This week the small group Quilt Artists of Kenya (Quarke) is having their first ever art quilt retreat. We are a group of about 8 committed quilt artists at various stages of development who are pooling resources to travel in convoy to a farm house in Thika, Thika of Elspeth Huxley’s book “Flame Trees of Thika,” later made into a movie starring Hayley Mills. The house is Manyika House and it was once owned by Beryl Markham, “the first woman [aviatrix] to cross the Atlantic east-to-west solo, and the first person to make it from England to North America non-stop from east to west.”
Once settled in, we expect to spend three days making art quilts and enjoying each other’s company. Our group represents several countries with members from Kenya, the UK, the US and possibly one or two others and a wide range of cultural backgrounds. I know we are all thrilled that this event is actually happening; it has been a long road from nowhere.
Without detracting anything from our members who are working hard to organize and prepare for this retreat, I believe it is happening because of Studio Art Quilt Associates, because of the role SAQA has played in my career as an artist, teacher and author. I am deeply grateful to SAQA administrators and members, each and every one!
SAQA’s collective influence is indeed having an effect felt around the world, even in Kenya. Isn’t that exciting?!!
Please, pat yourselves on the back!! Thank you, SAQA!!!