Many years ago, before I realized I was a modern quilter (and yes, it was in me all along! as soon as I discovered modern quilting I knew I had found myself) I was active in a traditional quilt guild in our community. I learned so much from the ladies there and I'm thankful for the start they gave me in quilting.
At one time we held a strip swap. We each brought 2 1/2 inch strips of Christmas fabrics and someone mixed them all together and gave us each back an assortment of strips. We were challenged to make a quilt from them. I have to be honest, I was not terribly inspired by the fabrics I received! They were of assorted quality (that's code for "some of them may have come from Walmart") and the prints themselves were anything but modern. Some of the ladies made amazing quilts from the strips! I, on the other hand, did not. After staring at them for quite a while (months?) I finally just did a jelly roll race topper.
Last October, we were challenged at our Modern Quilt Guild meeting to dig out three of our works in progress and pledge to get them finished by our February meeting (truth be told, I was the one who issued the challenge). I don't know what got into me, but I pledged to finish up that ugly Christmas strip quilt.
After much debate (mostly in my own head) I decided to appliqué some big, solid, modern trees over the top. And guess what? I actually like it now!