Friday, August 4, 2017

The Ugliest Quilt

It's finished and I think it is the ugliest quilt I've ever made.  Or maybe it's the only ugly quilt I've ever made:  I can't remember any other ugly quilts, or at least not any others I truly dislike.

Buckeye Beauty quilt

I liked the idea for this quilt, a Buckeye Beauty, when I saw it in Lynn Roddy Brown's book, Patchwork Play QuiltsHer version was fun and inviting, but when I made blocks and began playing they just didn't work.  My blocks were multi-colored like hers but together they looked like a jumble.  I separated them into blues/greens/browns and reds/oranges/golds/warm colors for two separate quilts.  That didn't help much but I wasn't ready to throw out the blocks.  All that work!  The only thing to do (in my mind) was persist and finish.  (If you're interested you can see progress posts of this quilt at It's About Value, Busy Buckeye Beauty, and Buckeye Beauty Block Play.)

Buckeye Beauty quilt blocks

I quilted with three strands of embroidery.  I found it hard to pull the threads through and they occasionally tangled, but using larger stitches meant the quilt finished more quickly than if I'd used regular quilting thread and smaller stitches.  A bonus for a quilt I didn't like.

Buckeye Beauty quilt blocks

I dislike this quilt so much that I hardly kept records for it.  I'm not sure what batting I used (probably Soft n Crafty 80 cotton/20 poly) and I didn't record sizes from beginning to end or dates when I began/ended steps as I usually do.  The only measurements are after quilting (56 3/8 " x 68 7/16") and after washing and drying (54 3/4" x 66 1/4").

Buckeye Beauty quilt

I try to identify why I don't like this quilt.  I love to see diagonals and secondary patterns in quilts, both of which appear in this quilt but that's not enough for me to love it.  Perhaps it's the angularity of the blocks.  They don't look welcoming to me, almost like flashes of lightening.  And even though there's a rhythm, the quilt itself seems jumbly.  I think of this as a masculine quilt, perhaps because of the strong, sharp angles.  Maybe some boy will love it.

I learned three lessons from this quilt:
  1. If you (speaking to myself) don't love it while making it, either learn to love it or pass on the blocks, because if you can't love it, you won't take as much care with it as a quilt you love.
  2. When the middle of a quilt measures longer/wider than the edges, bind with the edge measurements.
  3. Come up with my own ideas and make my own quilts.  Don't attempt to make a version of someone else's quilt unless I truly love-love-love it and can repeat every aspect of it, including fabric choices or unless I can "see" it some other way.

The best thing I can say for this quilt is it's done.  Now I just have to find a new home for it.  One of my grandsons?

Have you ever made a quilt you didn't like or that you would describe as ugly?  If so, what did you do with it?

I'm linking this post to
> Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts and
> Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict 
> TGIFF @ Kathy's Kwilts and More
Thank you for hosting, ladies.

--Nancy.
.

36 comments:

  1. I enlarged some of the pictures and noticed that you used different colors of thread to contrast with the block. I really like that, it looks so nice. I think you have identified the reason that I don't like a similar block called the anvil quilt block. It's because of the angles, and it always seams like it is leaning on it's side. Those angles make it jarring and uninviting. But, some young gentleman is going to be thrilled with this masculine looking quilt. And, he will be grateful someone finally made a quilt without pink in it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Robin. I had an abundance of green embroidery floss and used that for the quilting, some whole skeins, some much shorter strands. I haven't embroidered for a while and thought I'd try it for quilting (having it on a recommendation that it would work).

      I think you named exactly the problem I sense with this quilt/the reason I don't like it: jarring and uninviting. The angles do it to begin with but I think the contrast adds to the feeling. And yes, it is much like the anvil block which, when I first saw it, did not like it.

      Delete
  2. Well, I will agree with you and Robin on one thing--it is a masculine looking quilt. Beyond that, I can't agree that it is an ugly quilt. I do really like it.
    But when you are working on a quilt you don't love, there is no joy in it. I hope a grandson loves this quilt and makes the painful process worth it for you!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so kind, Janet. I truly believe beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The quilt is folded awaiting its new owner, whoever that may be. He hasn't been identified yet but it may be one of my grandsons.

      Thanks for putting in a good word for this quilt, Janet. I appreciate it.

      Delete
    2. Janet, as always you stated your thoughts beautifully! I feel the same way. I think we've all worked on quilts we didn't love. Perhaps that's why there are so many ufos in existence. I commend you, Nancy, for finishing this and I'm certain it will be treasured by it's whomever receives it!

