In August, I spent two weeks in the UK visiting family and friends and some amazing places. My sister took me on holiday to Scotland and we went to the magical sacred island of Iona on the west coast of the highlands. While we were there, we took a boat trip to the Isle of Staffa, an uninhabited hunk of rock which is the Scottish end of the Irish Giant’s Causeway.
The pictures shows the spectacular basalt columns and down below is Fingal’s Cave, the very same that inspired Mendelssohn when he wrote his Hebrides Overture in 1830. The photo below is taken inside Fingal’s Cave and there is a detailed shot of the rocks, showing a cross-section of the basalt columns.
60 million years ago, Scotland and North America were torn apart by continental drift of the tectonic plates. Molten lava erupted through the cracks and cooled to form the basalt columns. As it hardened, it shrank and fractured into regular columns. The rate of cooling varied, so some of the columns are perfect hexagons, but most are hexagons with irregular sides and some are pentagons. I’m telling you all of this, because as a quilter (and a fan of geomorphology), I am fascinated by how all the pieces fit together and am inspired by these patterns presented to us in nature. I usually can’t pinpoint exactly the source of my quilting inspiration, but know that experiencing amazing places like this makes a significant contribution.