Money saving quilting tips
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  1. #1

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    Default Money saving quilting tips

    Thought it might be fun to share things we do to save money on our quilting.

    I do a lot of different things, but I guess the biggest is that I buy fabric at garage sales. Where I live I find not only sewing scraps and leftovers but I often find yardage. I do the nose to finger tip method to estimate length and have found as much as 3 or 4 yds. for a couple of dollars. If I find a large fundraising sale with lots of fabric I'll chose a couple of pieces then go back later on "bag day" and stuff my bag with the leftovers.

    Garage sales can also be a good place to find all kinds of sewing and craft supplies. If someone buys a lot of new supplies thinking they are going to try a new hobby and then don't like it they often show up at garage sales for really good prices. I also look for clothing made from interesting fabric -- I cut them up for quilts as well.

    I also stop in Hancock fabric about once a month and check out their fill a bag for $3 box. I usually take it all -- the box isn't very deep. Most of the clerks look at me like I've lost my mind, one or two know exactly what I'm doing.

    I can't imagine walking into a quilt shop and just buying all the fabric needed to make a quilt. It would take the fun out of it for me. Fabric is also so expensive I would only be able to make one quilt a year if I did.

    So, what's your favorite money saving quilting tip? Or do you take your quilting or other hobbies "outside the budget" and spend whatever you want/need? Who's next?

  2. #2

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    Guess nobody's interested. Well, I tried.

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    Registered User Edna_E's Avatar
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    Don't give up yet. Sometimes it takes a couple of days for the right people to find a post. I'm not a quilter, so I can't really offer anything, but have been thinking about taking it up, so was interested. Let's watch it for a couple of days.

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  5. #4

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    I have lots of quilter friends. We like to have fabric swaps. It's a fun way to get rid of that fabric that never worked its way into a project and to exchange it for a new piece.

    I definately shop yard sales and clearance bins for fabric.

    I find pattern books at yard sales and swap these with friends. I also find free patterns online. http://www.quilterscache.com/ is a favorite.

    I mentioned to a few ladies that our older kids were learning to sew and knit, and they were given BAGS of yarn and fabric from someone's estate.

    If I'm working on a quilt that's going to be used and abused, I'll use yard sale blankets or comforters for the 'filling.' If I'm making a quilt that I'm hoping will be an heirloom, I like to use cotton or wool filling. I can sometimes find this at yard sales, so when I do, I snap it up!

    I've learned to love rag quilts. I have an aunt who's a voracious quilter. She's made 100's and 100's of quilts -- all from yard sale clothes that cost her little or nothing. One of my favorite quilts is this huge quilt made with cast-off McDonald uniforms...LOL! She got them free when the local McD changed their look. The top of the quilt is flannels, but the back is 2" pieced squares of polyester McD uniforms.

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    I sign up for sales flyers from Joann's, Hancock's and hobby lobby. They almost always have a 40% off coupon (a bolt of muslin counts as one cut of fabric) and I buy notions when they are half off. Mens' shirts make nice quilts and they have alot of fabric in each one.

  7. #6

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    Thanks for posting.

    Joining a quilting organization can be another way to save money as long as the dues aren't too high.

    Some local guilds offer discounts at local quilt shops or fabric stores. Many guilds also have a library of quilt books you can check out -- no extra charge. There may also be a newsletter and free patterns involved.

    If you aren't a guild person (I tried it once -- not my cup of tea) there are also national quilting organizations you can join. I have belonged to the American Quilters Association. Last time I checked membershiop was $18/yr. and included a beautiful quarterly magazine. There was also a discount at Joan Fabric as well as discounts on quilting books published by AQS. And of course membership allows you to enter the annual quilt show.

    Please keep the ideas coming!

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    Registered User FarmerSue's Avatar
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    Now this is an area I know nothing about......Saving money while quilting!!!!!!!!!!!! I spend and spend in this area of my life.
    I guess I save a bit of money because I don't live any where near a city or quilt shop. I don't have a shop nearby that I can browse through often. Not even a hancocks or anything. That being said I buy fabric online which can get pricey. Ebay mostly. I wait for others to decide they will never use the fabric they bought and then I get it. Same goes for patterns. I also let my friends know if I'm looking for a certain piece of something. We have a saying that if we see a cute pattern or a must have book and our friend kim already bought it we say " don't worry, its in the family, so and so has it"

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    Quote Originally Posted by FarmerSue View Post
    Now this is an area I know nothing about......Saving money while quilting!!!!!!!!!!!! I spend and spend in this area of my life."
    Sue, it seems that many people around here feel that way. I was surprised when I first discovered this forum that there was no talk of saving money in the quilting forum. I expected the quilting area of a frugal forum to be mostly about that.

