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European Quilt-spiration!

It has been a busy couple of months--lots of quilting!-- since getting back from my overseas adventure, so this post is a little delayed. But what an adventure it was! Fun with the kiddos, seeing the sights, so many things!

I traveled with one of my favorite people (and oldest friends) and we went to Germany, France, and England. Of course, my favorite part of the trip was getting to see the babies, who already aren't so baby-ish. Where does the time go? I can't believe Leo is going to be three in April already. Here he is, checking out the fixture by the apple orchard in Germany that provides a habitat for insect life. It's great that he's learning first-hand about our interconnected ecosystems. We need birds, bees, and bugs!

After Germany, we hopped a train to Paris. I've been to France before, but I've never done tourist things in Paris, so this was all new to me. We went to the Louvre. To be honest, I was underwhelmed, but it was cool to see some iconic artworks ... the Nike of Samothrace, the Venus de Milo, and of course, the ever so tiny Mona Lisa (for which we declined to stand in line and just snapped a quick pic from across the room). Much more fun was the bus tour around Paris to just see buildings and parks and people. We took a boat ride on the Seine and waved hello at the little Lady Liberty statue. She faces directly toward her sister in New York City. The Eiffel Tower at night was gorgeous ... and the view spectacular! My favorite part of Paris wasn't actually in Paris, but in Giverny at Monet's home. Those gardens! Just like every gorgeous Monet painting you've ever seen ... but live and in riotous color. The house has hundreds of prints from Monet's Chinoiserie collections, and the tiniest sewing nook ... about 4 square feet! I could have just sat in the gardens all day ... but alas ... it was on to Versailles in the afternoon. Compared to Giverny the gardens were not all that spectacular (maybe it was too late in the year?), but it was pretty wild to see the interiors, especially the textiles in the recreations of the royal chambers.

After France, we hopped another train--a high-speed TGV, weeeeee!--to London. London is one of my favorite places, and it was wonderful to be able to share it with my bestie. On the visit list: Harrod's for lunch and browsing, Kew Gardens, the V&A Museum, St. Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament, a boat ride up the Thames to Greenwich Observatory that was made even more enjoyable by making friends with some pooches on the ferry, a play at Shakespeare's Globe, afternoon tea (a few times because ... yummm!), the Tower of London, and a stroll around the outside of Buckingham Palace. For the most part, we were blessed with gorgeous weather, except for the day we visited the Tower. The Tower Bridge photo below is actually in color (no filter!) ... it was just a grey kind of day. I really enjoyed the Greenwich Observatory. I hadn't been before and wasn't expecting it to be as fascinating and educational as it was. We got in a lot of London steps, and tons of ride on the Tube. Mind the gap!

And I haven't forgotten that this is a quilting blog. Of course, I went to Liberty London. The store is a gorgeous building, with several floors of fashion, homewares, and decor. Even the elevators are fancy. And, of course, there is fabric.

And even when I wasn't looking at fabric, quilt inspiration was EVERYWHERE. So many patterns in art and architecture carry over into quilting. I have more ideas than I can shake a stick at. Here are a few of the photos that had me constantly thinking about quilting.

I hope that you've enjoyed this little glimpse into my travels. Happy quilting!

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