The Fungly Challenge
Play along with Tonya and Bonnie and sew a Fungly Quilt. What is a Fungly Quilt? It's FUN and UGLY and will bring the Quilt Police to tears.
You will need fabric that is:
high contrast, hard to use
boring boring boring
past its sell-by date (just how long has it been sitting unused on your shelf?)
stuff you just plain old don't like. no reason or explanation, it's perfectly nice fabric you just can't stand it.
leftover novelty fabrics (think I-Spy and Bug Jar)
We recommend that you use fabrics from several of these categories, not just one. If you only use boring fabrics you'll put yourself AND the quilt to sleep. The best way of all to do this is to work on this challenge with friends. That way if one of you has lots of busy novelties and the other calicoes from the '70s, wheee, you can have some fun. If you can't sew together, then exchange strips of fabric ahead of time.
you may also throw in a solid or near-solid or two, just so you don't get seasick...
The RULES (more like suggestions)
be casual, mismatch seams, make blocks the "wrong" way - if you're already a Liberated Quilter, this part will be easy
NO seamripping (except to resew a seam that is too narrow and will come apart when the quilt is used)
make it work - if it's too short add more fabric, if it's too long, cut some off.
If you want deliberate liberation, cut your squares and triangles in different sizes. Make some bigger, make some smaller. Throw in some rectangles and angles. Be a very lazy cutter who can't read a ruler. Use your miscuts. I cut some of my 3.5" squares into triangles rather than the bigger 4" squares. D'oh, but I used them!
Pick any pattern you'd like to play with but choose one that is BIG. For instance a 9" Jacks on Six block. That way the ugly fabric can't hide. So if you're exchanging strips with friends, 3.5" is the minimum. If you're going to use half-square triangles, than add some 4" strips too.
Have a lot of fun. Make the "worst" quilt you can. Experiment and play. What are the ugliest color and fabric combinations that you can come up?
The goal is NOT to end up with a quilt that you will love (although you just might). Instead, plan on using it for having picnics, making forts, letting sleeping dogs lie. A quilt that is so hideous you don't mind kids throwing up on it or leaving it up in the treehouse during a rain storm. Or, you can always use it as a really outrageous quilt backing.
I was listening to a Talk of the Nation interview with author Lynda Barry about her new book What it Is (which sounds really fun - looking forward to reading it) and they discussed a writing exercise in which the students write an essay. Then they are told to revise it to make it the perfect essay. And the final step is to make it the WORST essay possible. Both the caller and Ms Barry agreed that when the students are trying to be deliberately bad the essays are really lively and show more energy than either of the other essays. It struck me this would be a great quilt exercise. But we're skipping the first two steps.
I have to say, I think it works. My quilt top IS lively and fun. I know I had a great time sewing it. Most was fabric I'd consigned to "never want to use it for real" and that really let me play with it without worrying about wasting it.
Please don't be offended if you look at some of this fabric and think "I love it, how can she call it ugly?" Remember, some of this is fabric I do love, but I've had sitting around for too long. The only exception to that is the monster balloons which I think are a hoot and I just wanted to USE - it's fairly new fabric.
Some of the tropical prints in my top are from the early 1990s, when I used to buy fabric mail order from a 1" square that could so often be misleading esp with big prints. I do love them, but they've been sitting on my shelves for 15 years. Time to play.
Go to Bonnie's Fungly post to see what she came up with. She focused on strange fabric combinations. I've now sent her a bunch of my leftover fungly bits so I'm really looking forward to seeing what she comes up with mixing both our fabrics together.
Play with us! Make a fungly quilt.