Sunday, April 3, 2011

Art quilt: Roman ruin

For inspiration for a portable hand-quilting project, I looked back at my pictures taken two years ago in northern Italy. I visited the ruin of a Roman villa on the south end of Lake Garda. This villa would have had several levels, with columns and stone arches looking out over the lake, and awnings set up as shade on the top level.

This is a portion of a brick floor that remains, and the herringbone pattern is still beautiful after 2,000 years:

This gives you a sense of the different levels that made up the villa. The building in the distance is a hotel in the modern town near the ruin.

Although the day I visited was overcast and wet, you could still see across the lake pretty well.

I used these photos for inspiration and came up with some log-cabin type blocks that remind me of the villa. The images of the doorways and walls are pretty graphic. I used my stash of hand-dyed Cherrywood fabrics. See the Cherrywood website here: The blocks are kind of a creative wreck, aren’t they? Like the ruins. Here are the blocks before I squared them up and arranged them:

Originally I intended to surround each block in the same blue, but I thought it looked more like the ruin itself with the blocks sewn right next to each other and blue for the border. I added a few filler strips, but not many. It's about 27 x 27 inches.

I call it “Roman Ruin at Lake Garda.” Now I am headed back to Italy, with my little art quilt to work on, my camera, and a sketchbook. I am not taking my computer, so this blog is also on vacation! By Tuesday I will be eating the real Neapolitan pizza and sleeping within exploding distance of Mt. Vesuvius. Arrivederci for a little while.


  1. WOW! It's beautiful! I can't wait to see how you quilt it!

  2. I am so jealous...loved visiting Italy!

  3. Have a wonderful time in Italy! Looking forward to more pictures!


  4. Just beautiful! Those pictures are inspiring!

  5. I love what you are doing ... If , once you are planning to visit France .. we are living not far from the german border , near NAnCY end not far from STRASBOURG and you are welcome !! You will be surprised as we don't have quilt shops like yours , I remember those I have visited with my friends in Minnesota ! hers , we haven't many fabrics and they are very expensive !!! taxes about U.S fabrics are too important !!! LOL !