Florence Quilt Design Ideas

Sunset over the River Arno

Sunset over the River Arno

My Florence quilt design ideas will keep me going for many months!  My trip to Florence was a wonderful break – what a beautiful city it is!  I walked miles every day but I could go back tomorrow and visit a whole new set of museums, palaces and churches that I didn’t have time to see this time.  I didn’t take photos of statues like David because there are so many images around, probably all of them better quality than anything that I could take.

Instead I’ll try and give you my over view of Florence from a quilter’s point of view.  Florence is set on the River Arno and the sunsets were beautiful while I was there.  The trouble I always find with sunset photos is that by definition it’s getting dark when you take the photo, so there’s no clarity – just an overall beauty.

Church of Santa Maria Novella

Church of Santa Maria Novella

Florence chocolate festival

Nothing to do with florence quilt design ideas, but I thought that you might like to see this image of the Piazza del Santa Maria Novella.  In the background you can see the delightful church and museum.  This was the first building that I toured because it was straight in front of me when the bus dropped me at the station.  The important point is that every one of those tent shapes in front of the church was selling hand made chocolate – I had just happened to arrive during a chocolate festival.

The Cathedral

Cathedrale de Santa maria del fiore

Cathedrale de Santa Maria del Fiore

My first real source of Florence quilt design ideas came from the Cathedral.  Oh my!  Many of the buildings have marble facades – white Carrara, green Prato or rose coloured Siena marbles.  The geometric designs made in the marble with just these colours were quite marvellous – and a great inspiration.

More complex tile patterns

More complex tile patterns

Strange play mates

Strange play mates

Some of the designs were simplicity itself – like the design you’ll see in tomorrow’s quilt pattern – and some were enormously complex.  I could have spent a whole day in the cathedral, but there were so many other places that I wanted to visit.

As I wandered the streets towards my next destination, I saw these two delightful boys in a shop window.  What a wonderful contrast – the one very bright and modern sitting beside a very traditional marble statue.  I loved it as a display – really eye catching.

On the Ponte Vecchio

On the Ponte Vecchio

To get to my next stop I had to cross the Ponte Vecchio (the old bridge) which was the only one to survive the war.  The buildings that you can see are all on the bridge itself.  At street level the shops are all goldsmiths and jewellery shops.  On the top on the left is something called the Vasari Corridor which is a corridor running from one palace to another.  It’s not open to the general public, but I was able to see it by joining a group.  Nearly a kilometre of corridor with beautiful paintings on both walls all the way long.

But my main reason for crossing the Vecchio Bridge was to see the Artisan Section which is just over the bridge and turn right on to the Borgo San Jacopo.  What a delightful section of shops and workshops.  There were plenty of textiles on display, but they were more furnishing and lace rather than quilting fabrics.  I saw some Italian fabric for sale which was truly beautiful – but it was E130 per metre (that’s about $130), so I decided that I could live without it after all!

Cucilandia and Filomania quilt shop

Cucilandia and Filomania quilt shop

Florence quilt shop

I did manage to find a Florence quilt shop.  Naturally you’ll understand that this was purely in the interests of research, not because I’m a manic obsessive who has to root out quilt shops wherever I go!  I was hoping to find some Italian quilt fabric, but they only stocked American fabrics that I was already familiar with.

If you wish to go there, it’s at 180/182 Viale Europa.  It cost me E15 to get there by taxi and E1.50 to return by bus.  I didn’t take the bus to get there because I thought that I wouldn’t know when to get off and might end up somewhere totally different.

Leaning tower of Pisa

Leaning tower of Pisa

Pisa Cathedral

I nearly forgot to mention that I managed a visit to Pisa as well.  That might be a good one for an applique quilt.  The real source of quilt design ideas from there, though, was again the cathedral – the floor tiles were beautifully laid out.

Florence quilt design ideas

I had always wanted to visit Florence and I enjoyed every minute of my time there.  My Florence quilt design ideas are going to keep popping up in the Friday quilt patterns for some time yet, so I hope that you don’t get bored with them!

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.


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  1. Hi Rose,
    So glad that you enjoyed your time in beautiful Florence. Your blog has made me want to visit the city again! Wishful thinking at the moment but maybe some time in the future…….
    Thank you for all your wonderful patterns and for the time you take to produce them all and show us how to make them up.
    Carole (in a very cold and wet Cyprus at the moment)

    • Hi Carole. Thanks for your kind comments. I didn’t think that Cyprus was allowed to be cold and wet – I always visualise it as warm and sunny all year round!

  2. Rosemary harding says:

    Hi Rose
    Please read that you had a lovely time in Florence and that you had good weather.
    I think this another wonderful quilt you have made and great details for putting it together. Thank you so much for time of putting it together.
    I went to London last year with my husband we went to John Wesley chapel, I took some pictures of the floor tiles, they were not like your but, I found that some of the patterns are used in appliqué on quilts that I have seen.
    In 2012 we went to Hardwick Hall for the Big picnic lunch, then we went inside I did some drawing of the stone work and it is the same as your floor tiles I was so surprise when I saw your pattern, well done thank you so much for your time and effort. May God bless your hands and all you do to show us how it’s dome so clear are your instructions. Glad you are back.
    Love In Jesus Rosemary x x

    • Hi Rosemary. Thanks for your kind comments – and for the tips on places to visit. I’m hoping to get down to London to see my children next month, so I’ll try and find the John Wesley chapel.

  3. Gail Reinertsen says:

    Dear Rose I am so very please you had such a wonderful holiday,
    And I am on the look out for fabric to make to tiled quilt. Many thanks for the wonderful pictures. Love Gail

  4. Hello Rose, I just love receiving your emails and seeing your quilt projects. Thank you for all your hard work ! The pictures of your beautiful trip to Florence are so inspiring, I am looking forward to receiving your emails with your wonderful tile themed projects. Long may you continue to keep all of us quilters motivated to keep going. Sheila.

  5. Rose, I would have LOVED to be there for the chocolate festival.
    I loved Florence. Strange as it may seem I wasn’t too keen on Venice.
    Enjoyed looking at your photos. The city is an art gallery.
    I want to go there again.

    • Hi Mary. Venice is on my list – I’m hoping to get there some time. The chocolate festival was amazing – the whole piazza smelled of chocolate!

  6. Ella Wilson says:

    Hi Rose so glad you had a god break away it look a beautiful city with tiles are what quilting people like the ideas that must be in your head will be bursting to do all the lovely designs hope you have the fabric to make the quilts that match the tile I wish you well looking forward to the quilts. God bless you you deserve the best.Ella from Islay.cxcx

  7. What a wonderful time you had Rose! I have just booked (with a friend) a weekend in Barcelona – hoping for some warm sun and inspiration there! Hopefully a quilt shop or two 🙂

    • Oh how lovely. I hope you have a great time there. It must be a similar latitude to Florence, and I had plenty of sunshine there – tee shirt weather around midday.

  8. Hi Rose, So glad you enjoyed your trip and from looking at pictures I even saw what could become a quilt, in the complex tile patterns photo, looking froward to what else you share.

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