"Ugly Fabric Challenge" Goal

It was Aralee's turn to devise our 2015 Guild Challenge. She decided we should exchange ugly fabrics, and then use *said ugly fabric* in a project. And it must show on the front. She is Evil. 

When I told her so, she laughed and laughed...it sounded a lot like, "hahahaMUUUAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!"

We put the worst fabrics imaginable into brown paper bags, piled them together and stirred. Then it was luck of the draw.

The one I drew was not the ugliest fabric in the batch, but it was darn close!

First, I'll give you a peek at my work in progress, and then I'll show you the "before" of the ugly fabric so you can feel sorry for me.

Did you pick it out? 
(ha! Maybe not!!! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!)

Well, here it is, in all it's glory.

The damn thing looks different in every light, but it is consistently ugly. I considered the background colour with the hope of finding it some friends.

I thought an inspiration photo might help, too.

There was nothing to do but pull fabrics and start chopping!

A free-form quilt was the only solution I could see.

Rayna Gillman says, "No matter how ugly the fabric, it will work when cut into small enough pieces." Perfect!

Jean Wells says that dull colours always make the rest sing.  Also, perfect!

I've relied heavily on my inspiration photo, reminding myself to stay the course. It would have been so easy to veer off and make a muddled mess!

As of this evening, the top is complete. You can see the corner of it, below - you'll get to see the whole thing when it's quilted and done! 

My January goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes 2015 is to complete this challenge.

Lots of people are reviewing their 2014 finishes, but I'd simply like to show

My final project of 2014:

Inspired by a little painting I'd made earlier in the year, I stitched a barbed wire fence onto a leftover, wintery looking strip set.

I changed the top fabric of the strip set (because - yuck), and added a bow to transform the wire coil into a wreath. A cheeky bird added a bit of cheer.

A seasonal hashtag (the bird is tweeting - ha!) and zigzagged edges completed the picture.

Yep, that's my big ole finger in the photo. I had great light, though!

Linking up with:
A Lovely Year of Finishes (2015), at Fiber of All Sorts & Sew BitterSweet Designs

Try, Learn, Grow!
Comments are welcome and will be answered by email where possible. Thanks so much for looking around!


  1. This ugly fabric challenge is a great idea! It might even be worth a workshop or a course :)

  2. I didn't even come close to picking out the ugly fabric in your work in progress! This challenge is a fun idea.

  3. I LOVE the barbed wire thread painting.....(postcard?) It is just wonderful. Let me know if you need someone to mail it to...lol

  4. I think that does sound like an awfully evil challenge, but you seem to have found a way to work with that fabric. It will be fun to see the final piece when are are done quilting!

  5. Oh, yes, I picked that ugly fabric out right away. I have a bit of ugly fabric sitting in my studio after a swap at my guild last year. Quite a few members participated, but I've only seen one completed project so far. I think ugly fabric stumps a lot of us, and is certainly uninspiring.

  6. We had an ugly fabric challenge in our guild, but we ended up with a piece from almost everyone's ugly fabric. The way it worked was the first piece, we started with a one yard piece, is cut in half you keep half and pass the other half to the person next to you. Then cut the new piece in half again keeping half and passing the other half on. My results are here.

  7. Love your Christmas quilt. I also have not blogged in a while. Sometimes life get in the way. I found you at the 2015 a lovely year of finishes. Kathleen cozykoza32a@gmail.com

  8. Carole, I'm just testing this comment form to see the result :)

  9. What a challenge! Your Christmas mini is lovely! Very original!

  10. Love your Christmas mini, your stitching just brings it alive. And look forward to seeing your challenge quilt in all its glory - but I can't believe there weren't fabrics out there that were way more ugly than yours! Although it wouldn't be a fabric I'd choose, at least it's not completely in your face, offensively ugly! And I think you've tucked it away beautifully from what you've shown us already.

  11. The challenge was a great idea Carole, but I reckon you got it in one when you said that wasn't the ugliest fabric. I think I could beat it ten times over. LOL

  12. Oh! I forgot to say, you've done a great job of hiding it. But what did you do with the remainder? You only used some slivers. Is that for the next ugly fabric challenge? (hee hee hee)


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