For frugal quilting, join a guild
- Local quilt guild members swap and share tips, scraps, patterns, projects and friendship.
- —Guest jlh8S4N5m
- I on occassion buy bed sheets sets on sale to make a quilt. If you do not need many colors this is the way to go. Many times the stores have a clearance area for single bed sheets for 5 dollars with pillowcase, etc and is cheaper than buying fabric by the yard or metre.
T-shirt Quilt scraps
- When I made t-shirt quilts for my sons, I cut the remaining scraps into rag sized squares and donated them to our animal shelter. They were glad to get them for cleaning cages, etc.
- —Guest Marie
Frugal Quilting Tip
- I am a Thrift Store "junkey." There are quite a few quilters now and at times there is not any good cotton pieces at the thrift stores, but I am always finding something I can use. Last week I bought 4 valances that have a nice farm scene and looked like they were never used. They were lined with the same. fabric, so I ended up with a lot of fabric from them that I am making a quilt out of. I don't buy anything that looks like it may have worn spots, but some sheets, etc. are fairly new and can be used for quilts also. I am just naturally frugal, so this is just one of my tips.
- —Guest martsizemo
- Except for material for backing quilts, I seldom look at the displayed fabric in stores. I check out the remnants. Sure they are all under a yard at Jo-Ann's, but they are cheaper than FQ (I never buy them). They are usually half price the regular and if the piece happens to be fabric that is on sale that week, you will get it at half the sale price! This usually won't be marked, but will ring up when you check out. This can mean getting fabric for up to 75% off the regular price. Occasionally they have clearance sales on bolt fabric at 75% off and I have gotten fabric for backing quilts. Buy mainly what you need and secondly what you like. It was years before I used one of those clearance fabric in a quilt, but when the right quilt came along, I had fabric for the back and the background. I think I bought 8 yd. If there is a little more on a bolt than you want, they may give you the extra at a reduced price because it will just end up a remnant anyway. it might be just what you need
More frugal tips
- Instead of fabric sheets which are dangerous, try newspapers and old phone books. Their pages are very tearable after sewing. You only need to open and let them age for one week. Something to do with the ink. But I've made newspaper backed fabric and nothing rubbed off on fabric at all. Another tip: Patronize thrift stores for bed falls. Many out there with pretty fabric, and cotton to boot. The platform is usually polyester/cotton and fall is cotton. With just a little washing and dis-assembly you have oodles of fabric to use. Quite a stash builder! (Note from Janet: I'm not sure what a bed fall is - is it what I think of as a bed skirt?)
- —Guest Nancy Sinha
- When I was first learning to quilt, my sister gave me a "cheater panel." I put together two... yes, two... pieces of thin poly batting, then, because it didn't seem quite "thick" enough, I added another layer of an old quilted mattress pad. Fortunately, my sewing machine loved to sew on heavy fabric (using the longest stitch length) so quilting in the ditch wasn't a problem. She used it as a picnic blanket, playing with her dolls on the lawn and no sticks or stones came through the quilt. She still has the quilt, even though it is over 25 years old. Now I know the multiple layers were over-kill, but it was a definite learning experience. The quilt was not a failure, but a "happy accident".
- —Guest MargeDabrow
uses for serger drippings
- You know those slender strips of fabric that spool off your the cutter on your serger. Sometimes I couch them down onto a crazy quilt or for a off kilter touch on a quilt top. I have a couching foot that makes it a very easy application. The drippings fray very little in the wash and make a wonderful raggedy accent to bags and table runners. Wider strips can be made into fringe, braided for cording. Finer drips can be used for stuffing small projects like pincushions and softies. Drips up to a half an inch wide can be cut into 5" pieces and tied to a thrifted embroidery hoop along with scraps of rickrack, lace, or bias tape for door wreath. Embellish it with buttons salvaged from discarded clothing. It makes a wonderful piece of thrifty home decor.
- —Guest kellen46
Source for free fabric patches
- Don't worry about the paper on the back of the fabric, just tear off what comes easily and leave the rest in place. Once you are finished with the quilt, wash it and the paper will just melt inside the sandwich and not be noticeable. I have made lots of quilts with these patches. I just sew them together in long strips and then into a quilt block. You don't need batting, as it would be too heavy. I just back with flannel, bind and use it as a great utility quilt. I love those old wallpaper books, free fabric and great paper for crafting. I find all sorts of uses from cards to book binding and even use some for collage furniture. Such fun!
- —Guest kellen46
Sticky Goo On Your Ironing Board Cover?
- If you accidentally get some 'sticky stuff' on your ironing board cover (from stabilizers or applique) put a dryer sheet on it and iron it a few times. it will remove all the sticky parts. I cut all the paper that results from printing 'errors' into different sized pieces. Then I use them to label the parts of a quilt while I'm cutting them or the stack of blocks as they're finished. The bigger pieces make nice shopping lists. I also pin one on new fabric with any information I want on it, ie: size, washed, name of project I bought it for. Sometimes I take the zippered plastic bag from bedding & put all the fabrics for a project with the pattern in it. That way, it's all together when I'm ready for it.
- —Guest Sandra
Frugal Fabric Finds
- I live in Massachusetts and we have the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell. Quilters often donate fabrics and occasionally they have a brown bag sale - they pick a date and put all the fabrics on tables and people can bring a bag and for $25 they can pick as many fabrics as they can put in their bag. The money goes to the upkeep of and projects sponsored by the musuem. This would also be a good idea for a guild or group of friends - they could sponsor a fabric swap meet and donate the money or fabrics to their guild or local shelter or other project.
- —Guest Lesley
Using Frugal Muslin
- All the quilts I 'knew' as a child were muslin backed. It's usually less expensive than other fabrics and comes in a wider width, so piecing the backing isn't needed. I use it as a neutral in quilts tops, too.
- I shop at thrift shops. I have a thing for 60's fabric. I guess I kind of follow after Bonnie Hunter's idea: buying large size men's shirts made of 100% cotton to use in the scrap quilts, potholders, placemats, and coasters. It is such great fun. Plus I use 100% cotton sheets from thrift stores for foundation pieces for string/spider quilts
Hang Your Thread
- I go to the local hardware store and buy a piece of wood, lets say 18 x 24, but it can be whatever length or width. I buy long nails and nail them at a slant and hang all my spools of thread. You can paint the wood or use fabric to cover the wood before driving in the nails and match your sewing room, if you want. And then nail it to the wall or use hanger wire in the back of the wood.
Dryer Sheets & Other Tips
- I held a dryer sheet over the sink and held a match to it and it is very flammable. Also, I wouldn't use sheets for backing as a needle doesn't go in easy enough. I use old sheets sewn on old bed pads in my RV as it makes a pad and sheet in one. I'm 75 years old learning computer skills, and have been quilting a little and tole painting for 40 years. I joined local quilting guild 2 years ago and it is a bargain for the lessons, show and tell and friends with the same interest.
- —Guest shirley