Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

I wish all of you a merry Christmas


Enjoy the holiday season  



And a great 2016 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Colours, so warm, so cosy

It's raining, an excellent day to write a blog. It's about time, isn't it?? How time passes! We had a beautiful autumn, lovely weather. What I  miss in this area are the woods that change colour, this yellow/orange/red beauty. But I'm not complaining! There are lots of other beautiful scenes over here. And the weather is unbelievable. It makes you happy, even in difficult times.
This autumn, though, I was surrounded by yellow/orange/brown colours!


I was making a quilt, cushion, table runner and cushions for kitchen chairs for a friend of mine. It was again a bit difficult to get the fabrics. Thanks to the secondhand stores I managed. Funny detail is that I had bought a big pillow cover in orange/rust. Enough for the log cabin, but I needed more for the border. Told that to one of my quilter buddies, who answered that she thought she had some fabric that would match. It so happened that she had bought the duvet cover that went with my pillowcase.!!! Oh, I'm such a lucky girl!

For the cushion and the table runner my friend selected a Dresden plate pattern,  it turned  out great.


I must say, that it took me a long while to finish my friend's order. First to find the fabrics, then the extreme heat this summer that made it nearly impossible to do the hand quilting. And...she had to wait till I finished the blue quilt. But, in the end, she got it before the weather changed. Fortunately for me, that was late this year!!!






I really love this colours, so warm and cosy 


Not only the fabrics surrounded me but also the Lagerstroemia in my garden, which has beautiful pink flowers in summer and changes colour !!


Here together with the Abutilon, lovely red flowers

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Quilt story

Finally I finished Ruth's quilt. She wanted a very big quilt, 3.20 x 2.40 cm, that is 126" x 95". 



It nearly filled the whole bedroom. I had to go to a friend's house to do the basting, my house isn't big enough and she has her living, dining room and study all in one, so we could push some furniture aside and put the quilt layers on the floor. 

 
Ruth had seen my two table runners, loved the colour combinations and decided she wanted her quilt to be in the same pallet. 
We are having an issue here in Greece with the capital controls. I can't order anything on-line which doesn't come from Greece. That means I had to use fabrics that I already posses. In Sparta there is one little shop that sells fabric, hardly any cotton, useless! In Athens it also isn't easy. There are shops with old stock, but they have not much patterns, just dots, squares and some flowery materials. Then you have the Laura Ashley, Liberty and similar shops, where you have to pay a fortune to make a quilt.  I found that I can find lovely fabric in the second hand shops. They have dresses and duvet covers in lovely cotton, very cheap. All in all, it took me a while to get the fabrics sorted out.


The pieces with the black are cut from a dress, the red is a tablecloth, the square and stripes are pillowcases the flowers are from a duvet cover and of course there are also pieces from newly bought fabrics.

The top was ready before the summer, but with temperatures lots of times from over 35-42 degrees C, I started the quilting a month ago. September still had extremely hot weather. 


My big friend and companion Flopsy is always following the progress, and loves fabrics. While showing something to a friend, he decided to take the place of the fabric pieces I took out.


 
 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Cushions from toddlers T-shirts


These cushions are going to travel to Australia !  A Greek woman with three little children wants to thank her family in Australia, who sent her a lot of lovely T-shirts. Her kids loved the shirts. Such a nice gesture from the family and a lovely idea to return the shirts in this way!


It was a bit of a hassle to make the tops because all the T-shirt fabric is from a different quality. When I tried to sew around the car, the sewing foot was sticking to it!!! I used a piece of cotton fabric on top of the print to guide my foot. I am pleased, though, with the end result.


 I managed to avoid the fish eyes while sewing. I don't really like to sew T-shirt fabric, it gets so easy wobbly. That's why there is a small border around the prints, to steady the edges.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Quilt Exhibition in museum De Meestoof, Sint-Annaland, Holland

While staying with my friends in Scharendijke, the weather became windy, rainy and  more rainy. No more walks on the beach!! 
We went to visit the Quilt Exhibition in the Streekmuseum De Meestoof, in the village Sint-Annaland. 



From the outside we wondered whether we were at the right place! Didn't look like a museum at all! But when we hesitantly opened the front door of an old municipality building, we were surprised to find colourful quilts and lots of exhibition rooms showing the life in Zeeland in former days.

 My hand wasn't very steady when I made the pictures, so unfortunately a lot of them are not good enough to show. I am especially disappointed that the overview picture didn't turn out ok. No idea why! We started the wine after we left the museum!!





 The colours of the yellow/orange quilt are lovely.