    I wouldn't be able to do my fabric art if I didn't get creative in finding supplies. I just wouldn't feel right taking any hobby "outside the budget" and spending whatever I wanted. But that's just me.

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    Registered User dwnloom's Avatar
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    Default saving to quilt

    I have found many bargains at the yard sales. I have also went to upholstery shops and asked for scraps - some times they give you bags for free, other times it is a bag for a couple of dollars. This material is great for making purses and crazy quilts. I also try to save all of the old blue jeans. Also, try the thrift stores.

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    Dawn, have you made any jean quilts yet? I made so many of those I lost count. Last year I decided to give what I had left to our nieces and nephews. I got a thank you note from one niece saying her daughter had claimed hers, so I may have to make one more. We actually sleep under ours in the winter.

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    Registered User monkeywrangler71's Avatar
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    I just made a denim quilt for my son (still have to tie it together). I got the denim from freecycle and used leftover bits of flannel and his old baby blankets to piece together for the back. This is the first quilt I've made on my own, it cost me nothing. Before, the only quilts I'd made were in classes and were all made from new material.

    As far as I can tell there are no fabric stores around here aside from Walmart, and I find them quite expensive. I posted a note on freecycle in the summer because I was looking for material to make summer clothes for my daughter, and I was given bags and bags of material - not remnants, but actual yardage.

    I also de-construct any old clothing that can no longer be used and save the buttons, zippers, elastic, binding, and fabric. I expect to use much of this fabric for quilting.

  13. #12

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    We tend to wear out clothes till there's not much left. I mean they are in such bad shape the homeless don't even want them. But I always make sure I at least cut off the buttons. Then I look for anything else that's interesting. Finally if there is any usable fabric left I may keep it. I do keep all my sewing scraps -- do a lot of quilting with those.

    I was surprised that I often find yardage sometimes 5 or 6 yards at garage sales. I followed our local freecycle forum for awhile, but we don't keep much around here that we don't use so it was hard to come up with something to offer.

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    I use old clothing for quilts. Men's 100% cotton shirts are often quite nice thick fabric. They may wear out on the collar, elbows and cuffs, but the rest of the fabric is fair game for quilting! I used my BIL's old shirts to make a string quilt for him and SIS.

    I've also used old blue jeans and made a couple of quilts from them and old cereal and rice bags (100% muslin) that a friend's mother saved. Even if the front of the blue jeans is toast, the back is usually okay.

    I've also bought at garage sales, and generally let it be known I'm collecting fabric for quilting.

    When I buy, I try not to spend more than $8/m. I found certain areas of the country you can get better fabric for cheaper. We just got back from a trip to PEI. The Bargain Fabric Outlet in North Bedeque (which is available on-line) sells Northcott fabric for $8/m. I picked up some half metres while there. Also, the Buy Rite in Montague has fabric for as little as $3.99/m, but you have to check the quality. Some is thinner than others. And you need to go there in person to get the deals.

    One of the reasons I've been leery about taking up quilting is the emphasis on buying new fabrics. I find some people are snobs about it in the group I used to attend. One reason why I quit going. I'm just not interested in wasting fabric or money.

    Jean

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    Registered User Cricketlegs's Avatar
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    Go to Goodwill for vests and ties. They make GREAT pieces for crazy quilting and the fabric is usually high quality. Especially the ties!

    Also, vests have buttons and laces that make great embellishments.

    Go at the end of the month when hanging garments go on sale, get them home and take them apart for your stash.

    Also. fishing tackle boxes the flat kind with the pop open lid make the PERFECT stackable storage for thread spools. I get them cheap at walmart.

    I also use plastic tool boxes for different projects. I just grab scissors, needles, thread, embellishments,pins, fabric markers, and binding clips and put them in it and cart them with me in the car so if I have a minute I can sew.

    Cost less than $5 a case.

    Don't buy books! Go to online sites and print the directions for a million quilts! I used to spend a ton on books--no more!

    Sharpen your rotary cutter with sandpaper and get a bit more usage out of it and then recycle the blade into your scrapbook rotary cutter. I use the same fiskers cutters for both crafts.

    spend the next hour cutting scraps into premeasured squares and toss them in a box. One day you can make a simple patch without having to start at the beginning.

    Don't throw away that bottom heavy peice of cardboard that comes in the computer box! Cover it in cotton batt and an old sheet, just tape the back up and presto you have a GREAT flat ironing serface for the top of your table.

    Make starter sewing kits for young girls for gifts. Add precut fabrics(your scraps) some pins, needles, scissors, and thread and invite her over and share the joy that quilting brings!

  16. #15
    Founder Sara Noel's Avatar
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    I'm not a quilter, but I think you could find inexpensive cotton tablecloths to use. I see vintage cloths that are stained in only a small section at garage sales and flea markets and they provide a lot of yardage and have wonderful colors and patterns.

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