Saturday, May 14, 2011

Scrapbuster Saturday - A Silk Purse {Out of a Sow's Ear}

Sometimes It seems like I have nothing interesting to say in this blog, but right now, it feels like there is so much going on, I don't know where to start.  Today, Amy of Amy's Creative Side is hosting the Spring Blogger's Quilt Festival, so today I will share my "Ugly Quilt".

Way back in January, Just A Bit Frayed proposed a challenge on Flickr called Save the Uglies.  It seems it wasn't a very popular challenge, and I believe I may have completed the only quilt entry, but just like the MIAGIA quilts I posted about here and here and here, the challenge is to make something attractive out of fabrics you don't really like or maybe wouldn't choose - or worse yet, you did choose them, and now can't seem to understand just what you were thinking.

Just a Bit Frayed sent me some fabrics that I just couldn't imagine how I would use.  One was a Halloween print, and while I don't have anything against Halloween, it isn't my favorite holiday, either, and I have no desire for a Halloween quilt.  So what was I to do?  I think BD#1 thought I was crazy to make it, but I had "won" the fabric, and I felt obligated to complete the quilt.

Along about the middle of March, I was browsing quilting mags in the Navy Exchange, waiting for WH to get a haircut, and I ran across a quilt pattern called "Box of Chocolates".  It combined brown and rust with pink and cream and turned into a really attractive quilt. Of course, those fabrics were created to go together.  Could I do it with these fabrics?

So a couple of weeks ago (yes, I am a procrastinator, but I prefer to think of it as managing my deadlines - LOL), I went through my scrap bag and picked some leftovers from several other quilts I made - some of them years ago.  The pinks are from a quilt I made BD#1 for her birthday in 2007, shown in the photo above.  She is actually using the quilt on her bed now, which makes me happy. 

Most of the other browns are from a log cabin quilt I made eons ago.    The one piece of "new" fabric was a piece of L'amour that BD#1 sent me a few weeks ago.  I actually think she was a little bit offended that I used it in the Ugly Quilt, but it tied the browns and pinks together so well, I couldn't resist.

 I finished the blocks just before I packed to come to Utah, and put them together the other day during nap time.  I think the addition of the pinks and creams hides the ugliness of the ugly fabrics pretty well.  I tried to make the Halloween pieces small enough that you weren't sure whether it was really  a Halloween fabric, or not. 

Friday night, after our day at Quilt Market, I assembled the back, made my sandwich, and did the quilting, and this morning, I put my scrappy binding around the edges and presto-chango - I think it turned into a really attractive quilt.

Even BD#1, who said that it contained "some really unappealing fabrics" concedes that the finished quilt "turned out very pretty".

 One of the highlights for me of making this quilt was doing the actual quilting on BD#1's Bernina QE440.  It was really a blast.  I am not great at FMQ yet, and while the Bernina FMQ feature is awesome, I had a lot of trouble with stops and starts and the weight of the quilt making "designs" I didn't intend.  But overall, it was a lot of fun.  And it went so fast!!  I love my machine.  It was a gift of love (which is probably a story I'll tell another time) and it has some really awesome features, but I certainly can't do FMQ this easily or quickly on it.

And I like that this quilt fits into my Scrapbuster Saturday category.  I used a TON of scraps in this quilt, in addition to the 2 ugly FQs, the L'amour, and the backing fabric.

My grandmother used to say that you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, and most of the time that is true, but maybe sometimes, you CAN make a silk purse out of a sow's ear - at least in a quilt.


  1. At the end your quilt is not anymore an ugly one.
    I like it!

  2. Very nice quilt, spectacular:)

  3. It did turn out quite pretty! I like the back too.

  4. Very nice. I'm impressed with how well you pulled that off.

  5. You turned the "uglies" into a great quilt. I love your vision.

  6. I'm impressed. You have certainly proved the point that ugly fabric can work well. Your quilt looks great. I love the way your fabrics work so well together.

  7. I'm impressed too, the ugly fabric works really well in the quilt. You did a great job. I like the way you pieced the back too.


I love comments! Please - make my day!