      Delete
    3. Hi, Karin. I think this is the first quilt I've made that I really disliked. But hey, it's done, and hopefully will find a home with someone who at least likes it. I think you're probably right that when we don't like something we lay it aside, hence the UFOs. I did have a hard time making myself finish this but I'm glad I did. I don't need UFOs taunting me from the closet!

      Delete
  3. Oh yes indeed, I've made many ugly quilts as it's taken awhile to learn how to combine colors the way I prefer. Some I sold and some I gave away. However, I don't think this one is ugly, but perhaps not your favorite colorway. Can you gift it to someone who will appreciate your hard work?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Gypsy. I'm glad to know I'm not the only who sometimes ends up with an ugly quilt. Yes, I will give it to someone who either likes it or needs a quilt.

      Delete
  4. I have made lots of ugly quilts along the way. Mostly they look ugly to me when I realize how bad the workmanship is on them. Your workmanship here is wonderful. Maybe the colors are not your favorites? They look pretty good to me! Way to keep going and not give up. Someone will come along and love it.
    Cheers,
    Sylvia@Treadlestitches

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I think workmanship plays a part in how much I like a finished quilt but I don't think that's the problem here, nor the colors. I like greens (and some blues, like the ones I used in this quilt). I really think the problem is the pattern. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

      Delete
  5. I want to debate you, Nancy, about calling this quilt ugly. I certainly don't think so. Masculine yes a little maybe because of the sharp angles and also the colour palette. But overall those diagonals work and the secondary pattern lends great interest. But I can relate as I've gotten to the end of several projects and not cared for them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this quilt, Jocelyn. We can definitely agree on "masculine." I suppose we can't love every quilt we make, right?

      Delete
  6. I like the quilt very much! I think we are ourselves worst critic. I hope your grandson loves the quilt. I am finishing up some old UFOs and I found one that I had made from fabric donated to me in 2007. It was a plain yellow and a light brown, orange, and white plaid for the second color. I thought it looked OK at that time. Years later, I pulled it out and thought how much I hate that thing. It has wide strips sewn together. I even used up all the fabric of that color that I had. I laid it out on the top of my bed to see what was left to do. My husband saw it and fell in love with the quilt. He was saying "Oh, my! what a beautiful quilt!" Of course he wants me to complete it! I could add some applique in the yellow strips. I think that was my original plan. But, my of my! what do I do now? Joyce Barham in Northern Arkansas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Joyce. Thank you. That's so funny that your husband loves the quilt you don't like. That would be a hard one for me to finish and use, no matter how much my husband liked it. Maybe if you put it away for a while your husband will forget about it?

      Delete
  7. I've made quilts I thought were ugly, but over time, they grew on me, and I learned to like them. Maybe you just need more time to see the beauty of it. I really like the quilting pattern you used, and the fact that you took the time to hand quilt it. I do tend to hate the things I hand quilt until I give them more time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Shasta. Maybe that will happen with this quilt and I'll eventually like it but I hope to find it a new home before it comes to that. I'm one who loves hand quilting on a quilt but sometimes even that isn't enough for me to like a quilt.

      Delete
  8. I'm glad you finished with this quilt. I have a quilt I liked when I made it but hated the colour of thread my long arm quilter used on it and pretty much hate the quilt now. It's in the spare room so I don't have to look at it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lisa. I'm glad I finished it, too. I don't like leaving things half-finished.

      It's interesting the things that can make us dislike a quilt. I think color can be a really big turn-off. I'm so sorry the color of quilting thread was the determining factor between liking and not liking your finished quilt. It's sad considering the time you spent making it and then the money you spent having it quilted.

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your experience.

      Delete
  9. First of all, I don't think your quilt is ugly! At one time you liked the fabrics enough to purchase them, but tastes change and we kind of "fall out of love" with some of them. As for the pattern, I agree it's masculine looking and makes the perfect guy quilt. And you hand quilted it--awesome! That makes it pretty special in my eyes! I have made several quilts that I'm not "in love with", and usually end up donating them for crisis quilts at the women's shelter or if they are the correct size, QOV. I know your quilt will find a good home and be loved!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Karen. I do still like the fabrics in this quilt. I really think it's the pattern that doesn't appeal to me. And maybe the contrast of the fabrics, too. If my grandson isn't interested, I'll probably donate.

