Thursday, September 19, 2013


After a long stretch away from your own bed, it is always wonderful to get back home. I was not able to do much of anything related to quilting while I was away. There was a small shop in Heidelberg that sold Pfaff sewing machines and fabric, including some for quilting. I was able to buy several fat quarters of beautiful Japanese taupe fabrics. This is an expensive hobby if you are not in the United States. Each fat quarter cost 5 Euros and with the Euro equivalent to 1.36 dollars, each one cost a whopping $6.80. I also splurged and bought a pair of Italian shoes that were marked down to 99 Euros. They are completely comfortable and will look very nice with tailored wool slacks for autumn wear.

There was plenty of quilt inspiration, however. In the Altes Museum you only had to look down to see intricate mosaic tile floors.


In the Pergamon Museum, you find the walls of the fabled city of Babylon. Who knew they still existed?  Here is the gate as you entered the city. It is probably 20 meters high. It's composed of glazed tiles. I saw this 20 years ago and it is as incredible today as the first time I laid eyes on it.

This is a portion of one of the walls.

From the gate, you would have walked down a long street lined on either side by bas relief animal figures, also made from glazed tiles. The tiles are textured to indicate the animals' manes, fur, and other features.

This is a glazed tile prayer niche from a mosque. Each smaller niche is patterned in a different motif from the others. All the tiny tiles were hand cut and pieced into the whole. The imam would have faced the niche when praying and the acoustics were such that he could then be heard throughout the mosque by the praying faithful.

In Dahlem, a suburb of Berlin, we visited the third largest botanical garden in the world. Kew Gardens in London and the botanical gardens in Montreal hold spots one and two, sizewise. The dahlias were in full bloom and here is one lovely in my favorite orange color.

Here is another dahlia with peculiar curled petals. We saw several of this variety in various colors. The garden is very naturalistic in the presentation of the plants. There were literally thousands of plant markers tucked in next to the specimens which made it easy to identify something if you were interested. The plant markers were always in Latin, that is, they showed the correct botanical names of the plants.

Even the trash receptacles had Latin names, which I found very clever.

I came home with a bad cold so I am taking it easy. Sleeping a lot and only very slowly getting the suitcase unpacked, laundry done, etc.


  1. I love those Babylonian gates, I have not seen those before! I particularly like the way the form repeats, but the animals are different. That's an interesting idea!

    Glad to see you back. Take it easy and get well soon!

  2. can see you had a wonderful time and saw lots of interesting things. The fabric was pricy but here in the UK some fat quarters are as much as £3.50 but if lucky can pick them up for less at the shows,n maybe they are not such good quality or old designs but when building a stash like I am trying to do I have to watch the pennies!