Hello dear friends,
Hope you are all well and that you have decorated your Christmas trees by now!! We managed to put the tree up a few days ago, and still need to add some more decoration, but weekend is here so we’re do the finishing touches.
I hope you recall the previous craft fair Heirotechnika that took place in March. There were two more, one in November in Athens and one in December in Heraklion, Crete. I am super happy because I managed to go to all three of them, and I get super excited before and after that, so what is better than blogging about it, right?
Long story short, I flew to Athens in the beginning of November to go to the craft fair that weekend. I was tired with the delayed flight, but also super super excited to go and see my friends. So the next day, it was so refreshing for me to get ready, get my sewing bits and pieces, get some biscotties from the local bakery for the morning coffees, some sweets for the 10th birthday celebration for the owners Valia and Elnia of the Ftiaxto craft site, and get into the metro to go to the fair.
Hellenic Patchwork Guild was once more present with a booth, and we managed to sew a few hats and small quilts for the preemies of Ilitominon, like we did in the previous fair. Two whole days of sewings with friends, talking, laughing, explaining to people what we do, offering information about our cause and about the Guild.
Let me begin by saying how great the guild’s booth was, I trully believe it was one of the most colorful ones!! My friend and board member of the Guild, Giota was telling me how long it took them to decorate and reorganize the location of the quilts!! I really loved what they did!! As you have probably figured out I did not take many pictures either of the booth or of the whole craft fair!!! I was super excited with our booth and sewing with friends. Ok, in the picture below I will describe the works as you see them. Starting from top left I believe you understand that this is the Splendid Sampler, one of a kind, made by my talented and very determined friend Sandra, and the pieces at the bottom left are made by my friend Alexandra Panagoloulou. The one in the middle is made by my friend Eva, on its right side the quilt is made by the girls in the quilt bee of Sparta, and the one in the corner I cannot recall whose it was(help, memory failure!!). The flowers and the houses above those are made by my friend and vice president of the Guild’s board, Titika, and in the corner on the right hand side it is the first Hellenic QAL quilt from 2014 that comes everywhere!!! In front of the sewing machines you can see little quilts for the preemies!!!
- Hellenic Patchwork Guild’s booth(half!!)
Somewhere in the center of the picture you can see my friend Antonia, we had a great catch up since the last time we met. I really cannot recall why on earth I did not take a more panoramic view of the booth, I mean, honestly!! Plus on the left hand side of the booth, there was a huge sample quilt, made by one of Antonia’s and mine’s friend, Konstantina, who is an ex-newbie in patchwork. In fact, when people were approaching us asking questions like “Oh, it seems so difficult to make, doesn’t it?” I would reply “Let me tell you a story of a newbie quilter who made THIS sample quilt, starting from a nine-patch, going on to HST, then flying geese, then log cabin, then mini log cabins etc” and they would look at me with disbelief and awe at the same time!!!
This time I brought with me a block design for the little quilts that I wanted to make and I chose the Friendship star, thinking that it would be easy for me to make at least two small quilts in two days. Unfortunatelly, I only managed to make one, with much love.
The friendship star quilt that I made for the premiees
On Sunday I had the pleasure of spending the morning sewing with my friend Argiris, who came from Chalkida, Evia. He managed to sew a few hats for the preemies and this wonderful little quilt for a baby boy. Argiris was so happy for his quilt!! Bless!!
- Argiris with the quilt he made for the preemies.
Honestly, I have no idea what happened to the rest of the craft fair, I was so busy sewing in our booth and talking with friends and guests, time was flying by so quickly. I only went around the fair when I wanted to buy a few things for me, from booths that were selling fabrics and supplies (like the white fabric with the little hearts that I bought from Ifasmatakia, and a 6,5inch*24inch ruler, a couple of seam rippers and three hand-dyed fabrics from Marmalena, that I used to make a 15cm*15cm square panel for the Wall of Crafters that the girls from Ftiaxto had installed in the entrance of the fair, celebrating their 10th birthday!!)
Happy 10th Birthday Ftiaxto.gr
I just love this picture of the girls
Elina and the wall of crafters
One of the sweetest moments during these two days is that I managed to meet with my friend Martha, whom I had not seen since 2011. Me and Martha were best friends while studying together Architecture at Leeds Beckett University (former Leeds Metropolitan) and is one of those friendships that last forever!! I love you my friend!!
So, for two full days I was super busy at the Guild’s booth, sewing and talking with people, fellow quilters etc. One of the people that stopped by to meet us was Georgia, who is a sewist and owns a blog called Acornkiss. She’s one of those people that when you meet them for the first time, it’s like you know them for a long time. I follow her blog now and I really love the dresses she makes, hopefully she will inspire me to sew a dress for me, when I finish all the other UFO’s, maybe soon???
And so, Sunday evening came, the fair was closing, we gathered all the items from our booth for the girls to take them to the Guild’s office. Unfortunatelly there was a strike in the public metro, so my friend Katerina Ioannou drove me all the way home. I am very much obliged to her for this.