      Delete
  10. Well, the first thing I thought was "oh, that's pretty," so I would not call it ugly either. It's basically a light/dark quilt with a wonderful graphic block and a lot of movement. But, I can understand that you really do not like the fabrics, and that could carry out into the whole quilt. I think quilters tend to think they should be able to make any horrible fabric look good, but lately I've thought the truth is that we have to love our fabric while we're working with it, and then a good finish is just a bonus. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Monica. I think liking the fabrics we use for quilts helps -- and I don't think there is a single fabric in this quilt that I don't like -- but for me it takes more than liking the fabrics. I really think it's the block pattern that's the problem that prevents me liking this quilt. But, it's finished and awaiting a new home, and that's good enough for me with regards to this quilt.

      Delete
  11. (Pssst! It's not really ugly, ya know...)
    Under the category of 'Too Late to be Helpful', I've been making Buckeyes because I saw a quilt I fell in love with - but the buckeyes were all running parallel, instead of alternating direction.
    Right now I've got a crib quilt top hanging in my studio that I had made (and hid) back in the 80's. It's a Bear's Paw in ugly 80's browns. Talk about a 'what was I thinking?' project - who makes a brown crib quilt?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Gayle. I think I've seen some of your buckeyes in previous posts. II couldn't do one direction diagonals with this block (I knew from the beginning that depending on how I arranged the pieces the blocks would alternate directions or be go all in one direction) but I have a hard time with quilts with parallel diagonals. I know. It's just me. I suppose we all have a setting/arrangement or two that just seems "off."

      Oh, but I can imagine a brown crib quilt for a little boy. And brown and bear paws seems like the perfect combination to me. (But maybe it's just me because brown is one of my favorite colors.) Could you enliven it with red sashing? I hope you'll post photos soon (if you haven't already).

      Delete
  12. I don't think this is ugly. I like it. It looks perfectly snuggly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Maggie. I know it will keep some little fellow warm one of these days.

      Delete
  13. I like your quilt but people have said that about ones I hate. I finish my uglies asap then I have a ready gift.
    robinsbusiness@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Robin. I guess beauty really IS in the eye of the beholder. We just don't all love/like the same things. Yes, it is now a ready gift!

      Delete
  14. Well, beauty must be in the eye of the beholder (or something like that--I'm not really sure what that means) because I like this quilt with it's angles and strong directions and good use of values. I do have to say that when I saw it, I right away thought that it looked like a quilt that would appeal to a man--or be gender neutral. Sometimes we are our own worst critics. But do move on to something you love!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, JanineMarie. Several others have commented that they like the quilt so I agree that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I guess we each see things differently and don't all like the same things.

      I'm pleased to be stitching on quilt I do really like at the moment. It's a pleasure to be quilting with regular quilting thread instead of embroidery floss!

      Delete
  15. Honestly, I think it's a great quilt. Sometimes when it's out of our comfort zone we don't like it, and yes I have made quilts I ended up hating. In fact, I would like to get them back from the recipients! It doesn't happen that often, though, and as long as someone loves it, that's all that matters. I think it's a lovely quilt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sandy. This is the first of maybe a dozen quilts I've made that I don't like so I guess that's not too bad a ratio. Several others have commented that they like the quilt so I'm sure I can find a home for it with someone who will like it.

      Delete
  16. Well, some quilts are winners and some are not. Congrats for finishing a project you didn't love!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Myra. I appreciate the congratulations. There were times when it crossed my mind to fold up the unfinished quilt and stuff it away somewhere. It does take more effort to finish something we don't love than something we do.

      Delete
  17. Hi! I found your blog! I really enjoyed your thoughtful analysis of your project. To me it is NOT an ugly quilt, tho it is quite masculine. Perfect for a boy or young man. It looks beautifully pieced too. I'm not a fan of green, maybe you aren't either? Also your colors are somewhat dusty or muddy--and mid-range in tone; you might have liked this better in clearer colors, or with more constrast. It would be fun to try again, maybe a mini? Use lots of whites/ very darks or blacks and brights too. Or all very low volume or pastel?

    lizzy at gone to the beach lizzzz.d@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Lizzy. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I do like green, it's my 2nd or third favorite color, but I know it's the pattern that I don't like. It's too angular. The one in the book used very few fabrics that were light. A few lights against mediums, mostly mediums against darks. In fact, I have another smaller quilt made with the same block pattern but in reds/roses/pinks/etc. I do like it better than this green one but I still have trouble with the pattern. Maybe, though, I would like it in mediums and lights only, or brights and lights only. I'll have to give it some thought.

      Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. And especially thanks for including your email since you're a no-reply blogger. I would have looked it up but you made it easy.

      Delete

I appreciate your comments and look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...