I am participating in a QAL where we make house blocks, so I was very pleased to see this beautiful village.

 
The quilts are made by all different women. I was a bit in a hurry and didn't make pictures of, or wrote down their names. Should have done that. I don't like it that I can't give credit to the women who made these lovely pieces.


































 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I am just back from Holland again. Had to do some paperwork, and of course, I stayed a bit and visited friends. As a child we always went to Zeeland for our summer holidays. We stayed in a wooden summer house, just behind the dunes. The house belonged to one of my father's brothers. I remember having a great time over there. It was in the area of Koudekerke, near Vlissingen. We visited, (when it wasn't beach weather !!!) a lot of lovely places. One of them was the idyllic Veere. 


Beautiful small, typically Dutch, houses 


On the other side of the street the sailing boats. They didn't have to wait for wind to sail out! The weather was very cloudy and the wind was blowing with quiet some force!!


On our walk through the village/town? I spotted this beautiful garden. 


I love hortensias. In my garden in Greece I have a few, in the soil and in pots, but the climate doesn't really suit the plants. The flowers are small and not exactly abundant. But...... 


This is the one in my friend's garden in Ouderkerk a/d Amstel !!! Wow !!!  



She has not only an enormous pink one, but also this lovely white one, which I think is called Annabella. Aren't they beautiful !!

This time it wasn't Koudekerke I was staying in but Scharendijke. In the few days that I was there, my friends showed me also parts of the Delta Werken. Very impressive! And, although the weather was cloudy and rainy, I managed to have a long walk on the beach. We started from here, on top of the dunes.


 

I don't know the force of the wind that morning, but it was high! The curls were blown out of my hair! I have a picture of that, but I am not going to show that one. !!!!!


 
 
 

Friday, August 7, 2015

My Greek, Dutch summer

A long lasting heatwave is supposed to end these days. I must say that there is a cool breeze blowing since yesterday! One of the nice and beautiful things Sparta has, is an open air theater. In the summer months we have plays and concerts and lots of people go. You look at the, not so distant, mountains, with the lights of small villages, very serene, relaxing.


The theater is much more steep than the picture shows. This one was taken a few weeks ago, when I was attending a concert given by the Spartan Philharmonic Band, which was playing music from the Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis. 

But... I'm leaving Greece again for a week or two and are travelling to Holland, to pay my last respects to a very good friend, to see other friends and get a bit nostalgic !! When you live for 38 years abroad, this always happens !!


This picture was taken outside De Voetangel, a lovely restaurant outside of Ouderkerk a/d Amstel. What is more Dutch than a canal ! This time I might even go to the sea, so I need to take a beach bag with me. This is the one I choose.


I also want to make a round one for myself, like the one below. Maybe when I come back, because this one is going again to a Spartan friend, who stays and works the summers on the lovely island of Kythira.







Sunday, August 2, 2015

tobacco pouches

We all know we shouldn't smoke, but unfortunately still a lot of people do !

I am a lucky one, because I quit about 25 years ago and it is all out of my system now!

A friend of my daughter is still going strong and asked me to make her a tobacco pouch. 


Just one isn't enough, she should be able to choose, and there  might be other smokers who would like to have one, so I made four.


I also started the quilt I am going to make for a mediterranean  garden society friend. I made a pattern cut 220 squares and started to lay them out. Of course they don't fit on the bed, so I am doing it in pieces. I'll give you a preview !


I'll make the top, don't know when I will do the quilting. With temperatures still over 35 degrees C, I don't feel up to that now !!!





Thursday, July 30, 2015

Summer

Summer has arrived and it is hot !! We have a heatwave with temperatures from above 40 degrees C in the shade! Sparta is boiling! Oh, how much I would love the be at the sea these days. 


To be able to take a swim, to feel a cool breeze, to hear the waves in the evening. The only air I feel is from the fan in the basement or the airco in the living room. I made some sea/beach blocks for the Greek QAL. That keeps me in the spirit and inside !!!


I had to go to Athens to renew my passport. Well, I was so happy to be back in Sparta, because at least, because Sparta is situated between mountains, it cools down in the night. Athens is a nightmare! It stays hot and if you don't have airco in the bedroom, you can't sleep. It is supposed to cool down after Sunday, so I just need a little more patience.


I made a beach bag for a friend. Thinking to make a few more, They are very practical and I have some nice bright coloured fabrics to use. I am very busy, though. Making a quilt for a double bed, a plaid for a couch, and some cushions.  This bag with the tablet cover went to a young girl, she loves purple.


I finished my two cups of coffee, to wake me up, so time to start working on the big quilt.





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 !