Hello my dear friends,
Hope you are all well, given the circumstances, spring is finally here, still a bit chilly and windy and cloudy and rainy, but what can you do!!! March, even if it was a bit of a pain in the you-know-where, with a viral infection that affected my thyroid, and is a bit of work in progress here, also had its good moments!!!
One of those was a trip to my home town Patras, to see my family and friends, and celebrate mum’s birthday, and the other one was a trip to Athens, to attend the largest craft fair Heirotehnika, that took place from 24th to the 26th of March at the Helexpo exhibition center, in Marousi. I will not get into the details of my flight from Chania to Athens with the C-130 aircraft of the Hellenic Air Force (marriage has its extra good moments!), I am really thankful of the ground and air HAF personnel that were working on this day, and the three friends that I made while waiting for the flight, Vana- a HAF mechanic, Dora- who learns how to sew in Heraklion, and Despina – who is a young mother-to-be. We had a great time and I am also thankful for their great company and help.
Now, on with the craft fair part. I felt very comfortable in the craft fair this time, because we – the Hellenic Patchwork Guild – had a very special purpose. In the site of the Hellenic Patchwork Guild you can read the report of our guild. For those who are not familiar with the latest news, a new collaboration has started with Ilitominon, which is an organisation that “brings together parents of premature neonates with scientists, aiming at providing care to premature newborns” as they mention in their site. The least we could do for them as quilters, was to do what we do best, to make patchwork quilts. These will be used distributed to premature neonates clinics for preemies when they are taken outside of the incubator to be held by their parents. We also sew small hats for them in three different sizes.
On Saturday morning, March 25th, I packed all my things to go to the fair. I forgot to mention that on Thursday night, after cleaning up the house, shopping food supplies, cooking and doing some houseworks, I decided to finish quilting and put the binding on the rainbow quilt, whose fabrics I had bought in the last craft fair that took place in Oct 2016, and I had posted here. I had to buy extra fabric for the back of the quilt and the binding at the last moment from Marmalena, and as you can imagine, I wanted to present the finished quilt in the upcoming craft fair. For technical purposes, I gathered all my sewing bits and pieces to the dinning table and needless to say I finished binding the quilt at 3:30am of Friday dawn…. you can see the chaos that was created, and I will not mention the mistakes that I made, i was pretty sure after washing and drying, the quilt would shrink enough to make the mistakes invisible, plus I finally decided that I need a new sewing machine.
This time I managed to take with me some of my sewing notions, since last time my friend Sandra borrowed me some of her things. Since I had no time to sew a pouch to put them in, I used the one I had received in my October SewSampler box, that was the perfect pouch for my notions.
The day after, on Saturday, I arrived at the craft fair. I managed to find my way to the guild’s area by hearing the sewing machines working!!!
Six sewing machines, all occupied, fabric everywhere, batting, rotary cutters, rulers, thread spools, quilt tops sewn at that moment, large quilts on the walls, a huge creative buzzing noise, which felt a bit intense at the beginning, since I am used to sew alone at home, but I managed to fit into this very soon and start sewing my first quilt top for the preemies!
I sat next to my friend Antonia, who wanted to take pictures with everyone, so…yes, we had a great time from the start!!
And among other quilters, here is Titika working on her quilt top, one of the 7 amazing ones that she made on the fair, Eleni who kept on taking pictures of everyone and everything, we had a great chat and she’s an amazing quilter too, Ioanna was behind the sewing machine, Theodora had brought her Janome and was working on her quilt tops all the days that she was on the fair, and Argiris embellished so many baby hats with lovely little decorative details and loads of love!!
I began sewing my first baby quilt top on Saturday morning and finished binding on Sunday morning, and on top of that I wanted to quilt some feathers on some of the squares, I think it is the first time I made feathers, they are not perfect but I tried my best!
This is the second baby quilt that I made on Sunday, in pink tones with a different technique, sadly the poor lighting is not showing the colours of the fabrics properly. Both were made with loads of love and hope that they contribute to the purpose of Ilitominon.
I also went for a walk around the fair!! I visited mostly the booths that sold items relevant to sewing and quilting, like Marmalena, Ifasmatakia, Stolidaki and Psalidi & Kordela!! To be honest, I only bought specific things from Marmalena and Ifasmatakia, for which I had made an online research prior to coming to the fair, and I will need for my next project. If I had a financial support from the national bank, I think you understand I would have bought half of the items in the fair.
