Another Old Friend

This is what was on my design wall Monday.

I only see this top when I’m packing to move!  It was started probably 20 years ago.  I still have the ugly green fabric I chose for the “path”.  The blocks are equally as ugly with the old calico fabrics.

And this one:

It’s all pieced by hand, it’s far from perfect.  The green fabric is directional and just doesn’t work with these hexagons.

I think I’m going to throw it away!  I don’t want to finish it.  I don’t want to try to square it up and use it for a table topper.  I think it’s history!  I think it will not make the move to Texas.


  1. 1

    Lisa says

    Maybe you could just give it away. I’m sure someone would love to give it a home.

  2. 3

    pat says

    I would take it too.
    There is nothing wrong with it.
    Life isn’t perfect and your quilts are suppose to be either.

  3. 4


    I had the same green fabric! I used a bit in the corner blocks on my Christmas quilt. I have chucked unfinished projects with no regrets.

  4. 5

    Deb says

    No….. let someone finish it The quilt may be ulgy to you but I think it looks great. Maybe its not perfect but still very pretty!

    email me if no one else steps up to the plate – I will pay to get it to me.

  5. 6


    I just chucked out a couple thing that I stumbled across that were very awful! I don’t even know why I still had them around.

  6. 7


    I threw away (gave to a local thrift shop) a “first quilt” last year. I thought I would feel guilty forever. It was the puffy batting kind of quilt of yore. Anyway I am hoping someone found it, loved it (finished it perhaps with different batting!) and uses it for years wondering who made it. It is off my mind and I am living well with my decision.

  7. 8

    Alberta in N GA says

    You should have it as a giveaway holding the giveaway for a week (including the green) and only people who really want to finish it should enter.

  8. 9

    Libby says

    I think it’s okay to say, well I learned something with this project and toss it and it’s taken my 40 years to get to that way of thinking. Odds are the fabric is not the same quality we have now and it won’t hold up very long anyway.

    Toss it and move on! (pun intended)

  9. 10


    No, don’t throw it away. I would love to have a piece of Judy history, and I’m sure a lot of others would, too. Have a give-away!! LOL

  10. 11


    YOU ARE ALREADY DONE. There is nothing to finish. Take off those three outside flowers and it is a uniform shape. Quilt it. AND then, use it when you go on your lectures. It’s so great to get to a quilter’s “first” works and see how far they have come in fabric selection and choices. It’s also so great to have a “bad” example for everyone to laugh over. It gives your audience hope that they really can progress to your level of color choice, fabric and expertise.

    Keep that ugly thing. You’ll be glad you did when you get your first laughs.

  11. 13


    My sister sent me some Dresden plates she started years ago. I don’t know what to do with them. They really are pretty bad. She machined stitched the center circles and the fabrics are really thin. I just don’t want to hurt her feelings but I don’t know what to do with them. She has kept them and moved them with her (military) for 30+ years until now.

  12. 14

    Gwen says

    Put it in a Goodwill or what ever you have locally box. You can roll the green fabric in with it. Put the big scraps in there too. Someone will be thrilled when they find it in the resale shop. I want to make a few of those blocks for a table runner just to try English Paper Piecing.

  13. 15

    Marla says

    I had to do that about a year ago with a quilt that I had partially handquilted in those pinkish mauve and blue fabrics of the 80’s. I hated it and knew I would never finish it so one day I took a deep breath and threw it in the trash can. Liberating!

  14. 16

    bev/mo says

    I agree with you, Judy, but the right thing to do is donate it to Goodwill or somewhere. Trust me, theres someone out there that will love it and be grateful for finding it and will finish it.

  15. 17


    Judy, I think you should send it to Bonnie Hunter!! It is just her thing!! LOL

    As you are cleaning up and sorting, when you find fabrics, notions, or ufo’s like this, really it is best to put them in a box and donate them, rather than trash them. Some of that “ugly” yardage can be used by many guilds for their charity quilts, or even schools and pre schools can use it for craft making with the children.

  16. 18


    I don’t blame you. I did that too! I had a star quilt that I started and never finished. It was a 5 point star because that was the shape my aunt gave me to work with cut out from the cereal box. I moved that project around for years until I finally threw it away…NO GUILT!

    I see you have lots of takers for it so send it on it’s way and don’t look back!

  17. 19

    Megan says

    Good gracious woman, don’t throw it out!!!! Send it to someone. I love those old ugly calicos in a quilt like this!

