Each month, Mingei will put a spotlight on a European craft community. From innovative to traditional practices, we will explore the exciting territory of both expert and amateur craft communities. This month: Paplomatoudes (which is the Greek world for quilters), a Hellenic Patchwork Guild.
On Thursday 31 October, Eleana of PIOP had the opportunity to meet with Ms Mania Hatziioannidi, President of the Hellenic Patchwork Guild. In a very descriptive and passionate way, Ms Hatziioannidi narrated the history of patchwork and quilting and shared her vision on the Patchwork Guild.
Quilting is still not very well known in Greece. It started out as a way to take advantage of all remains of fabrics of curtains, dresses and alike, and women were making simple quilts out of squares. Quilting became more widespread in Greece after the war of Asia Minor in 1922. Refugees from Turkey came to Greece and brought their expertise on quilting with them.
But aside from the increased popularity, there was still a lack of teachers and a difficulty to access fabrics and notions. On top of that, as there was no official Greek quilting association, Greece did not have the opportunity to take part in international quilting events and festivals as a country. Since 2015, the Hellenic Quilting Guild has been a fact and has also been represented in the European Quilting Association.
With around 100 members, young and old, they are now able to take part in events and promote the craft of patchwork and quilting. And they create quilts together too: the photo above shows the Hellenic quilt, the first quilt made by 30 people across the country who sent in a square inspired by the Greek flag and yellow of the sun.
Want to know more about Paplomatoudes, or get involved? Take a look at their website https://paplomatoudes.gr/