Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Mother Bullock's Gift to Alice in Alice's Tulips by Sandra Dallas

Pieced Tulips Quilt Block

In Quilters' Book Club, we are discussing Alice's Tulips by Sandra Dallas.  In the beginning, Alice is "vain, immature, quite a flirt, and not an entirely good judge of character. As the War continues, Alice must face a number of challenges and re-examine her relationship with Mother Bullock. It is their growing respect for each other, which neither is willing or perhaps able to express, that forms the core of the story."  Jonathan Wilhelm

Close to death, Mother Bullock gives Alice a special gift.  Alice writes her sister, "I walked as far as Mother Bullock's garden, where there are half a dozen yellow tulips in bloom now.  And as I knelt down to smell them, I thought what a fine woman she was to plant flowers she knew she would not live long enough to see bloom.  Right then I knew what quilt I would make, and it was the most obvious thing - a tulip quilt, with the name Mother Bullock gave the flowers: Alice's Tulips."  Alice's Tulips, page 229 

If you'd like to make a tulip quilt block to represent this book, click on the names below to see several tulip quilt patterns:

Double Tulip Variation Quilt Block

Pieced Tulips Quilt Block

Tulip Lady Fingers Quilt Block

Tulip Nine Patch Quilt Block

Pretend they're yellow to be true Alice's Tulips!

What do you think the tulips mean to Alice?  What do you think they mean to Mother Bullock?   Is Alice's Tulips a good name for this book, or would you have chosen a different title?  Inquiring minds what to know!  Please respond in the comment section below.  If you are reading this via email, click the blog title to be able to comment and read comments from others. 

By commenting, you are also entering your name in the giveaway for Jennifer Chiaverini's latest book, Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker.  The winner will be announced June 1.  As a heads up, our book for June is The Lover's Knot by Clare O'Donohue, the first of A Someday Quilts Mystery Series. 

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here.   


  1. Mrs. Bullock had very little to leave Alice..I think she wanted Alice to remember her...think she knew she was very ill and planted the tulips so that when Alice looked at them she would remember her....They would be something pretty in her very hard life....Think the title


  2. I think that the title is very appropriate. I loved reading this book. I agree with starandme that Mrs. Bullock probably knew she didn't have long to live. There are very few flowers, in my opinion, that say spring as much as tulips. They are hardy and come up's hard to keep them down which is perhaps Mrs. Bullock's last message to Alice. No matter what don't let things keep you down.

  3. I think she planted them for Alice and there's the title.

  4. The title seems most fitting. When all looks bleak, as in winter, the tulips are simply waiting below the surface for balmier days. So too in the story, with Charlie gone and money tight, life was rather bleak, then throw in a few heinous scoundrels and life gets very chilling indeed. Spring comes regardless, the war ends, times seem a bit brighter, Annie falls in love, gets married and Charlie returns home from war. The tulips, planted in the autumn are now blooming and smelling sweet.
    Ended up loving the story.

  5. As the world's slowest reader, i have not finished the book or gotten to that part. I think Mrs. Bullock was not very good at showing her feelings for Alice. Maybe she was a bit like my own mother who hesitated to give any hint of praise lest it go to our heads. When times are so tight, spending money on something as frivolous as tulip bulbs was truly a lasting reminder of her true feelings.

  6. I think the tulips were Mother's way of showing Alice that she loved her. Alice grew up, and earned the respect of Mother Bullock.


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