Adventures at a Tuscan Villa

Back in 2010, Michael and I had the joy of spending 2 months in Italy where he worked and I played!!!

We were invited by two of his friends to spend the weekend at their home in Tuscany. If you would like to read about the weekend, start with THIS POST. Little did we know that they lived in a gorgeous Villa……

….with an amazing vineyard and garden nearby.

While we were exploring the area, Michael took one of our favorite photos from the trip…..

Escala Azule

Several weeks ago I showed a quilt that was made based on a photo taken in Porto, Portugal. You can check out that post HERE…..

Here is an excerpt from my blog about the next day…..

As I walked back across the bridge, I noticed a long set of stairs that went up the hill to the area that I was trying to reach. I also saw a small tram that would take you up the mountain. As I was debating about which to use, I noticed that there was a fairly long line for the tram and that the ticket machine was not working well and there was a tram agent banging on it to try to get it to work. SO, I decided to climb instead.

After I had climbed the first 100 steps, I turned a corner and found that there was ANOTHER set of steps and terraces that ended up being 114 MORE steps. However, it was a very interesting walk as there were homes located along these terraces, with kids, dogs and small shops along the way. I watched as one woman walked out of her door and up about 90 steps to get to her car. I can’t imagine how they manage to live there. Also, one of the train lines ran just above the houses so I would imagine that it is relatively noisy as well. But, the views were wonderful!

After I had finished “Casa Amarela”, I wanted to continue working on perspective in stairs, so I decided to use the long flight that I had walked up first.

I printed the photo in black and white and enlarged it to a full sheet of paper. Then I took a fine-point sharpie and traced the lines on the copy…..

The good thing about using a sharpie is that the ink soaks thru to the back…..

….leaving a perfect “reverse image” design for paper piecing!!!

I started piecing at the bottom….

….and worked my way up the stairs.

I was thrilled with the final quilt……

…and left with a memory of a fun day AND a lesson in perspective at the same time!!

Hidden Art

In 2020, Michael and I had the amazing opportunity to spend 8 weeks in Italy, with the entire month of September in Rome. While we were there, our friends, David and Lyn, came to visit and spent a week with us. You can read more about our Italian in THIS and surrounding posts.

On our first day out, we headed to the Pantheon which was only a 10-minute walk from our apartment…if you didn’t get lost!! We had gone this way many times, quickly walking past a small church without thinking about it. Well, David had done his research before the trip and told us that there was a Michelangelo sculpture in this small, nondescript church….who knew!!!

As expected, the sculpture was amazing but NOT the subject of this “Almost” Wordless Wednesday.

Instead, I found a lovely Madonna and Child statue in one of the corners and snapped a bunch of shots. In particular, I love how the light hits and highlights the beads…..

I love when this photo surfaces on my desktop. It is a sweet reminder of an amazing trip, super friends and the peacefulness of a small church in Rome!!

Casa Amarela

Today’s Travel Log Quilt comes from the beautiful city of Porto, Portugal. Michael has been there many times, and I have had the pleasure of joining him for two of those trips.

Having grown up in West Texas, I know what a FLAT city looks like…..Porto is NOT one of those…..

The city is nothing but up and down and up and down and up and down….you get the picture!!

On our first trip, as I was trying not to get lost….and failing (this was prior to Google Maps), I came across this sweet street and loved the yellow house at the top of the stairs. I quickly snapped a photo as I walked past…..

This image stayed in my mind as I returned home and I finally decided that the only way to get it out of my mind was to make a quilt from it…..what else!!!

The things that excited me about this project were trying to get the perspective of the steps and adding the details to the house. I decided that I wanted to piece this as much as possible which meant having to come up with a paper pieced pattern.

I first blew the photo up so that it filled a sheet of paper and then printed it in black and white. I used a fine-point Sharpie to trace over all of the lines that I saw in the photo…..

Now the good thing about using this pen on paper is that some of the ink soaks thru the paper, providing a reverse design on the back….

exactly what I needed for paper piecing!

I blew this reverse image up to the size that I wanted………

and started playing with fabrics…..

I had so much fun quilting in the details…..

The final quilt is a fun reminder of a sweet day roaming around the hills of Porto…….

“Casa Amarela” (Yellow House)

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