300 Quilts · free motion quilting · Patterns by Elizabeth of OPQuilt

Ladybird • Quilt Finish

Ladybird_1Ladybird is finished.

Ladybird_2Ladybird, the name a shortened version of ladybird beetle (or ladybugs as we call them in the States), has a rich folkloric history, with allusions to religion, good fortune, death, and old rituals.  This original quilt, with its split block design, evoked the tiny beetle, a godsend to gardeners everywhere.

Ladybird_7We’d had a bumper crop of their babies around the yard when I started this, little crawly things that my husband identified as the early stage of ladybird beetles (the official name).


I don’t know how I came up with this original pattern, but the colors and the accents just sort of found their way to this quilt.  I also don’t know how I figured out the quilting, but like anything in my life, the starting is the hardest.

Finishing is easier.

Background fabric is from Jane Sassaman.

Of course you are familiar with the rhyme:

Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home,
Your house is on fire, and your children will burn.

There are multiple, maybe even a hundred, versions of this rhyme in many different languages and countries.  The one I quoted above is dated to 1744, and is often thought to reference the burning of stubble in the fields after harvest, a practice discouraged now because of air pollution, but common in early times.

Ladybird_8My husband found the photography site for us at University of California-Riverside.  It’s the artwork on the front of the Genomics Building by Jim Isermann, the sculpture influenced by geometric shapes of molecular structure and its illustration. Yeah, I’m in love with this.  And did I mention my husband broke three ribs last week?  Yet he still helped me schlep around the quilts (and holding one up for me in another upcoming post), even clamping on one side where I couldn’t reach.  (It was a small household altercation with a huge yard waste container; he will be fine in about six weeks, but for now I do the trash.)

After dinner at our newest Vietnamese restaurant, we flew away home. Thankfully, our house is not on fire, but, regretfully, our children are gone.

Pattern will be coming soon.

15 thoughts on “Ladybird • Quilt Finish

  1. Bless your poor husband! He’s a champ to do that. It’s a really pretty quilt and the color gradation is fantastic. You couldn’t have found a better background for the photo shoot.

  2. Oh, I really like this one! Glad you managed to escape from the dungeon of cute. So sorry about your husband’s injury. At least it wasn’t caused by hanging a quilt. 🙂 Prayers for a speedy recovery.

  3. Love the graphic quality of your design and the bold use of colors. The quilt and sculpture are made for each other. Perfect photo site. I had no idea trash could be so hazardous. Hope your husband heals quickly.

  4. Oh, I commiserate with your husband! Broken ribs are no fun, and I once broke my ribs by leaning too hard against our huge compost bin. Not a great story to tell; made me wish I’d done it whilst skiing or some such. (Since then I have snapped them while using garden shears too vigorously, while leaning too hard against the car seat to reach a naughty puppy, and countless other undignified endeavors, so let’s hope he is a better learner than I. (Just writing this made my rib cage ache…your poor spouse!)

  5. This is such an amazing quilt Elizabeth! Bold, graphic and striking in every Way! I could only ever dream of creating something as beautiful as this! Best wishes to Dave for a speedy recovery. I hope he is a good patient?

  6. The starting is so hard! Especially for the quilting. I’m working on a baby quilt with paper pieced ducks (Made by Marney’s “Duck Duck Goose” pattern with the geese replaced with her mallard blocks). I’m thinking I want to quilt it with cattails, but I have no idea how I’m going to accomplish that. Did I mention the shower is in two weeks? EEEK!

  7. Whoo-ee! What a fabulous quilt design! I love this one, and it looks especially fantastic with that art backdrop. Your hubs scopes-out great quilt photo sites. So sorry about his yard waste container altercation. Sounds like he lost that battle. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous finish!

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