My quilters guild, Quiltessence Quilters, presented me with quite a challenge last week.

Mary, conducting the program, instructed us to each bring one yard of ugly fabric from our stash to the meeting.

We then sat around the tables in a big circle, with our ugly fabric and a pair of scissors. She said: cut the first piece, kept half, and pass half, to the music. We repeated until we had varying sizes of ugly fabrics, down to a scrap about 2 x 3”.  I won’t try to describe Mary dancing to the music, or our general amusement at how many ways we could mess up these simple directions!

At the end I stared down at my pile of ugly fabric scraps.  I took them home.

They haunted me. What on earth could I do with them? There was no purple or much orange! I can hardly make a piece without them. It was OK to add other fabrics for the challenge, but we had to use something of ALL of the scrappy pieces.

I had in mind a scene looking north from our home, which I’d done several versions of.

The light green and darker green weren’t a problem.  The light tan one worked quite well actually, as well as the darker tan. I used the trees and a few yellow parts from the corny rural scene. For the “Chinese” print I used the reverse side in the sky. The geometric earth toned piece worked OK in parts of the foreground. The yellow piece with the DNA or chains (I’m not sure what they are) worked OK for the tops of the corn stalks.

The biggest problems were the “Patriots” red piece, and a blue flowered one. I ended up using the Patriots red for flowers that should have been a more muted purplish red, and the blue flowers in the background purple mountains.

Here is the final product I came up with, along with my reference photo, and a picture of the ugly scraps. I added found objects, including pieces from an 1890 atlas I am coming to depend upon, and bits of lottery tickets, which seem to be becoming my signature.

Lottery tickets carry so much emotion. People get all excited about winning.  Then they get equally disappointed, and just toss the tickets away, wasting all that color! I like to retrieve them and make use of the color and textures.

Once the quilt was done, it felt very good to toss the remainder of those ugly scraps away!

Like a used lottery ticket to someone else I guess.

September 14 x 15.5

Martha Ressler, September, Studio Art Quilt, 14 x 15.5 inches. Fabrics, papers and found objects.

Looking North from our house.

Reference photo for “September.” I did a sketch too, but it was a simple line drawing, and did not reproduce well. I have to do both — some kind of a sketch to remind myself what I saw, and a photo to remind me of the colors.

ugly fabric challenge

The pile of ugly scraps I was left with after the musical chairs scrappy game. Notice some are very small: the dark tan and yellow piece with the chains (?) on it. Those I got near the end. I could have actually used more of each. Down with that Patriots fabric!

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Comments
  1. Jay Ressler says:

    You ended up with a wonderful piece

    Like

  2. grammiejudi@aol.com says:

    looks great! Judi

    Like

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