Sunday, July 6, 2014
Is There Such a Thing as an Ugly Quilt?
I once thought there was not. But I was wrong. Let me hasten to add that this quilt was once ugly, but less so now. I think it’s moved up to the category of not-so-bad. The quilt began as an online bargain for a “jelly roll” set of pre-cut strips. I’d been wanting to try one of the Jelly Roll Race quilts from the Missouri Star website to make a donation quilt. So I took a chance and ordered a very inexpensive roll of 2 1/2” strips. When they arrived, I immediately had misgivings about the colors and patterns. But I’d spent that money and had hopes that since they were all from one fabric line, perhaps they’d all work together somehow.
So off to quilt retreat I went with this unusual set of strips. Since the Jelly Roll Race quilts are sewn in one long sewing session, seam after seam. That meant that I was looking at the back of the quilt top until it was finished, and couldn’t get a good sense of how things were progressing. But retreat members could see the pile of fabric strips as they were added, and they’d stroll by, curiously asking what this was going to be and where the fabric had come from.
At last came the big reveal. I held up the quilt top and could see right away from the stunned looks on the quilters’ faces what I pretty much knew already- that this quilt was less than a success. And we were right! It was overwhelmingly busy and garish- not a resting place for the eye in sight. However, the quilt top provided plenty of laughs! There was no way I could leave it like that though. And I don’t have a picture of the top in that state (which is a mercy- it could scare you). So the quilt top came home with me and I sliced it through in order to add the wide dark strips, thinking it would break up all that pattern a bit. This is the result, and I’m pretty sure there is someone out there that is going to receive and love this quirky quilt!
And if the recipient needs a rest from the quilt front, then perhaps the pieced backing will be more soothing!
I learned a lesson about buying fabrics online, sight unseen, in the process. And I learned one about bargain fabrics, too. While the trademarked Jelly Roll fabrics by Moda are costly in comparison to other brands of pre-cut strips, the quality counts for a lot. Every Jelly Roll I’ve purchased has been accurately cut and quality cotton. In my bargain pre-cut roll, there were several strips that were mis-cut like the one shown here. The fabric must have shifted while die cutting and the result was uneven strips. The uneven parts were right at the fold line, giving it “the bends” and making the strip useless for patterns that require a full width-of-fabric cut. Live and learn! At any rate, the not-so-bad quilt is now on the way to its new home. I’m confident that someone will choose it and love it for qualities that may not be readily apparent to me.