Sunday, October 16, 2016


After the summer break, the Quilting Bee Sparta started two new projects and finished the two quilts they were working on before and during the holidays. Both turned out fantastic! The first one has appliqued flowers from the Magic Vine Quilt. We used the book written by Eleanor Burns. The original designer of the Magic Vine flower blocks is Florence LaGanke Harris. As a quilt designer Florence wrote a syndicate nationwide newspaper column under the title of the "Nancy Page Quilt Club", starting in the early 1930's and ran the column for seventeen years. Each week, Florence printed one pattern from a quilt and gave her readers a week to complete the bloc. 

We made 30 blocks with all different techniques, some machine appliqued and others hand appliqued with the blanket stitch or with the needlepoint technique. As we couldn't decide with colour to use for the binding, the idea came up of making a multi-coloured one from all the scraps we had. The binding turned out great!

 The quilt will be given to one of our members who has some health issues at the moment. 

The second finished quilt was a crime!! The pattern and the fabrics I choose from our donated stack of materials didn't really match. I look if the colours go nicely together, which, I think, they do. But.... the yellow fabric was rather thin, nice to work with. The patterned one (an old  sheet) had too much synthetic and little cotton and was very stiff and difficult to handle. Not exactly handy to make the triangles of the Butterfly at the Crossroads blocks. Too much for most of our members. So, one of us took the quilt and managed to sew it with this great result.

The quilting had some difficulties too, because the back is also from the thin yellow fabric. Next time I really have to consider the fabric thickness too in the designs. But, we are doing great!! All fabrics are donated and until now we didn't buy any. The finished quilt will also be donated.

Our next project will be an English Paper Piecing star quilt from 60-degree diamonds with interlocking background. For EPP we use the book from Jessica Alexandrakis Quilting on the Go!
Here are the first two starts. Still 70 to go!!


Saturday, August 27, 2016

I'm a granny !

On the 9th of August I became a grandmother! What a beautiful experience!

I stayed in Athens to help and enjoy the little guy, who is a perfect baby. He sleeps, cries only when he is hungry or has a dirty nappy. It is amazing how quick they grow the first month, well, the first year as a matter of fact.

Two weeks before the baby was born the happy couple adopted a little kitten, they found!! Not the brightest idea, because it is only 2 months old and has to be educated, especially in an apartment. The cats they know from home are also in the garden and get rid of all the energy they have chasing flowers and leaves. Mio wants you to play with him and boy...has this little kitten an energy!!! He sees no danger and gave us all some heart attacks, being on the 4th floor, trying to look down from the balcony, putting his head between the railings. After a week or so he managed to walk on top of the railing.

 I am back in Sparta since a few days, happy to find the house and garden in a good state. My husband excelled himself!! 

We had  constant heat waves in Greece, very high temperatures, certainly not good for walking especially in Athens where it doesn't cool down during the night. Sparta lies in between mountains and is hotter during the day, but cooler during the night, so the early early morning (6 or 7 o'clock) is excellent for walking. The idea is that I start again tomorrow. Have to get rid of  some extra kilos. My pregnant daughter had a crave for ice cream and who am I, not to join her in this heat!! 
It is grape time, so I'll better switch to this delicious fruit now.

I am going to finish my baby storage unit now because in Athens I didn't have time. Time to go to work!


Friday, August 5, 2016

Heat wave - what to do??

We are still waiting for the baby to arrive, so I should have a lot of time to do some sewing! The thing is... we are having a long and very hot heat wave, and that really slows me down. 

When I arrived in Athens, I started to walk in the stadium next to my daughter's house, early in the morning. Then it became so hot, that I decided to wait a few days. I'm still waiting, so maybe I should just start again and ignore the heat. I really need some exercise!

There are few things I made, that I haven't posted yet. My camera broke down and it took me  a month to get a new one. I had just started to knit a white cotton baby cot blanket, although with these temperatures baby doesn't really need any blanket, not even a sheet!!! Of course the blanket is in Athens now and I could make a picture of it in the baby's cot. (When is he finally deciding to come???) 

The pillow case my mother bought when she was expecting me!! Never mind that I was a girl. Those days you had no idea what was coming! I always loved blue, maybe this is the reason why? Unconscious baby memories, haha!!

As it seems that babies have to be in sleeping bags nowadays I quickly sew this one. It is an embroidered pillow case, that I never used because it wasn't the right size. I closed it and put elastic through it. Excellent for this weather.

To keep myself busy I started to make a storage unit for the baby's room. It is still work in progress. I am going to have 9 pockets with animals appliqued on them. This is the first one, the hippo.

