As an American, long time resident of Kenya, Dena holds advanced degrees in design and textiles. She taught seven classes for Quilt University from 2004 to 2013. Dena has exhibited her work as a solo and commissioned quilt artist in Nairobi. From her home in rural Africa, Dena teaches design through symmetry, innovative quilting from built-up layers of improvisation, and art quilting from sketching through quilt completion. Dena cofounded the Kenya Quilt Guild, and presented many lectures and demonstrations for the organization, as well as serving as its newsletter editor and public relations officer. She has written articles about quilting for the KQG Snippets, Studio Art Quilt Associates’ Journal, American Quilter magazine, The Quilt Show and QuiltPosium online magazines. She travels the world sharing her considerable knowledge and skills, encouraging everyone to gain newfound discipline and creativity as they experience and learn from her wisdom. Dena exposes every patchwork quilter to new ways of thinking about creativity and self-expression.
On the more personal side, Dena is an amateur genealogist researching surnames Crain, Ingram, Brannon and Samples (http://www.cibsgen.blogspot.com). Her present family includes her husband, four stepchildren and three grandchildren all living elsewhere, three Dalmatians, six cats, a troop of vervet monkeys, an aquarium full of platies, and orphaned hippo Cleo, now a permanent resident of Haller Park outside Mombasa--she’s outgrown the family home!--and her partner, world-famous Owen. Dena’s family lives two hundred miles north of Nairobi on the edge of a coffee-with-cream colored lake in an area inhabited by some of the world’s most wonderful birds, venomous snakes, monitor lizards, crocodiles, lungfish and more hippos. Life there is never boring!