I have a lot of catching up to do on the blog, so let me begin with a wonderful two-week stay in Nairobi. I had the very great pleasure of being invited to visit the Kenya Quilt Guild in Nairobi to teach several classes and speak to their guild meeting. What a pleasure it was to fly over to East Africa and spend time in the company of a group of dynamic and creative quilters! I was incredibly lucky to meet new friends like my hostess Gill Rebelo, who is a wonderful cook as well as a very skilled quilter! She has an amazing collection of fabric pieces, many of which came from clothing she bought at the second-hand clothing market in downtown Nairobi. Making her quilts with the nice bits from these used blouses, shirts and so on puts Gill very much in the quilting tradition of recycling lovely fabrics while creating beauty---and gives her a huge "fabric shop" to hunt for bargains in!
I was also able to reconnect with Dena Crain, an immensely talented quilting teacher I first met online while I lived in Namibia! She teaches regularly online at Quilt University.com, which is how we "met" so I was happy to meet her in person in Canada a couple of years ago. Her blog is great---lots of quilts and tips, but also great photos of her life in the bush. You can find it at: http://www.denacrain.com/blog/
While in Nairobi I taugh Doodle Quilting, Fabric Stamping with Oshiwa blocks, and Try it Now! - a workshop on using lutradur, paintstiks, Angelina and other interesting materials in quilts. I'm posting a couple of photos from the classes, as well as a photo of Dena and me while we visited Karen Blixen's home. I'd wanted to see her farm and house ever since I saw Out of Africa, so it was definitely a highlight of the trip!
Gill and Dena took me around Nairobi to see all the important sights, which was terrific, but the best thing about going there was the experience of spending time with the ladies of the Kenya Quilt Guild. I can't thank them enough for taking me into their midst and treating me to two weeks of vibrant, stimulating, creative fervor! It was an absolute pleasure!