Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Ugly Scrap Quilt

Edited to add: I hope this post doesn't come off in the wrong way.  I made much more traditional looking quilts for my son's teachers and, since this is a small school, they will likely see the quilts I made for each other and I am worried she is going to wonder why I made this crazy quilt for her.  I do like the quilt, it is just much louder than I expected so I wasn't sure what to do.  Thank you for all of your words of support!

Have you ever finished a quilt top and thought, "Wow, that is kind of ugly!"?  I posted this question on Instagram the other day when I finished the quilt top.  I had some very sympathetic, helpful responses, and while it does usually help to quilt and bind the project, I felt a little like I was putting lipstick on a pig. This one is a little crazy.
the ugly scrap quilt
Normally when I make a scrap quilt I spend some time evaluating how the scraps will work together. This time my only criteria was that the scrap was large enough to cut a 3.5" square from it.   The hard thing about this quilt for me is that I love of the fabrics that I used.  A lot!  I just don't love them together.  
the ugly scrap quilt86-Edit
I do think that adding a pretty backing and binding helped to temper the crazy.  And quilting always makes everything better.  My original plan was to give this quilt to my daughter's 2nd grade teacher as an end of year gift.
the ugly scrap quilt
So now the question is, do I give her this ugly scrap quilt or give her an unused quilt from my stash? (actually the better question is why did I make a new quilt when I have unused quilts in my stash, ha ha)  the ugly scrap quilt
I don't totally hate it, I'm just not sure if I want to gift it to someone.  What would you do?

Finished size: 60" x 66"
Backing: Palm Springs in Navy from Hatbox
Binding: Dime Store Dot Navy
Batting: Quilter's Dream Cotton Select

57 comments :

  1. I think it's a lovely fresh colored quilt. I am an advanced quilter and I would love to receive it as a gift. It has spontaneity, just like a 2nd grader.

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  2. I think it really depends on the style of the person you're thinking of giving it to. Personally, I love this quilt!! But what about the teacher--does she wear bland clothing or electric colours? How does she decorate the classroom--with classic clean lines or crazy imaginative ideas? Well, she's probably not that obvious, that would make it too easy! What is your sense of her, though?
    You can always accompany the quilt with a lovely letter explaining/fake explaining that you wanted to bring some colour into her life as she has done for your child, or that you thought you'd make it colourful so that if she used it with the students it wouldn't show stains as much, or whatever. Not to over-explain but to give it some context.

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  3. I would LOVE to be gifted a quilt like this! I think that teacher would consider herself extremely lucky if she got this from you. A scrappy quilt is made with love and each piece comes from the heart. Don't think too hard about it. Just give it in love and it will be received the same way. I think it's fabulous, and you are, too, for making such a lovely scrap quilt!!

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  4. It really does depend on the personality of the person you are giving it to, will she like it? I love it and would b more than happy to receive it. I am sure she will be thrilled to have such wonderful gift that took time and effort to make, in England teacher so frequently get chocolates form everyone that this quilt would be the envy of all the teachers. x

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  5. I think it's beautiful and would love to receive it as a gift!

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  6. I actually really love it! But if you think the teacher won't then use the other one from your stash :)

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  7. I think it's awesome. But if you don't love it, and feel weird giving it, don't! Give the gift you feel good about so you can give it with a whole heart. My son's teacher? She's getting a Target gift card! ;-)

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  8. I think it's awesome. But if you don't love it, and feel weird giving it, don't! Give the gift you feel good about so you can give it with a whole heart. My son's teacher? She's getting a Target gift card! ;-)

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  9. I like this quilt and would love to get one as a present. I do not think there is anything ugly about it.

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  10. Personally I love this quilt! The different pieces should remind this teacher that she has all sorts of kids that she comes in contact with, with all sorts of personalties and she loves each and every one of them because of their uniqueness. Give her the quilt. She will treasure it.

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  11. Let the teacher decide! You could send her pictures of two different options, telling her you couldn't decide.

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  12. I also would LOVE to receive this quilt! Probably more so than one with a pattern and carefully chosen colors. It's a liberated and carefree quilt. Love the backing/binding too!

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  13. I also would LOVE to receive this quilt! Probably more so than one with a pattern and carefully chosen colors. It's a liberated and carefree quilt. Love the backing/binding too!

