Sunday, October 14, 2018

Cushions, lots of cushions!!

With patchwork, applique and quilting we can make lots of beautiful projects. Today I will show you some cushions in different styles.

 The most simple patchwork technique is just squares, like the red one. A big square in the middle and smaller ones around. I love the fabric with the Japanese children. It is a pity to cut this fabric into squares, as I did in the corners. It is better to use it in a bigger piece. 

 A friend of mine had this little piece of embroidery for many years. It was given to her by a schoolmate. She loved it but didn't know what to do with it. So we "patched" it into a frame and it became a beautiful cushion. 

My mother-in-law embroidered quite a few big pieces, mostly landscapes to hang on the wall. They looked nice with a classic kind of interior. Our house is  more modern, though. So what to do with the embroidered paintings? I cut them into pieces and used some to make cushions and other pieces I used in bags I made. 

To stay with the embroidered ones, this is  a quite different style! My daughter Christina embroidered her favorite Mario characters and asked me to make two cushions for her. 

 Don't they look nice together!! 

This appliqued one I made a few years ago for a fundraiser.

These are memory cushions. A customer asked me to make one for each of her two children with their favorite old T-shirts. It is not easy sewing this fabric , but in the end they turned out lovely. If you have collected a lot of T-shirts from your children over the years, you can of course also make a quilt with them. When my children were small, I wasn't into quilting, so I gave all the clothes away. Now I think it would have been nice if I had saved them. 
Maybe I should start collecting shirts from my grandchildren. Well, I'll wait a bit with that, till they are a bit older en I will get bigger pieces. Now they are still babies. Too much work!

The Dresden Plate one, in all colours of blue. 

These are just strips, but the material is fantastic! It is Kaffe Fasset. I love his fabrics and all the other things he makes!! 

I like cushions because you can change your interior completely with them. In summer Kaffe Fasset, in autumn embroidered pieces of landscapes, in winter Christmas cushions and in spring Easter patterns and appliqued flowers.
It is nice to be able to make your own. At A & B Creating we can teach you!!


Sunday, October 7, 2018

Quilting Bee Sparta at work

The Quilting Bee Sparta continues the good work! Ten women come together once a week and make quilts for charity. It is always a lovely day with a lot of sewing, exchanging thoughts about quilting and lots of other subjects, with coffee and often homemade cookies. 

 This is one of the quilts they made. A very simple pattern, but the fabric does it all! I made the cushion with pieces of old Russian embroidery that I bought a few years ago at the big fair in Mystras. There are holes in the fabric and stains from I don't know what! But you can still cut nice pieces for patchwork. 

Three other quilts, ready to donate. The rag quilt is finished too at this moment. Poor Demi did mostly all of the cutting, and there were a lot of seams to be cut!! We are making a baby rag quilt at the moment, but I don't have any pictures yet. 

Dimitra is quilting a scrap quilt, another scrappy one is on the design wall. As you can see there is also a black/red cushion waiting to be made. We started to make smaller projects for our Christmas bazaar. 

Maria sew the top of the cushion and took it home to quilt it. Now I just have to find some fabric for the back. 

For the new baby rag quilt we used freezer paper. One of our flannel layers was very thin, so Maria ironed the paper on this one, drew the sewing lines on them and now Pitsa is sewing the layers together. Very concentrated,while Demi is tearing the freezer paper off again.  

Eleni keeps herself busy with another Christmas project, but more about that next time.


Sunday, September 30, 2018

raw edge applique and medicane

The schools have started, holidays are over, and we had the first autumn storm. It was a very special one this time. It was a "medicane"called Zorba !! First time I heard about a medicane. It is a Mediterranean hurricane.
We were warned to check our antennas, remove the flower pots and all other objects that could move from the balconies, gardens. Don't go here, don't do that, just stay put! The schools were closed on Friday and we all got a bit frightened. Luckily it wasn't that bad as they had predicted, we have had worse normal storms. was a day to stay inside. 
I did a lot of quilting on my hexagon flower quilt, such nice work on rainy days!

Last week we had two raw edge applique lessons at A & B Creating. It was fun!

This is Alexia, working on the little boat in heavy sea. Barbara also choose to make the boat. Both very concentrated students!!!

Their blocks turned out lovely 

Dimitra and Ifigenia decided that they wanted to make the bit more complicated block with the little house and the sailing boats. It was a race against the clock. Small pieces take time!! 

And here is the result. Dimitra finished the block and is also going to make the boat. Knowing her, she will have it ready in no time!!

Ifigenia, who lives in Tripolis, which is about an hour from Sparta, couldn't stay longer to finish because she had to be back in time to pick up her little one from daycare.I am sure by the evening the boats would be on the block!!

