an ugly quilt

Hello there,

Last week I came across a Youtube video that was about using your ugly fabrics.  There were several ideas of what you could do with your ugly fabric, like using it for a backing, or using it  for the hidden layer in a pillow, but the idea that I was most interested in was making AN UGLY QUILT.  Now that doesn’t really sounds all that appealing, does it? Except that the quilt this lady had hanging behind her was so very interesting and exciting-looking to me! So I decided to make my own Ugly Quilt.

The idea is that you find 12 ugly fabrics and cut them into same sized squares. You layer your fabrics light, dark, light, dark.  And then you slice the whole stack on one side ( on the diagonal), move the top fabric from one stack to the bottom, and sew the two stacks back together. You repeat this process 3 more times and then you end up with 12 wonky, ugly blocks that you arrange however you please. Just watch the video, it sounds more complicated than it is!

Let me just say that this type of quilt is definitely not for those that like their seams to match up….because they won’t! And I don’t know if I did something wrong, but I had an issue with my fabrics not being in the correct order either, even though I think I followed the directions….but if those things won’t bother you, and you are happy to fudge things a little here and there, by all means give this is a try! It was FUN! And I really like my UGLY QUILT. As a matter of fact, I am planning on making another one!

I suggest that you follow the instructions in the video, but I’m going to add in my 2 cents worth:

  • Start with 15 inch blocks….this gives you a little more wiggle room to  get all your blocks a nice common size of 12 inches.
  • Don’t overthink your fabric choices! I looked at mine and thought ” those are awful together”, but when you look at the overall result they all work!
  • Use the biggest rotary cutter you have ( and put in a fresh blade!). It gets really difficult to cut through all those layers and seams! Cutting the first set of squares is not too bad, but once you have seams you have to cut through, I found it easier to slice just up to the seams and then take a fresh run at the seam. Cutting all in one fluid motion was just not doable ( and I use a giant rotary blade!)
  • If you end up with the same fabric next to each other ( like happened to me)  you are allowed to cheat and move it somewhere else in the stack….yep, I won’t tell anyone ;).
  • Relax and have fun with it….your blocks won’t be perfect but the quilt ends up being super fun…..and fast!

Do you know what the hardest part was? Finding 12 ugly fabrics! I would pull out some “ugly”  fabric and think “why do I think this is ugly? This is actually quite nice and I should use it!” Hahahaha. You might surprise yourself at how much nice fabric you have in your stash!

Now, want a peek at mine? Here it is!



Pretty fun, don’t you agree? So go ahead, and give it a try, and if you do please share your quilt with me! I would love to see your ugly quilt!

Until next time~happy creating!


P.S. I have been organizing my quilt books and have found some to pass along to a new owner. Go check out my shoppe for the details!

27 thoughts on “an ugly quilt

  1. Very interesting read, it reminds me of a stack and shuffle quilt. Making an ugly quilt seems for me way out of my comfort zone but I have always heard don’t toss ugly fabric if you cut it up small enough it really won’t seem ugly and will fit in nicely. It might be a struggle for me to find 12 ugly fabrics, I went through my fabrics many years ago and donated over 100 yards to a friend that makes kid dresses for Africa, I used the mentality “ why is this still here.”. My granddaughter Pea (10) is visiting for a week this might be a great project for us to do, thanks for sharing. I’ll be sure to share our results.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think your quilt is ugly at all. I had seen that You Tube video but completely forgot about it. I really enjoy her videos and constantly get new ideas and tricks from her. I enjoy your posts as well. I’ve been following you a long time.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this idea. Yours turned out beautiful! It would be a great quilt to make after completion of a challenging one to keep you quilting and bring the stress level down, lol. I guess that would be for those of us who are a bit obsessive compulsive.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I watch Karen Brown all the time. She is great. I haven’t made an ugly quilt because I need a bigger rotary cutter to work through all the fabric but it definitely is on my to do list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that you are probably right Linda, and everyone has their own version of what’s ugly and beautiful. I think it was Bonnie Hunter that said that if a fabric is ugly, you just haven’t cut it up small enough ;).


  4. its good to see another version of Karens “ugly ” quilt. Yours is not ugly at all! I love her description of how the ugly quilt becomes loved and precious after being taken on picnics and to hospital. Im in the process of cutting blocks for my ugly quilt and have very few fabrics I would class as ugly but Im pushing on with it! Thanks for sharing yours.

    Liked by 1 person

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