  18. 20

    Denise ~ justquiltin says

    You go girl! It’s hard to just toss but you have to be a bit ruthless with yourself. Course it would be easier if you didn’t show everyone what you’re tossing since they seem to encourage otherwise. LOL Some things I donate to a charity shop, some things to a lady who’s group make quilts for their church, and some you just simply have to toss in the wastebasket and be done with – no second thought – and move on to the next cleaning out project.

  19. 22


    I understand your pain! I too have quilt tops that I made in the ’80ies and ’90ies that I now look at and ask “why?” One of the good things about the UFO Challenge is that I have put “seasoned” quilts on my list and each month I have to decide to finish it as designed, make it smaller than originally planned, or just be “done with it” and give it away to Goodwill or a charity. Sometimes a charity doesn’t even deserve what I have not finished!
    Now speaking of your move…I lived in my last house 20 years and this one 17 years, so you know how much stuff I have to clean out! Toni

  20. 23

    Linda C says

    Throw it away!

    Let the guilt go, and get rid of it. No hassles with trying to find someone who wants it, no more trying to work up the enthusiasm for a project that you don’t like anymore.

  21. 24


    Obviously lots of people (like me) would gladly take it off your hands. I can’t believe you’d call that “ugly” fabric! LOL. We are all so different. I have to have texture and pattern in fabric or am bored to death.

  22. 25


    Stuff we tire of does not have to be a quilt, or table topper, or a wall hanging. I have taken things like this an made them into pincushions, tote bags, pot holders, book or binder covers, use as trim on kitchen or bath towels. One of my quilting friends has covered a wastebasket in her guest bathroom, and a clothes hamper with an old “cutter” quilt. I’m not sure what the process was, but it’s really cute. I have a vintage dishtowel I hang over my oven handle that has just one grandmothers flower garden block appliqued onto it. I bought it at a craft fair. If you don’t want these blocks. Send them my way! I have a few dozen ideas running around in my head of what to do with them…some of which I mentioned.

  23. 26

    Margery says

    I don’t think it’s ugly – it’s charming. Why not auction it and give the proceeds to charity? Quite a few of the earlier commenters would bid for it, I’m sure!

  24. 27

    June Piper-Brandon says

    I’m with those who say put it in a big ziplock bag and donate it to the Goodwill. Someone will think they have a treasure. I often look for things like that at Goodwill. Last year I got a whole bag of craft stuff that I put in my crazy quilt box for $2.

  25. 28


    Don’t throw it in the trash. Donate it to an organization that makes quilts for charity – they would be glad to have it, the matching fabric, and I bet someone would finish it. That’s what I did with a quilt I started 25 years ago – bagged it up, donated it, and felt great when I left it!

  26. 29


    Remember your trash is someone’s treasure so please donate it along the way somehow, someway. those that don’t care for it won’t want it and take it, but someone will finish it up eventually and that is one less thing in the landfalls.

  27. 30

    Donna in KS says

    I would donate it somewhere. That said, you do with it what you want, Judy, and feel no guilt or remorse! I did want to mention that I made a summer housecoat (robe) out of that purple rose type print in your first close-up block! Loved that thing, wore it to death, full length, snap down the front, made off an adapted muu-muu pattern. Did I mention I loved that fabric made up? I have not commented on your move yet. I knew it would happen but I sure liked thinking you were only a few hours away and I COULD drive over to see you any time! Soon not so much! I know you will make a life and be happy wherever you are, because that is your nature.

  28. 32


    sometimes we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do! I just cleaned out a few of “those type of projects” too! I’m with the Goodwill group!

  29. 33

    lw says

    I agree with Alberta– I would love to finish the piece. The calicos are 80’s vintage, and I think they’re charming. Have a giveaway, and please include the path fabric and scraps.

  30. 34

    Linda H says

    As we’re disparaging the quilts made so “long ago” in the ’80’s and ’90’s, don’t forget that sometime down the road in the 2030’s and ’40’s some of us who are still around will be saying, “that old thing! What was I thinking.” 🙂

  31. 35

    Cindy C says

    Looks like a great give away. I wouldn’t mind having it. It might turn into something other than a quilt. Pillow, stuffed animals, table topper, picnic quilt, etc. I also like the calicos.

