Monday, October 12, 2020

Winter season - International Day of Peace

 It has been a busy month. Getting ready for the winter season. It is a bit awkward because the temperatures are still high and no rain whatsoever. No autumn or winter feelings yet. 

On the 21st of September it was the International  Day of Peace. 

 Dimitra appliqued the peace doves on the fabric and I made them into lined tote bags. Poor Dimitra broke her arm and can't do any sewing at the moment. 

 The world needs peace desperately! Too many conflicts and threats at the moment. I wish people would be a bit more understanding and compassionate. 

 Peace dove wall hanging in Bauhaus style. I love Mondriaan; I had a Mondriaan dress in the 70's. Unfortunately I don't have a picture.

 The Quilting Bee Sparta started last week. Because of the Covid the  members have to bring their own sewing tools. Excellent opportunity to make a kit for those tools. 

 The idea is that everyone has the appliqued cat, hearts and spool ready this week, so we can proceed with the sewing. After that the embroidery. I have lots of patterns. I choose this one for the back of my kit.

 I made a mistake in the counting at the skirt bottom, which I realized when I was on the top. So, this girl is a bit fatter than the one in the pattern. It doesn't really matter because it is supposed to be me and my cat. And I don't wear a size S !!!


The 4th of October was World Animal Day. I don't have dogs anymore. I have a cat and feed 3 stray ones in the garden. I love to make these little dog/cat mini quilts.

 Besides of dogs and cats we have the birds.


 Let's end with the symbol of Peace



Friday, September 18, 2020

Rain, autumn, time for knitting!!

 Hurray!! The first rain after nearly 3 months!!

  Happily for us the Medicane (Mediterranean Hurricane) hasn't arrived yet in Sparta and I hope we only get the rain and not the severe winds, hail and whatever more this Medicane brings. We have the Taygetus mountain range to protect us a bit. 


 The leaves are turning yellow and red, one of my pumpkins is ready, the other ones still need some time. The vegetable garden needs manure after this rain and after that it's time to plant the winter veggies. 


 At A & B Creating we want to start several groups. We have already the Quilting Bee, and next to that we are going to create a knitting and a crocheting group. People who come together once a week and work for a good cause. 

Making baby and children's stuff to donate or to sell and donate the money. Last year we made some lovely knitted jackets.

 So, if you like to join us, leave a message and we will contact you. Our space is big enough to keep the distance needed due to covid and we take all the necessary precautions. 


 Like I took precautions to prevent the water from flooding the basement. My yard is much lower than street level because the town put asphalt on asphalt on asphalt instead of removing the old and putting new. Now my water outlet is under instead of above the street. With thunder storms our street becomes a fast moving river and the water  comes with force into the yard and then the basement. Not only my basement, more basements in the area have been flooded during heavy rainfalls. So, thumbs up that it doesn't happen this time!!!!!!!!


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Back to school

 September, and the schools are starting again. My grandchildren in Belgium started yesterday. In Greece the kids will start a bit later in the month. Petros and Elsa showed me, very proud, their new school bags. They were excited! I go everywhere with my backpacks. Hardly use any other bags any more. It is good for my posture and I save my arms.


This one I made for a friend. She cycles every day, and loves it because it is so practical for her.

 It is still very hot here in Sparta, yesterday the temperature reached again 40 degrees! Most of my plants in the garden are suffering, except the Campsis! It stays beautiful the whole summer, till late in autumn. It gives a lot of mess on the ground, it attract wasps and ants, but nevertheless I love it.

 I didn't make any backpacks for my grandkids, but I made one for my daughter.



The dark blue of the bag goes so well with the orange of the flowers! And here is the back of it. I always put a zippered pocket on the backside. It is a very safe place. 

Tineke, the mother of my friend Barbara has a lot of batik fabrics and scraps from when she was living in different places in Asia. She donated them to A & B Creating and we thank her so much for that! I love batiks, such beautiful colors and patterns. I made some pouches with the this fabric. The one below will be a birthday present for a good friend.

And here comes Tineke's bag from the material she donated! It used to be a skirt, or a dress. I can't remember. It got a new life! We love to recycle!!!

Time for me now to start watering the garden. Every day duty!! Poor plants and trees. No rain! I am sure that they would love to get some, so would I!! Have a nice week and stay safe!

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Win Cancer

 At A & B Creating we had a lovely visit from Pisti and Roula from WinCancer this summer. Their organization gives a lot of information and support to cancer patients and they have some lovely projects going on.


