Let’s travel some more….

For those of you who are new to my blog, I have been working in a series called “Travel Log Quilts”. These are art pieces that were based on places that Michael and I have traveled.

I had been consistently posting about them but realized that I had lost that thread….apparently almost a year ago!!! That is a long time with no travel!!

So, let’s get back to some trips ….starting in my favorite city of Rome!!

The story goes back to 2010 when Michael and I spent 2 months in Italy, with one month in an apartment in Rome!!

No, this wasn’t the apartment, but one of my favorite corners of the city!!!

But first, I have to return to the last guild meeting that I attended prior to the trip. At that meeting, it was announced that our next guild challenge was going to be based on our upcoming quilt show…..”Hot Threads, Cool Quilts”!! The quilt needed to follow the theme but had to have some sort of three-dimensional embellishments.

So, with that in mind, we arrived in Rome. We had two favorite pastimes in the city…..drinking espresso and eating gelato!!!

One very HOT and one very COOL…….

Say, wasn’t that the name of the challenge!!!

When I got home, I started playing with photos from the trip, tinting each one in either a warm tone or a cool tone.

I constructed a basic layout…..

….and started making a paper quilt, determining the needed size of the photos as I went…..

I still needed to add the embellishment. Wasn’t it good that I had collected gelato spoons as we ate our way thru Rome!!!…..

I heated a needle in a flame and poked a hole in the handle of each spoon and then sewed them loosely onto the bottom border…..

On the side borders, I quilted faux spoon shapes and considered the quilt finished, calling it “Hot Espresso, Cool Gelato”!!!

It is a fun memory of an amazing month in Rome!!

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!!

Travel Log Quilt #2

Last time I showed you “Take Me Back To Guana Quay“, the FIRST in my unintentional Travel Log Quilt series.

This second quilt is called “Bells, Baths and Bidets” and, as every good quilt should, there is a story behind it!!

In 1998, Michael attended a conference in Florence, Italy. We decided that the kids and I would join him after the conference was over. We visited Florence, Stresa and Venice but, by far, our favorite was Rome.

When we arrived in our hotel there was a church bell ringing. Having now spent a month in Rome, I know that it is not an unusual occurrence, but being from Watkinsville, Georgia, we were not used to that sound. The family rushed to the closest window to see where the sounds were coming from…..

….and found this gorgeous bell tower just across the street…..

Being good tourists, we now headed to the bathroom to check out the amenities……

We found a curtain-less shower and a bidet….something VERY unusual for our kids. BUT, what caught MY QUILTER’S eye was the ceramic tile in the top center of this photo……

Sorry for the bad photo….but this was 1998!!

Much to my children’s embarrassment I pulled out tracing paper and traced the design in full….

Note….I am not sure WHY I had tracing paper with me but it was certainly fortuitous!!!

When I got home, I did some additional work on the pattern……

It was certainly a fiddly quilt to make including some machine applique and paper piecing…..

….and just a lot of intricate, time consuming piecing!!!!

But, I loved how it turned out……

When I started thinking about a name, it had to be “Bells, Baths & Bidets!!”…another reminder of a fun hotel in Rome!!

To Rome and back again…..

On Saturday we began our journey to spend a month in Europe with Michael working (teaching short courses) and me enjoying some sightseeing. I definitely have the better side of this deal!!

The flight from Atlanta to Rome was super easy and we both managed to sleep for a good portion of the trip. Our flight crew was magnificent….they were funny and sweet and very helpful. That always makes a trip easier.

Because Michael’s travel is being paid by the university in Naples, we had to book tickets to Naples, even though it was not our first stop of the trip. Our plan had been to fly to Naples and then take a train back to Rome.

While we were on the plane to Rome, we started wondering whether or not we could get our bags in Rome and not have to fly the second leg of the trip. The attendants worked hard to make it happen but unfortunately it would have meant that the return portion of our trip would have been cancelled as well and we couldn’t let that happen.

So, while we were standing in the Rome airport, waiting to board our flight to Naples, we started thinking thru the complications that could arise as we found a bus or taxi to take us from the Napoli airport to the Napoli Train Termini, book a train trip to Rome and then made that trip. (I think that we are a bit shy about train trips since our fiasco in China last year).

Suddenly, Michael looked at me and said “why don’t we just book another plane flight back to Rome”!! DUH….. That way we don’t have to leave the airport!! So, as we stood waiting to board the flight from Rome to Naples, he booked a flight from Naples to Rome…leaving 5 hours after we arrived.

We slept for all of the 45 minutes flight and both agreed that the first thing that we needed was food and drink and, when in Naples, you eat pizza……

The pizza was not the greatest, but the worst pizza in Naples is better than the best anywhere else!!!

The return flight to Rome was accomplished with both of us sleeping for an additional 45 minutes. We caught the “Leonardo Express” train from the airport to Romi Termini and then followed google maps to the hotel.

For dinner, we took the advice of our hotel and ate at a rooftop restaurant just down the street. The food was wonderful!!! We started with a House Red and bread…..

….were given an “on the house” appetizer of Cuttlefish in pesto sauce…..

….continued with Mozzarella Buffala and Sun dried tomatoes.

Main course for me was Cacio e pepe (pasta with cream sauce flavored with black pepper) while Michael enjoyed a Tagliatelle with Pecorino cheese sauce. To finish off the evening, we enjoyed a light and creamy Panna Cotta……

At this point, it had been about 36 hours since we had risen from our bed in Georgia, so it was time for sleep. In our sleep deprived stupor we had managed to turn our Air conditioner off so couldn’t figure out why the room wasn’t cooling. We took the easy route and simply opened the window.

We had been asleep for about an hour when I was woken by music…..accordion music to be exact……and singing!!! Apparently the Trattoria across the street has a wandering musician!!

It was a fun ending to a very long day!!!