My Design Wall Quilt


This is the quilt I showed for my Design Wall Monday entry but I didn’t want to write a book about it in that blog post because then no one would read to the bottom and no one would around and see all the other design wall entries so . . here’s more than you’d ever want to know about this top.

Once Upon a Time . . I did two things that I never ever do these days.

  1. I did curved piecing.  See that center?  I made it.  In my hour of weakness, I even appliqued that center circle down and it doesn’t look too bad.  Looks kind good in fact.  I must’ve been better back then than I am now!
  2. I joined a round robin.  No . . I didn’t join one round robin . . I joined three . . at the same time.  I had a young child and I worked part-time at an outside the house job.  I was nuts.  Two of the round robins were finished, quilted and have been used on our bed for years.  This one . . I don’t know. I probably committed the worst quilter’s sin in the world . . I removed several of the borders that had been added.  I just didn’t like them.

So, here this quilt has been.  I feel like a part of it was amputated.  I did this probably 8 or 9 or 10 years ago.  The borders are long gone, never to be found again but somehow, I don’t feel right about this quilt.  Should I add some more borders and make it into a quilt?  Should I just quilt it and bind it like it is?  I really wanted it to be a quilt for a bed but I think every time I look at it, I’m going to say . . I should not have removed those borders! Someone went to a heck of a lot of work on that spikey border!  And, it’s pretty close to perfect!  I can think of several borders that would work real nicely with this top but I just don’t know if that’s the right thing to do.  The right thing to do was probably to have never removed the other borders but . . that’s history!

As of now, it’s 50″ x 50″.  I’m sure I have no more of any of that fabric (thankfully!).  It’s time to do something with it and be done!

What do you think I should do with this one?



  1. 1


    Honestly, I love the individual components but I don’t partcularly like them all together. I’d probably quilt it up and give it to someone as a baby quilt and move on.

  2. 2


    I agree with Vicki W. there is something about the whole that does not work and you probably took off the borders for that same reason. Either quilt it and move on or don’t – there is no law that says everything has to be quilted, some things are just not worth the time, besides you could also use it as an example of what not to do in a presentation.

  3. 4


    I have to disagree with Vicki and Linda. I like it. I’d quilt it up and use it as a wallhanging. And, if you still don’t like it, just send it on up to me!!! 🙂

  4. 5


    I’ve been going back and forth on this one. I think I’ve decided that you should work your border magic on it and make it bigger. Maybe just top and bottom borders to make it longer? What bothers me about it is the color of the applique background. Go back to your center colors. Those are great!

  5. 6


    I have to agree with Vicki & Linda – something about it is off. Not sure what. So….if you can’t just let it go I suggest quilting it as is and donating it to a children’s hospital.

  6. 7


    I have a friend that is a firm believer in the almighty bon fire. She says that if you hate something so much, get it gone! And for her the bon fire is very therapeutic. For me, I’ve just thrown things away! but it wasn’t even good enough to pass along to someone else.

    I like it but think it needs to be brought back to the center design somehow, not necessarily the design but with those colors and the white background. Play with it in EQ6 for a while. I bet you will figure something very awesome out.

  7. 8

    Darlene B says

    I really don’t think it’s bad at all! I saw it on your Monday post and thought, “Ooohh!” So I say, quilt it up – you may end up really liking it after all….

  8. 9

    Julianne says

    I do not think the quilt is bad. It is not in your current style, Maybe that is why you do not like it. I would say it is finished. Quilt it up and let it go. If you can’t stand to quilt it then just let it go. Donate it to some group or something they can finish it and use it for a charity project or something.

  9. 10

    Sandy says

    I just thought WOW is that quilt neat. I love it. Could you just make it into a tv throw if nothing else? It would even look great on the dinning room table. Last but not least you could offer it as a prize for your readers.

  10. 11

    Keryn says

    Have you thought of turning it on point and then adding some borders? It looks nicer on point I think….

  11. 12


    I would finish it to whatever degree you can, then if you still don’t like it, give it to charity. Then you can feel proud of yourself for finishing it. Once it’s out of your sight, you will never think of it again.

