You know you’ve made something fugly.

It was bound to happen sooner or later. I made something fugly, and didn’t even realise it. Ugh, the embarrassment! These cushions y’all, what was I thinking?! It’s like I threw in every possible pink and mint fabric I could find and then infiltrated it with Tilda florals to make it an even hotter of hot messes! You know what takes it up a notch? I gave them to my mother-in-law for her birthday over a year ago. Last weekend she politely gave them back to me saying, “I just don’t think they really match my decor.” Now that is shade! You know you’ve made something fugly when your seventy-four year old mother-in-law gives your homemade gift back to you.


Right. So now I’m of two minds. Just trash the whole lot, or try to salvage and repurpose into something a bit more … well, anything really! I think the first option is probably the best, and then I can forget this even happened. I must not have shared these on the blog, because surely one of you would have slapped me? Consider this permission to slap for future fugliness! Now, while I ponder this dilemma, I have to share with you a mistake that you should all learn from.


This is my Tidal Pools quilt that I just finished quilting with gold metallic Aurifl Brillo thread. If you look closely, you might be like, “Why did you quilt those blue lines on the seams though?” Yeah, I know. I wish I didn’t have to, but you see, little ole me didn’t stitch around the perimeter of the quilt top prior to quilting it. So by the time I was done smoothing, basting, and quilting it all some of the seam edges had started to loosen, and some had come apart all together. Ack! There was no way I could stitch the seams back right-sides together, so I just sewed them down as part of the quilting process. Now, most will be hidden by the binding, however, there are a few that extend an inch or two past it. Imperfect design element for sure. So moral of the story: stitch the perimeter of your quilt tops as soon as you finish them!

So those have been my challenges for the week. Any challenges you’d like to get off your chest?

33 Responses

  1. Cherie says:

    The craftsmanship cannot be faulted. However… It does look like something you hug while menstruating.

  2. Maureen says:

    I LOLed at Cherie’s comment. Yeah, it doesn’t look very YOU. But I am sure it is to someone’s taste. Mother In Law was just serving up some Truth Tea. I’d give it to someone who loves Shabby Chic or take out the insert and start over. I have a really ugly flannel quilt top that I made that I keep looking at and wondering what to do with it. I am sure it will be really warm but it’s just so UGLY! I just don’t know what happened with that one.

  3. Jen B says:

    I think the extra lines of quilting fit well with the tide pool blocks, they have extra, skinny lines coming from them, so it’s kind of fitting that the quilt edges will too.

  4. Cass Cusack says:

    I totally love the cushion and would happily buy them from you, I may be menopausal lol, but these are my favourite colour and I am just redoing my room in these colours. May also explain why I’m single. Also my son is very minimalist and apparently because he is gay he has more style in his little finger than I do 😉 so I am taking my crafty style and retreating to my bedroom. Have a great night/day xx

  5. Jodie says:

    But one person’s fugly is another person’s “OMG that’s amazing”. You must have liked it at the time. Part of me thinks she was harsh to give them back, but I suppose she’d rather you regifted them to someone who likes them rather than wasting your hard work hiding/throwing them away.

  6. Tina Short says:

    All the above comments about the cushions ring true! Re-gift them to someone who will love them and you will have no regrets.
    The quilt……..remember that blind man???? He wont notice those extra stitches as he gallops on by……and if he does. well, will he actually give a flying f@ck?????? Dont beat yourself up about it, once it is quilted they will blend in.
    My challenge is how to mail the photo of my Diva Alphabet word to you !!!! Fbook or instagram???

  7. Lisa says:

    I don’t know Molli. That pillow cover kind of looks like the Pantone colours of the year…don’t get me started on that. I say give it a year and everyone will be falling all over them. But if you don’t want to keep them, donate them. Someone will love them.
    Thanks for the tip on sewing the perimeter. I’ve never done it, but I might now.

  8. Jan O says:

    Donate the fugly pillow to Goodwill, etc. Someone somewhere will love it.

  9. Marianne says:

    I LOVE the fugly cushions! Sell them on Etsy or something like that, they are adorable they will suit someone’s tastes. I like both busy vintage style quilts as well as the modern use of negative spaces, so there’s still people around that have ‘bad’ taste lmfao

  10. Sue Kaiser says:

    Thanks for sharing your mistakes with us. I have never seen around the perimeter of my quilts but I might now! As for the pillows, we’ve all made fugly before, just pitch them. They aren’t worth the trouble! 😁

  11. Sue Kaiser says:

    Thanks for sharing your mistakes with us. I have never sewn around the perimeter of my quilts but I might now! As for the pillows, we’ve all made fugly before, just pitch them. They aren’t worth the trouble! 😁

  12. AJ says:

    One thing I have learned – do not feed the bad juju by investing even more time trying to transform something you hate into something you love. If it were still in progress I would probably try to rock a transformation but not after a finish. We all know you are a warm-hearted soul. Not only do you create things for those you love but the Sewing for Sydney project? Warm fuzzies, I mean sparkles, all around. Why not donate the pillows to a women’s shelter, children’s hospital, or home for the elderly? I agree with the other commenters that someone will love them. Who better than someone in need/crisis that would appreciate something that was made with love?

