashed/shrunk if you don’t like that feature. It is low loft, so doesn’t provide much definition to the quilting.
    • Polyester: Less expensive, readily available in Nairobi, and is better for hand-quilting (if it is low loft) because it doesn’t need to be quilted so closely. High loft is best for comforter-like quilts, minimal quilting, or tying. It also holds it shape better, even when washed repeatedly. It resists mold and mildew as well. But negative sides can be the bearding that can occur, particularly if you use a lesser quality fabric or a dull needle. It is slippery when machine quilting, so take care to baste well. It also doesn’t breath well, so people can overheat. But, it can shift, especially when hanging. That being said, the majority of my quilts are done with polyester and my own son wanted the “poofiness”of a poly batt, not the drape of cotton.
    • Bamboo: When I quilted professionally for the year I was in Canada, 90% of my quilting was done on this type of batt. It is very soft/drapeable and easy to use, either by machine or by hand. They are very washable and because the fibers are longer the quilting distance will be greater than in a cotton batt. We think of them as being very organic and environmental because bamboo is a renewable resource, especially when we hear about the world-wide shortage of cotton. However, most bamboo bats are only 50% bamboo and the process by which the bamboo is made into fibers suitable for using is very labour and energy intensive, negating some of the positive image.  Learn more at O Ecotextiles.
    • 80 % Cotton, 20% polyester blends:  This is Hobbs’ best selling quilt batt. I like the lightness of this product, rather than the heaviness of pure cotton. Also it is thin, it has a bit more loft due to the polyester. It is available in Nairobi at The Woman Shop.
    • Other options: Flannel–prewash unless you want shrinkage; old blankets, quilts or used quilt batts; or even polyurethane or rubber foam–available from Nakumatt in the mattress section.  This is ideal for a stiffer project, like placemats, table runners or bags.

Find a helpful batting chart on The Curious Quilter blog.


Jogging our minds may be quite healthy as we look back at the great event of hosting Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson in Kenya back in January 2011.

Looking at one of Ricky’s and Alex’s many video clips gives us a glimpse of how the world has gone high tech. We are glad to be connected and learn the art of cutting fabric stress free using an AccuQuilt die cutter as demonstrated.

The AccuQuilt offers quilters many fabric cutting solutions that help quilters quickly and accurately cut shapes for quilting and fabric crafts.


Would this be the way out when you are too tired to load your pin cushion? Would it also be a good idea for managing your needles when sitting in for long hours at airports between flights?

Thinking out loud after watching this YouTube video about the Prym Needle Twister RedDot Design Winner 2011:

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