Friday, June 12, 2015

Roman floors

Hi all, and happy weekend! If you're reading this on Friday or Saturday, I am off at an academic conference, which sounds really dull but usually isn't.  Cross your fingers that my presentation goes well. I am leaving behind this post, though, to tell you about a new project that I just finished starting. Or started finishing.  Don't really know, but I'm quite excited about it!

We travel pretty often, and I've been to a lot of places around the world, many more than I ever thought I would back when I was a teenager stuck in a crummy school.  One of the places I've been to several times is Rome.  All of Rome is interesting, but one of the best places to visit is the Vatican, which I know is not really Rome but Vatican City, but you have to go to Rome to get there. If you like art, iconography, religion, symbolism, guards in very strange costumes, or random graves, St. Peter's is the place to be.

I'm always struck by the floors there. Weird, I know, but every one of them is a quilt pattern.  Take a look at a few pictures from my last trip:

Pretty sure this was one of the floors in a gallery on the way to the Sistine Chapel.  It's like someone threw several quilts on the floor. Or a really odd quilt show!

Here's another:

This one is also in a gallery, and I remember another artifact case just off the top of this photo.

One more:

This one is very near the Sistine Chapel.  The Chapel also has an interesting floor, but I was too distracted by the very large Michelangelo painting in there to remember to take floor pictures.  Plus the guards kept yelling "no photo!" every few minutes. It's one of our biggest memories of the Chapel.  (True fact--we got a wi-fi signal in the Sistine Chapel so we got to look up some of the paintings online while we were standing there. I love the 21st century.)

With all of this great inspiration, what's a quilter to do? Copy one of these for a quilt, of course! I've been meaning to do this for a year or more, and I finally got around to drafting some blocks and putting them together recently. I made drawings for a lot of the floor blocks pictured here, but I decided to make a quilt just like that bottom floor picture. Doesn't it look like a quilt already?

So far, I made up 6 blocks to test the pattern I drafted:

I think they look pretty good! These blocks will finish at 8 inches square. I originally tried to make them the same size as the floor blocks, which is about 5-1/2 inches square, but the measurements were so odd that I finally gave up.  (Yes, I measured the floor, down on my knees. I think people thought I was praying. My daughter practically disowned me right there.)

The blocks are all batiks, which I think mimics the marble pretty well. The dark is a navy blue, not a black, though I may use a black batik for a very narrow sashing.I haven't decided yet, or decided how big to make the quilt.

Anyway, that's my finished start for this week! Or started finish! I think what will really make this quilt great will be the fabrics, and I have to go shopping for some more because I really need batik solids for this. Won't that just be awful?

If you have floor pictures of your own, I'd love a look! Also, last reminder to leave a comment HERE if you would like to adopt an orphan project absolutely free.

Everyone have a great weekend! Hope you aren't spending it in a conference room!

Linking to Confessions of a Fabric Addict and also Finish it up Friday.


Quiltdivajulie said...

LIKE this a LOT!!!!!

quiltfool said...

Would you consider sharing your cutting dimensions? Loving this floor inspirations. I'd see one and think I'd like to imitate it, then I'd see the next and want to try that one, too. Lane

Terri said...

I'd love to think that Michelangelo walked those tiles... he's my art hero. I saw a TV show about restoring the ceiling - cleaning it, etc. I cried, the cleaned colors were so vibrant and beautiful.
Thanks for showing the floors. I have seen some of those quilt patterns before. Classics.

Libby in TN said...

I don't think I even looked at the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel; I was too occupied with the floors! I admire your attempt at capturing the memory. Batiks are the perfect choice.

JanineMarie said...

Oh, this is going to be SO beautiful. I love seeing pictures of floors that look like quilts, but I've never been overseas to see the really old ones. I have made one small quilt based on a floor close to home--the floor was discovered during the renovation of a downtown building that had had it's upper stories sealed off for many years. I really enjoyed that project. I'm looking forward to watching yours grow. I really like the navy background with the other fabrics.

Tawa said...

Have fun at your conference. I always try to take in some museums etc too, but of late seem to spend more time looking at textile collections in the museums. Half of my photos from my last trip were of socks and other knitted textiles!

Lara B. said...

Mari you weren't kidding about he floors being perfect quilt patterns! This one you have been working on is gorgeous! The colors are perfect too.

MissPat said...

Your photos of floors remind me of many blog posts by Bonnie Hunter on her trips to Europe. She often shares floors in cathedrals, churches, and even restaurants which depict perfect quilt designs. Probably because they are mosaics and very geometric in design. Love your interpretation and can't wait to see the finished project. What a great way to remember your travels.

Hollie @ Just a Mom who Sews said...

Oh, so pretty! It's a dream to go to the Vatican some day....