Creating with the UGLY

Do you have fabrics in your stash that make you wonder "WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?" They could be fabrics in colours or prints which you don't really like, but were on sale, or given to you by a well meaning friend. They could be poor quality fabrics which have never been 'quite right' for a project. Or you just had a brain spasm and had to have them, but ended up with buyers remorse.

However they arrived in my stash, they're not to my taste, so I'm calling these my 'ugly' fabrics. I went to a class one time and the tutor showed us a quilt she'd made, all with her 'ugly' fabrics. It was a series of NY Beauty blocks and though the fabrics weren't pretty on their own, the quilt was altogether stunning.

In the hope of getting my sew-jo back, I grabbed a few pieces from my stash to make something. It was never going to be a stunning work, just something to get back into the rhythm of sewing and pressing and trimming etc...

I decided to make a large hot pad for my dining table. I cut 4" squares and sewed them together randomly. I pieced the back with more 'ugly' fabric. I then sandwiched it with 2 layers of cotton batting for extra heat resistance.

Its been raining (again), so I enjoyed sitting at my machine in front of the window and slowly quilting this hot pad with a wavy stitch. It's got a lovely texture and will be extra crinkly when I wash it every time someone spills food on it.

Do you have 'ugly' fabrics in your stash?

Want to join me in using them up?

Would an little "ugly" swap be something you'd want to participate in? 

Possibly make something small for a swap partner with your ugly fabrics.

Leave a comment or send me an email. If we have the numbers, let's share the Ugly!


  1. Yes I have quite a few ! I must put mine to good use too. Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. My pleasure! I've been meaning to make a huge hot pad for the table for ages, so this was the perfect excuse. It's big enough to hold a lasagne dish, the salad, water bottle etc...

  2. I think my taste has changed over the years so that fabrics i once liked are not my favourites anymore. I struggle to use them, even as backings, so tend to donate them or use them for pet bedding. I admire those people who can turn them into something interesting as you mentioned.

  3. For three months I participated in an online fat quarter swap (of four fat quarters) where you filled out a preference sheet. For three months I received nothing remotely close to my preferences. So along with the "what was I thinking" fabric, I have some others that fit your category. I generally cut them up into 2.5" or 3.5" squares and add them to my 2.5" and 3.5" box. Once they're all mixed together, they make lovely quilts.


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