The more I work on Bricks and Stepping Stones, the more I love this pattern. I've been using some wild and crazy prints for the bricks. Among them were wild horses racing on a green background, cowboy paraphernalia on blue, and gray manatees swimming in a turquoise sea among schools of golden fish.
The very last brick was cut from this ugly paisley, a fabric that is near and dear to my heart. It's been in my stash since the '90s when I was an active member of the Genie Online Quilter's Guild. I bought it for the annual Ugly Fabric Swap, an event which I looked forward to all year long. Sign-ups began on April 1st (April Fool's Day). Each of us pledged ourselves to send a 10 inch, pre-washed square of the ugliest fabric we could find to all the other swap members. The deadline was April 15th (Income Tax Day).
Then we would wait by our mailboxes in fearful anticipation. What monstrosities, what abominations of the textile industry had our sister quilters found? As the envelopes began to arrive, each bearing a fabric more appalling than the last, every quilter would describe her reactions online, casting her vote for the Most Appalling Fabric (often with uncontrollable giggles).
Yet truly is it said, "De gustibus non disputatum est." ("There is no accounting for taste.") Almost every fabric, no matter how clashing its color -- how hideous its print, had at least one fan whose piteous cry, "I like that fabric!" proved that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.
Then the real challenge began: to make a really great quilt out of that year's collection of Uglies. (The secret is cutting the fabrics into small enough pieces!) Some of the quilts were stunning, and I remember at least one whose photo ended up in a major quilt magazine.
I always took part in the swap, but only once managed to finish a quilt. Most of my Ugly collections are still intact. And I'm thinking that Bricks and Stepping Stones would be the perfect pattern to display these, um, unique fabrics.
But getting back to the paisley shown at the beginning of this blog: I wanted to post a picture of it, but my digital camera is so old and creaky that it's a real pain to shoot and upload photos. So I decided to try taking its picture using the Photo Booth application on my Mac. Unfortunately, the fabric's color wasn't accurate because of the way that light shines through it.
"I can fix that!" Fillius announced. "I'll Photo Shop it on my computer."
"Oh, no," I said. "That sounds like too much work. I'll drag out the camera."
"It's really easy," he assured me. And it was. In just moments he had perfectly adjusted the color.
"Super! Email it to me." I pasted it into my blog, and while I was still typing up the text I heard Fillius calling from the other room."
"Hey, Mom! Want a picture of your fabric lying flat?"
"Kewel! But can you make it into an elephant?"
Before I finished writing my post I had his answer: