In the year 2015, I visited Europe through Bonnie Hunter’s blog, through the travels of my friends the Robertsons, and through the trip of a lifetime my friends the Burns made.  So I felt thoroughly saturated in all things European and was not surprised that Bonnie chose that trip to inspire her mystery quilt that was revealed through November and December. 

On Black Friday, Bonnie revealed the colors of the mystery and the fact that the inspiration came from Italy.  The colors were gray, black, red, gold, and neutral.  Those were colors she encountered a lot in Italy.  Having seen pictures from three different groups of travelers to that area I could attest to the validity of those being colors all had encountered.

My fabric stash was delved into for fabrics suitable for this mystery quilt.  I found black fabric with Sputnik patterns on it from the ‘50s, neutral fabric with mushrooms printed on it from the ‘60s, and reds of all kinds from many different decades.  Yes!  I’m going to be using up some of my old stash.


Bonnie suggested keeping the gray the same all through the quilt top for continuity so I found a subtle stripe with enough yardage in it to do all the gray in the pattern. 

 It reminded me of a church I had seen in pictures from the travelers.  The Cathedral  Orvieto in Tuscany looks a bit like it might be the “Church of Beetlejuice” but it inspired me to use my striped gray for the quilt called Allietare. 

church orvieto4

The Leaning Tower of Pisa has some interesting geometric designs on it that look very much like quilt patterns.  See these squares and half-squares here?

tower of pisa windows 

Even the walkway around the tower has quilt blocks.

pisa walkway

So as clue after clue came for the mystery quilt, the different fabrics were cut, assembled, and finally, put together to make this quilt.

Allieatara 5

Allietare!  And yes, the blocks do look like the architectural detail on the tower.  Woo-hoo! 

Thank you to all my friends, and yes, Bonnie, that includes you, for sharing your trips with me.