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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Little Projects, Precious Old Pieces....

I have a new hobby...or is that HABIT?!

When I am browsing through ebay, I often come across "cutter" quilts for sale, with mixed emotions. Some quilts just are too damaged to use in any other capacity, and in my own home I have bears, bunnies, pigs, pillows,etc made from the remnants of old quilts. These little quilt pieces are still loved and appreciated this way and not shoved into a corner or a closet!














Do I advocate cutting up a perfectly good antique quilt just because you can make more money off it it by "piecing" it out? Heck No!

I hadn't bought just the cutter pieces before, because I didn't want to make bunnies or bears. But it occurred to me that if the piece was big enough...and in okay enough shape...that I could bind it and display it as a table topper. Many pieces end up looking like doll quilts or crib quilts.




It is a good way to get a sampling of actual fabrics that were used during a specific time period in history! It is a special feeling to run your fingers over these fabrics of a by-gone era and see and feel the stitches of the woman who pieced this "cutter" piece and wonder what her life was like.

A few weeks ago I came across this cutter piece. It was a long narrow piece of a log cabin quilt. It is a tied quilt, pieced on a muslin foundation, wool batting is used inside, and the backing is a wool blanket. This quilt must have been HEAVY! I cut it in half, squared it up, cutting out some of the really damaged areas (Hence one half now is shorter than the other)and found a blue stripe in my stash that would look like it fit in with the other fabrics in the cutter and used that to bind them. This quilt is tied with what looks like "string"...maybe it came off of some seed bags or something and was saved for tying quilts? Who knows....

What is amazing to me too, is that the quilt was machine sewn on an early machine. She used black thread to sew the strips to the foundations.

I'm happy to have these little pieces in my collection! I finished the binding on them during the workshop up in Burnsville NC on monday.

14 comments:

Susie said...

Oh my what a find. I always feel a connection to the women who made these so long ago, and to the women who will,I hope, cherish my work years from now. I have a few antique quilts from my great-great- grandmother that I am planning to blog about soon. I am glad you are not cutting them too much. What a good idea to make table toppers.

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

great plan. your new "doll quilts" look fun.

Debi said...

I love the eway the quilts turned out. You are right about running your hand over these old quilts and actually feeling a bit of the past.

Marilyn R said...

Making table toppers or smaller quilts out of worn antique quilts is a great idea! I have some worn antique quilts sitting in a storage tub waiting to be put to use in some way. Now I see them in a new light!

swooze said...

Wow you have been busy. Love all the pics. The barns are wonderful. I grew up in the country with barns all around. Unfortunately they are now tearing a lot of them down.

That is a good idea on the cutter quilt. I have never bought one but I sure do look at them.

Lucy said...

Yeah you rescue it! I love the idea that you made a doll quilt with it!

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

The perfect recycling project. I've seen some quilts tied with this type of string before, it's sometimes called tobacco twine, at least that's what I've been told. How do you wash these pieces?

Dawn said...

Very cool! I love them! I would never have thought to do that! What an inspired idea! Oh so cool!

anne bebbington said...

Brilliant recycling - I guess they'd just be consigned to the rubbish bin otherwise. How nice to be able to resurrect them

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

Tha Star struck blocks look great.
These :cutters" are quite the find. I think they will be a lovely addition to your collection, it is lovely to know that the old quilts are being salvaged and kept usable, tracey

Vivian Love said...

Beautiful find! I enjoy your blog.

YankeeQuilter said...

I have a big box of quilt pieces and blocks that I love take out and look at. They are great example of old fabrics and stitching!

Carole said...

What a great habit I mean hobby! Thanks for sharing!

Simply Stephy said...

Bonnie - I totally understand your hobby! I just completed my own cutter toppers - for many of these fabrics it's their 3rd time around - clothing or flour sack to quilt - to topper. I feel wonderful beathing new life into disgarded quilts and it takes a lot less time than starting one from scratch! I have a few pics on my blog of the projects I am working on today. Check it out :)