A real quick quilting update before I dive into the next part of our Sweden journey. I’m not sure if you remember that a couple of months ago I started working on a stained-glass-themed quilt using Downton Abbey fabrics. I was very surprised to win the Pantone Quilt Challenge, 2014 with a quilt I made for my kitty when he was ill. I got a gift certificate from Fat Quarter Shop which I finally used to purchase this beautiful set of fabrics.
I designed a set of four stained-glass-themed flower quilt patterns. Since I love geology and they started looking very much like crystal flowers, I decided to name them after my favourite minerals.
I made a tulip for the third flower as I like them even more than I like roses. I named this block after a beautiful green mineral – Olivine Tulip.
These are the other two flowers from the series that I have already finished making. They are also 12″ blocks.
Now lets go off to Sweden again. Last time I paused our journey while overnighting at Umeå.
This was a quick photo of the town centre that I took before heading out. Umeå has birch trees planted on every street, hence it is often called the City Of Birch Trees. It was a long day of driving. We stopped at a few a places, enjoying the scenery on the way to the destination.
Around midday we reached Höga Kusten (High Coast) and had a delicious fish lunch by the sea-side. It was a beautiful sunny day, actually a bit on the warm side.
In the afternoon, before heading out of the High Coast area, we stopped at a pretty little town by the water called Nordingrå.
We had been on the road for a while already and a break was needed. As we were passing by Hudiksvall, I remembered about the old warehouses there. We turned into the harbour and walked around a little.
The sun was already setting and we still had a few hours of driving ahead of us.
Next morning we woke up in Falun. The city is in the Dalarna region, home of the Dala horses. We wanted to see the now retired copper mine called Falu Gruva. We had pre-purchased our tickets for a guided underground tour already, but we still got there a little early. We spent the extra time at the exhibits in the surrounding historic buildings.
The guided tour was incredible. After donning raincoats and helmets, we started our descent into the mine with our very knowledgeable tour guide. At one point during the tour, he turned off the single source of light in the mine. I have spent a fair amount of dark nights outside, but it is really never completely dark. There is always at least starlight. The darkness in the mine was so complete and engulfing that I felt claustrophobic. I don’t think I will ever forget that. Imagine the people working down there and sometimes getting trapped!
Afterwards I wanted to see the old houses painted in Falun Rödfärg, Falun Red. The lady at the desk marked a couple of old neighbourhoods on the map for us. One of them was right across the street from the mine. The workers from the mine lived here before.
We had other plans for the day, but we were having so much fun exploring around the mine that we decided to spend the day there. I got a little tin of Falun red paint and a couple of little dala horses that I can paint myself. I also wanted to buy a souvenir Dala horse and it had to be from the Dalarna region. We had just enough time to stop by the tourist office to purchase a horse for myself and a beautiful mug each for my husband and our wonderful pet-sitter.
It was time to head out of Falun and drive off to Stockholm. Hope you will be joining me next time too!
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