a quilt of lilac clusters and tall pale-yellow heads


Senior Member
Mandarin / the Shanghai Dialect

By late April the grave was always a quilt of lilac clusters and tall pale-yellow heads; after Sunday matins, people would stroll down the path to admire it.

Daniel Martin(Page 11) eBook online Read

Daniel Martin by John Fowles

I take “quilt” to mean the grave was covered with lilac clusters and tall pale-yellow heads. Does it imply they formed a patchwork pattern?
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    I get more the feeling of "a thick covering". Would he have written that if there was only a single kind of flower? I don't know.


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    To me it does.* Maybe it's a stronger implication in AE.

    * using the word "clusters" reinforces that

    Patchwork quilts are a very common part of American cultural history.


    English - England
    I see that John Fowles was British. The idea of a patchwork quilt is nowhere near as strong in the UK, but UK quilts were usually of a single material that was decorated with geometric designs done by needlework that connected the upper sheet and the lower sheet (known as "quilting"), thus giving the idea of clusters.


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