To Dublin, Berlin, and Back (part Dublin)

I’m dividing this into two posts: first up is Dublin.  As a quilter, I didn’t know what to expect in the surface decoration, the patterns of everyday life in Dublin. Certainly we all are familiar with Celtic knots and crosses and the like, but I have never been that enamoured of those style of quilts (maybe it’s because I couldn’t face appliquéing all those linear feet of bias strips), so was looking for the “flavor” of Dublin that might interest me, a quilter.  So here follows not a travelogue of the two cities I visited, but instead, a sampling of visual pattern and a nod to fabric shops I encountered.

Dublin Christ Church.jpg

Christ Church, in Dublin, is undergoing renovation in certain areas of its property so they erected these fun, bold passageways to usher the visitor forward.  I thought it was just genius pulled out of thin air, until we entered the cathedral:

Dublin Christchurch floor1

The designs are pulled from its floors.  My husband is thoroughly trained as a Quilter’s Husband, so he started snapping photos, too, knowing how I would love the designs.Dublin Christchurch floor2

This is a panorama of one section of floor, and I recognize so many designs, as do you.  You can do a search on them, and find lots of material and more illustrations, but the tiles were either original to the 13th century, or 19th century copies.

Dublin Donuts

If I lived in Dublin, these would be my preferred snack.  They are nothing like American donuts–maybe a little like the filled ones, but their flavors and combinations were addicting.  I could see bringing one of each to a quilt retreat.

Dublin floral building

Lots of flowers, lots of green.

Dublin National Library

We went to the National Library of Ireland, in Dublin, after I saw photos of the reading room.  No photos were allowed, so I grabbed this one from the web:

Dublin NatlLibraryIreland_reading room

What a color palette!

Dublin St. Patricks Door

St. Patrick’s Cathedral, also in Dublin, brought more eye candy to this quilter:Dublin StPatricks floor1

Christ Church still is the best, I think, in terms of floor tiles.


Two shops: Hickey’s and Cloth. I zipped right into Cloth and brought home a tote bag (like I need another tote bag, right?).  I smiled when I saw their floor tiles.

Dublin Garden of Remembrance waves.jpg

Other decorative surfaces were the tiles design at the Garden of Remembrance, with coving on the side of the pool that imitated the laid tiling:

Dublin Garden of Remembrance waves2.jpg

Dublin Bee Stamps.jpg

Lastly, hexagon stamps…which I admired, but forgot to purchase.

Next up: Berlin.


12 thoughts on “To Dublin, Berlin, and Back (part Dublin)

  1. Christ Church was under renovation when we were there too. Guess it is a never ending project. The tile floors in the old buildings must be where quilters came up with their patterns – or visa versa. Those are really works of art.

    I love that tile work in the water. It makes the water appear to be moving. Thanks for taking us along on your trip via IG.

  2. Thanks for the travelogue. Christ Church tiles are just amazing. Wonder if anyone has actually made a direct copy of it as a quilt. I also really love the bottom of that pool.

  3. Will you rent your husband out from time to time? Preferably when he’s got one of these business trips scheduled! It’s not easy being green. Between your husband and the “fabric husband” in Australia, I’m about ready to start looking for a good candidate!

  4. Really fabulous designs! Those gradated aquas in the library were quite unexpected! I never would have thought such colors would be used in Ireland. It always seems gloomy (in my mind, anyway). As for the flowers above the silverware shop… were those real?! I’m guessing plastic, but I hope I’m wrong. Amazing to see. Can’t imagine how much work went into the tiles in that remembrance pool. Goodness! I sure love seeing artisanship like this though. Thanks for sharing your quilt-y views, especially as I doubt I’ll ever visit this part of the world.

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