Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Ugliest Quilt in the World

Today I will share with you my own English paper piecing quilt project, which my family has dubbed "the ugliest quilt in the world."
I disagree.  I love the crazy mix of reproduction fabrics in this whimsical quilt.  The Pies & Tarts design is by Australian designer Sue Daly of Patchwork by Busyfingers: and  One of our local quilt shops, the Calico House, created small monthly fabric packs that included 20 small swatches of the high quality cotton 1890's reproduction fabrics used in this quilt.  (Visit Janeese's blog at .)
Pie-shaped wedges of fabric are wrapped around smaller pie-shaped paper templates, hand-basted, and then whipstitched together to form fabric "pies" with eight wedges.  The completed circles are then appliqued onto a semi-neutral background square.  The paper templates are removed as I stitch.  (Although on 3 blocks, I left one template inside, and had to perform fabric surgery, making a small slit onthe underside of the block to remove the paper.)  In the olden days, the excess foundation square backing would be trimmed away to within 1/4 inch of the edge of the underside of the circle to create less bulk for hand quilting.  I plan to leave the backing fabric intact.  It will add a little more weight and durability, and it will be easier to machine quilt. The smaller circles are called "tarts," and they will be placed at the intersection of four large blocks when the quilt is finished.  I have completed 80 of the 100 large blocks (this will be a large quilt!), but only two of the 88 small tarts. 
My daughter Allison (23) also appreciates the look of this quilt, and is not put off by the colors and prints in the reproduction fabrics, so  someday this quilt will be hers.  She has already given it a new name:  Pies and Torts.  (She recently completed a one-year fellowship working in a law firm, and Torts is a bar exam subject.  The legal term tort refers to an injury caused intentionally or negligently by a breach of duty that was the proximate cause of an injury that resulted in compensable damages.)  Allison is now embarking on a two-year Teach for America Fellowship where she will teach first and second graders in a NYC school.  Perhaps I will have this quilt finished by the end of her TFA fellowship!  It's slow going, but I am enjoying the process.

LeAnn aka Pasqueflower


  1. This is so interesting, and I don't see what could be considered ugly about it at all; the colors look great to me :)!

    This will be an exciting project to see come along, and I'm learning some quilting terms as well.

  2. I think it's going to be really nice! =) I don't quilt but I like looking at them haha

    I found you via the Etsy blog team and I'm going to follow your blog =)


  3. Will be looking forward to watching your progress on this. I think it is going to be beautiful

  4. I think it's fascinating! And I like the name Allison has given it.