|Self Portrait by Alice Bailey, 1917|| Quilt Notes:
LADIES DELIGHT is one of those rare birds, both exceedingly complex yet also quite beautiful. It does not tile well, however and needs to alternate with plain blocks. This is one of two variations first introduced by Nancy Cabot (a simpler version, without the checkerboard, dates back in print to the Ladies Art Company Catalogue, in the late 19th century, #126). See Jinny Beyer's QUILTER'S ALBUM, p. 193-10, or Barbara Brackman's ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PIECED QUILT PATTERNS, #1995. The design was published on the Fourth of July, 1934, but with no direct mention by Cabot of Independence Day, although there might be a tongue-in-cheek reference here to Women's Emancipation.
There is a humorous saying by Emily Dickinson as regards the founding fathers in America, who in celebrating their freedom, nevertheless left the women without the right to vote or equal opportunity to run for office. Dickinson once sent a bouquet of flowers from her garden to a neighbor and fellow gardener to celebrate the Fourth of July (or Founders Day) in Amherst, along with a playful note declaring: "The founders of honey have no names."
<< In keeping with LADIES DELIGHT as a celebration of women in the arts, the color scheme for this rendering is adapted from the 1917 Cubist self portrait by Alice Bailly (illustrated left), absolutely brimming with delight, herself looking like the incarnation of a geometric quilt pattern.
For more on the Alice Bailey's painting, along with a whole gallery of self portraits by other women artiists, see online at Women Artists at the Easel, 1540-1980.