It is always a pleasure to meet the girls from ftiaxto.gr, Elina and Valia, who I follow and admire from 2007 or 2008 when they had just produced their second videocast with knitted hats (if I remember correctly) by the sea. After wathing that video and looking through their site, I realised that we are several people who love to create handmade projects. I asked them about the craft fair that they went in Paris and the brand new seminar (all in greek) “Learn how to sew with your sewing machine”. I know that there are so many platforms that offer online classes in English, but this one, created by Elina and Valia is the first ever greek spoken video tutorial in Greece. I believe it is quite an achievement, don’t you think? Elina asked me if I would like to take a picture with them and put them on my blog, I was like “are you kidding me? of course I do, I am your fan!!”
After this great moment, I continued my walk around the fair, and ended up shopping at Marmalena, where on Saturday I had bought 1m of batting to use for my baby quilts, as the batting that she had donated for this cause was already gone!! After that I went to Ifasmatakia and bought 2m of fabric, because I wanted to use it for a specific project. The fabrics and notions that are bought in the fair are the following:
- 10 fat quarters in blue tones and hues, with an extra gift in blue too. I have already used this type of fabrics on my previous project of the rainbow quilt, they are lovely to use, hand dyed by Mania, and I really love working with them!
- Two spools of Petalouda thread in light blue for the sewing machine, and one spool of Guttermann, for hand quilting (which I have never used before, but it is said to be really good!!)
- And in this pretty not-focused picture you can see the Odif spray glue and the Prym marker that is self erased after 24 hours.I had used a spray glue in the past, for some reason I stopped using it, but would love to try it on a new project again.
- I also bought two Omnigid rulers in cm, one is a square 15×15cm and the other is rectangular 10×45cm. In the other picture you can see all my rulers in cm, along with my old ones, a square 31,5×31,5cm and a rectangular 15×60cm. I bought the smaller ones because they are easier to handle on small projects, Unfortunatelly, my dog Ares, was completely bored while I was taking the pictures. I wonder why…
- The batting that I mentioned earlier, is one of my favourite items, it is easy to use and manage, it reacts well when washed, and when it dries, it shrinks as much as I need. It is a keeper!!
- Ok, now to the 2m of fabric, off-white, that I bought it form Ifasmatakia. It also came with written instructions of how to use, wash, dry and cut, which is always useful and a great reminder. I will use this fabric (and more if needed), along with the blue fabrics that I got from Marmalena, in order to begin the Block of the Month for 2017 (it’s already April and I keep on starting things), that I saw on Craftsy, it is called 2017 Blazing Star Block of the Month with Nancy McNally. Now that I see it again I will also need some greens, purples, reds, fuschias and pinks, lots more dark and light blues, loads of patience and time!!! oh my!!!
These concluded my “shopping spree” in the craft fair, as I said before, if I had the bank support I would have taken many more!!!
Did I show you my Rainbow quilt? My friend Katerina is helping by holding it!
And some images of our guild’s corner, along with the first Hellenic QAL quilt, with friends that I made through the Hellenic Patchwork Guild and Facebook group “Και στην Ελλάδα αγαπάμε το Πατσγουορκ“. I was really really happy to see you all again, and meet in person some talented friends that I only knew online too!!!
Finally, an image to show you how many things were gathered to be given to Ilitominon, 117 hats and 76 baby quilts, with lots of love from the members of the Guild that participated in this cause.
I came back home with a heart full of beautiful images, wishes from my friends, my shopping bag full and a wish for our next meeting to be as productive as this one. I know this post may be a bit huge, just imagine how much I wanted to share my experience with you, I was writing the greek post a couple of hours for 5 afternoons, and spent a few hours to write the english one.
Hope you liked this post. I know whoever is following me from the US, Canada or Europe, your craft or quilt fairs are enormous, but here this is only the beginning, and I can only hope for bigger and better craft fairs here. Plus I would love to visit quilt fairs around the world at some point (me and all my fellow guild members too!!)
Thank you for being here today, hope you stay safe, until next time, take care!!