Katerina, Mania and Prokopis at Marmalena’s booth
So on Monday I packed my suitcase, went to Eleysina and took the flight home to Chania, Crete. On Tuesday morning, in the office, work, with no fabrics and no colors… ohhh :(( and for the next 4 weeks projects’ deadlines were approaching fast, working overtime and on weekends too…
At some point, while talking with the girls on the Guild’s board, I was informed that the Guild would not be able to come to the craft fair in Heraklion, Crete at the beginning of December. Truth is that it is very tiring to go from fair to fair, it requires too much energy when you have a booth, you have to be there constantly and focused. Anyway, I had taken it for granted that someone would come and that I would spend three days helping to set up the booth and respond to people’s questions and cut, sew and iron all at the same time, so yes I was a bit disappointed. However, Mania, our Guild’s president, and her husband came to Crete, to help set up Marmalena’s booth, waiting for their daughter Marialena, who owns the shop, to arrive from Athens too. Unfortunatelly, her flight was cancelled due to bad weather, so Mania and Prokopis were on their own for three days.
I managed to visit the fair in Heraklion on Sunday 3rd of December. Last time I was there was in 2014, when the Guild was in its early form, with a large booth and loads of beautiful quilts and bags and pillows made by the fellow quilters. So I paid my ticket, went through the doors, and the first thing that came into my mid is “Where is EVERYONE? where is the fair of 2014?” Apparently, not many exhibitors came, neither from Heraklion nor from Athens, so the general volume of the fair was small, and there were not too many visitors like the last time, so it was a huge difference. :(((
On the bright side, I found Marmalena’s booth fairly easily.
Marmalena’s booth at Heraklion fair.
The joy of meeting Mania again was huge! Her husband Prokopis, was sick during the last few days, but he stood like a rock next to her. I wished him to feel better soon and being unaware about their daughter Marialena’s whereabouts I asked “So where is Marialena and her son?” and Mania replied “Oh you haven’t heard? their flight was cancelled due to the bad weather and the strong winds and they are not coming!” ohhh nooo…So after the initial shock, it was time for Mania to present materials from her shop, like battings and other material that we use in patchwork. I went along to see the presentation and take pictures to post on facebook.
I know I need improvement in correspondence. At the end of the presentation, since I was just a visitor, I went around the fair and I got a bit disappointed, because last time it was full of people, exhibitors, booths, you name it, and this time they were so much less…anyway, not going to mention more about it, just sharing my personal thoughts.
After this, I spend a few hours in Marmalena‘s booth, I bought a couple of fabrics for the lining of a new bag that I make for me, and some holiday themed fabrics. Since there was not a single sewing machine in the fair to borrow, I started sewing by hand a decorative christmas tree. By the end I was disappointed at my work, Mania though, was excited and asked to keep it, while I wanted to disappear from the face of the earth, you know what I mean…
In the early afternoon I decided to leave the fair, said my goodbyes with Mania and Prokopi because I wanted to stay more and help them pack everything. However, since I was in Heraklion, I also wanted to visit two of my best friends, Dina and Frank at their home. Dina and I were also best friends at university and Frank was my roommate in my block of flats at uni, so yes, 19 years of friendship there too. After that, I had a 2-hour drive home in the evening, with very bad road conditions.
In this part of my greek-written article I mention that even though the Hellenic Patchwork Guild is based in Athens, it represents all its members from all over Greece. And whilst in Athens, Sparta and Rafina there are already groups of quilters who meet and quilt, sew, and receive or give lessons to others, in Crete we have not had this opportunity yet. And even though Crete is a perfecture and it has 4 municipalities, we have not met to get organized into a group of quilters. I mention it in english too because I know in the States and in England and Australia too, there are guilds in every corner, and it may seem very easy for people to find quilt shops and fellow quilters, but in Greece we are in the very early stages of this.
I mean, while I was at Heraklion fair, at Marmalena’s booth, several ladies came and said “Oh it is so beautiful, how do you do it? it must be difficult” and then I stood up and told them that if they actually wanted to learn how to do it, they should contact the Guild and then we could make arrangements for free classes for the guild’s members in Crete too. So this is an opportunity for everyone and anyone with small or little or no knowledge of sewing and patchwork to ask the guild about classes in Crete. Either in greek or in english, it can be done. Just leave me a message, email, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org, just ask for help and advice and the guild will help spread this beautiful craft.
Today for instance, the Guild is having its Christmas celebration party at a multi-purpose space/cafe in Athens, and prior to the party they will have a free class too. I will not be able to attend this time, and I know I have said it before, I will try to attend next year!! Hope all my friends have a wonderful time today!!
So thank you all for being here today, hope you have a great weekend, enjoy your time whatever you do, sew, quilt, knit, eat, watch, listen to, etc and if you want to let me know what you think about our fairs or anything else, you are welcome!!!
Stay well and safe you all, regards from Greece!!
In the fair in Athens, we had this pretty pixy, she’s so happy, bless her!!