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Dena Dale Crain relocated from the USA to Kenya in 1990. She has spent most of her time since then living on the shore of Lake Baringo, two hundred miles and a five-hour drive north of Nairobi, with husband Jonathan Leakey, eldest son of Louis and Mary Leakey, renowned paleontologists.
Dena saw patchwork quilting as a way to employ local women, taught herself the basics and began a small production quilting business in her home. With advanced degrees in design, anthropology, and textiles, she was uniquely positioned to help. As her experience and confidence increased, she began producing “one-off” works of art. Dena’s innovative and art quilts have been the subject of several solo art exhibitions and group quilt shows in Africa.
Dena helped found the Kenya Quilt Guild and continues to keep a pulse on its activities. She helps educate members of the society at large about quilts as art. She has written magazine articles and lectured at quilting and non-quilting functions.
Teaching in Cape Town, South Africa, for the Good Hope Quilters Guild National Quilt Festival in July 2002 moved Dena into the ranks of international quilting teachers. Since then, she has taught art quilting at such prestigious venues as the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England; the European Patchwork Meeting in Val d'Argent, France; and the International Quilt Festivals in Houston and Chicago in the USA. In 2011, she earned South Africa National Quilt Guild certification as a qualified quilt judge and in 2018 she became a Recommended Teacher for the same guild.
In 2004 Dena joined the faculty of Quilt University, an online educational facility for patchwork quilters. She taught there for ten years before hosting online patchwork quilt design classes on QuiltEd Online. Today, her innovative and unusual classes are available through the Academy of Quilting. An inventive and creative mind coupled with top-notch sewing skills makes Dena Dale Crain an educator of high merit in the world of patchwork quilting.
Find links to Dena's patchwork quilt ebooks, online quilt classes and original pattern downloads on her website.