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  14. I would give it to her. I think it has its own charm and beauty. Maybe you could include a cute card/quote to go with it expressing how a teacher is like a quilt - bringing together many unique personalities into a cohesive whole. Something like that is probably out there on Pinterest. The great thing about scrap quilts is that they are charming forever. Quilts from coordinating fabrics or in a specific color palette will become dated over time, but scrap quilts have a timeless quality. Great job on this quilt! I love it!

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  15. Gift it ! Your end result is scrappy, not ugly ! Each piece of fabric that went into this quilt is beautiful and unique, much like each child that enters a teacher's classroom. If you are giving the quilt to show true appreciation of the teacher's dedicated work, the pattern should not matter. This is a gift, not a entry hoping to receive 1st place in a juried competition.

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  16. I love it but if you don't, you won't be comfortable gifting it. Make a cute, quick,red white,and blue table runner instead.

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  17. I love it (but then I love all crazy scrappy quilts!). You could let your kid decide - they probably know the teacher better than you.
    Anyway you do it, though, I think most people are thrilled to get a quilt as a gift!

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  18. I think it is a beautiful happy quilt. I'd tell her it represents the chaos she wrangles every day...that there is beauty in each child and together they make a patchwork quilt. I believe when you make something and out time into it and focus and love and energy, THAT is the gift. People who don't craft are amazed at the work it takes and are usually beyond grateful. I don't think for one second that you should second guess giving a teacher this beautiful creation.

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  19. Erica, I love this quilt! It reminds me of the many quilts your great-grandmother made! Remember that, originally, people made quilts out of necessity -- for warmth -- and they didn't have fabric stores or an online store to purchase fabric from -- so they used the scraps from the family's no longer usable clothing!

    I think it's beautiful -- it is the perfect gift!

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  20. I have a quilt that I feel the same way about. I have had multiple friends tell me it's just fine and I'm nuts, but it didn't turn out like I had envisioned and I think that's why I can't love it. The thing I'm finally telling myself is...they like it. No one knows what my vision was so I think they're able to appreciate what it is better than I am. So, I honestly think despite the fact that you may never love this quilt...the teacher will. :)

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  21. To me, it is a happy coloorful quilt. Give it to her.

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  22. I absolutely would gift it! It's not ugly to me, it's bright and cheerful, and I think it would be well-loved!

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  23. I love scrappy quilts and I don't think this is ugly. I think the teacher will love it. and she won't be nearly as critical of the colours as you fear.

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  24. They is terrific and perfect for a gift! My daughter is a teacher and she has several quilts in her room that her students are allowed to snuggle up with and read as a reward when they finish their seat work. Your daughter's teacher will surely love it! You do have to share what you decide to do and what the teacher says, please.

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  25. I think this quilt is really lovely, and an excellent gift. Your conundrum is definitely understandable, however, especially as I once made and gifted a scrap quilt that quite surprised me with its ugliness. I felt slightly embarrassed about it for a long time and then one day I saw it at her house and realized it really wasn't so awful after all. There is hope!

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  26. Love the quilt but also LOVE all the responses. It's so helpful to hear all these good thoughts and ideas to help you decide. (or swim in indecision) Still waiting to hear why you DID make a new quilt when you had others in the stash. Maybe you thought this teacher would like something scrappier/brighter?

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  27. Your quilt is bright and cheerful, fun to look at. Some of the "homely" quilts that I have gifted have been the most loved, two in particular that years later the recipients mentioned to me that they were being loved to pieces.

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  28. A little of this and a little of that pretty much describes 2nd grade students, so this would be a great gift/analogy for her life as a teacher.

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  29. I love this quilt - let her know if it's not quite her taste, you would be happy to make/give her something else?

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  30. For me it`s a beautiful and colorful quilt and love it.Sure it will be a great gift for the teacher.

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  31. Wow. I don't know what your teachers usually receive as gifts, but a teacher in our area would be really grateful to receive such a thoughtful gift! It is a traditional scrappy quilt which is very popular right now. A gift given in love will be received with love.

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  32. I think it's a great quilt, very traditional in style and design. If she's ever seen a quilt on her great grandmother's bed, it probably looked very much like yours. I think we as quilters are very hard on ourselves at times and forget that someone receiving a quilt will be blown away by the gesture. Or you could give her a coffee cup filled with pencils that says Greatest Teacher. Give her the quilt, she will love that you took nearly as much time doing something for her as she spent with your child.

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  33. I would gift her one you feel gooood about. (& then you can gift this one to ME!!! lol I think it is BEAUTIFUL!!! LOOOOVE IT!!)

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  34. GIFT IT, it's a quilt, no such thing as ugly! Let that quilt be Loved!!

