Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Quilt Exhibition in Sparta

I was very busy, so I didn't write for a long time. In September I went to the first Quilting Seminar and Exhibition In Thessaloniki, where I followed a few workshops. I had a lovely time over there. Because I liked the exhibition so much I arranged for it to come to Sparta too.

We had the exhibition for 3 days in the Public Central Library of Sparta. It's a beautiful and very big library, so space enough to hang the quilts. Most of them, like the appliqued monster one here in the front and the two long ones in the background were made by Kristine Pappas, an American lady, living with her Greek/American husband in Thessaloniki. Quilt making was always her hobby and she donates most of the quilts to orphanages, widowed or divorced women with children who are in a difficult situation, homeless people. She makes about a hundred quilts a year!
The other quilt is made by Theodora Badra, a quilter from Athens.

The exposed quilts were divided in three categories: traditional American quilts, quilts with a Greek theme and quilt, which designs were made by women who escaped sex trafficking and live in a safe house in Thessaloniki.

The patterns of the traditional quilts of the exhibition have a secret code. In the old days women had no voice, they couldn't vote or express their opinion. They used quilts to show their preferences for e.g. a president candidate or left messages for the slaves, who, during the Civil War in America tried to escape from the South to the North, where they could be free.
In this quilt here the inner square is black instead of red, which is the "official inner colour". This means that the people in the house where the quilt is hanging on the line, are friendly and will help the slaves on their way to freedom.

The "zig-zag" pattern means that there is danger. There are slave hunters, lots of times with dogs, in the neighbourhood and the slave should choose another route, pass through rivers to mislead the dogs, and be very careful.

The quilts in the category with Greek themes were made by Greek women. This one here won the first prize in Thessaloniki, where they had a contest .

The woman who made this one used old doilies, which her grandmother made.

Kristine teaches quilting in a safe house, where women who escaped sex trafficking live. It gives them something to do, which is very important, because they get bored. They are in a safe "prison" . She asked 10 of them to make a sketch about their experience, and made quilts with these designs.

The quilts speak for themselves!

She asked the women which colours to use and what the colours represented for them.

The white innocent rabbit against the snake

The boat is attacked, lost its rudders, floating without being able to steer and going down.

A few month ago a hot line for sex trafficking opened in Greece.

The number is 1109


                                                      Tomorrow more about the exhibition.


  1. ada,this is such a lovely post:) very nicely presented!! love the pics of flops ;0

  2. Wat geweldig mooi Ada, dat je zelfs via het maken van een quilt signalen kunt uitstralen of je problemen kunt verwerken.
    Ik ben helemaal onder de indruk.
    Mooi dat je de tentoonstelling ook naar je woonplaats hebt gebracht.
    Ik zie uit naar meer!

    Lieve groet,

  3. Wat goed dat je deze prachtige tentoonstelling naar je woonplaats gehaald hebt. Nu kunnen nog veel meer mensen genieten van deze prachtige kunstwerken. Niet iedereen kan zomaar op reis gaan om quilts te bekijken. Het is toch al moeilijk genoeg in jouw land.
    Ik kan nu veel gemakkelijker jouw blogs volgen. Eerder moest ik langs omwegen zoeken naar jouw blog. Nu hoef ik niets meer te missen... Groeten van Willemien.

    1. Ja, gelukkig zijn mijn "volgers" terug. Ze waren ineens weg. Heb van alles geprobeerd om ze terug te krijgen, zonder resultaat. En nu zijn ze er opeens weer! Geweldig!

  4. what a wonderful post ,you explained everything so well about Kristins mission helping the less fortunate, my you even mentioned me and my quilt. I am so happy about the Spartin exhibition and how you arranged everything not to forget the radio interview is the cherry on top. I have been very busy sewing quilt top with my reg. machine in my shop. As you might know I still don't have my new mid arm Janome machine it turns out it is 799.00 british pounds ,but that makes it more in euros because of the exchange rate plus there is shipping and the extra foot I need... so I wait and sew .. I noticed you got your followers button ,how did you do that I haven't had time to work on it and I sort of gave up. I wish you happy quilting and creations and when you ever come to Athens in the future we will plan a little get together . Theodora

    1. Theodora, the followers button came back by itself!!!! I didn't do anything. I had also given up on it, because about a year ago it suddenly disappeared and I have tried lots of things to get it back, without any results. And now, suddenly, out of the blue, it's back! I'm very happy about it.
      I'm sure you made some wonderful quilt tops. I really love the one in the picture above. Nice design and nice colours. The good thing is that when you get your Janome machine you will have a lot of tops ready to quilt!
      I'm sure we'll meet in Athens one day!

  5. What beautiful quilts
    And what a shame I was not able to be in Sparta when the exhibition was on.
    Your photos show off the quilts well