My nickname for this quilt is the “Ugly Quilt”. It’s not so ugly in its finished state, hence why it became a good lesson in perseverance. However, I do think it’s a miracle that it ever got finished given my immediate reaction to the finished quilt top.
A couple of years ago I decided to make a scrappy quilt using scrappy 2.5″ squares. I sewed those squares into 4 patches and 16 patches and surrounded the four patches with a 2.5″ blue border. It looked like this:
Once together it quickly got called the Ugly Quilt. Just look at that scrappy block one in from the left and three down .. YUCK. It just looked like a dogs breakfast to me. I like scrappy but this just didn’t work for me. I quickly put it aside.
However, I posted the ugly quilt in a group on facebook as something I didn’t like that I created and a fellow blogger said she liked it and would finish it for me. I seriously thought about that offer but how could I send her something so ugly in my eyes? I just couldn’t. But her words were very powerful and got me thinking. Ugly to me doesn’t mean ugly to everyone.
I fixed the offending block and made it less striped. I then let it simmer in the UFO pile for a while longer. Finally I found a backing that coordinated and decided I’d sew it up and see what became of it. Surely people have different tastes than mine and maybe someone will find it to their liking. That was my hope and I wanted it out of the of the UFO pile.
Here is the finished top:
And here is a picture with the backing showing:
So what started out as the ugly quilt actually became a decent scrappy quilt. I’m glad I didn’t give up and give the top away. I’m even happier that I didn’t leave this as a permanent UFO and actually finished it. At 40″ square it will make a great charity wheelchair quilt.
14 thoughts on “The Ugly Quilt: A Good Lesson in Perseverance.”
Yes, that will sure make someone happy and provide hours of examining and entertainment! Great finish!
What a wonderful post . You had me chuckling at your description . Lol but I have to say- I think your quilt is gorgeous and brought a smile to my face as soon as I saw it. Great job on not giving up on your “ugly duckling”. Thanks for sharing and inspiring.
Once you pointed it out — yes, that block just didn’t play well with the others. The quick fix made such a difference!
Those scrappy quilts can be a challenge. I’ve tried doing very random scrappy quilts and have not liked them at all, I think they really need a little planning. Your fix worked really well, it’s a very nice quilt and I’m sure the recipient will love it.
I like scrappy quilts and they stand the test of time.
Oh my gosh — you and I must have been under the same star’s influence last week or something. I also finally forced myself to quilt an “ugly duckling” top last week and was surprised that I liked it again after quilting. I turned it into a goofy story on my blog that you’ll probably appreciate, having just been there and done that yourself: https://www.rebeccagracequilting.com/2021/01/rebecca-and-her-ugly-christmas-quilt.html. I love how your little quilt turned out and I think its recipient will enjoy examining it and exploring all of the different fabric bits. Congratulations on sticking it out to the finish line!
Ha! I love scrappy quilts. They are so full of whimsy. This quilt is no exception. I’m so glad you finished it.
I’m laughing here — your ugly block in the third row first block — nah — it looked exciting to me. Yep, we all love different things. I always know that someone will love a quilt I might find only somewhat pleasing, or not at all. I have gotten to the point of looking at my scraps that I want to put in a really scrappy quilt. If I want it to be bright I make sure I don’t put in a lot of “greyed” colors. The purer the color the brighter the quilt will look. Also, I try hard not to use the duller colors for the sashing or borders. I tend to use what is in my stash so I don’t always succeed. Congratulations on finishing it.
I love it! I have loads of 2 1/4 inch squares and I really need to turn them into a quilt such as yours. Too many projects….too little time.
on you’re quilt a 1.1/2 ” cut of white material (a zinger) & a 2.2/1 ” cut plain border
would make a whole lot difference to you’re ugly quilt.
Happy New Year.
Great story! And a lovely reward for your perserverance. Thanks for sharing on Wednesday Wait Loss.
I’m making a scrappy jewel box right now and really trying to let the pieces randomize themselves, but I can’t! If a few fixes now make me happy then that’s what will happen. Glad you were able to recover yours!
What a good idea for my many scraps. Adding the neutral background makes a huge difference. I’m already thinking through my background fabrics!!
I don’t find it ugly…just not as beautiful as planned and orchestrated quilts can be. My husband thinks these old fashioned patchwork quilts are the BEST.