Wednesday, July 1, 2015

My trip to Holland

About a month ago I went to Holland to see friends and family. Except from a visit to my brother and his family in Wagenberg, a small village close to Breda, I stayed in Ouderkerk a/d Amstel, a lovely place near Amsterdam. I love Amsterdam and this time I realized how green the city is.

There are lots of parks, small plots with shrubs and flowers, streets lined with beautiful trees. 

Above pictures are taken in the Rivierenbuurt in Amsterdam. 

With my friends I visited the EYE, the film museum, located on the river IJ. It is a beautiful building with a great terrace. We were there on one of the few sunny days I had during my stay! Below the interior and the fantastic view from there.

One of the things we need everywhere in the Netherlands is.....bicycle parking !

On another day I went to the Spaarndammerbuurt. One of my friends treated me on a lovely architecture excursion, visiting Amsterdamse School projects. But ...another blog about that !

Saturday, June 27, 2015

colourful cushions

Patchwork and quilting is getting more and more known in Greece. Lots of women love it and want to learn the techniques, especially after they have been to an exhibition. That's how I started teaching. My last group made some lovely cushions as their first project.

The traditional crafts in Greece are embroidery and crocheting. I have beautiful crocheted bedspreads my mother-in-law made and lots of embroidered doilies and runners. I think I am going to make pictures one of these days to show you! 

The last few days I was busy making house blocks for the Greek QAL (Quilt Along) which is organized by the facebook page "και στην Έλλαδα αγαπάμε το πατσουωρκ" . My next blog will be about the houses. 

I never thought that I would like teaching, but it is great to see the enthusiasm of the participants, whether they know already how to sew or have no idea about sewing. The older generation has learned basic crafts at school, the younger one, though, has no idea!!! I really think that it is a lack in education. Nowadays they teach drawing/painting and no other crafts whatsoever. 

Crafting is so relaxing, so different from e.g. a day job, and the joy you get when you have the finished product is unbelievable! 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Catching up

I was rather busy the last few months, so I didn't blog a  lot! The preparation for two exhibitions needed a lot of time. Finishing off some quilts, making posters, washing and airing cushions and quilts and lots of other little jobs.

Needless to say that the garden was left to itself for too long.... in desperate need for pruning, weeding, and putting in annuals. Luckily for the garden and me (!), my husband went on pension and is tending the veggie plot ! He even had someone come and prune the citrus trees when I was in Holland. 

Now that the weather is nice Flopsy is much more outside and follows my movements from the other side of the window.

When he is inside, however, he can't stop being naughty !!!

The summer project of the Spartan Quilting Bee is to make a quilt with the magic vine flower blocks. I got the book from Eleanor Burns "the Magic Vine Quilt, which has easy to follow instructions. I dumped scraps on the bed during our meeting to select fabric pieces for the flowers. When everyone was gone and I came back in the room to collect my scraps.....there he was !! With an attitude of saying: "don't come near me, I like this spot and I am not going to move !!!"

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Exhibition Quilting Bee Sparta - Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil

Our Quilting Bee organized an one-day exhibition on the 18th of May, the International Museum Day. The concept was "recycling". As our quilts are mostly made of used fabrics we were asked to show them and to give demonstrations of the various techniques we use.

This is a beautiful museum in Sparta. I only made a few pictures of the garden this time. Next Saturday I am going to visit the museum with a group of people from the Mediterranean Garden Society and am planning to make pictures inside.

The entrance to the exhibition 

We were very happy that we had quite a lot of visitors. There were numerous other events on this day !!

The two quilts on the right are made by Anneli Letho-Koutsoviti, de pink one by me. Other members of the Bee made the cushions.

These quilts are going to an orphanage in Lamia next month.

Katerina working on our next project

Beautiful quilt made by Anneli

Maria Kalamara, sitting in front of her table with the hexagons. She was showing the English Paper Piecing Technique

Eleni Tzanetakou, handquilting while Katerina Exomanidi is probably talking about some interesting techniques !!

Maria with her French friends and Martha Papanikolaou

Eleni, Pitsa Lambrinou, me and Maria cleaning up !

Monday, April 27, 2015

Table runners

Ohh, how quickly time passes nowadays! Busy, busy and I don't even have a job. That is to say, not a paid job. Keeping a house and garden in a reasonable state is quite a job, if not a profession. If I had my attention only on this, I would be fine, but...... there is the sewing !!!
Once you get hooked, you're lost. Fabrics, patterns, quilts, bags, clothes...I want to make them all !!!

I wanted to make a few things with Greek patterns, so I started with 2 table runners.

The classic meander in Greek blue

First I tried a bigger meander, but, because I didn't use a solid colour the shape isn't very recognizable

Then I made a beach bag with other meandering patterns, again in the lovely Greek blue colours.

Suddenly my mind busied itself with other ideas and I left this style to try something new. It is not ready yet, so I hope it doesn't take too long before I can show you my next project.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter

My Easter decorations aren't up yet, but I still have a week. The Orthodox Easter, which is celebrated in Greece, is next weekend. I managed, though, to make two wall hangings with Easter bunnies. And... I got a big surprise a few days ago when I suddenly spotted two real bunnies in my garden!!!

Aren't they cute??? Happily my vegetable garden is empty, waiting to start digging and planting summer veggies. Luckily for the rabbits, I still have loads of weeds and they really enjoyed the meal. They even came back the next day! But then the neighbour who owned them caught them and put them behind bars! 

I saw this lovely cup in the supermarket, bought it and made a mug rug to go with it. Nice as a present.

One of the houses I made for the QAL finally reached the addressee 

Can't remember if it was this one or  the one below !!!

Unfortunately I have to make another one for Pelly, because her's never reached Thessaloniki. I have a picture, though, of the missing house.

I so liked the car in the garage !

I wish you all a very happy Easter with lovely spring, or autumn weather!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Spring is in the air

It is still cold, but spring is in the air. I didn't take good care of my garden last year. Too busy with my patchwork and quilting projects. Forgot to put bulbs in the ground last autumn. But it seems that there were still some bulbs in the garden and here and there a lonely tulip and narcissus popped up.

The Arum is doing very well in Greece. Doesn't need any care, just comes up and multiplies itself

These buds are supposed to become apricots. Sometimes we have a lot of them, and other times, like last year, we had only 5 !!!

The blossom is lovely, though

I always like the bright pink of the Japanese quince 

So, there is a little bit of colour in my garden at the moment, but most of it is still weeds !!! Time to get to work !!!!!!!!