They had gone to Molaoi to set up a library in the hospital over there and on their way back to Athens they stopped in Sparta to pick up 40 armpit cushions.


A & B Creating organized a workshop on the 4th of February, World Cancer Day. Women from the Quilting Bee Sparta, together with other volunteers spend the day sewing cushions.

Cutting the fabric, sewing the heart and finally stuffing it with batting. It was a great day! 'Everyone was happy to take part in this good cause, enjoyed each other's company, the coffee and the cookies and left with a satisfied feeling.


Due to the Covid lockdown  we weren't able to get the cushions to Athens, so they stayed in our place. Weren't we lucky that Pisti and Roula came to our region and we could finally meet them. We had a lovely time together and will meet again soon!!!

 The cushion is put under the armpit and gives relief after a breast operation. Win Cancer already donated some of them to a hospital in Thessaloniki and will donate the cushions to various hospitals in Greece. Thank you girls!!!


Saturday, August 8, 2020

Summer time and the living is easy!!

Title of a nice song! This summer, though, the time isn't that easy! After the lockdowns everyone is longing to go out, go on a holiday, have some fun. Fact is that we still have to be very careful where we go and what we do. My daughter Alexandra and her family came to Sparta and went to the beach with the kids.

The kids are really enjoying themselves and as you can see it is very easy to keep the 1.5 m distance at this beach. They are back in Belgium again where the temperature also is a 35 degrees at this moment.  Tomorrow Petros celebrates his 4th birthday. He is obsessed with space, and he built these rocket ships when he was here and had to stay inside because it was much too hot (40 degrees) to be out!!

My living room is also in summer mode. This lovely quilt is made as a Quilt Along from the Hellenic Patchwork Guild. Twelve quilters made a block and sent it to me. I made the same amount of blocks and sent those to fellow quilters. I love to look at it. Makes me feel like I am going on a vacation.

Below some of the blocks I made for the QAL. This seaside picture is made with raw edge applique.

 The following block makes me think of the Greek song "Ηταν ένα μικρό καράβι....." 

 And when we say sea, we say fish!! A school of fish, or just a few gold fish.  

Of course the seagulls are close! Raw edge applique.

These rhino's are not at the sea, but they are looking for some water too cool down. Aren't they cute!!
I hope you all can relax a bit this summer and have a nice time on vacation or at home. Stay safe!


Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Every quilt has a story

 This crib quilt that I just finished has a vintage rocking horse pattern appliqued. All of the blocks are from recycled or old stock fabrics. The back is from beautiful Gutermann fabric, bought from Nikolaros shop in Sparta.
Quite some blocks tell a story. Let me explain.

The quilts I design are made from recycled, vintage and new fabrics. I use second hand clothing, like dresses and shirts and vintage fabrics that I used to buy in shops in Kalamata and Areopolis. Below the one in Kalamata.

It was a nice day-trip from Sparta to Kalamata, driving through the beautiful gorge in the Taygetos mountain range, having a coffee on arrival, do our shopping, lunch and back again. Always a lovely and fruitful day! The amphora fabric and the little flowers are from this shop.

The size of the quilt is 36 x 48 inch, about 90 x 120 cm.

This shop in Areopolis doesn't exist any more. I still have some pieces of fabric  that I bought there though.
I love searching for vintage fabrics, but it is getting more and more difficult nowadays. These cute old shops are all closing when the owners retire.

In one of the second hand shops I bought this dressing gown, cut it up in pieces and made the horse with it.

The sleeve on top of the gown is from a dirndl dress! The second hand shop had this kind of dresses, which, of course, nobody bought!! What to do with a dress like that in Greece!!! You need them for the German Bierfeste (beer festivals) every October. They sold them for 5 euros! So I bought them for the lovely buttons and the enormous amount of beautiful cotton fabric from the skirts. The blue with white design square also comes from a dirndl dress.

Isn't it nice to know that these dresses will be recycled, every little piece of it! And if you don't know what a dirndl dress is, here it comes!!

Some 40 years ago, when I was pregnant (seems like ages ago, as a matter of fact, it was in the last century!) I went to Laura Ashley in Maastricht to buy material for curtains for the baby's room. This is one of the last pieces left!!!

All those little squares of this quilt have a memory for me just like most of the quilts. That is the charm of handmade recycled products. They are made with love, for the product, for the environment, for the one who will use it.