Friday, August 3, 2012

Rose of Sharon Applique Pattern

This pattern draft of a Rose of Sharon dates from the mid 1920s Farm Journal. Add a 1/8th inch seam allowance to it prior to cutting your fabric.

Traditional colors used in a Rose of Sharon quilt top.
Origins of The Pattern's Name: Rose of Sharon is a common name that applies to several different species of flowering plants that are highly valued throughout the world. The name's colloquial application has been used as an example of the lack of precision of common names, which potentially causes confusion. Rose of Sharon has also become a frequently used catch phrase in lyrics and verse. 
      Chavatzelet HaSharon (Hebrew חבצלת השרון) is an onion-like flower bulb. (Hebrew חבצלת ḥăḇaṣṣeleṯ) is a flower of uncertain identity translated as the Rose of Sharon in English language translations of the Bible. Etymologists have inconclusively linked the Biblical חבצלת to the words בצל beṣel, meaning 'bulb', and חמץ ḥāmaṣ, which is understood as meaning either 'pungent' or 'splendid' (The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon). The name Rose of Sharon first appears in English in 1611 in the King James Version of the Bible. According to an annotation of Song of Solomon 2:1 by the translation committee of the New Revised Standard Version, "Rose of Sharon" is a mistranslation of a more general Hebrew word for "crocus".  However, only a few Bibles thus far make this distinction: 
The New Living Translation in 2007: 
"I am the spring crocus blooming on the Sharon Plain, the lily of the valley."
The Darby Bible Translation:
"I am a narcissus of Sharon, A lily of the valleys."

      Most newly published Biblical texts still refer to this crocus as The Rose of Sharon. The term "lily" or "lilies of the field" in the Bible is used instead of the word "flower."

New American Standard Bible (1995):
"I am the rose of Sharon, The lily of the valleys."
God's WORD Translation (1995):
"I am a rose of Sharon, a lily [growing] in the valleys."
New International Version (1984):
"I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys."
King James 2000 Bible (2003):
"I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys."
Early American Christians seemed to make the distinction made by these scholars in their quilt patterns. Their "Rose of Sharon" patterns strongly resemble crocus instead of actual depictions of the Rose of Sharon grown in the backyards of North Americans today. Most Christians of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries were not oblivious to exact Hebrew interpretations. Biblical Commentaries were included in most Biblical texts in brief. Larger Biblical commentaries could also be acquired from libraries and churches easily. I have four or five of these in my own home, although, I use only one of them consistently.
Hibiscus syriacus, a deciduous flowering shrub native to east Asia, the plant generally referred to in American English as "Rose of Sharon" and the national flower of South Korea. The specific epithet indicates that the plant was originally (and erroneously) thought to originate from Syria. Early American Rose of Sharon patterns were not likely based upon this flower's shape.
       The most accepted interpretation for the Biblical reference is the Pancratium maritimum, which blooms in the late summer just above the high-tide mark. The Hebrew name for this flower is חבצלת or חבצלת החוף (coastal ḥăḇaṣṣeleṯ). It is commonly assumed by most people in Israel that, the Sharon plain being on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, the Biblical passage refers to this flower. 
            Varying scholars have suggested that the biblical "Rose of Sharon" may be one of the following plants:
  • A "kind of crocus" ("Sharon", Harper's Bible Dictionary) or a "crocus that grows in the coastal plain of Sharon" (New Oxford Annotated Bible);
  • Tulipa montana, "a bright red tulip-like flower ... today prolific in the hills of Sharon" ("rose", Harper's Bible Dictionary);
  • Tulipa agenensis, the Sharon tulip, a species of tulip suggested by a few botanists; or
  • Lilium candidum, more commonly known as the Madonna lily, a species of lily suggested by some botanists, though likely in reference to the "lily of the valleys" mentioned in the second part of Song of Solomon 2.1.
      Recently however, some scholar insists on translating ḥăḇaṣṣeleṯ into "a budding bulb" in consideration of the genealogical research of multilingual versions and lexicons.

More Pictures of Rose of Sharon Quilts:

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