Do you have an old quilt that has seen better days? Is it a family heirloom that is tattered and no longer usable, but you just can’t bring yourself to throw it away? Let’s build a snowman! This adorable cutter quilt snowman wasn’t built in a snow covered meadow, but his beautiful vintage charm will add warm, winter cheer to even the most blah of days. He’s quick and easy to construct, as he only requires minimal sewing.
Several of the supplies used are recycled or repurposed items. With a vintage cutter quilt as the main focus of this project, you may be wondering “What is a cutter quilt?”
A cutter quilt is basically an old quilt that has become so worn, tattered and/or stained it is no longer able to cover a bed, keep you warm or even be hung for display in your home. Since each of these flaws usually mean the quilt has been loved with a long history, other sections of the quilt are still beautiful. Instead of tossing the quilt, cut out the best parts to create something new, with character to last many more years.
Things You Will Need:
- Vintage cutter quilt
- Pattern paper-newsprint, newspaper or wrapping paper
- Orange felt scrap
- Floral marbles or kitty litter, 1 cup
- Resealable sandwich bag
- Wool felt scrap
- Old sweater
- Mini bucket or wash tub, 6″ diameter (opening)
- 1/2″ black buttons, two
- 1 1/4″ wood buttons, two
- Crochet thread
- Black and orange embroidery floss
- 17 gauge craft wire, 30 inches
- Pine garland, 12″
- Pip berries, 3-4
- 15″ shovel
- Sewing machine
- Basic supplies-ruler, yardstick, pencil, scissors, straight pins, embroidery needle, wire cutters, needle nose pliers, hot glue gun
Make the Cutter Quilt Pattern
Newsprint, newspapers or wrapping paper are ideal for creating your pattern pieces.
Trace a 27 1/2″ square, 21 1/2″ square and a 15 1/2″ square on paper. Cut out each square.
Make the circles by folding one square at a time. Fold the square in half one direction, and then in half the other direction. Form a triangle by folding one folded edge to the other folded edge. Repeat until your triangle is as slender as possible without distorting.
Trim across the widest end of the triangle at the shortest edge of the original square. Unfold to reveal your circle pattern. Each circle is a tier to the snowman’s body.
Trace a triangle with a 3 1/4″ height and a 3 1/4″ base. This is the snowman’s nose pattern.
Build a Snowman
Pin each circle to your cutter quilt and cut out.
Pour a cup of floral marbles or kitty litter into a resealable sandwich bag.
Using crochet thread and an embroidery needle, sew a running stitch with extra long stitches around the circumference of the largest cutter quilt circle. Slightly pull the thread to form a bowl shape. Center the sandwich bag in the bowl. This will weight the finished snowman preventing him from falling over. Fill the bowl with stuffing. Pull the thread tighter to form a body ball. Keep adding more stuffing as needed. Knot the thread and fasten off. Repeat with the remaining circles, omitting the weighted sandwich bag. Note: There will still be openings on each stuffed circle, but they will not be seen on the finished snowman.
Place the largest stuffed circle on your work surface with the opening facing up. Apply hot glue around the opening. Center the medium stuffed circle on top with the opening facing up. Firmly press down and hold until the hot glue has cooled. Apply hot glue around the opening of the medium stuffed circle. Center the small stuffed circle on top with the opening facing up. Firmly press down and hold until the glue has cooled. The completed stack is the base of the snowman. If his shape has become distorted while stacking, press and re-fluff with your hands to reshape the snowman.
Cut a 30″ length from 17-gauge craft wire. Determine which side of the snowman will be the front. Insert the wire through the middle-side of the center snowman ball. Push the wire through and out the other side of the ball. Using needle nose pliers, bend a 1/2″ hook on each end of the wire. Bring the ends together on the front of the snowman and attach the hooks. Bend the hooks closed to secure.
Cut a 1″ x 18″ strip of wool felt for the snowman’s muff. Apply hot glue to one end of the strip and attach to the wire on one side of the hooks. Adding more glue as you go, overlap and wind the felt around the wire to the other side of the hooks. Apply glue to the end of the felt to secure. Adjust the arms to center the muff.
Cut a 3″ x 40″ strip from an old sweater. This is your snowman’s scarf. Wrap the scarf around the snowman’s neck and tie. Trim as desired.
Using the nose pattern, cut a nose triangle from orange felt. Fold the triangle with the long edges together. Sew the long edges using a 1/8″ seam allowance. Turn the nose cone right side out and stuff. Using an embroidery needle and orange floss, sew a running stitch around the opening of the nose. Place a penny inside the opening. It will provide a flat base for your nose. Pull the thread to gather the nose closed. Knot and fasten off.
Apply hot glue to the base of the nose. Press the nose into the center of the face and hold until the glue has cooled.
Using a long strand of black embroidery floss and needle, sew two, 1/2″ black buttons (eyes) 1/4″ above the nose and spaced 3/4″ apart. Do not cut floss.
Stitch a smile with a 4″ span. The smile consists of five 1/2″ X’s with the top of the center X positioned 1/2″ below the nose. Bring the needle and floss back to the top of the head. Knot and fasten off.
Using black floss, center and sew two, 1 1/4″ wooden buttons to the center ball of the snowman’s body.
Apply hot glue to the inside rim of a metal washtub or bucket with a 6″ opening. Place the bucket over the opening of the head and hold until the glue has cooled. Remove one branch from a pine garland. Using wire cutters, cut the branch in half. Holding the two halves together, twist in the center to attach. Separate the ends to form an X. Apply hot glue to one side and attach to the brim of the bucket. Glue pip berries to the pine to embellish.
Wrap a 12″ length of pine garland around the handle of a 15″ shovel. Insert the shovel under the arms. Wind branches of the garland around the arm wire to secure.
Alternative Supply Options
A huge bonus to crafting this cutter quilt snowman made of recycled and repurposed materials is that the materials can be substituted with other items you have on hand. The following are a few ideas to customize your snowman with a fresh personality.
- While the title of this snowman does specify the use of a cutter quilt, a chenille bedspread or even a quilted mattress pad will give your frosty guy an interesting texture.
- The scarf and muff were made using old sweaters, but raid the bag of clothes you are sending to the thrift store for old flannel shirts or blue jeans.
- Can’t find large wooden buttons? No problem. Recycle scrap 1 x 2s or wooden dowel poles. Use a chop saw to slice buttons and a drill to make the button holes.
- If wooden buttons are still not an option, use metal bottle caps.
- Miniature brooms or small buckets full of faux snowballs are cute substitutes for the shovel.
- A child’s stocking cap can be used in place of a mini wash tub or bucket, but if no hat is desired, glue the head to the snowman with the opening facing down.
Most cutter quilts offer an abundance of reusable material for more than one project. Make several snowmen to give as gifts as new family heirlooms.