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Daffydown-dillys (Daffodils)

These joyous spring flowers are a lovely inspiration for needlework.

This 16th century “daffydown-dilly” is worked in detached buttonhole.

Also called narcissus or daffodilly, the word “daffodil” is a variant of a Middle English word “asphodel.”  Shakespeare writes “daffodils, that come before the swallow dares, and take the winds of march with beauty.”  They are an early blooming flower and thus a harbinger of spring.

This daffodilly is worked in tent stitch.

Most commonly embroidered in yellows and golds this is one of the flowers that was a fairly literal interpretation of “real life.”

These are narcissus from an herbal which were detailed collections of plants and flowers with information for any botantist or gardener or needleworker. Early modern needleworkers would look for patterns or inspiration from herbals as well as their garden.  Where do you get your inspiration?

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