Years ago, when I was a temporary California girl, I discovered the tiny mission town of San Juan Bautista. My roommate and I were on our way to Monterey, and we never made it there. Instead, we explored the town and its shops.
I made a lot of discoveries that day: that the town was founded in 1869, California's largest Spanish mission, a shop devoted entirely to Limoges china, and the most wonderful shop filled with all sorts of cottage crafts made from vintage and antique materials.
A friend back home had just introduced me to collecting antique quilts, and in this small shop I found examples of what talented people were doing with cutter quilts: those badly damaged quilts that couldn't be used for bedding. The thought of cutting up a quilt to use for crafts made me a bit squeamish, but I still couldn't resist going home with a teddy bear made from a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt, a fleece-bottomed goose, and a tiny cat made from a scrap of antique quilt too small to make out the pattern. Louise went home with a table runner made from a quilt.
Over the years I've made more small cats based on this one, drafting a pattern and changing it to suit my own style. The calico cat is made from a leftover bit of fabric from a Gunne Sax dress I made, hand quilted first then cut out and sewn together. It was always one of my favorite dresses, and I love having the reminder of it.
But I've yet to cut up a tattered antique quilt to make something else from it. Maybe one day I'll be brave enough.