Monday, April 25, 2022


 "If dandelions were hard to grow, they would be most welcome in any lawn."  --Andrew Mason

I find it difficult to sew in the springtime.  When the weather is good, I want to be outside whether it be walking, exploring the changes in the garden, or even working at cleaning out the flower beds.

I am always weeding and truth be told, I can't tolerate dandelions in my garden.  It's a losing battle in my neighborhood.  Right now, most of the lawns in our community are polka-dotted with the yellow flowers.

I know there is a value to dandelions.  My husband remembers early springs in his little Pennsylvania Dutch village.  The older women scoured the fields for dandelion leaves.  

"They filled their aprons full.  It was a rite of spring where we lived,"  he told me.

The leaves had to be harvested before the plant flowered, otherwise the salad would be bitter.  Even I remember the warm bacon dressing that is used on the salad.  We never ate dandelions (my mother said she did when she was young) but Nana served the dressing on endive.  If you didn't want to make the dressing from scratch like Nana did, you could buy (and still can) the special dressing from a local company called Wos-Wit which produced a variety of  Pennsylvania Dutch foods.  

A more common use of the plant is wine and I remember my first husband's family made it regularly.  I don't drink so I can't tell you what it tasted like.

Because my husband and I were talking about dandelions, I wondered if there were any older quilt patterns that featured the plant.  I mean obviously the weed was valued.

Even though only one was listed in Brackman's encyclopedias (a pieced one from the 1980s), I decided to do a newspaper search and I wasn't disappointed.

This pattern was offered by Winifred Avery in 1933.  I don't know much about this designer but I did find this post when I did a internet search.

The Dandelion Quilt, 1933.

The quilt features flowers, leaves, and the iconic seeds.

To be honest, I prefer the Nancy Cabot pattern published in 1937.  I like the simplicity of the pattern.

Dandelion quilts are popular now--particularly the ones that feature the seeds or "wishes".

I embroidered this piece many years ago and used an image from an old children's book.  I've never figured out what to do with it.

Wishing you a weed-free day!


  1. Such a lovely post. I too am not a dandelion fan, but we do leave them on our lawn as long as possible since they are the first food source in the spring for bees. A few towns in May have actually banned mowing until Memorial Day so the bees have a chance to fill the hives before the early flowers are gone. We have a pollinator garden (such that it is - weeds and all) for the butterflies and bees. There is so much Roundup and other nasty sprays used in town that I feel I have to do my part. I love that Nancy Cabot pattern. May have to do that one day! Thanks for another great post.

  2. I am learning to live with dandelions as they really are a passing event. But creeping charley, now that's another story! I have been spending about an hour each day outside (this weekend was perfect!!) and then sewing into the evening.

  3. We read Dandelion Wine in freshman English. My hometown is a Chicago suburb 20 miles south of Ray Bradbury's Waukegan (Greentown in the book). Now I live 8 miles north. I really ought to find out where the fields were that inspired his lyrical description of dandelions in bloom.

  4. I made a dandelion quilt years ago from a Fig Tree design. I love that last picture, darling little piece of embroidery.

  5. I sort of like their yellow flowers being so early, and that they feed so many insects. With blossoms that can be picked and still can form seeds, not to mention tap roots that go down a mile, I do admire their determination to survive, if not take over the world.
    I had dandelion wine once (Amana Colonies version) and it was not to my taste - ghastly sweet as were all of their wines, at least at the place we were at.