Monday, January 11, 2010

The "Ugly Quilt" Dilemma

Yesterday, while cleaning out my closet, it  resurfaced once more. The quilt top.  The one thing that I can not seem to dispose of. It's been  folded away in a box for thirty-seven years just waiting for the day when I will lovingly remove it, send it off to be quilted, and then proudly display it on a bed.

The problem: It's UGLY!  I mean reeeally ugly!

In 1973, months before my husband and I were to be married, two sweet, little elderly sisters at my church pulled me aside and said they would like to present me with a gift they had made.  They went on to describe a beautiful quilt top that they hoped I would love and be willing to finish. Being a budding seamstress, I excitedly thanked them and promised to finish and cherish their gift.

When it arrived, I opened the box with great anticipation and this is what I pulled out:

The ugliest quilt top I had ever seen!!!!  Notice those big, brownish-reddish stripes through the middle? U-G-L-Y!!! With great disappointment, I returned it to the box, wrote the perfunctory thank you note and promptly forgot about it.

A few years later, when "country really was cool" I took it out again, tried to imagine it on the bed, on the table, on the wall, on the windows, but even in that "country decorating" decade, it was just UGLY.  Oh, how I wanted to suddenly have a decorating inspiration, to make those little old ladies proud, but it just didn't happen.  So I sadly folded it back up, tucked it in the box and stuffed it in a dark corner of the closet.

Over the years that quilt has moved to seven different cities and seven different closets.  Every few years, usually during spring cleaning, it resurfaces. I take it out once more, hoping this will be the time that I will finally see its hidden beauty.  I know it must be there, otherwise why would those sweet little ladies have spent all those hours stitching it together?  Or were they just trying to get rid of a really ugly mistake?  I guess I'll never know since I don't even remember their names and they'd be over a hundred years old if they were still alive.

So I've finally come to the conclusion that the only reason this quilt is still in my closet is GUILT.  I'm carrying it around because I feel guilty.  I made a promise to two little old ladies that I don't even remember and who probably forgot all about me shortly after getting rid of, I mean giving me, this quilt top! How sad and pathetic is that?  So, this week, I'm finally going to I take it to Goodwill,.... throw it in the dumpster, or.........just leave it to my daughters and let them carry on the burden of guilt?

Any suggestions?


  1. Glenda, I kind of like it. Why not have it quilted, then give it away? Like paying it forward, you know. Maybe with a note explaining its genesis!

  2. First of all I'm going to predict you get lots of volunteers to take it off your hands - let me be the first! I think the blocks themselves are wonderful and that's not an easy block to make so it took a bit of work. Second, it's just the sashing that doesn't work. So take the sashing off and put another on - solid black or a black print might work but I can't tell because the colors on blogger aren't always correct. You could put cornerstones in a variety of prints since it's a scrappy quilt. But they wouldn't be necessary. If you don't want to do that give it away. It could be a treasure to someone else! blessings, marlene

  3. That's a good idea, Elaine. It just needs to go to someone who appreciates it for sure.

  4. Marlene, if you would really like to have this quilt top, it's yours.
    Your ideas sound wonderful but I'm not a quilter. If you'll email me at and give me your address, I'll mail it to you. I got a lot of suggestions to cut it up and make pillows, but it would be nice to see it remain a quilt as intended. ......Glenda

  5. Okay... don't you dare get rid of that PRETTY quilt. Yes, I said Pretty. It's just that ugly stripping that is the problem. So.... restrip it in a beautiful blue or another color that pleases you.

    Or you could make a giveaway out of it. I know there are quilters out in blogland who would be thrilled to win it.

    Oh, and thanks so much for visiting my blog. I hadn't seen you before and hope you will come back again.



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