Friday, June 17, 2011

Northern Lily Southern Rose Block 4

Midlands Lily
by Ilyse Moore

Nineteenth-century variations on the layered triple lily
The fourth regional applique design for the Northern Lily/Southern Rose Block of the Month is a triple lily reminiscent of the applique quilts from the area cultural historians call the Midlands, which is centered in  Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Ohio. Midlands Lily seems a good name for a pattern quite popular in the area around the time of the Civil War.

Midlands Lily by Susan Stiff
Susan used pieces from my Civil War Reunion collection with a Moda Bella Solid green.

debi schrader is making her blocks out of a 10" square Layer Cake package of the Civil War Reunion prints with a solid background from Blackbird Design's Antique Fair from Moda. (#2677-17). Click here to see more solids and prints from this collection:

This triple floral design is often interpreted as a tulip but lilies were also depicted  in profile.
Angel by Leonardo DaVinci

 Lilies have a long history of symbolic use in Christian iconography. Renaissance painters often depicted the Angel of the Annunciation handing Mary a white lily, a symbol of purity.

Angel by Botticelli

Triple arrangements of  flowers seen in profile are a staple of Germanic folk arts. Here is a Pennsylvania redware plate dated 1789 with three-lobed flowers arranged in threes, a possibly symbolic reference to the Holy Trinity. 

This shot of the digital sketch shows the colors in Susan's version better.

Here's my version in the traditional Germanic folk art colors of red, green and yellow.
I stuck the leaves in where they fit.
I don't think it matters as long as the design has some balance to it. (You can see why I am glad debi, Ilyse and Susan are making these blocks too.)

This is one of nine regional applique patterns in the Block of the Month Northern Lily/Southern Rose that Moda and I are offering in the year of the Civil War Centennial.


  1. Some really gorgeous variations on the block, really like that one.


  2. Fascinating! I always thought those designs were tulips, but was puzzled that the leaves are wrong for tulips -- never for a moment thought they were lilies.

    And those big Carolina tulip patterns (a large single tulip-shaped flower on a stem with a small leaf or two, usually positioned diagonally on the block), also lilies? Probably so. There is such a quilt c. 1870 in our family. I'll have to open up my mind to the "lilies" and stop calling it the "tulip quilt".