Everyday Quilt Inspiration: Poppies

Flanders Poppy colour scheme from Clever Chameleon

31 Days of Finding Quilt Inspiration in Real Life

Today I did something a little bit different. I attended the unveiling of a new pair of plaques honouring all the war veterans who came/come from the Karoonda district. Karoonda is a small country town in South Australia where my only surviving great aunt lives. And where my maternal grandfather and grandmother first met and courted many decades ago. 

Finding Quilt Inspiration in the Everyday: Day 15

After travelling so much for the last two weeks, I was very grateful to share a ride to Karoonda (about an hour and half away) with my aunt, uncle and a cousin. As well as attending the memorial and unveiling ceremony, I was thrilled to visit my great aunt. Aunty Dorothy is the original rabid quilter in my family. As you can imagine, we always have a lot to talk about. I wish she lived closer! 

When my great aunt is not quilting, she is gardening. And today her garden was a mass of spring flowers. Roses, irises and poppies. Lots and lots of beautiful poppies.

How was I inspired by the poppies?

After being away from home for 2 weeks, I have been a little surprised by Spring. It definitely arrived while we were away! And yesterday, Aunty’s garden was in full-bloom.

Poppies in Aunt Dorothy's garden
Poppies and more poppies!
Spring Poppies color scheme from Clever Chameleon
A colour board from Aunt Dorothy’s garden

So it seemed more than appropriate to do a Spring mood board from Aunty Dorothy’s garden.

But more relevant to the theme of today’s visit to Karoonda, it turns out that Aunty Dorothy also has a patch of Flanders Poppies that she grew from seeds gifted to her. Flanders Poppies are the distinctive red and black flowers from France that are now used widely in Anzac and Remembrance Day ceremonies in Australia. There weren’t many open Flanders Poppies to see in her garden, because she had donated them all to today’s ceremony.

Flanders Poppies
Flanders Poppies at the unveiling ceremony, donated from my Great Aunt’s garden.

Here is part of one of the new plaques. My Grandpa’s name is on there (F.A. Longmire, WWII). As is my Great Uncle Geoff’s (WWII) and a great-great uncle’s (WWI). A fourth very distant relative is also named, but the connection with him is many many generations back. I do know where he fits in the family forest thanks to someone else’s hard work, but I won’t bore you with the details.

Karoonda honour roll
Karoonda honour roll

More than just colour inspiration

Between the two new plaques is the main gate to the town’s oval. I was also quilt-inspired by these gates, with their plastic poppy tributes and rosemary attached.

Poppies on gate
Poppy and Rosemary tributes at the unveiling

This geometric design would make a great quilt border, especially adorned with poppy appliqués. It’s not often that I get inspired to make a quilt border without having a clue what the centre of the quilt should be. But that is the case this time!

What would you place in the middle of a quilt with a really strong, geometric border design like this? Do you have memorial traditions that would translate to a meaningful quilt?

Comments make my day and I and would love to know your ideas. Thanks for dropping by today. Hope to see you again tomorrow!

P.S. If you would like to know more about why Flanders Poppies mean so much to Australian Veterans, you can read a short story here. Rosemary is also a significant symbol for Anzac Day.

P.P.S. If you have not been following along with my 31 Days of Everyday Quilt Inspiration series, and would like to, you should start here.

Now it's your turn.... what do you think?