I  cut out all the pieces and made the lay-out 

 This morning I finished the first row, and now I have to hurry to continue the other two rows. Can't wait for it to be finished. Who knows, baby boy might suddenly decide to see this world today or tomorrow instead of waiting till Monday, when they have to go to the hospital for check-up, with the suitcase!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

getting ready !

Still about two weeks to go till the baby is due. I am in Athens at my daughter's place, helping out and waiting. This cot quilt was made about a year ago, but it was a little plain, till I appliqued the bear on it two weeks ago. 

Of course I also wanted to make something for the nursery, and, as it is going to be a boy, I choose these VW cars wall hanging. My first car was a Volkswagen beetle, slivergray, 10 years old. How I loved that car. No digital picture, though! 

Still in Sparta I finished the placemats for my Greek neighbour friend who lives in Holland and has two Dachshunds. The colours of the picture are not very good. I quickly photographed the doggies before I handed them over and started packing to get myself on the bus to Athens. 

My husband is on garden duty now and except from our Flopsy, he has company, when watering the garden, from a few stray cats, that we feed. 
This one is very cute and my husband's favorite.


 He looks a bit like Flopsy, who really likes his food, plays in the garden with the other cats and fights with intruders who don't belong in his territory. A bit peculiar, because he is neutered !!

Besides the garden Flopsy also likes fabrics and quilts. Whenever he gets the chance he will try to have a nap on top of my precious pieces.


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sun and thunderstorm - quilt and babies

My friend and sister-in-law, who lives in Australia sent me more than a year ago a fantastic quilt pattern, named Formal Dress. Together with it were also the jelly rolls to make it. I am so happy that I finally managed to finish this beautiful quilt. 

I have been busy in the sewing room! With the baby on the way I get carried away and have lots of lovely projects in my mind. Pinterest a great help, so many ideas!! What about this bandana bib, my daughter's old bear is wearing?

It seems that baby's nowadays are supposed to be in sleeping bags for their naps. Because the baby is due in August I just made this thin cotton bag and am planning the next one to be from flannel and then we will go on to the quilted ones. 

 It is a bit windy in the garden,so it is difficult to make a picture that shows the exact shape, but I'll guess, you get the idea!

The garden is lovely at the moment, especially when there is a breeze, usually early in the morning.

Great spot to  do some hand sewing. I have this work in progress going on. Six placemats for a friend with a Dachshund. 

I really enjoy working in the garden. That is: sitting and sewing or drinking coffee with friends, but also the real garden work, pruning weeding and so on!!!

This all looks lovely and sunny, but we have had quite some thunderstorms last week.

This is how it started. As we have a problem in the street with these short heavy rains I went to the front. 

 And below is a picture of the street half an hour later! 

After the rain, the sun again

 In the vegetable garden: flower of a leak

Friday, July 1, 2016

Baby on the way !

I'm going to be a grandma !!! How great is that !! My daughter is pregnant from a baby boy. Parents and grandparents are over the moon!! 
Of course I started sewing and knitting immediately. Yesterday I made these burp cloths.  

Looked in my stash for nice children's fabric. The backside is from flannel, soft and it doesn't slide.

About a year ago an old-fashioned shop in Sparta closed after being there for a 100 years or so. It used to sell clothes, fabric, sheets, towels, baby stuff and I don't know what more. For the last 20 years they only sold clothes; I didn't even know they had fabric!! At the closing sale I bought a lot, and I mean a lot of this blue cowboy and pink gardening vintage flannel. I bought all they got! Before I knew that my daughter was pregnant I already made this swaddle nappy/blanket.

This baby bag was also an earlier project. I took it to Athens last week, filled with the swaddle blanket and a thin white cotton blanket that I knitted. I don't have a picture of the blanket yet, because my camera broke down just when I finished that. But.... I bought myself a new camera, kind of a birthday present. Next time I am in Athens I can show you the blanket.

Well, I have a lot of other baby project planned: sleeping bag, quilt, wall hanging, stuffed animals, etc, etc. !! I'd better start working now !!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

house quilt

I started showing off the houses I made and received for the house quilt I did as a QAL with the Hellenic Quilting Guild. The houses are still looking lovely on my design wall. quilt yet!!! Maybe a nice job for this summer !

These are only a few of them. I have 34 houses, and still need 2 more, to finish the quilt. 

This little Dutch milk girl was made for me by Mania Hatziioannidi. Isn't she sweet?

I also got into the Dutch mood and made this windmill with the grazing cow for one of the other ladies.

From Olga Spiridaki I received this lovely Greek balcony 

This is the place to be at the moment, at the beach, diving in the crystal clear waters of the Greek sea. This little beach house I made looks more Dutch, though.

Enough houses for today. I'm off to the market in Papagou, Athens, where they sell lots of secondhand clothes. I love to search for vintage cotton dresses, shirts and whatever other cotton I can use to cut into pieces!!!!