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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!

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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 March meeting was full of exciting news on the Guild’s upcoming plans and projects.

Dena gave a talk on her upcoming workshop – Reflections, generating considerable excitement for it!

Gretchen reminded everyone about the planned jewelry sale to help raise money to buy sewing machines for the workshop. The jewelry will be on sale in the April meeting.

Patty reminded all members present that April will be the Guild’s AGM. The Notice of the same had been included in March 2015’s Snippets and the Agenda would be circulated that day.

Patty advised members that the Challenge Quilts would be due for submission at the July meeting when they would be voted on. The prizes would be Kshs. 1,500/-, Kshs. 1,000/- and Kshs. 500/- gift vouchers for The Woman Shop.

Karen showed members present some of the wonderful fabrics purchased during the Guild-arranged field trips to the River Road area.

Patty advised members that given the success of the 2015 calendars, the Guild has decided to publish a calendar for 2016, but this time, it will be done solely as a Kenya Quilt Guild project, and not together with the Kenya Embroiderers Guild.

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

 

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We had a record attendance at the January monthly meeting. It was nice to see so many friends after the long holiday break.

Patty Arensen, our Chairperson, started the meeting by welcoming and introducing our five new members and the two ladies who were visiting.

Brij Datta kindly volunteered to take photographs during the meetings for uploading to the website each month.

Gill Rebelo was welcomed back to Kenya and the Guild after a prolonged absence for family reasons. While she was in England she had the opportunity to attend a local guild meeting and was interviewed by The Quilt Alliance.

Gill brought with her a sampler quilt that was constructed mainly from nine patch squares. Next month the members will compete to name as many squares as possible, winner to receive a small prize. So members, be sure to study traditional block names and be ready for February.

Neela Shah is presently out of the country to visit with her daughter and her new grandchild. Congratulations, Neela!

Patty related her progress on her quilting goals and shared the quilts that she had recently completed for a church in the U.S.A.

The Block of the Month, Tall Ships, was introduced. Twenty kits were distributed and there was a further demand for thirteen more. They will be available from The Woman Shop for members to collect. These blocks have been an overwhelming success and popular with our members.

Programs have been planned for the next three months: January: Demonstration on Easy Prairie Points. February: Demonstration on ice dying. March: Mactavashing, a form of machine quilting.

The Executive Council has been working on different educational options to improve patchwork and quilting skills. Gill will resume her beginner classes in February and has registered a number of students. Sheryl Fowler will be offering a full day course in February for making a Jelly Roll quilt, Summer in the Park. Dena Dale Crain will be invited to teach. We are also in correspondence with two overseas teachers who we hope will visit Nairobi and conduct classes.

Hopefully, the workshop will be opened sometime in February. The workshop will be run two mornings a week by volunteers. We expect to buy new sewing machines and have started a fund for this purpose. Fees collected by the beginner quilt classes and Sheryl’s class will go into this fund.

To add to the fund, we will hold a jewellery sale. Members have been asked to give any costume jewellery they no longer want/wear and to bring these items along to the February meeting. Gretchen will co-ordinate the collection, price the pieces and sell them during the March meeting. This promises to be a fun event where members might expect to acquire some new treasures!

Our AGM will be held on 16th April. If anyone is willing to stand for any position, please let Patty know as soon as possible. We are especially looking for someone to chair the Exhibition Committee. We would also like to add a stipulation to the Constitution concerning a year’s extension of an officer. Presently, an officer can only be elected for three consecutive years. If there are no other candidates, then the membership can approve the fourth year. This requires a constitutional admendment, so more information will be forthcoming about this before the AGM.

The 2015 Quilt Challenge was introduced. The challenge this year is an appliqué project with a great deal of scope for one’s imagination. Kits were taken by interested members. More kits will be available at the February meeting.

Show and Tell

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Donna, a new member, made a hexagon quilt to share. Charu Patel then explained how her quilt was made of individually quilted pieces and how they were attached to each other. This technique helped her practice her quilting skills. She also had a piece with intricate thread art.

Carol Davey converted a local circular basket into a sewing basket, padding the lid to make a huge pin cushion. She also had cut her scraps into very small pieces and used these to stuff pillows.

Delia Spring finished her quilt made from the pieces of ripped fabric. Indu Shah made a red, green and beige lap quilt. For a wedding present, Raji Syan made a king size bargello heart quilt. Jasvinder Phull used her long arm machine and frame to quilt her traditional piece and Kuljinder Birdi constructed a French Braid table runner.

After coffee, the door prize was drawn and Karen Crumpacker was the lucky winner.

Sheryl gave her demonstration on Prairie Points. She had two pieces of patchwork with Prairie Points and passed around strips made ‘the easy way’. The PowerPoint was interesting and very informative.

We look forward to having another great turn-out for the February meeting, to be held on February 19!


Patty opened the meeting, welcoming the visitors and then wished our members with birthdays in November a happy day. She then shared the applique pillow slips that she purchased in Zanzibar over her holiday.

Sheryl gave a short talk on the importance of pressing correctly, followed by a PowerPoint video supporting the main steps.

Dorothy collected the Block of the Month ‘Chevrons’ and performed the draw. The Winner, Poley Bhamra, kindly returned the blocks for a redraw as she had also won the previous month. Our newest member, Janet Wildsmith, was then the lucky winner. Janet was also drawn the winner of the door prize, but returned it. April Webb won a pack of Moda squares and folding scissors.

We made a small profit from the Exhibition and the Committee had approved a donation of KES 50,000.00/- to The Kenya Red Cross. We had already presented the wall hanging to them during the closing of the Exhibition last month.

Anyone who participated in the ‘Torn Fabric’ activity was asked to bring their projects along to the January meeting. The Block of the Month will continue in January as our Christmas luncheon will be held in lieu of the December meeting.

Future teachers and education was discussed. Jasvinder Phull is contacting Paramjit Bawa from Oman to see if she will consider travelling to Nairobi to teach. Members were encouraged to research her on the web. Gill Rebelo, who will be attending the London Quilt Show, will seek out teachers for the Guild.

The Christmas lunch, 4th December, will be held at Patty’s home in Lavington. Directions and a poster will be sent out the members closer to the time. This will be potluck affair and each member/guest has been asked to bring along a gift worth no more than Shs. 500.00.

In January members have been asked to speak about their individual accomplishments over 2014 and Sheryl will demonstrate Prairie Points.

Bibiana, who is relocating to South Africa soon, shared a new technique for making chevrons. Instead of constructing them in the traditional patchwork method, she cut and folded a piece of fabric. See http://www.make-it-do.com/sew-it/crazy-for-zig-zags/

We have calendars and kits for sale; this will continue at each monthly meeting.

Show and Tell: Carol Davey shared her ‘Summer in the Park’ quilt. Gretchen had a number of small wall hangings which she had made for a specific project, along with a large blue and white quilt. Janet Wildsmith presented her baby quilt and her fussy cut Dresden plate wall-hanging. Bibiana finished her spiral table runner and Marcia had her beaded lizard. Tinu had two table runners that were made from old curtains.

After the coffee break, Dorothy Stockell had a number of ‘upcycling’ projects to demonstrate. Her talk was enjoyable and informative. She began her talk with two cushions that were made from old men’s shirts. The front of the shirt was used for the back of the cushion, buttons being the opening for the cushion insert, the front the background for the applique. She had a quilt made from head bandanas and a crazy quilt made from men’s ties. There were denim handbags made from jeans and wall-hangings that incorporated buttons.


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.

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