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  35. I like the quilt, appreciate the skills and work that created the quilt. As a teacher, I would love the caring and thoughtfulness.

    One way to personalize the quilt would be to add an applique word that would mean something special to a teacher.

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  36. I am a retired teacher, and if a parent had ever given me such a lovely handmade gift, I would have been just astounded and so touched. As a quilter, I also wanted to say, I love scrappy quilts and think this one is beautiful! Really a wonderful gift!

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  37. I love it! I'm sure the intended teacher will, too.

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  38. I love it!! I think the neutral color you have added to the color mix gives a balance to the quilt that makes it cheerful and not totally mad. I would be really grateful for your lovely present if I was the teacher...

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  39. My wife truly made an ugly quilt. She gave one to my niece and another one for her to give to her boyfriend, who are both blind. She embroidered their initials into a corner in Braille so they knew whose was whose. Ugly hand-made quilts still keep people warm and comfortable!

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  40. I don't think it is ugly at all. I would be delighted to be given a handmade gift however ugly (or not, as the case may be) purely for the thought and effort that has gone in to it. I say gift it and be proud of it!

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  41. You have to remember a few things:
    The receiver will never know what it could have or should have looked like. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Sometime we have just looked at a project too long. I often think of this.

    I make photo books every quarter and when they arrive from the printers I think, oh is this the best I could have done? But then I look back at the previous book and think how much better I did on that one and yet when it arrived I didn't like it either.

    I just finished a quilt top. I loved it until I put boarders on it. I showed it to my sister and she thought it was BEAUTIFUL.

    So give it to her, she will appreciate it or not but giving her different one won't mean she will like it any more.

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  42. " One man's treasure is another man's trash."

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  43. I love it! Why do we criticize our efforts? I have to quiet that little voice in my head that tells me my creativity isn't good enough. I think anyone would be delighted to receive such a bright cheerful quilt. I would smile whenever I looked at it.

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  44. it's lovely. just because you don't love it doesn't mean she won't! I love the happy colors!

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  45. it's lovely. just because you don't love it doesn't mean she won't! I love the happy colors!

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  46. I think it's gorgeous! But then I love scrappy and happy quilts. I think it will be very well received, and is the perfect gift, whether she chooses to use it in the classroom or at her home. Personally, I would use it in my home to snuggle up under while reading or watching TV. The beauty of a scrappy quilt is it doesn't have to GO with anything, because it goes anywhere.

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  47. By the way, if you decide it's not going to work as a teacher gift and you want to sell it, please let me know. :)

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  48. I just have to chime in! I have this problem EVERY SINGLE TIME I make a gift quilt! I like a scrappy rainbow jumble, but not everybody would! I just asked a friend what her favorite colors are, and I'm still unsure of what to make her, because "what shades of blue and green could she possibly mean?!" And would she like scrappy patchwork, or would she like more of a repetitive pattern? I don't know that I agree with "everyone loves a handmade whatever just because you made it for them" -- I live in San Diego, too, and I get the impression that some people here think quilts are only for cat ladies in ugly shoes. So, anyway. I like your quilt! But let us know what you decide!

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  49. And also -- I like using dark backing for scrappy gift quilts because then, no matter what, it will make a great picnic/beach quilt. Everything is better when it smells of sunscreen and salty beach. ;)

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  50. I'm not a regular reader but I am a rather blunt person and I gotta say this quilt rocks! I would love to receive it as a gift! I used to teach second grade and I think it's perfect! Scrap quilts are my favorite. And if you decide you still don't like the quilt, I'm more than happy to take it off your hands!

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  51. I love the colours in this quilt. Often scrap quilts look muddy to me. This one sings.

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  52. I would proudly gift this- it is beautiful

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  53. Gift it!! Not ugly at all! We can't love all our quilts the same! Can't wait to see what you end up doing with this!

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  54. I REALLY like this quilt! mmm But I know what you mean...giving quilts away is risky anyway, I always worry giving things I've made...maybe just asked her, presenting two quilts to her, tell her it is a long story, but would she just like to pick which of the two she would like?

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  55. Personally I like the quilt, love the bright colors. But taste is personal so you never know if what you like is what the recipient likes so it is always a risk. Greetings and I hope whoever gets the quilt likes and loves it.

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  56. Personally I prefer this kind of scrap quilt. Many quilts I see on blogs are too "matchy matchy." THIS is art! Well done.

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  57. This quilt is beautiful. I wish I could make something like this and give it to a loved one.

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