Thursday, September 21, 2017

International Day of Peace, World Alzheimer's Day

Today, the 21st of September is a special day! 

First of all it is the International Day of Peace. Very important, because there are still too many people in the world, who live in war zones, are harassed because they are different, even in the smallest unit, our family, there is still too much violence. So let's all try to be peaceful and loving!!

It is also the World Alzheimer's Day. The average age we live is going up and up, which is very nice. One of our greatest fears, however, when we grow older is Alzheimer. A dirty word, a fearful word ...go away, we don't want to think about it! Let's hope science will find a cure quickly, or some medicine that slows the process down.

Some people with Alzheimer seem to relax when they are given a fidget quilt, a lap quilt with fidgeting items, like e.g. zippers, closures, elastic band, buttons, pockets, keys, ribbons. Also different structured fabrics are nice for feeling and fidgeting. 

These quilts are also called comfort quilts and they can be made for autistic children as well. We are going to make a lot more of these lap quilts and donate them to the home outside of Sparta, where they have an Alzheimer unit and a unit with physically and/or mentally handicapped children.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

A little bit vintage

Vintage is in!! In styling you see it everywhere; clothes, earthenware and so much more. I've seen some beautiful pieces and got inspired! Vintage fabrics are my favorite. These mini quilts are very practical for use in a baby basket, a stroller, car seat, or just to use as a changing pad. I made them this summer.

The tulips are from the 70's. Not old enough to be vintage, nor are the fabrics I used. But, a lot of pieces are from recycled fabric. 

 More flowers on the back. No idea how old this fabric is!

This one is made up of curtain fabric (background), pieces of a duvet cover, a second hand pillowcase and fabric from old stock.

The hexagon flowers are done with the English Paper Piecing technique.
I love EPP, because you do it by hand and can watch a movie or have coffee with a friend while working on it. Below a different style! Bear is a piece of old children's curtain.

The embroidery is a vintage wall hanging my mother-in-law made.A few years ago I made it into a cushion and now I love it! When an old shop in Sparta closed, I bought two rolls of vintage flannel. The fabric from the bib is one of them. It has cowboys and donkeys! Wondered why it didn't have horses instead of donkeys!!! These fabrics are also all recycled, except from the checkered one.

The weather is still hot here and still no rain!!!! The mini quilts are not much needed at the moment! Babies and grown-ups still sleeping under a single sheet!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

What did I do this summer?

I did a lot!! But... do I have anything to show for it! I managed to make a few things! Summer time, so I made a few beach bags.

Unfortunately I only went to the beach once this summer. After our swim we had lunch at a friend's house in Mavrovouni. Traditional Greek lunch!!How I love those baked potatoes, and not to forget the ouzo en the Greek salad!

We had continuous heat waves in July and August. Too hot for the beach!! Temperatures reached 47 degrees Celsius in Sparta!!! Oohhh, inside with the airco and the fan! Just making more beach bags!

 I did a lot more this summer, but will post (I intend, I hope to) more in a few days!!


Sunday, July 2, 2017

Official opening A & B Creating !!

Barbara and me

We did it! We celebrated our new workshop center a week ago. Here we are on a hot, hot opening day in front of the EPP top, made by members of the Quilting Bee Sparta!  

Besides patchwork & quilting, we will have lessons in ceramic art. Angelika Fritzsche lives in Skoutari, a small village on the seaside.That is where she has her art pottery. She will come to Sparta to teach as from September. We are so lucky to have her. Her work is beautiful!


Angelika, making her own pictures and explaining a technique to Eleni

The quilt in the background, that I made, goes extremely well with the pottery. Don't you think so!We will have all kind of sewing workshops, making bags, rabbits, toys and whatever else comes up in our minds! 

You can also learn how to sew clothes, so you can make your own wardrobe. Wouldn't that be cool! I am stuck inside at the moment, with extreme hot temperatures from over 40 degrees. Yesterday it reached 47 !!!!!! I am making a patchwork summer top, nearly finished it. Will show that next time. But, don't worry, we also teach normal dressmaking! 

Jolanda Fotopoulos will be teaching. She made this lovely outfit.

The art of making jewelry is also on our workshop program. We will use different techniques, which gives you the opportunity to make the perfect accessory for each of your outfits!  We will do some teaching in the summer, but most of our workshops will start in September. 

It was a lovely evening, with lots of friends. Papa Kostas from the St. Nicholas church (our neighbour) did the official blessing. This is a custom in Greece. This priest is a very nice man and has a lot of worthy activities in his church.

Some more pictures of the event

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The weather is a bit unstable. Sun in the mornings, rain and thunderstorms in the afternoons. This morning I worked in the garden under a cloudy sky, which was great. If the sun was shining I would have had to go inside much earlier. And, my o my, does this garden needs work! It is terribly neglected for some months now! 

