Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cutter quilts

A while ago, my awesome friend Susan sent me (among other things) this sweet little heart that she bought from a seller on etsy called Wordz of Life.  The seller makes these ornaments out of old, worn out quilts, referred to as "cutter quilts", because that's all they are considered to be good for--cutting up to use for something else.  Here's the front:


Here's the back:

The first thing I said to Susan about the heart was:  "I love it!" and then, "I want to make some like this!"  She hadn't heard the term "cutter quilt" before, but she is really good at finding information online, so it wasn't too long before I received another package in the mail:  Susan had found another seller on etsy with cut-up squares of vintage quilts for sale, and she bought one for me!  (I told you Susan was awesome!) 

I love the look of the old quilt block, with the hand-stitching, the small holes, tears, and worn spots, all of which tell of its history.  Someone made this by hand, and it was used, and hopefully loved, until finally, it didn't look nice as a bedcovering any more, and was discarded.  Maybe the etsy seller got it at a thrift shop, or at an estate sale; either way, the quilt is now living its second life--it is being "re-crafted".  I decided to start using it for three of the hearts in the Jar of Hearts swap I participated in at Craftster (that's why it now has heart-shaped holes in it!)


The recipients of these quilt-hearts have told me they love them! I made mine 3-D, sewing two pieces of quilt-heart together, and filling them with fiberfil.  I left the raw edges showing and the cotton batting exposed. A simple button in the middle adds a little something without detracting from the simplicity of the heart.

I will admit that I have mixed feelings about cutting up old quilts; ideally, I would like to see them remain intact and used as a decorative element--over the back of a sofa, on top of a bookcase, or at the foot of a bed.  But some old quilts are too far gone, I suppose, for anything but being repurposed.  I am happy to see the usable parts of those quilts live on in other ways, like these hearts.

3 comments:

Lauren E. Douglas said...

What a brilliant idea. We have a few old quilts that are mostly ruined by water damage, holes and such. This is a brilliant idea. :) Thank you!

susan ab said...

i love that you are creating and spreading so much heart-felt happiness from that old piece of quilt. in the right hands some pieces of fabric become a whole other thing
; )

waggonswest said...

Very sweet.