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Friday, May 6, 2016

Local store hosts first annual ugly quilt contest

Thursday, August 15, 2002

Quilts of all colors, shapes and sizes eligible

With September comes the start of school, the beginning of the fall season, and a time for those living in denial to finally face the truth: that it's time to share their unsightly quilt with the world.

Ugly quilts of all colors, patterns, shapes and sizes are eligible to enter the first annual "Ugly Quilt Contest" sponsored by One of a Kind Quilts of Storm Lake. The contest, for which entries may now be brought in, begins in September and will last until the end of the month. One of a Kind Quilts owner Bettie Sproul encourages all to enter the contest, saying that, despite the name and objective of the contest, no quilt can really be defined as ugly.

"What I want to promote through this is that no quilt is really ugly, it's in the eye of the beholder," Sproul said. "People may think a quilt is ugly, but someone else might love it. It's no different than music. Some people like country, some people like contemporary. The same goes for quilts."

Through the duration of the contest, the quilts will be displayed at the 617 Lake Ave. store to be judged throughout September by customers of One of a Kind Quilts, who may vote on the quilt they find the ugliest every time they enter the store throughout the month. The names of each ugly quilt owner will be kept confidential in order to keep judging fair. Prizes will be awarded to first, second and third place in the categories of viewer's choice and employee choice. Every contestant will receive a prize for entering their quilt.

"We encourage everyone to bring their ugly quilts in as early as possible in order to get more votes and a better chance of winning," Sproul said. "The prizes we have chosen are definitely not ugly."

Sproul said the local idea for the contest came about in a simple chat with a fellow quilter over just what exactly defined 'ugly.'

"Somebody once said that they weren't going to finish a quilt because it was ugly," she said. "I said, 'Well I don't think it's ugly,' and it all went from there. I've never seen a quilt that I thought was actually ugly. It may not be my colors, but I can project it into the right place and time."

Sproul said that while no quilt is truly ugly, certain aspects of a quilt may contribute to giving off a certain aura of ugliness, including colors, design, sewing techniques, crooked seams or even choices of fabric. Confessing that she herself has quilted many an unsightly piece, the contest is simply a way to enjoy the craft while remembering that nobody's perfect - even quilters.

"This is a great way for people to show off their first quilt, or just a way to say that none of us are perfect," Sproul said. "There is no way when you're cutting up a piece of fabric that you can sew it back together exactly."

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