    However, sometimes the story of the quilt (as you’ve explained above) makes it greater than the quilt, and you may like it after all. 8-)))

  12. 13

    Judi says

    Judy I like it, I think you should just quilt it up and be done with it. If you need to get rid of it you can always send it my way. VBG

  13. 14


    Quilt it, bind it, call it done. Use it as a wall-hanging or table topper, give it away as a baby quilt, donate it. I love the colors.

  14. 15

    trina says

    I agree with Vicky. I think it is the applique background that isn’t helping. With it being your quilt, I don’t see why you can’t remove as many borders as you want and I think in my humble opinion remove the applique border. Then set the quilt on point with a similar light background.

  15. 16


    You are so funny…torturing yourself over the removed borders! I am the same way. I have been in a few round robins…many are still unfinished messes, but I did finish a few that I still like. I had never thought of removing borders I didn’t like! I don’t do round robins anymore, although I like the concept. What I would probably do with this one is bring it up to a comfort quilt size (which would mean making it a rectangle) then quilt it and donate it to our guild’s collection of quilts for the hospital.

  16. 17


    Hi Judy,

    I think you should finish it and save it for a baby girl. So either a blankie or a wall quilt.


  17. 18


    Hi Judy,

    I really like the top. . . .but I think the red needs to be brought out a bit more.

    You could quilt it & use a red binding to end it.

    That way you would have a gift, or not, but you wouldn’t have to “stew” over it.

    I will echo a previous comment. . . if you really don’t like it you could always send it my way! he he he

  18. 19

    becky says

    I love applique but it does seem out of place with everything else going on in this top. You probably should either donate it or just finish it and then donate it. It doesn’t look 50″ sq – but that’s a good table topper size! Use it on a table!

  19. 20


    I think I would either quilt it as is and use it on a table some place, or set it on point with another area to do your feathers!

  20. 21

    pdudgeon says

    LOL you already know what i’m gonna say…quilt it up and let it go. so glad that i’m in agreement with so many others!

  21. 22

    Sharie says

    The problem lies in not having any more fabric. I think it would make a lovely table topper the way it stands. You could bind it with most any color that is in the quilt. In fact, you could piece a binding if you have small pieces available.
    No stress………………………

  22. 23

    Laceflower says

    I rather like it but the point is you don’t. Why waste any more time on it? Making it into a lap quilt or wall hanging or bed quilt and using it around your home is prolonging your agony about it. Donate it and get it out of your house for someone else to love and end your problem.

  23. 24


    I adore that quilt, Judy! I don’t know what it is about that quilt but it just grabs me! It’s paler than my usual palette, it contains applique, (which I don’t usually do), it has peach in it, (which I don’t usually use). But I just love it. I’d quilt it up just exactly as it is…give it away if it doesn’t grab you…then it won’t be a reminder of the lost original borders but someone else will have something they love!

  24. 25

    Pam says

    It has so many good qualities like sharp points. The applique stands out because it needs another border(s).
    You do such good borders. This is a excellent challenge. I’d like to see a checked border with mariners compass colors. Whatever you do end with a wide border that you can quilt beautiful feathers and end with a scalloped finish.
    Now go do what you want to do!

    • 25.1


      I think it is very pretty as is and would make a great lap or baby quilt if you just want to be finished with it.

      Additional borders would make it into a wonderful full size quilt though.

  25. 26

    Cindy B says

    It’s a very pretty and interesting quilt, it does seem out of sorts to me with the flowers being combined with the spikey points. I think adding another border like the second one (with the green) might pull it all together. I know you’ll think up something!

  26. 27


    I think the problem is in that first blue border with the chunky squares. You do so well on borders, you could take that out and replace it, then use your center, the spikes (great spikes) and the applique. If you don’t like it, use it as a give away on this blog. There are certainly enough people who would be glad to win it.

  27. 28

    Cynthia says

    Add a couple of borders and give it as a donation quilt. It’s the samon color fabric that does it in. You are never going to like it no matter what you do to it. Or, you could do a drawing for those who do like it and give it to the winner as is.

  28. 29


    Quilt it as is, let it go and be done! As many others have said, it just seems a little off to me. Donate it or let Speck use it for a bed. :~) Just don’t torture yourself over it anymore!

  29. 30


    I like it but I feel it is dated. I underdtand where you are at. I just finished quilting a UFO from 8 years ago. I hated spending the time on it.

