I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Daylily Days, Daylily Quilt

Hi everyone! Mid-July is daylily time here at the beach. All those barren winter spaces burst into summer's glorious blooms about now.

Funny to think these are native American wildflowers or weeds, but they grew in massive hedges along the ditches on the roads in rural Illinois. Along with perfectly color wheel coordinated blue chicory and lacy white Queen Ann's Lace. How I loved them. I'd beg my dad to stop the car so I could make bouquets. My mom had a ''patina'ed" aka unpolished squatty copper jug that was the designated daylily vase. [ I wish I had that pitcher now!].

Of course the daylilies withered that evening and I'd be crushed.

My brother must have liked flower hunting too, because he recently sent me photos of wildflowers he had found along the roadsides in his home in the southwest US.
Mo likes to travel under the droopy green leaves. He makes a little tunnel.

We inspect everyone's daylilies as we walk.

These are from Oscar the grumpy hound's house.  [Asiatic lilies]

And tiger lilies at another friend's. [Turk's head lilies]

I've mentioned this quilt but I don't think I've ever shown it here.

It was made by my grandmother when my dad was a very little boy. He remembered going with her to buy the white squares with the printed designs of what he thought were daylilies. And he recalled them carefully choosing the two orange cottons and Nile green for the leaves.

I've never seen another quilt in quite this pattern, not even in a more traditional Tulips version. A hint of Art Nouveau in the styling, especially the stems?

Note the tiny whip stitch used to sew the appliques. Both my grandmother and my aunt [her daughter-in-law] made beautiful applique quilts. They used this fine but visible stitch, unlike the hidden tunnel stitch we use today. All their appliques have held up beautifully.

The quilt was on my bed as a little girl. My first exposure to quilts. My bed was antique cherry wood with post finials shaped like tulips too---or daylilies. [no Disney princesses for this girl,lol.]

Repairing the binding was my first venture into quiltmaking. My dad insisted I cover the frayed binding edges but not remove the original. He showed me how to sew the second binding, all by hand, while keeping the deeper green of the old.

The quilt was  hand quilted by "church ladies'' who did quilting to raise funds for their church.

Feather wreaths.

Outline and crosshatching. Maybe 9 stitches per inch or more.

The batting is a white cotton flannel, the back white muslin.
I wonder what I should do with these quilts I have inherited. Will they be discarded like the memories they hold? Quilts are less valued now, they are not chic or cool for young modern home decor. That makes me sad, but times do change. No sense in making things be a burden.
For now I will label them and store them with care. The future is well, just that---the future. At least these quilts will not be Anonymous.

What do you do with family heirlooms? Keep or discard? What will happen to them when you're gone? Do you care?

I'm off to bake sugar cookies! My partner in thrifting is coming to visit, we'll have homemade cookies with our gelato for dessert. Dinner on the deck! Menu next time, maybe.



gone to the beach....


  1. What beautiful sewing you did. And how fun to have your dad teach you. It's so great to see the original binding peeking out. The flowers are great, too.

    About heirlooms. When I moved from my California four bedroom home to my small 900 sq ft condo here, I carefully matched heirlooms with dear friends. One of my friends collected china, so she got my mom's maple china cabinet. Another had wanted a piano her whole life (she was 60), so she got our small upright. One by one the items I could stand to leave behind went to special people.

    It really made the whole process less painful to know that the items would be treasured.

    I will post to my blog again soon. I have been working over 50 hours a week for the last month and I just don't bounce back quite as quickly as I used to. lol



    1. Sharing with friends is a lovely idea.

  2. I love that you have a quilt from your Grandmother, that is so special. All of the lilies in your neighborhood are so pretty, especially the Asiatic. They're all so colorful and perfect.

    I love your posts when you share a memory with us. You really know how to paint a picture. The image of the quilt on your childhood bed is perfect. I think you might be surprised by how much your heirlooms will mean to your kids or your friends or family years from now. I love what Hunter did when she moved.

    I traveled lightly when I moved to CA., but I do have a dresser that was my Grandmother's. It is also cherry wood, and made to last. My parents both passed away over the last year and a half and I'm wishing I had a few more things of theirs. At the time, I didn't think I wanted anything, but of course as time passes, you see things differently. I do have my Mom's big heavy soup pot...actually my sister has it until I lug it back here. I also took a few small things when we were clearing out their house in the spring. It's not the actual 'items', but the memories they evoke that make me wish I had more of their belongings.

    Thanks for sharing :)


    1. Keg rootbeer sounds amazing, what a treat!

      I don t think I knew you lost both your parents so recently, I'm so sorry to hear that. And I am glad you got to have some keepsakes even tho you live far away.

  3. What a great quilt and a treasure for sure. As my children age they appreciate the family items more than I thought they would, so they will keep some things. I like the idea of giving special items to special friends.
    The daylilies are so bountiful and pretty!! The deer love them too;)

    1. Those darn Deer!

      I guess I m worried that the family quilts will go lost in the shuffle, I have hundreds of antique quilts. My cousin got our g'ma's pieced quilts, they used them as beach blankets and threw them out when tattered. One was a blue and white feathered star. [sob].

  4. Beautiful quilt, and good memories too. Definitely keep your quilts, especially family ones and ones you've made, and label or keep notes with them as to their history and who you want them to go to if your kids don't want them. Your kids turn their noses up NOW, but that may change when they're older - or their *spouses* might be the ones to treasure 'family heirlooms', especially if they came from a family that tossed everything! As we get older we start appreciating that connection to the past more.


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