Sunday, November 25, 2018

Christmas bazaar

A & B Creating's Christmas bazaar will be held next Sunday the 2nd of December. After 10.30 in the morning everyone is welcome to join us for coffee, tea, sweets and enjoy the place with all its beautiful handmade items.

The quilt above is made for my daughter, who lives in the States. We are personally going to bring it to her next month!! Looking really forward to that!
The pattern is from Sew Fresh Quilts and is called Have A Jolly Little Christmas. It was a Quilt Along that started in 2017. 

Here we have the more classical  Christmas presents. Cushions, runners, mug rugs and ornaments in green en red. Last year people loved the fabric below, so we made also some cushions and runners in these colours.

At the bazaar it is not only patchwork that we are selling, but we will have a lot of ceramic ornaments and hangers. The pottery group is still working on them. This week they will do the glazing, so everything will be ready for Sunday!

Barbara getting the oven ready. 

Me, thinking what I am going to make next!! 

Raw edge appliqued Christmas balls. 

I still want to make charms for the new year. I found a nice owl pattern and I am thinking of using that. I have a lot of scraps for a lot of different owls. I even knitted two owls, but that will take me too much time, so I will go for the sewn ones!! 


Sunday, November 18, 2018

A & B Creating and knitting

Besides patchwork/quilting, sewing, and ceramics we now started a knitting group! Once a week, each Tuesday morning we will gather and knit small things to sell at our bazaars. At the moment we are working, of course, for the Christmas bazaar, which will be held on the morning of the 2nd of December. 

Petie, Barbara and me are working very concentrated while Ina made the pictures. 

Petie finished this baby cardigan at home and just put the lovely wooden buttons on, which I purchased at the crafts fair Xeirotexnika.

It is the same pattern as this one I made. It is knitted in one piece, starting at the sleeve. 

When you start knitting, you also think of crocheting. I have no idea how to do that, but Barbara has a little experience and is showing Demi how to make a Christmas star. The person who really knows how to crochet is our quilster Stefi. She made a lot of stars at home, which we will show another time.

Among the other members of the Quilting Bee are also some fervent knitters and women who know how to crochet very well. They are making stuff for the bazaar at their homes. I haven't made pictures yet of the lovely things they bring! I made this fox shawl this summer. 

I love Pinterest and make boards to get ideas. It is unbelievable how many lovely things you can make in whatever craft you imagine!! I found some very cute knitted small owls and downloaded the pattern. As it is a very rainy day I feel very enthusiastic to start making a owl family!! With me luck because you knit with 5 needles!!

  If you know how to knit or crochet and want to join our group, we would love to meet you.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Autumn in the garden

In the weekends I clean my house, wash, iron and try to work in the garden. I love working in the garden. It is so relaxing, I hear the birds sing, and see all kinds of insects flying, creeping and walking through. 

 The autumn colours are beautiful. In the picture above the birds ate already most of the berries. They are poisonous for people, but the birds really like them. 

The leaves of my Lagerstroemia tree in the back, which has gorgeous pink flowers all summer, turn into a deep red. Under the tree the Abutolon grows and grows and shows it's red flowers nearly all year round. It needs a lot of pruning!!

Because the weather is still very nice with high temperatures the roses are still flowering, and the bees zoom in and out.

I have a Lantana, which gives me a bit of a headache! I have too much shade in the garden, so it forms long stems, trying to find the sun.Not much flowers.
It makes little berries, though. The wind or the birds take the berries, drop them and everywhere little Lantana plants pop up!! And...they have strong roots. 

 It is time for the oranges, lemons and mandarins to ripen. My mandarins are still a little bit sour, but you can eat them. For the rest of the citrus fruits we still have to wait a bit. I have a Kumquat in a pot. This shrub has small orange-like fruits.  In Corfu they make a very tasty liqueur with it. 

And look who also likes to be in the garden!


Monday, November 5, 2018

Christmas quilts

This weekend I was in Athens to see my eldest daughter's family and to visit the crafts fair Xeirotexnika. The weather was great and I had a lovely time with my grandchildren.

Last year I participated in the Quilt Along Have a Jolly Little Christmas from  Sew Fresh Quilts. I started to make each block 4 times to make 4 quilts!!! One for each daughter, one for A & B Creating and one for myself. That went well until the 8th block. I had a lot of other things to do, so Christmas quilts last year. 

Some of the finished blocks

My plan was to have them ready for this year.  I would have the whole summer to do so. To make a long story short....I started to sew again last month and finished 9 blocks. Now I can make 4 wall hangings. But...I have to make at least one lap quilt, because that was last years present for my daughter in America. Well, all the blocks are ready to be sewn together. 

The partridge in the pear tree, the candles, moose and Santa were also made last year.

Missing in the picture are the ornaments and the reindeer. Next time I will be able to show you the finished top!! Then some quilting needs to be done. I bought some lovely green fabric at the fair from Ifasmataki which I will use to make the bias. As I had a lot of white linen I decided to use that. Well, did I regret that. Linen isn't suitable for sewing tiny pieces!!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

A & B Creating and ceramics

It is not all sewing that we do at A & B Creating. We also have a very nice pottery room, where Angelika Fritzsche teaches beginners and advanced pupils the art of ceramics.

 It is a heavy job! They are all very concentrated, don't even realize a picture is taken!!


 Different types of clay, different results. 

Most pieces will be glazed. The white ones in the corner have been in the oven. Time now to put the glaze on. The other ones are ready. They turned out beautiful. Until now the glazing happened in Angelika's workshop in Skoutari, because A & B Creating didn't have a ceramic oven. Here are some pieces with the glaze power on, waiting to be baked.

We had different groups, all very enthusiastic about the workshops.

Barbara, Margarita, Eleni en Maria


Eleni and Lina

The most important person in the workshop, Angelika!!

Lina and Maria 

Celebrating Maria's birthday!! 

As from this workshop season we have our own ceramic oven!! The pieces are inside and tomorrow it will burn for the very first time.


Sunday, October 21, 2018

rag quilting

A & B Creating is  a non-profit organization and as such accepts donations in money as well as in goods. We are very grateful for the Kotsonis shop in Sparta, which has given us lots of fabric samples, and pieces of material. One day we could roam in their storage space, and what did we find?? A whole bag full of vintage flannel nighties. Brand new. They looked great, but when we washed one we realized why they weren't for sale. Did they shrink!!! About 20 cm in length, the arms about 10 cm, while the width stayed the same. So they became a funny shape. Luckily for us there were all big sizes, so when we washed them all and cut them, we had a lot of flower flannel.

For quite some time I wanted to make a rag quilt, which you do with flannel. So here was my chance! With the Quilting Bee Sparta we started to work on it. We bought white flannel for the batting and Maria Kalamara had a nice big piece of blue. This is the result. Doesn't it look gorgeous??

After you sew all the pieces together you have to cut the seams and the borders. This is a lot of work, but luckily we had Demi Kapetanea who didn't mind and did nearly all the cutting. Because she had become an "expert" she also did this little baby quilt.

Here you can see how it works. The cuttings don't look so nice now. That is because they have to be washed and put in a dryer to intertwine. After that they turn up like this.


 The big quilt hasn't been washed and dried yet. From the leftovers I made this cute cushion, that we gave to a friend who was recovering from a big operation. I must say that I love rag quilting. It is fun.

 That's it for now. Next time I will tell you about our ceramic classes.

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!!