After a nice meal, stuffed tomatoes, peppers and aubergines, made by my husband, I had a little nap and now I am ready for the afternoon/evening program! I am going to visit the official opening of an exhibition of drawings, made by elementary school children. Hope it stays dry until then!

We worked hard last week at A & B Creating, trying to get ready for the official opening. Barbara, except from necklaces she makes from fabric beads, also makes wire sculptures. I didn't, though, manage yet to make proper pictures of those. 

I am working on beach bags at the moment. Nice presents for a summer holiday. And....Greece is one of the best countries to enjoy your summer!!

I work a lot with fabrics I buy in secondhand stores, like the above beach scene. I love to search for nice vintage materials and make projects with them, like this mini quilt for a baby's stroller, car seat or basket. 

Time to start getting ready to go to the exhibition. Next time my beach will be ready to be shown!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Busy, busy bee!!

May was an extremely busy month for me. Of course I finished the little cat quilts, I mentioned in the previous post.

Aren't they sweet !!

I also made a baby quilt, 20"x25", a tiny one for a baby basket, stroller or to use over a car seat. The girl who ordered it liked it as a baptism present. Now that the summer started there will be lots of baptisms in the Orthodox Churches in Greece.  These little quilts are nice presents.

 Our grandson got baptized last Sunday. Though it is supposed to be summer in Greece, and at the moment it is sunny and 30 degrees, on the Sunday of the baptism it was raining, raining and again raining!! Our clothes weren't exactly suitable for rain, but we all survived and nobody got sick!! Hurray !!. So, Petros got his name! The happy parents, finally ready to relax at the taverna.

My other daughter, her husband and other family came over from the States for the occasion. They came to Sparta for a few days before they enjoyed their vacation in Mykonos. 
A lot of traveling happened this month! Alex & Alex  (above) went to a congress in Amsterdam 3 weeks ago and I went up to Athens to babysit. 
Busy, busy,  busy! 

We had a few Quilting Bee meetings and are progressing with our star quilt. The top is nearly finished. Our next one, here on the design wall, is ready to be quilted and there are two other ones to work on!

 I walk every day to work and take my laptop with me. Best thing to carry it, is a backpack. I designed it just the size I wanted and I don't feel the weight when walking. Great!!

My friend and partner Barbara started to make some lovely beads from fabric. 

We are still in our start-up phase and  haven't started teaching yet, but it is lovely to be able to work in such a nice space.

I always intend to write more often. Maybe next time I will manage to do so!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

A & B Creating - our workspace

My sewing room in the basement of my house is really nice and practical, but nothing compared to the space I have in our new company A & B Creating. We have a whole floor in a lovely house.

 Outside you can see an avocado tree and it even bears fruits! We can just pick them from the balcony. Not at this time because the season is over. The tree is flowering now. I love our IKEA curtains, so bright, giving a happy atmosphere.

The room is L-shaped and this corner has the cutting and hand sewing tables with the design wall. At this moment we do a lot, and I mean really a lot of hand sewing. All the stars are paper pieced, waiting to be sewn in rows and eventually in a top. After that we (Quilting Bee Sparta) will start the hand quilting!! 

Mrs. Eleni, 93 years old, !!!!! came together with Maria, one of our quilters to help with the sewing. She has been a dressmaker for years and still loves to sew!

The Quilting Bee gathers in our new space now once a month. They also take "homework" and are sewing blocks for two more quilts, to be donated to the girls orphanage in Lamia. These will be machine pieced, so that'll go much quicker!  

Nearly all my fabrics moved to the new place, waiting eagerly to be sewn! I have so many ideas. Question is: "where to start??" 

After sewing the curtains I made a few cushions, mug rugs, and at the moment a little cat quilt is being made. They are so practical! Flopsy, my cat, has one. He just came in from the garden and wants to sit on my lap. He waits for me to take the quilt and jumps up. Although the sun is shining, he has muddy paws. Where the h... did he go??? I just washed it yesterday !! 

The house quilt of the 2015  QAL  from the Hellenic Patchwork Guild is hanging in the hallway. It is an excellent example of different techniques to show.

 To the left there is another sewing room. We will purchase more sewing machines, now it is just the lock machine standing there, waiting to be used.

The house is 144 sq meters. that means, more rooms!! We have an official office, very seriously furnished!!
Also another workshop room for more "dirty" lessons, like making ceramics, mosaic a.o.

There is a lovely garden downstairs, with lots of orange trees. Barbara, my "business" partner just had the weeds cut last weekend when I was in Athens. It looks so nice and clean now. I made some pictures, but they will be posted next time. 
I had a lovely weekend in Athens with my daughter's family. The 25th of March is one of Greece's National Holidays with parades all through the country. We watched the one in Athens Papagou area where there are a lot of scouts, boys and girls and of course they are in the parade! And..they had a lot of fun!

Now back to work, not to the sewing but to garden work. Lots to be done in my own garden. Lovely weather to do so! I'll get my wellies on and go for it!