I had to take this finished Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt top outside for a photo shoot this evening to fall back in love with it. It is incredibly ugly up close - just UGLY!! In fact, I seriously contemplated throwing in the towel because I just couldn't stand working with such nasty fabrics. But, I pressed on, and I'm so glad I did!
This quilt contains scraps from my first 25 years of quilting, as well as fabrics from the cardigan sweatshirts I made to sell back in the 80's (remember them - they were all the rage!!), so this represents about 30 years of my fabric journey. There are a number of lovely fabrics included in this quilt, but the uglies are what shout the loudest and insist on taking center stage.
But, when you look at it from a distance (natural lighting certainly helps!!), those ugly fabrics come together to make a lovely design!
That applies to our lives too, doesn't it! All the ugly experiences and not-so-nice happenings can come together and create a lovely life too, if we're willing to take the time to stand back and take another look....
It's hard to explain, but I felt such a need to use these ugly fabrics in one more quilt before moving on. They represented so many things - all the sewing projects I worked on before learning to quilt. That first sampler quilt class I took 25 years ago with Terri Good. All those quilts I stitched in my early years. My first apartment in Columbia with plenty of space in the kitchen for sewing space. My reliable Kenmore sewing machine I bought right after I graduated from college. Shopping for fabric with my friend Denise. And on and on the memories go.
Now that I have this quilt to document my quilting journey, I went through my stash and got rid of all my ugly fabrics, anything I'm no longer in love with, and the fabrics that no longer "spark joy". Many of them were too ugly to pass on to friends or members of my quilt guild, so I simply took them to my local thrift shop where they will be given a second life.
It's been so meaningful to hit this 25-year milestone, as well as reflect on where my next 25 years of quilting might take me.... I'm looking forward to working with scraps i love!
I'm hoping to finish up this ugly duckling in time for the big Etown fair, but I'm not sure the judges will see its beauty....