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!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Scrappy projects

Nearly all my projects are scrappy as a matter of fact. And not only scrappy! I recycle fabrics. I buy very little and most of it in the second hand stores, dresses, shirts, duvet covers (love them, so much cotton fabric for so little money). Also I get a lot of donations from friends. Whatever cotton they have, I try to get my hands on it!!!

 This milk can is meant for the kitchen in my new work space. Together with a friend I am opening a non-profit company. We will have workshops, lectures, bazaars and lots of other activities. Our Quilting Bee will work from there and has more space to make lovely quilts, which we donate. In my next blog I will write more about this. We fixed up the place and are ready to order our equipment. Hope to start the first of March. 

Another project I told you about is the QAL Have a Jolly Little Christmas. I made some more blocks. The quilt is so lovely that I decided to make 4 of them!!!!! Both  my daughters will get one, one for our company and last but not least one for  myself. 

I am also participating in the QAL from the Hellenic Patchwork Guild. The theme for this year is "wide sea". I got my first block, made by Machi Perperi.

Lovely beach huts with my swimming suit hanging to dry. Sun and a few clouds, so it doesn't become too hot. Not good for my skin! Hope that I don't need the rescue band. I am a good swimmer. 

I did sent a more classical patchwork block to Paula Vainio from Finland. The participants, this time, are from all over the world. Besides Finland, the USA, Canada and Australia!!!! We are becoming international!!

Lots of work to do, time to say goodbye and get  into the kitchen to cook!!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

A few days in Athens

 Last week I changed Sparta for Athens. The Hellenic Patchwork Guild had their annual festive meeting in Cafe Myrtillo. This is a coffee shop/exposition area that employs people from vulnerable social groups.It is a lovely place. Used to be a work rehabilitation center for handicapped soldiers after the second world war. There are still pieces of machinery exhibited. 

We - my quilter friend Maria Kalamara and her husband - were early straight from Sparta, a three-hour drive. Slowly all the quilters arrived. In Greece people make a New Year's Cake with  a coin in it for luck. It is called the Vasilopita. Every house makes one on New Year's Eve as well as every club, guild, society. The last ones celebrate the pita somewhere in January. Of course we had our vasilopita and besides from that a lot of presents. I was one of the lucky ones and won some hand-dyed fabrics from our chairwoman Mania Hatziioannidi!! We had a great time!!

 Unfortunately my pictures were not good, all very flu. Have to read the instructions from my camera, one day!!!

A few days later I gave a lesson in English Paper Piecing at Doctors Without Borders, to a group African women. DwB run a rehabilitation program for victims of extreme violence and torture. The women liked doing the EPP and made a hexagon flower. They are going to make a placemat. With EPP you can make nice things at home, without hardly any cost. No need for sewing machines too.

 It needs two lessons to make the placemat, so my good friend Theodora Badra will go the next time and do the second lesson. It was a real nice experience.

 I took this baby quilt as an example of what you can make with the hexagons.

And of course I a had a great time playing with my grandson for a few days!

Back in Sparta again!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Farmer's Wife Revival Challenge 2017

Karen Walker from started the Farmer's Wife Revival Challenge 2017. She has done this before and you can find a lot of information on her blog and/or FB page.
I have the Farmer's Wife book for about a year now and some piecing lessons from Karen. Lovely blocks! Only problem.....each block is only 6"x6"!!!

Now, this is an "easy" block, just squares!

I am not going to make the whole 111 pieces quilt, just a wall hanging. I probably need about 36 blocks. 

 My first block, the green one, is a bit too small. Might have to do that one again, O my!!! I realized that I am not used to such small pieces, because when I started to make the Basket Weave block I cut the separate pieces twice as big as I should!!! Made the block, though. After it was finished, I thought it would be nice for a tablecloth. 

I have enough of the blue and the print, just have to buy some more pink. Big difference, a 6" or a 12" block!!
The wall hanging is supposed to be colourful, as I am a colourful person!

 I just don't know yet how. At the moment the colour combinations don't really speak to me. I like the two lilac blocks together. We'll see. In the end things will work out! I guess!!