Posts Tagged ‘cheap’

According to the documentary, “Stitched,” quilters spend more annually on our hobby than hunters and fishermen combined. It’s a big industry but that doesn’t mean you have to be rich to quilt. Here are some tips to getcha started if you’d like to sew and spend a bit less on it. 

1) Don’t Waste Anything! Batting scraps can be pieced together using a zig-zag stitch. Pieced backings are beautiful. Learn to use small pieces and find scrappy designs that you like. Pattern calls for 3 yards of one red? Substitute 12 red fat quarters. 

2) Shop Smart! Be on the lookout for sales and use coupons. Ask about guild discounts at local quilt shops. Great deals can be found at shows and during quilt runs. There are often discounts offered during classes and at retreats. Buy a machine with only the features you’ll actually use. Why pay extra for embroidery and free-motion quilting accessories if you won’t use them? A barebones machine may be the best deal if you mostly piece. Harbor Freight (a hardware store) sells “carpet cutter blades” that fit into a 45mm rotary cutter. They’re only 2 for $1.79….. waaaay cheaper than the ones for quilters. 

Don’t skimp on an iron or pins. Get a decent iron that actually gets and stays hot. Yes, this one I’ve learned from personal experience. Cheap pins snag the fabric and make holes. Skip the dollar store ones and have ’em slide through like they are supposed to. 

3) Ask for help. Yes, this is frugal, not mooching… if done with the right intentions. See, there comes a point when you won’t use certain types of materials anymore and will spring for the better stuff. If you’re not there yet, let your friends know. Many would much rather give it to you than drop it off at Goodwill. I have some things that I love to get as cast-offs like serger thread and small scraps… but I no longer will use polyester batting. Many of my quilting buddies have started “Megan Bags” to put their scraps in. They’re happy to see me use what would have been wasted. 

4) Pay it forward. It’s important to give. This is mostly an attitude thing. Thank-yous go a long way. I don’t have materials to pass on right now but I have other ways to give. Help someone choose fabrics for their quilt, compliment someone’s show-and-share project, befriend a new quilter, volunteer to help your guild, or  share some wisdom you’ve picked up along the way. 


Read Full Post »