Designs Everywhere!

On Wednesday we took the kids on a trip to places of worship of three Abrahamic faiths, a cathedral, a mosque, and a synagogue.  Although I have been on this trip many times before, I always learn something new.  I am given the same sheet to fill out as the kids are, but woo hoo, as a science teacher I am not expected to fill out all of the info.  For each sacred space they are given a place to draw some of the architecture.  Well, that is about all that I do with that sheet – draw.  And, I look at the designs with a quilter’s eye.  By the end of the day I was struck by the similarity of  the designs.  Pardon the pictures, they are enhanced closeups as I was drawing with a golf pencil.  I could not take photos – let’s just say that the colors in the mosque and cathedral were fabulous, rich and vibrant.

First off, here are some of the designs that were on the walls of the mosque.

And then I looked up and saw this overlapping star.  In so many places, people forget to look up.  Ceilings of grand buildings do not disappoint.  Designers really like to embellish all surfaces!

Many of the motifs had an over under weave that I think of a traditional to the Celtic weaves.  Here is the small quilt that I made in which I learned about those designs.  Next up was the cathedral.  First what struck me was that there were so many different rocks used in that building that I could teach a geology lesson!  Then to the motifs again…  the star motif is similar as well as the side pieces of the design on the right where there is a ribbon on the side that then wraps halfway around a small circle.  I did not finish drawing it, but that side piece looks a lot like the design from the mosque.

Also, some of the stained glass windows really looked like quilt blocks.

Finally, after lunch we went to an Orthodox synagogue.  There was less ornamentation, but one design in the front caught my eye.  This was white on white relief with a touch of gold.

The design inside of the circle is slightly different from the others, but the ribbon around the circle is the same. 

Thanks for reading through this far.  Where do you find inspiration for your quilting designs?  Let me know of other places that inspire.  It was a good day, and on the way back to school we saw how the city was bursting with blooms – daffodils, forsythia, all sorts of blooming trees!  I think that the annual cherry blossom post is coming up soon!



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3 responses to “Designs Everywhere!

  1. Barbara

    Thank you, Lynne. I almost felt like I was there! How neat that you discovered all of the similarities. Seems like you could cook up a quilt synthesizing many of these religious motifs.

  2. Love this post! I love looking at the world with “a quilter’s eye.” There are so many design possibilities around us for both form and color. I can’t tell you how many strange looks I’ve gotten for taking pictures of sewer grates and manhole covers, lol.

  3. Hmm, I find inspiration all over the place – the floor in Liverpool cathedral would have been a traditional quilter’s dream location! Funny, we did a school trip to different religions’ places of worship, but they were split up as we studied them 6 months at a time. We went to the Jewish museum in Manchester, which was a couple of hours drive from school, so the trip always got doubled up as a trip to the science museum in the afternoon – guess it was a way to kill 2 birds with one stone lol

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