    I would do a few things with it:
    1. Finish it, only if you need to for you. I would leave it the size it is though.

    2. Keep it for a table topper or donated it for a baby blanket.

    Mostly don’t invest to much time in it.

  30. 31


    I think it’s darling — it’s just not a “Judy” quilt. It has a whole different feel. I would quilt it, bind it, and be done. If you really cringe whenever you see it, you should give it away. Otherwise, I’d keep it just for the story alone. Or you could use it to practice your machine quilting that you talked about a week or two ago… (not sure if anyone else mentioned that — I just skipped to the bottom of the comments)

  31. 32


    I’d just quilt it and display it in the sewing room or some room that the color may work.

    Or the table topper idea is also a great alternative. If you cannot find a place in your home perhaps a local charity would enjoy it. Maybe even a retirement home — where it could sit on a table in a lobby or for a resident that can no longer sew — it’s so cheerful — it could make her day. Finishing it up for someone like that could be quite rewarding and help you resolve that “unfinished feeling”.

  32. 33


    I agree with the suggestion of removing the applique border – it doesn’t fit colorwise and otherwise. If you like it after that border is off, then do your border magic on it.

  33. 34

    Evelyn says

    If it doesn’t make your heart sing… if you have 2nd thoughts and doubts… probably the best thing to do is to give it to someone who will love it – and move on to the next great project. I think sometimes as quilters, we are too critical of our own work. The other day I saw my niece snuggled up under a VERY simple quilt – it is her favorite quilt. Probably wouldn’t be MY favorite quilt as a quilter, but it is different for a child. So go on – finish it! Perfect size for a cuddle quilt for a kid! Cheers! Evelyn

  34. 35


    Judy I looked at this quilt on Monday and thought it was interesting, but yet something bothered me. After reading every comment it seems that many saw the problem in the background of the applique. I agree and disagree at the same time. I think the background is too close in location to the prior border. The corner half square triangle color gets lost next to the applique background. I would like to see the applique border removed, but not tossed. A breaking border could be added and the applique border split on each side and used as corners in a border.

    Another way to handle the top is to put a small deep red cord or couch over a thick deep red thread or yarn to break the applique border from the pieced border.

    It is too nice to just toss the entire piece.

  35. 36


    I agree with the others that the rounds don’t meld together very nicely……….I see three different triangles going on there and none of them are the same size……….the round I would like to see go is the green and white one (round 3) and maybe round two also and remake that area to merge the center with the spiky border (maybe something with 9 patches for you the 9-patch queen). I feel the applique goes very nicely as a frame around the spikes with something different in the corners of that round.

    You will feel so much better when you finish this… has some great components that just need abit of work to make them meld together.

    Karen L

  36. 37


    I have to admit, i did the same thing to a round robin that i did last year. Someone didn’t read the instructions and it was never turned on point. So off the borders went. I must say that the border that sticks out to me is the green arrows…Just doesn’t work for me. I feel that it was your appilque, and that it’s your quilt. My quilt was the best applique that I had ever done, and the other borders just didn’t look right.

  37. 39


    I like it. It has a calming effect or aora….Pin it on and quilt it.. Give it to someone who really loves it. Maybe not even a quilter but an admirer.

  38. 41


    I think it’s the first (blue with maroon) and second (green arrows & squares) borders that don’t fit. It would be a lot of work to pick those out and replace them, but I think it would be worth it. I also like the earlier idea of putting it on point. Had to scroll back up and tilt my head, but even that blocky green & white border doesn’t look so bad if you look at it sideways. Plus, by the time you turn it and add another couple borders it would be bed sized.

  39. 43

    Valerie says

    At the risk of being redundant, I would say that it is very nice but could do with another border or two to tie everything together. I just think you should do this if you like it enough to bother. Obviously many of us out here do like it but you are what counts. Otherwise give it to someone who wants to finish it or donate it but don’t keep worrying about it.

  40. 44


    I say bind it and either use it on a table or give it away: friend, family, or charity. But I sure wouldn’t keep it around. Guilt is a terrible thing to live with.

