300 Quilts · Free Quilt Pattern

Bright Ladies (Well Read) • Quilt Top Finish

There was a young lady named Bright,
Whose speed was far faster than light;
She set out one day
In a relative way,
And returned home the previous night.
(limerick by Arthur Henry Reginal Buller)

Our high respect for a well-read [wo]man is praise enough of literature.

Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make ourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not. (Thomas Henry Huxley)

But now my task is smoothly done,
I can fly, or I can run.

Have faith and pursue the unknown end. (Oliver Wendell Homes)


I’m just having fun here, typing in some quotes that fit my happy mood at having finished the Ladies. For a while this unfinished quilt top fell into the worst place for a while, as it became a metaphor for my sadness, my sorrows, my frustrations, my pain, my inability to finish a task, the mess downstairs in my under-construction kitchen, and it mocked me at night when I would come in to try and finish it. I had to hack off a border to get it to this place. I did like that border — but it was either make more to even things out • or • take it off and be done — so the rotary cutter came out. We are all friends again, the ladies and I.


I don’t really have a title for this quilt yet. Ladies has to be somewhere in that title, though.


I decided I did not want to snowball a million rectangles to get that border. So I figured out a pattern for two triangles and a diamond that would fit together. It’s not that I hate making snowball corners. I just hate having to figure out what to do with all those leftover triangles. Yes, I know: make more half-square triangles, but then it begins to feel like real work, instead of fun.

The free pattern for the zig-zag idea is up in the tab marked Pieced Quilter Ladies & Notions (scroll down to find it).

Okay, that’s about it for today. Happy April!

14 thoughts on “Bright Ladies (Well Read) • Quilt Top Finish

  1. Love the ladies and all the great border details. Hoping to smoothly finish marking a scalloped border soon.

  2. Starting the day with a limerick is really pretty uplifting – thank you! The Ladies turned out so perfectly, I just love it and it reminds me of a time when all things seemed easier, an amazing thought since we were in the middle of a pandemic. And that the coming together of your quilt came about at an equally monumental time in your personal life, well….
    I was thrilled when you said “so the rotary cutter came out” – that alone is such a liberating step, second only to “stuffing it into the trash bin”, right?! Great job, Elizabeth!

  3. Your quotes are so good! Interesting. Profound. Were you able to jot them all here from memory?! It’s impressive that you know them. Me… I’ve never heard any of them. Guess you can tell literature hasn’t been my thing, though I definitely appreciate it. Your ladies are lovely. As we all know, it’s a good feeling to be finished, especially when a particular project has given angst, which it seems this one has. And, you’ve been in a difficult head-space too, which is completely understandable. Though you’ve had too much happening in your life, the therapeutic value of making is undeniable. Making helps get us through life’s challenges. “Quilting can be a meaningful vehicle for enhanced well being.” Journal of Public Health, Volume 34, Issue 1, March 2012

  4. I always enjoy your posts. This one is no different. I somehow seem to be magnetized to read every word and I even followed some links back to a 2019 post where you re-introduced yourself. I feel like you do about those snowball pieces. I always love your featured quilt and your thoughts on the process. This time I even read the comments, which I also enjoyed. As always, thanks for sharing.

  5. I’m with Linda on the literature. Always enjoy when you share with us things I’ve never heard. Your ladies are just lovely . . . and DONE! Hope the kitchen os progressing well.

  6. Was the removed border salvageable and perhaps could become the seed or start of another idea/quilt? The ladies look great. I know the mess, noise, and inconvenience of the kitchen remodel is tiring, but I hope that progress on the kitchen is going well!

  7. Such a fantastic border to The Ladies and a nod to Freddy Moran in your liberal use of black and white, it is such a lovely finish.

  8. Thanks for the relativity limerick! I’m reading a Science Fiction novel (The Three Body Problem) that is heavy on physics so I needed a laugh as a balance.
    I love how your quilt turned out!
    The zig zag border is a great way to use black and white fabrics, I imagine it would be just as fun to use other fabrics that have only two colors to coordinate with a different top.

    Happy April! Regards to your Quilt Photography Assistant 😉

  9. Ladies of the canon? As in music – composition in which each successively entering voice presents the initial theme usually transformed in a strictly consistent way. (And there’s also that cool reference to Ladies of the Canyon by Joni Mitchell.).
    Love from one of your ladies who can currently relate to kitchens under construction…

  10. I love the way this turned out! It’s such a fun, happy, whimsical quilt that it would be hard to keep at it if that wasn’t where your head was. It’s a journey – thanks for taking us along. AND thank you for the great block patterns that you provided along the way! I definitely want to try this one.

  11. I love all your ladies with their strong, red backgrounds. I’m sure each one has led an interesting life. I love the notions and flowers, too. How fun to add them to your quilt. Your border, as usual, is inspired. And you posted one of my favorite limericks. I feel inspired to sew or re-organize my quilt closet. Either one would be helpful.

  12. Congratulations on persevering and finishing up this quilt – I love it! I adore almost any quilt with a red background and the black and white zig zag border is perfect. With my current project, I’m in the same situation you just described – trying to decide if it’s finished or whether the quilt requires any additions or changes. I’m hoping not, because I want to be done! Your quotes were a fun way to start my day. 😊

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