Northampton Modern Quilt Guild – Ugly Fabric Challenge

I’m the current President of the Northampton (Massachusetts) Modern Quilt Guild. We’re an active guild with 40 or so members in Western Massachusetts, and we meet once a month.

Carson Converse, one of our members and a very talented quilter, recently organized an “Ugly Fabric” challenge for the guild. Each guild member participating in the challenge brought in several yards of “ugly” fabric in whatever lengths or cuts they had on hand.

I have a very sizable fabric stash with lots of fabrics that I bought in the early to mid-2000s that I don’t know if I’ll ever use. My tastes have changed.

I grabbed a variety of fabrics, mainly fat quarters. Rachel Peterson, a fellow guild member, ended up with my “ugly” fabrics.

Part of the fun of the challenge is that everyone put their “ugly” fabrics in an opaque bag. So when we grabbed a bag for the challenge, you had no idea what was in store until you opened the bag.

Here’s the amazing quilt that Rachel made from my fabrics.

About that potato fabric. I most likely won that fat quarter at one of my QuiltGuy Quilt Retreats. At every retreat, we play a dice game – Left, Right, Center, and the winner goes home with a humongous stack of fat quarters.

Not even in my early years of quilting, when I would buy novelty fabrics galore, would I have bought that potato fabric. Someone at Sunday’s meeting suggested that Rachel name the quilt Au Gratin.

Regardless of what she names it, great job Rachel!

Oh, and one final note. Where’s the quilt that I made from the ugly fabrics I ended up with? It’s still not done. Ugh, I took those fabrics with me to the last Guild Retreat in Vermont, and I agonized, and I agonized.

First, I started using some of the fabrics to make New York Beauty blocks, and I quickly realized I didn’t want to spend the amount of time making those blocks with fabrics I didn’t love. Then, I thought about making a word quilt which I can usually sew pretty quickly. Then, I spent some time making simple squares. Framing squares of my “ugly” fabric with white strips.

It’s not finished, and I’m okay with that.

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