Tulips! And More Tulips!


The tulips blooming at Longwood Gardens take my breath away. I think I could learn everything there is to know about color theory, just studying the swaths of intermixing tulip varieties. I couldn't say that tulips are my favorite flowers– that would be a Sophie's Choice type of question. How could I choose a favorite flower! You'd have to define some categories first. And there would have to be many, many catagories.
My love affair with tulips began at an early age. I grew up in Holland, Michigan where they have a Tulip Festival every May. The school children walk in the parades and perform traditional dances in wooden shoes. My mother made this costume, and others, as my brother and sister and I got bigger through the years. I need to ask her if she saved these, packed away in the attic.
My friend Jane and I stood mesmerized in front of these tulips yesterday. She remarked that they are absolutely luminous. I thought– how could I get that effect in fabric? Silk is luminous! Then maybe an overlay of different translucent organzas…
I need some hand dyed fabric for these.
I could paint some fabric for this stripey yellow and red variety.
I love teaching the Quilting in Layers workshops. The variety of colors and fabric choices are glorious! These lovely quilts were made by members of the Loose Threads Quilters.
This is Fran's quilt. I love the bright oranges and yellows of her tulip and that she choose to bind her quilt in orange, such a nice finishing frame.
Judy, from the Reston Quilters, used two fabrics for the background. The center squares in the plain blocks are subtle and the directional fabric is perfect to highlight the purple tulip.
I love the natural, woodsy design fabrics Lorrie selected for this soft, elegant quilt. The darker background squares contrast with the light flower and leaves for a lovely composition.
I made this tulip quilt a few years ago. All the tulips are raw edge appliqué and the background was pre-quilted first.
I bet I have hundreds of photos of tulips. Someday I'd like to travel to Amsterdam during tulip time. My daughter brought me these wooden shoes, “der klompen,” from a trip she made to the Netherlands. I'm going back to Longwood this afternoon. Yesterday, I didn't even go down The Flower Walk, where the main display of tulips is planted! I could wear my wooden shoes!
No, I don't think so… I'll just enjoy them on display.


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  1. Christine says

    Wonderful. Such colors by Mother Nature and great attempts by humans to capture the essence.

  2. I love the picture of you!

  3. This is your best blog post ever!im heading to Longeoid for Mothers Day. Can’t wait to see the tulips that u didn’t see in my trip to the Netherlands.

  4. Oh how cute are you in your Dutch outfit. My mom is from Sweden so I have been in many of falk costumes as well. I am lucky to have made a Tulip wall piece from your class. And every spring I look and smile at the memories of that fun day!!!

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