  41. 45

    Becky I says

    I am sure that this being way down on the lists of posts my opinion might not matter but here it is anyway! The problem in my opinion is that the quilt is square! I hate square quilts. They seem out of proportion to me. You are so talented with color balance that I’m sure you can solve that problem with the “teal, aqua or green” color in the border. The applique flowers match wonderfully. Give that quilt several more borders and solve the “square” issue and it will be amazingly beautiful! You can do it, so go for it!! If you don’t like the final outcome send it my way!

  42. 46


    I like the on point idea and then in the corners if you can find similarly colored fabric make one fourth of the center. Place that in the corners of the quilt to pull the center out to the borders. Then pick your favorite color in the quilt and bind it with that color

  43. 47


    Well with so many comments my two cents worth probably doesn’t matter. I would put a plain white border on and bind it with burgundy. You’ve learned a lot with this project and since this project – keep it or give it away – up to you. I would finish it and put it in a cupboard for a while before giving it away – no rush decisions…

  44. 48

    Lisa says

    Honestly, I don’t see the problem. It’s lovely and a lot of work went into it. The borders were obviously disturbing enough to you to take the time to remove them. You may be having trouble deciding what to do because it is no longer your taste or style. But, shame on anyone who said to throw it away, burn it, or forget about it when there are so many ways it could be donated or given away. How hard would it be to quilt it up nice and quick? A gift to a friend having surgery or a hard time, Project Linus, the local hospital or cancer treatment center. ANY of those places or organizations would be very grateful. And if you don’t want to finish it, find a quilter who will. I took 80 quilts on a medical mission to Peru and the gratitude is something I will never forget. Please don’t waste it.

  45. 49

    Angie says

    Judy, I never judge whether I like a particular quilt top until it’s quilted and bound. I personally like this quilt very much. I however don’t see it as a baby quilt. No obvious baby theme here.
    It would make a lovely table topper or wall hanging though.
    I have quilts that don’t thrill me too. Others that I wouldn’t part with. You obviously liked this quilt to complete it to the point adding the applique borders, which by the way are beautiful. I can see some wonderful quilting opportunities on this quilt! I am biased though in that I love all your quilts!

  46. 50

    Karen says

    I really like it the way it is. To me, it loks like an old fashion game board. Maybe you can make up the game to go with it!

  47. 51


    I agree with Vicky on taking the applique border off, if you want to go to the trouble of doing that. However, Vicky also has said…”it stays as it lays”, in which case, give it away as a charity quilt. It is not that bad, and someone that doesn’t quilt will just love and cherish it.

  48. 52

    Lydia says

    Well, I quite like it. And I quite like the applique border in particular, especially the fact that those corner triangles from the previous round are blendy. But whether I or anyone else who reads your blog likes it isn’t really the issue — unless you’re in search of someone to whom to give it 😉 I’ve also pulled borders off round robins, and removed applique elements from a row-by-row round robin. But I felt no guilt at all about it — it was MY quilt, and I didn’t like some of the choices. So I undid them. Full stop. I like the mix of spikes in the center, some chunky piecing, more spikes and then the curviness of the applique border. And for me, the more color the better, so I enjoy the whole mix of colors going on there. The comments here just bring home to me the fact that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder, and you never can please all of the people 😉

    Bottom line, Judy, whatever you decide to do with/about it will be the right decision, because it’s YOUR QUILT. You get to decide if it gets quilted at all, if it gets made bigger, if it gets more unsewing done to it, or if it gets put in a closet and ignored. And for heaven’s sake, please don’t agonize over it!

    Like a number of others, I’d be a happy recipient, if you want to fling it from your sight 😉

  49. 53

    Amanda says

    I like it. I would leave it as it is. Either a wall hanging or a throw for the kids to use. It would be one that you wouldn’t worry about getting ruined.

  50. 54

    Linda says

    What’s not to like about this quilt…I LOVE it!! Quilt it up and if you still don’t like it, donate it somewhere…where it will be really loved.

  51. 55


    Bind it and donate it as a Shelter Quilt. It isn’t so bad, it just isn’t up to your ususal high standards. Somebody else will love it.

  52. 56


    I definitely like it. I say add borders and make it for a bed. If you will never do curve and applique, you definitely have to keep it. What is not to like about it?

  53. 57

    Jennifer Collard says

    Add the borders and turn it into a bed quilt. If you come to love it, keep it, but if not give it to a good home. It’s beautiful, and deserves to be loved. Even an amputee can serve and be useful. Jennifer