Sunday, June 5, 2011

A finished Jigsaw Mug Rug and more about my Europe trip - with pictures!

I've been SO BUSY the last two weeks! I'm still behind on blogs, and I have had just a little time to quilt. I've been cleaning, babysitting, and substitute teaching. I also visited with a friend all weekend! I thought summer was supposed to be less busy than the semester... but it's not. Hopefully this week, I will get more quilting in. I also wanted to tell you more about my trip.

I have a mug rug to show you! I'm officially calling this a Jigsaw Mug Rug. It's supposed to be wonky! I made two of these before (here's one), but this was for my sister.

Sister: *suddenly grins* I want a mug rug! Can you make me one?
Me: *Is surprised* Sure!! What do you want?
Sister: Anything.
Me: What about rainbow colored?
Sister: SURE!
Me: Look through my scrap bin and pick out which fabrics you want.
She had a blast.

(Blogger is being stupid and even though the picture is actually the other way on my hard drive, it won't appear like that here :( Boo. Sorry about that).

I'm still working on my niece's quilt, and I'll post a picture soon of its progress! I'm so excited to finish it and give it to her for her fourth birthday - and to start some other projects. And finish those WIPs. And my lovely sister and I are designing a new header. Ah, the busy life of a quilter! I'm sure you can all relate!

Thanks for all of the welcome back comments, by the way! I really appreciate it. I had a blast in Europe. I also promised a few people that I would talk about my experience a little more here. Well, it was definitely worth every penny - I'm paying for the trip by myself, so that was one thing to take into consideration when deciding to go. Luckily, I received two grants to help me fund my way, for the purpose of doing research for my thesis on Holocaust memorials (which I talked more about here) and for buying books.

Prague Castle - the largest castle in the world. It's a huge complex. That's me in front of one of the tallest and most intricate buildings I've ever seen in person - the cathedral.

The trip was quite a mixture of the sad and of the happy. We had so much fun seeing Berlin and Weimar, Germany, Prague, Czech Republic, and Krakow and Warsaw, Poland. Each place was different in its own unique way - but Berlin and Prague were my favorites. Berlin, because I'd been anxiously hoping to go there for three years after studying the fall of the Wall (and it ended up being all I had dreamed and more), and Prague, which was the most beautiful place I've ever seen. We did a lot of "shopping" - which also sometimes meant just browsing because I was trying to be careful with my money. I tried to buy an accessory or something small for myself in each place, and I did :)

One of the old squares in Warsaw. The city was 90% destroyed during WWII, and rebuilt. Just gorgeous. The building on the right is the Royal Castle.

Berlin was very modern - close to what you would think of New York City, but only a few skyscrapers and much friendlier people in general (I also felt safer there than I usually do in NYC, ironically enough! - but, I really do love NYC :) ).

Nighttime in Berlin. Love.

Weimar, Germany was what someone once described as "a city inside a park" - nature abound and the history of Goethe, the famous composer, is everywhere.

A shot of the scenery - a partial old castle or building or some sort - in Weimar.

Prague was full of interesting architecture and we were able to meet my professor's parents there.

Krakow was very old but sad - it seemed haunted by the Holocaust. As Poland's second largest city and the former capital, the population of Jews went from around 60,000 people - down to 200 registered Jews. There were memorials and the remains of Jewish architecture in many places, as well as part of the ghetto wall. There was spirit there as well though - we felt it while we ate in a Polish/Jewish restaurant in the middle of the former ghetto. Warsaw was also interesting - the capital and largest city - about 400,000 Jews, which became about 400 after the war. So, so sad but so worth our attention and remembrance.

If there's anything else you would like to know, comment or send me an email and I'd be happy to explain more! I'll leave you with a few more pictures (and see my last post for more highlights):

The East Side Gallery in Berlin. Parts of the Berlin Wall were left up - this is one very long stretch - and it was repainted in honor of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall in 2009. It was stunning.

Wawel Castle in Krakow. An original castle.

And toy trains brought us our drinks in a restaurant in Prague!


  1. Ooo! thanks for sharing your photos and thoughts.

    Blogger has been a pain in one way or another for about a month now! I have set up a Wordpress account and am willing to move if things don't improve!

  2. Oh my! What a great trip! You will have so many memories forever! Well worth the money, huh?!? I spent a year in Germany for study abroad. Your photos are taking me back. I also visited Prague, too! What an amazing city! Thanks for sharing your story and photos!


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