Monday, February 25, 2013

DIY quilting table

I have made my basement into a patchwork studio and I love to work there. My work surface is 2.50 m long, which is really nice, but it is only 0.80 m wide. That's enough for small sewing projects, like the bags I make, but for quilts it is to narrow. As I got tired from laying out the quilts on one of the bedroom floors and bending all the time, I searched the internet for quilting tables.
There is no space for a table in the basement, so I have to put it in a bedroom. That means I have to be able to put it away when I need the room for my daughters and friends to sleep. This "official" tables are quite expensive, but I found a nice DIY idea.

I bought two pieces of insulation material, the blue one, they use in building projects. Now I have to buy two cheap folding tables which I will use as the legs.
I used an office desk, and a table with some books on it, to try out the idea. And here is the result! Not bad, isn't it?
I bought the 3 cm insulation, because I thought that was enough, but this material is very light and it would have been better if I had bought the thicker one. Next time! On top of it I put some vinyl, the one they sell per meter in the supermarket. I can easily take the "table" apart and store it under a bed.

I must say that it is a bit fragile, you couldn't put something heavy on it, but just to lay out projects and cut big pieces of material it is great.
Yesterday I finished the quilt, laying on the table. Now I have to take some pictures and show it to you. I love the elephant material, which I ordered via Amazon.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Bags and mug rugs

Last year I bought some lovely fabric (rather expensive) to treat myself and make a lovely winter bag. I didn't somehow manage make it that year. Now, when winter is nearly over, I did it!!!!

As you can see, my garden boots are ready to use! With all the rain we had and have I can't go in the garden without them. And, as winter is the time that the oranges are ready, when I want to pick them I need my booties.

It is a big bag, I can put lots of stuff in it. I made two little pockets inside for my phone and keys: things I need to find quickly! Here a detail from the bag.

Two weeks ago I was talking on skype with my daughter in America. She noticed this purple bag in the background, and told me she really liked it. I told her I would send it to her, but she wanted a smaller one. So I went to work and here it is.

She also thought that the Christmas mug rug I sent her was very nice and practical. Being it seasonal, I made her another two other ones. I love the colours; spring is coming!!

Saturday, February 9, 2013


For my patchwork bags and quilt I use whatever cotton I can lay may hands on. I buy some, which isn't easy here in Greece, and I use old shirts, skirts, sheets.
Other things I recycle are embroidered wall hangings. My mother-in-law made of a lot of them. The embroidery is beautifully done, but I don't really like them on the wall. So I took them out of the frames and reused them.

The one she made with the dear I cut up and used the pieces to make cushions.

This is another one I like.The woolen baby blanket I bought here in Sparta in an old shop that closed down. I changed the binding and it looks immediately different.

I don't know how she embroidered this one. It's so tiny! It's a real Greek pattern because it has the Acropolis above the carriage.

I am planning, already for a long time, to go to the flea market in Athens and look for embroidery. I never had time enough! When I'm done with fabric shopping I am exhausted and go home. Next time I just have to stay an extra day for the flea market.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Trip to Karitsa

An English friend of mine, who lived for over 30 years in Sparta, came for a holiday to Greece. She is staying in the village where her late husband is born, Karitsa, about an hour from Sparta. My friend Ina and me went to visit her yesterday. It was a beautiful day, sunny and warm. The trip goes through a valley, between two mountain ranges. The area is rocky and rough. We encountered quit e a few shepherds with their sheep or goats.

After Geraki we had to turn left and were looking for the sign. We passed Alepochori, which means village of the foxes, and realized we had missed the turn to Karitsa. Back again, we encountered a road with a sign: "Forbidden to hunt" . Now was this the right road or not? We carried on and arrived at the archeological site  of Geraki, where, luckily for us, there were three men working. They told us to go back again and about 2 km we would find the turn.We were indeed very lucky, because this site is closed most of the year. When we went back we met a couple, unloading crates and gear for olive picking. They told us that the sign that showed the direction to Karitsa had fallen down and the only sign now was....the hunting sign.
The village is high up in the mountains and has lovely views. You can even see the sea from there. To get to the sea you at least an hour by car! 

This is the view from my friend's house. In spring it is lovely with all the flowers and blossoms. Yesterday is was a bit barren and because the sky wasn't very clear it was difficult to make nice pictures of the mountains.

We went for a walk and saw some beautiful restored houses and of course old neglected ones. I love the outside ovens most of those houses have. The food, prepared in those, tastes delicious!

On the way back to Sparta, we saw the most beautiful sky! Above the Taygetos mountains dark clouds had gathered with the sun peeping through. Very impressive as you can see.

A lovely day!!!