Since I am relaunching my blog starting from events of October 2016, I could not miss the craft fair Xeirotexnika that took place in Athens from the 21st to the 23rd of October. For your information, it is the largest craft fair in Greece with lots of exhibitors, materials for DIY, presentations, workshops etc.
For me, it is a great opportunity to see my patchwork friends, catch up, and show the patchwork and quilting craft to anyone that is interested and passes by our booth in the fair, to see some of our projects, learn something new about it, etc.
On Saturday, Oct 22nd, I was in Athens for this purpose, so I drove to the Exhibition Center of Peristeri. It was a weird October day, with heavy showers, and I since I am not used to drive in Athens, for me it was an achievement to manage to get there. I was very excited about this, the last time I was in the craft fair was two years ago, so I was very happy to find all my friends again, Mania and Giota, Marialena, Sandra, Katerina and Alexandra, Eleni and all the other friends from our FB group Και στην Ελλάδα αγαπάμε το Πατσγουορκ!!! Everyone had brought a quilt or a patchwork piece, a wall panel, etc, so we placed them on the walls of our booth (Mania’s husband helped a lot!!), we also placed the banner of the Hellenic Patchwork Guild (which was designed and made by Sandra Coronaki). We also placed the Husqvarna sewing machines on the tables (they were sponsored by Karamitsios) for the free seminars that the guild was going to have every couple of hours on that day, and then the fair was open.
This was a poster of the Hellenic Patchwork Guild announcing our presence in the craft fair and the timetable for the mini-seminars.
You can see our booth in the following images:
My quilt is in the third photo, the small white-and-blue-squares in the corner of the booth, if you wonder. On its right side you can see the banned of our guild and right next to it you can see the first QAL quilt that was organised by the guild in 2014. It was inspired by the white and blue of the Hellenic flag and the yellow from our sun. In the rest of the images you can see quilts and wall panels made from the guild members. Our friend Sandra was so busy this year, she managed to put together all the house blocks that the guild had exchanged in Our Neighborhood QAL that we did in 2015.
Apart from being huge and perfect, the quilt is also very heavy!!!
So, generally, in the craft fair, you could see the exhibitors and their booths, lots of seminars in 3 craft rooms and in a DIY room, presentations of new materials and techniques, and several workshops for adults and kids too!!! I cannot describe the number of people that showed up that day!!
The workshops especially were so popular, that me and my friend Katerina had to pre-register to two seminars of our choice that would take place on Saturday afternoon. Since I sew at home by myself, and hadn’t had a live seminar ever, I thought it would be great if I could take part in these two. The first was by Mania Hatziioannidi, who taught us how to make a mug rug with strips of fabrics. These fabrics were hand dyed by herself and her daughter Marialena – Marmalena – during the summer. They are such amazing fabrics, love them!!! I have taken the mug rug on my desk in the office!!! It’s my patchwork connection to my architect side!!!
The second seminar was from Marialena Hatziioannidi, who also had her little amazing helpers, her oldest son and daughter!!! We made this beautiful stuffed whale toy!!! We also used the hand dyed fabrics. Aren’t they pretty???
Especially for the whale toy, I have received orders from my friends who have small children to make one for them. Haven’t done that yet!!!
All these took place in the late afternoon. Previously, as mentioned above, mini-seminars were held by members of the guild to other members or to anyone who wanted to participate. Some of the mini seminars incuded information how to use your sewing machine, how to make hexagons, learn applique and sew a 3d star pincushion!!!
So at some point, my friends introduced me to Mary how owns Klotho, one of the patchwork/knitting/seminar spaces in Athens. In Klotho’s booth they were also displaying Mania’s Christmas quilt, a massive quilt with different blocks sewn in Christmas fabrics. Just beautiful, I would love to make one some day! So in Klotho’s booth I discovered Mania’s and Marialena’s hand dyed fabrics where i bough this selection, with the idea of making a rainbow quilt. After that I was advised to go to Kiki’s booth who owned Ifasmatakia – fabric shop, to get more fabrics with similar tones to the ones I had bought earlier (thanks to the girls there, I managed to enrich my selection for the quilt I had in mind). I had to limit my buys to 50 Euros, because everybody knows how easy it is to start buying fabric and lose all your money.
And of course I did not want to wait a couple more days to go home and start sewing, I wanted to start as soon as possible. I am not the only one who suffers from this, am I? So when all the other friends were sewing their pincushion, I was cutting my squares and sewing them together!!! Many thanks to Sandra who let me use her tools too!!
The two pictures above are taken from Xeirotexnika’s site. As it was expected, I only managed to cut and sew a couple of rows together, then I had to go to my workshops for the mug rug and the stuffed whale toy, and finally the day came to its end.
We put away the quilts and the wall panels, the sewing machines, the tools and all the other bits and pieces that my friends had brought, we said our goodbyes with the promise to meed them again soon. I put my home address to the gps, I missed an exit to the highway, got lost in Peristeri area, and then finally managed to get home after an hour. And then I unpacked all my goodies from the fair. I was very happy, my heart full of joy and ready for my trip back to Chania.
As soon as I got back home, I started cutting my fabrics and placing them in rows.
One day I even had a helper, Claire, how was guarding the squares.
At some point, things were a bit complicated for me and I was even thinking of quiting this project altogether…
Then, i managed to finish this project, even though i was pinched by the tiny needles too many times.
And finally, after 616 pieces, I believe I finished the quilt top…
I know this is a poor image, it was shot late in the evening with ceiling artificial light, standing on a chair, like Tarzan, I thing you get the picture. I promise to take better pictures after quilting and binding!!!
I am going to name it the Friendship Rainbow quilt. It is unique, it may look similar to others, but this one is made of hand dyed fabrics of Mania and Marialena, bought from Mary’s and Kiki’s booths, sewn in two different sewing machines, the Husqvarna at the fair and my Singer at home, supervised by Claire, 616 pieces of 7cm each, lots of patience and love!!!
Thank you for being here, wish we meet again in the next craft fair, to buy more fabrics and notions, sew along, laugh a lot, appreciate each other’s work and have an amazing time!!! Byee!!!