Barcelona, Shoes, and Ribbon Foreword

Markita loved to travel and to share her experiences. Even though she is no longer with us we wanted to share this last post that she wrote for us.

Barcelona, Shoes, and Ribbon

by Markita Hall-Gumble

My friend Kim – @quiltaholicsanonymous and I have been on a shoe adventure.  Kim the amazing quilter didn’t stop with 2 pairs of SneakerKit shoes.   She had a pair of Birkenstock slip-on shoes that the uppers were wearing out.  Originally, she was going to replace it with leather, having been inspired by the Tandy shopping trips.  But after the quilted SneakerKit shoes, why not make the uppers quilted? 

She used a type of shoe glue that was originally used on the Birkenstock pair.  She created this quilt from fabrics she ice dyed.  And with the scraps, this mini quilt for her shoe pattern.   She now has a truly unique quilt to wear on her feet.


Now on to my adventure in Barcelona.  I have been to Barcelona many times and have experienced all of the top tourist sites.  So this trip I wanted to have some different experiences.  One of these was The Espadrilles Experience.

First we learned a bit about the history of Spain and the espadrille.  Spain is a very old country, with a fascinating history marked by changes brought about by wars and religion.  Today there are 4 official languages in Spain.  They are Spanish, Catalan, Basque (Euskera), and Galician.

This short history of espadrilles from Wikipedia : 
The existence of this kind of shoe in Europe is documented since at least 1322, when it was described for the first time with its current Catalan name. The term espadrille is French and derives from the word in the Occitan language, which comes from espardenya in Catalan or alpargata and esparteña in Spanish. Both espardenya and esparteña refer to a type of shoes made with esparto, a tough, wiry Mediterranean grass used in making rope. Its name in the Basque region is espartina. Espadrilles have been made in the Basque Country,  Catalonia and roughly all over Spain as well as the Occitania region of France. They were the usual peasant footwear since the 14th century at least, and are still being produced as from old. The oldest, most primitive form of espadrilles dates as far back as 9,500 years ago. Traditional espadrilles have a canvas upper with the toe and vamp cut in one piece and seamed to the rope sole at the sides. Often they have laces at the throat that are wrapped around the ankle to hold the shoes securely in place. Traditional espadrilles are worn by both men and women. Here is a history of the modern espadrille from Dali Authorities.

Espadrille Experience

At the Espadrille Experience we were shown choices of bases, styles, colors and charms. 

I chose the Wedge with the Galicia design and shades of brown with seashell charms. 

I bought a pair of black flat Dali style and some purple ribbons to create another pair.

Here is a photoshoot by Mike Simpson with my pair of espadrilles.

Markita Hall-Gumble

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