  32. 36

    Diane says

    I had some stuff like that when I moved. I just had to get them out of my house. I made up a large box of fabric, unfinished quilts tops, finished but hated quilt tops, patterns etc. The box was opened at a guild meeting and told they could have anything they wanted and if there was anything left they could donate it or throw it away. I did this at the very last meeting I attended. That way I don’t know what they took and what was thrown away. I didn’t want to know.
    I am the type of person I can’t throw things away. I can donate, I can give away, I just can’t put it in the trash. Crazy, I know.

  33. 37

    Linda in NE says

    I REMEMBER those fabrics. Don’t call them ugly 🙂 🙂 I probably still have bits and pieces in my stash…at least in a scrap box in the basement that I keep meaning to cut into usable pieces.

  34. 39


    I like that kind of old-fashioned looking quilt, but I know I’d never finish it…..I”m not much into working with hexagons….but I bet some of your blog readers would love to finish the project.

  35. 40


    Judy, Before I even read any of the previous 37 posts, I could have told you that the overwhelming sentiment would be “don’t throw it away!!”

    I think you can do a lot of things with it, even if you never add another hexie to it. So many people are recycling and reusing – there surely is something someone could do with it.

    Personally, I don’t find it ugly at all. It very much resembles a quilt my friend Terry bought at an auction and had hand quilted. I pictured it on my blog recently. It really has the look so indicative of the 30s, crazy green and all.

    My blog is – I don’t think you would have to go back more than a month to find the pic.

  36. 41


    seems as if your quilt has found many homes! if you’d like to send it to me, (i’ll re-imburse shipping) i’ll take it into our scraps to wraps, finish it, and then donate it to the mennonite central committee. we send most of our quilts there, except the ones that we keep to give locally- fire victims and such.

  37. 42

    Cindy M says

    I have learned when to abandon projects. I have thrown a few things away, but now donate them to a thrift store… and let them decide if they can sell it or not. Takes the guilt off of me.

  38. 43


    I, too, suggest that you donate rather than trash the great grandmothers flower top. I am not asking that you throw it my way only because I already have too many UFO’s. I do want you to know that I really like your blocks. I especially like that the green pathway & the calico fabric & colors are very appropriate for the time the pattern originated. Isn’t cleaning out & sorting to pack up & move just the pits!?!

  39. 44

    Diann Smith says

    That’s the first piece I’ve seen you do that wasn’t the blenders fabric look or a solid. I wondered if you ever used calicos or geometrics or anything besides solid colors.

  40. 45

    Lynne in Hawaii says

    Looks like a give away to me! Someone would be thrilled to make something out of it. They would just have to post a picture and link it so we all could see! That is just one way to get rid of it and maybe have some use.

  41. 46

    J. Olsen says

    I chuckled when I saw the close-up photos. I over twice as many blocks that include those same fabrics (but my green is solid). I taught the English paper piecing technique to others who actually completed their quilts. I keep telling myself–someday.

    But definitely give away–never trash. They will be put to good use and appreciated by someone.

  42. 47

    GeeGee says

    One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. I would love to finish it, I like the green. I look for old tops and quilts to refurbish. Have a great week-end!

  43. 49

    Perry says

    Why don’t you draw from among those that want to finish it? It is part of history and I don’t think you should throw it away. It has a certain charm about it and is a testament to that “era”. I have enough UFOs of my own and don’t need another one, but I am sure you would find a good home among all of your readers.

  44. 50

    roccagal says

    I agree that should have a give away-I love it and would pay for shipping!
    I love those ugly fabrics even tho to me they are not ugly!

  45. 51

    Cindy B says

    I have to agree it’s not pretty. I know some love old fabrics like this but it’s not me. I would donate it to Salvation Army. Someone will have it at Show and Tell!

  46. 52


    LOL. Judy said you would all be having heart attacks about this post!

    I spent the weekend with Judy. She is a wonderful teacher.

    glen: and my new BFF! LOL

  47. 54


    You should not throw it out. But you should donate so someone can finish it and donate it. There is alway someone that needs the love of a quilt.

  48. 56


    If you decide to give it away, I’d love to be on the list! 🙂

    But if you’re not up to that (what with moving and all), then put it in the “giveaway” box — someone will be thrilled to have it.


  49. 57

    Linda P in IL says

    OK, so you have lots of opinions, all valid for one reason or another…I’m in the “don’t throw it away camp”… but have another idea…we once had a minister who told us every time his family moved, they packed special boxes for a rummage sale at their new house…they found it a great way to make new friends in their new town…cool idea…btw, I don’t think it is ugly, just different from what you’re doing now..and from a different time…it is part of you evolution as a master quilter! I hope you find the perfect house!