  13. Marta S. says:

    We’ve all done it! I’m personally a throw-it-in-the-garbage gal but have been told the more sensible thing to do when I hate something is to see if someone else wants it–one man’s trash, as they say…

    Also: the only time I backstitch is on outer seams when I’m assembling a quilt top. This prevents the very unraveling you’re talking about. It works great for me!

  14. Jayne says:

    Nothing to get off my chest, but boy did this post make me laugh!! MIL…you should just stash the pillows in the closet and only bring them out when said SIL comes to visit…Isn’t there an expiration for returning gifts?! I’ve never heard this before, so forgive me for the smile, giggling and burts of laughter!!

    P.S. the pillows aren’t that fugly…you should see my sad fabric stash I can’t seem to get rid of!

  15. I know someone who would love this cushion cover!
    Quilty Huggs,

  16. Sue L. says:

    Thank you for always bringing a smile. This post made me laugh out loud! You’re a rock star.

  17. Who gives back a present? Honestly. Not cool… even if you’re 74 and it’s fugly (your word, not mine). I’m sorry to say that I too have adding fugliness to the quilting world. Sadly (yeah, right) I have no photos of said quilt. But I can tell you that it featured animal print… or should I say prints. There was also a jungle-y green fern print. Yikes. As for the cushions, perhaps use them as the innards for something new and fabulous. BTW, your seams are perfectly matched… even if there’s a lot of pink and floral. I know, I know… it’s like saying a girl has a great sense of humour…

  18. Hilary says:

    Oh man, I think my 93 year old grandma would like the fugly cushions! I’m looking forward to seeing the final result of your tidal pools quilt. 😀

  19. Christina says:

    Wow! That’s really harsh! Giving back a handmade gift!!! I was once gifted something that I think is absolutely hideous. ( It’s not hand made. )I have it in a box and when that person comes over, I display it.😳 I know it sounds hypocritical but I just don’t like hurting people’s feelings. They were so excited when they gave it to me and they’d bought one for themselves too. I guess if that happened to often I’d have to have lots of labeled boxes and be ready to change the decor with each guest. Lol

    My mother in law would LOVE those cushions. She loves anything in those colors!

  20. I backstitch all my seams when I’m piecing, I always stop and start sewing projects and they’d never survive if I didn’t! Fugly it may be but not crap so donate it and be glad you’ve developed better stash and taste 😉

  21. Looks like it is time for an eBay-type bidding war here…there are several folks who love your pillows. Don’t throw or give them away, child, sell the darn things and buy more fabric!!! How do you want us to tell you something is “fugly”…my aesthetic isn’t yours and what you love isn’t necessarily what I love. Quilting is definitely a subjective art, just like all the arts are. If you choose to make a Baltimore Album quilt or Sunbonnet Sue (except Naughty Sue or Dead Sue), I’ll be needing to tell you that it is fugly because I really detest them. I’m not a fan of lots of applique and don’t find them appealing, but there are those who spend their lives creating applique quilts! I prefer modern quilts with lots of negative space for me to play with my quilting and I know they don’t appeal to everyone and that’s all right.

  22. sonalee says:

    Yes Molli, The first time I saw the cushion, I was like, am I on the right site(pun intended!) Its so not you. Then I read the story and I would suggest you sell it or gift it to someone who likes the colours. Since I sew only to gift, its a big issue for me all the time. What if the particular family member doesn’t like the colour? or the pattern or something…I would die thinking my hardwork was not appreciated. Thanks on the perimeter tip, I will try it.

  23. Beverley says:

    Oh molli you know I wouldn’t hurt you for the world.
    You made the cushions to match the quilt you had previously made for me and as soon as you saw them with the quilt knew it wasn’t a match made in heaven.
    I was certain someone would love them and the replies on your blog prove this.
    Please regift them and I shall gladly pay the postage.

    • Linda says:

      I would love you as a mother-in-law!! I only give things to people if they promise to give it back if it doesnt fit their spot. Too much work to sit in a closet.

  24. kc says:

    Fugly is as fugly does…SOMEone will love ’em! Sell ’em, gift ’em, donate ’em…and be proud of the workmanship. Consider it practice! (not that you needed it, but you got it anyway) I’ve never heard of anyone returning a hand-made, from the heart gift, but she knows you’re strong enough to handle a good cup o’ Truth Tea, and apparently, felt good enough in her relationship with you that she could be tactfully honest.

  25. Nicole says:

    Thanks Molli, I had to explain “fugly” to my eight year old. She didn’t really understand WHY you were using that word as she likes the pillows. Sheesh, some people’s taste!

  26. C says:

    Fair play to your MIL for returning the pillows instead of just hiding them! And thanks for sharing the fugly. It gives me hope to know that even the greats make stuff they don’t necessarily love later…. 🙂

  27. Kathleen says:

    They really are not fugly. You just gifted them to the wrong person. If you feel you must make something else out of them, do you know a little girl who needs a doll quilt because this looks like it would make a perfect one.

  28. Beth Strand says:

    I’m in the “I love it” camp but I love scrappy and pink. …all the pink!

  1. January 21, 2016

    […] little over a week ago I shared with you what I considered to be some fugly* cushions I made for my mother-in-law. Granted, I made these […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *