Thursday, September 28, 2023

A Visit to Zalipie, Poland!

Zalipie, Poland is perhaps one of the most beautiful villages in Poland, but surely the most colorful one. It is known for its tradition of painting special, folksy flower patterns.

Much of the village is painted and it charmed us all with its special atmosphere. 

There is no other place like this – the paintings are unique. And they are everywhere – not only houses are painted, but also barns, dog kennels, walls, furniture, fences, clothes, you name it!

In Zalipie not only can you admire these exceptional works of art, but you can also learn something about people who used to live in this village – their way of living, their inventions, their stories. It is extremely fascinating to explore and indulge in this creativity – it’s like a whole new world!

  • The tradition of painting flowers started in the late nineteenth century when women in Zalipie started to cover surfaces dirty from soot with white paint and then, colorful patterns.

Some designs were white on black -

How it originally started by decorating the areas of walls and ceilings left black by soot.

Some designs were painted in brilliant blue.

All of this painting is done freehand and refreshed every year.

Traditionally the paint was made with powdered dye and milk.

We were charmed at every turn!

The painting of houses - inside and outside- became more popular.  Even during WWII the painters of Zalipie kept this tradition alive.

Accents over windows and doors.

Painted panels hang in a late summer garden.

The tradition continues in the village and there are competitions, exhibitions, festivals that help to keep this tradition alive.

From every angle!

A couple of our ladies, determining what this crop is!

During this whole day I was thinking of my mom who would folk paint / tole paint on anything that held still.  She would have loved this trip.  (And gone home and painted everything!)

It was like a fairy wonderland.

We were welcomed to visit the yards, barns, sheds, and even houses.  There are painted things EVERYWHERE.

Today, they are dozens of painted houses in Zalipie. The flowers, patterns, and colors are one of the kind. They are the most important element of the village’s landscape.

Each one of the flowers are unique. They do not copy any particular kind of flower! Instead, they just show the painters’ imagination and vision. The flowers are all fantasy.

Back yard shed.

Everywhere I turned - painted flowers!

And a very large puppy!

My fear with this post?

That I would run out of words before I ran out of photos.

Bee boxes!

Yes, I noticed the sewing machine!

And the painted garden rocks.

I may have to do a Zalipie, part 2 - because there are just too many great photos that I want to remember.

If you make it anywhere near Krakow, Zalipie is about 1 1/2 hours away. Well worth the beautiful drive and this charming village full of painted folk art will leave a life long impression on you - that even through the hardest times we can beautify our own spaces.

Paint all the things!

(I'm getting ideas for The Hubster's Man Shed.  LOL!)

The Shippenstitchers arrived yesterday afternoon and set right to settling in.

Today is haircut day for me - the last haircut from this place as my stylist is retiring! Whaaa! So it will be time to find someone new, and we know that can take a few tries before we find the right person that fits.  It can be scary.

Did you see we have a gift-away for Bruce Leonard's 3'd book in his Quilt City Murders series?  Find all the details and enter to win ON THAT POST.

We will be drawing for our winners on Monday, October 2nd!

For fun, I've placed the PDF pattern for the Punkin Patch Runner at $5.00 in both the Quiltville Store and the Quiltville Etsy Pattern Shop.

Let's celebrate the changing of the seasons with some fun string-pieced pumpkins!

And if you've got this one as a UFO - it's time to pull it out and finish it up.

You'll also find Appalachian Autumn at 25% off in both the Quiltville Store and the Quiltville Etsy Pattern Shop. No coupon needed.

And Starshine will be releasing TOMORROW. Everything is ready. I just need to upload to both stores and we will be set to go.

And yes, there is a gift-away including fabric rolls from Cotton To Quilts that you won't want to miss.

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Quilters have the fullest hearts (And hands!) of anyone I know. We are the giving kind.
It feels great to know that.
Blue Bell applique quilt made by my great auntie Irene.

Have a terrific Thursday, everyone!



  1. Anonymous9:25 AM EDT

    Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures! Wow! Wow!

  2. This post made my heart happy! So much beauty and whimsey. Please share a Zalipie part 2.

  3. Anonymous10:28 AM EDT

    What fun! You see the most interesting places. Please show us more. Helen Hewell

  4. Thanks for giving me a glimpse into my Polish heritage! Beautiful photos.

  5. Utterly charming! I love all of the bright, multi-colored paintings, but I also find myself really drawn to the white designs on dark backgrounds - like lace. What a beautiful little piece of the world. Thank you!

  6. Anonymous12:00 PM EDT

    Absolutely beautiful and whimsical. So did those ladies decide what the crop was? pam

  7. Anonymous12:01 PM EDT

    I didn't mean to post as anonymous. Sorry about that. Beautiful and whimsical. Did they decide what the crop was? Can't wait for part 2. pam

  8. What an amazing place to visit! It's no wonder that you have more pictures than one post can hold. Wow! Simply Beautiful! Your Aunt Irene's Blue Bell quilt is so unique. I've never seen this pattern before. Lovely!

  9. Anonymous1:03 PM EDT

    I must've lost my previous post. The Zalipi pictures are really beautiful. Very charming. Some houses in Baveria, Germany have paintings on them as well, but not flowers. I am looking forward seeing the rest of the pictures.

  10. Penny Jones1:35 PM EDT

    They sure are beautiful! Let us see your husbands man shed when you finish!

  11. Thanks for sharing these lovely pictures of all things beautified by painting!

  12. Anonymous9:10 AM EDT

    Your pictures are just lovely! How exciting to visit this very pretty town! Can't wait to see more pictures! Thank you so much for sharing with us, & really look forward to reading your blog. Also a big thank you for all you share with us! Alice

  13. Wow! These pictures are beautiful. Thank you for sharing with us.

  14. Sorry you have to find a new hair cutter. That is always hard. I found mine 20 years ago, and stayed with her thru her cancer battle (most people left since they didn't want appt's rescheduled when she didn't feel well). I'm enjoying the photos in this post. Lovely place to visit.

  15. Gosh, I love those painted flowers!!!!!

  16. I loved seeing your photos of Zalipie's painted houses & dog houses too! I wanted to go with you so badly as my maternal grandparents were from Poland. It would have meant so much to me to visit the country they originally came from, but I just couldn't afford to go. Hopefully, you will make another trip there sometime.

  17. Anonymous2:59 PM EDT

    I LOVE your photos - the paintings are amazing. I can't imagine freshening them yearly, it must take hours and hours.The bee hives are adorable. Thank you for sharing the pics- lots of good quilting ideas in those designs.

  18. I love the bee hives. What did the gals think that crop was they were investigating? Inquiring minds want to know

  19. Anonymous2:20 PM EDT

    I was able to go to Poland in 2017 and saw Warsaw and Krakow. Unfortunately I didn't make this trip but I did hear about it. Thank you so much for sharing some of it with us! Hopefully I will go back again and see this.

  20. Well!! Bonnie, you did it!! I have an old bench that I have torn apart but kept the back for something…….I’ve almost thrown it away a few times. I already had the idea to paint something whimsical (and I’m not a painter) but hadn’t yet. But now the bench back has made it to the top of my “winter projects”. I’m saving this post so I can use the pics for inspiration!!


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