Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Make Your Own Cutter Quilt Fabric

Back in November I talked about cutter quilts--old quilts that are too damaged to be useful as a quilt any longer, so they are  upcycled into other things, like pillows or stuffed toys.  If you don't happen to have old beat-up quilts lying around, but you want to make something with a vintage look, why not make your own cutter quilt fabric? 

I like to make stuffed heart ornaments with the pieces of  old quilts that my friends have given me, like these:

Look at the picture again, and see if you can tell which three hearts I made from old quilt pieces, and which one I made from a new piece of "cutter quilt" fabric?

(If you happened to read the post on  my other blog yesterday, you already know the answer!)

I hope you think they all look old.  The new one is on the far left, with the darker button.

I had a spare block from a quilt I made years ago, that I used to make my cutter fabric.  It was perfect because the reproduction prints had a lot of beige in them, so the fabrics looked old to start with!  I simply layered the block with batting (I used "Warm and Natural", which is a cotton batting similar to what you will find in old quilts.  Don't use polyester batting for this, because it won't shrink much when you wash it...and you WILL be washing it...that's how you give it an "aged" look) and backing fabric.  Then I hand-quilted it.  Since it was only 10" square, the quilting didn't take very long.

Here is the block right after I hand-quilted it:

Here it is after about a dozen washings.  It looks really old now, doesn't it!  I just threw it in the washer every time I ran a load of clothes, and then into the dryer.  It shrank a lot, but none of the fabrics showed any "wear and tear", so if you wanted it to look very worn, you might have to run it with your laundry for a couple of months!

I decided to use my cutter fabric for both the front and back of this heart, so it looks nice--and different--on each side.  I hand-sewed it with the raw edges exposed and the batting showing.  Here's one side:

Here's the other side:

These ornaments can be used in a lot of different ways--tied on gifts, strung onto a garland, hung on a Christmas tree, fastened onto a wreath...if you want to see what I do with them, check out my other blog, 365 Sewn Hearts.  I've started my one-year challenge over there, and this heart will be #8!


fiddlegirl8 said...

I love the two sided heart from your own cutter fabric - I love the back even better than the front! That shade of red is very "civil war" era! Love your hearts, Leslie - I read this everyday and your 365 hearts too, just to view your travel through 2012 making hearts! Great project!

waggonswest said...

What a great way to use those orphan blocks.

Unknown said...

the new heart looks the most vintage of ALL!!

LimeRiot said...

I love this idea! I have a whole stack of blocks from when I first started sewing that I never thought I'd touch again. Now they can have a new life!