Pretty Ugly

This morning while I was pretending to sleep in, I started thinking about the words pretty and ugly. In reference to my current quilt top in progress, the Serpentine String. Lately I’ve been de-papering it while watching the quilting happen on the tee shirt quilt. Pulling all the foundation paper off, reveals all the fabrics in their glory. To me, pretty ugly means sort of nice looking, like not THAT ugly, good looking ugly? Or it could be an oxymoron ugly and pretty at the same time. Then there is quantitive pretty, a little less than very, as in that quilt is pretty ugly. I’m going to call it Pretty/Ugly, like those dogs that are not so cute, (bull dogs anyone?) but endearing in their own way. That is what this quilt is to me, all the scraps and strings from so many other projects that were pretty. It’s endearingly pretty ugly.

It started with the simple task of clearing off the top of a shelving unit. The box had a pile of string blocks from a swap circa 2001-ish. I had cut them into triangles at one point, and then put them in the box “for later”. I started playing with them and Bonnie Hunters Serpentine Quilt popped into my head. The puzzle I had completed just the week before, features this quilt along with six others from the book String Frenzy. I found a few yards of yellow and a pile of newsprint papers and was on my way to making blocks. The string pile I ironed last year was ready for use too. I started with the intent of making a lap quilt, but as I was making the blocks I found that I liked making them and they used a lot of strings. I ended up making 41, one too many, and used up most of the yellow solid. Once I had them all together though, I thought the top looked unfinished. Needed borders, yep, and there were plenty of strings left. I cut the newsprint sheets in half and make a bunch more string blocks of parallel strings. I briefly thought about extending the serpentine into the border to loop back into the next row, but I couldn’t wrap my head around the angles involved. When I put the string border next to the center, it looked too busy and “mushy”. I needed a spacer in between, the yellow would have worked, but I didn’t have enough left over, and not enough of any other yellow in my stash. Blue, when all else fails, add blue, I have lots of blue too. The blue strip was a backing scrap, and there is even enough to make a binding with.

I finished removing all the paper today, what a mess. I’m thinking I’ll bring the shop vac in and vacuum up all the scraps of paper in one go. I have a feeling though, that the little scraps are going to be around for the next week. I need to iron the top flat again too. All those seams are sticking up and not going to play nice with quilting. I have not picked out a quilting design yet, it should be something fairly open, but I want it to add a little texture. I just did a baby quilt with a plain Baptist fan design, I have a few others with different options. I am also thinking stars for some reason. Maybe tomorrow morning’s musings will arrive at something, hopefully better than the name Pretty/Ugly.

Be Kind