Friday, May 20, 2016

How to Make a Terrible Quilt

Before you make a truly terrible quilt, you need an idea.  You don't want to think it through, just go for it.  For example, the idea could be "I want to make a quilt as you go quilt with no handwork".  Make sure the idea is only about half-baked.
Don't do any research on how quilts like this have been done before.  (Remember, you want this to be terrible.)
Choose your fabrics randomly, based on what you like and what you have on hand.  Feed sacks are often loosely woven and can be stretchy, so they are great for this. 
A walking foot or the equivalent is absolutely necessary for this kind of quilting.  Make sure you DON'T use one, just use your regular sewing machine foot.
Be sure to use different fabrics for the back of each quilt block.  That way, if things don't go well, it will be very obvious.
Make no attempt to square the backings to the same size.  If the corners happen to meet, you lose points.
On the front of the quilt, force the corners of the blocks to meet, even if they don't want to.  This will make lovely speed bumps of excess fabric, and will guarantee the quilt won't lie flat.  Just quilt over it with your machine.  It won't make it any flatter, but it will make it even more noticeable.
The edges will have waves like the ocean, a sight that gives quilt judges fainting fits.

Eventually, probably before the quilt is finished, your sanity will return, and you will realize how really terrible the quilt is.  At this point, you can store it in the closet (way way back in the closet).  If any of your quilting friends find it, you can make up a story about rescuing it from a dumpster and keeping it around for laughs.  Or you can just sigh, pull up your big girl pants, and finish it.

Adding fancy borders and special quilting to it would be like putting lipstick on a pig.  The pig might be flattered at the attention, but in the end he's still a pig.  A simple finish will get this thing out of the closet.
Once it's finished, you can start adding memories to it.  (Dog hair will probably improve it.)
The baby can play on it, and you won't even care if he spits up.  You can take the quilt on picnics in the park or to the beach.  The grand kids can run their cars on it.  You can throw it in the washer and dry it on the clothesline and not worry about using it up.
It is, after all, just a terrible quilt. 

I'm wishing you good quilts and happy finishes this week.


  1. I love it. We have all made this quilt and home and family have made it beautiful!

  2. Hey, we all learn as we go! I think it's lovely and will be just right for all the uses you have listed. And then when it's all worn and you cut it up for placemats or something you won't feel bad! And the dog certainly seems to like it!

  3. A quilt as loved as yours could never be terrible!

  4. This made me laugh! I feel this way about my very early quilts.

  5. Cute post -- I was just sitting here thinking about the poor job I did on the mini I just wrote about in my blog. Enjoy your quilt -- the colors are nice and cheery!

  6. Oh I definitely have a quilt like that!! But it's colourful and I don't mind when anyone gets ice cream or mud on it - a perfect quilt for the summer :)

  7. It's not a bad quilt. It's colorful and happy! I love it.
    I have a few similar from my earlier efforts. They have been used more than any of my best efforts. Those unfortunate quilts have used in the car, at the movies, on the floor, watching tv .... and no one minds if they are soiled. After a go in the washer and dryer they're ready to go again.

  8. LOL!! sounds like an 'experiment in negatives'! LOL!! we all learn from 'experiments'. Learning is what quilting is all about - life too... and love. :-)

  9. Thanks to everyone who commented! I'm planning on loving this quilt and trying to ignore all the flaws.

  10. Sylvia you made my day! I too had a half baked idea to try my own version of quilt as you go. I too chose different background fabrics that emphasise my crooked edges. I went a step further & used some poly cotton blends in my fabric mix. The terrible result is that when you crank up your iron to try to get the speed bumps to lay flat you scorch the poly. BUT it's one of the softest quilts I've made & I use it every day.

    1. I love this! If I had had any polycotton on hand ...

  11. Any quilt with a pet on it is a good quilt! :-)

  12. Your post gave me a few giggles. But, I like your quilt, and it's probably BECAUSE of all the quirks, and the story behind it.

  13. This is so funny! My favorite part is the speed bumps! Would you mind if I posted a link to this on Facebook? I have so many quilting friends there who would thoroughly enjoy this post!


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