We had a great time all together and are ready for the next lesson, which will be machine applique.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Autumn and hexagons

After long hot summer autumn has arrived. The nights are cooler, but at midday it is still pretty hot here in Sparta. I finished half of the projects I had planned for the summer!! Seems that I am not a very good planner!!! Sewing just takes much more time than I expect. Probably I also sew at a slower pace, especially by hand, when it is hot. 

Last week I sandwiched this quilt which will keep me busy in the evenings while watching a movie on tv. I am a bright colour person and I don't have many "autumn" fabrics. Now....did I get lucky!!!

Hilary, a friend of mine, made a lot of hexagons over the last 30 years or so. She had planned to make quilts for all her three children. As it took her some time to finish the quilts, in the end, she had much more hexagons than she needed and she gave them to me!! Some were already made into flowers the colours I needed to make a nice quilt for fall. I just sew them on diamonds and they look great. Thank you so much Hilary!!

And, as it still hot we need to drink a lot of water. Cold water from the fridge! If we are not careful, though, the glass leaves water drops  on the table. Instead of putting a paper napkin under it, as a fervent quilter I of course use a coaster! Good for the environment too!!

These hexagons I made myself some time ago to go with the glass.

Talking about glasses, I lost my reading/computer glasses a week ago and I am very upset about that, because I really liked them. I don't think I will find them again, so time to go and get a new pair made.


Thursday, August 2, 2018

vintage style scrap quilt

As I have loads of scraps, I decided that the next quilt, to be made by the members of the Quilting Bee Sparta, would be a vintage style scrappy one!
The blocks are 6" x 6", alternating a flower print and a 4-patch block. Eleven rows with 8 blocks each. 

The plain blocks have been cut from a donated duvet cover. I love the faded flowers. There is a lot of fabric left, so I might use that for the back, or make another quilt with it. I am not sure yet. The Quilting Bee Sparta donates the quilts they make to an orphange in Lamia. I would love to have a quilt like this one for myself, though! Barbara, my partner at A & B Creating, also wants one!!!! Maybe I just should do this one time. Scraps enough!!

This is how far I got with the design yesterday. Today I finished the inside part, which will measure 66" x 48". I also have a nice idea about the border. But....let the Bee first finish this part! That won't go quick, because of the holiday season. In September everyone will be present again, so I have to exercise a lot of patience!! If I am going to make one for myself.....I can just go full force ahead! Let me sleep on it!!


Sunday, July 22, 2018

shopping bag and weekend in Marathea

Summer is really here now. Tomorrow we expect 41 degrees Celsius! Really hot!! Weather to stay inside, good to get some sewing done! 
For years I use my own shopping bag, but now, since we have to pay for the plastic ones, lots of people use nice shopping bags. Love the fabric from this one.

I made the bottom and handles from canvas and put some lining in. 

And then I went for shopping!!

Two weeks ago I spend a weekend at a friend who lives in Marathea, close to Gytheion. She lives on top of a hill and you can see the sea from the terrace.
It is a beautiful view and in the evening you can see the lights from other sides of the bay. She planted a lot of trees, olive trees, other fruit trees, cypresses. This is a wild one, I think they call it prunari. It is a shrub and the whole hill is covered in it. When you prune it you can make it into a nice tree. 


 Last year I made her some cushion covers to match the tiles and garden.

She has a lovely stone house and we had a great weekend together! 

This weekend I stayed home and worked on an idea for a quilt to participate in the exhibition of the Hellenic Patchwork Guild and after that maybe in the exhibition of the European Quilt Association next year!!! Who knows!! A lot of thinking and working to be done! Have to keep my head cool in this heat!!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

cats and backpacks

Three weeks ago my daughter who lives in North Carolina, came to visit us. She liked my laptop backpack, so I made her one too.

The lovely light blue fabric is cut from a German dirndl dress, they use at the beer festivals. This kind of dresses are sold in Sparta in the second hand shops. Lots of the second hand stuff comes from Germany!
I love those dresses! The cotton fabric is from an excellent quality and has nice patterns. The skirts have a lot of fabric. 

 A zipper pocket on the back for valuables.

 My daughter has two cats, and fancied the little mini quilts to put on a chair or sofa or on your lap, to have a nice sleeping place for your kitty.

 She took one, so I made a few more. I want to sew for red cats too!!

This is my cat Flopsy. Most of the time he looks a bit angry, but he is very sweet. He has a difficult time with the stray cats in the garden! They chase him. He is neutered and is no match for the stray ones! 

I have to rescue him sometimes. But...he also enjoys the garden.

On a cold winter day, when he was inside we were watching a documentary about the oceans. Suddenly the fishes caught his eye, he walked up to the tv and he sat there watching for quite some time. So funny!