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Thread: FMQ Practice - Batting and fabric is expensive, alternatives?

  1. #1
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    FMQ Practice - Batting and fabric is expensive, alternatives?

    As much as I'd like to practice FMQ, I find that it doesn't work the greatest with only 2 layers of cotton, and batting is expensive. What can I use for an inside layer that won't completely break the bank, so I'll practice more? I keep falling back to swirlies, because I don't practice enough.

    I'd initially thought I'd just throw an extra layer of fabric over the used pieces, but found that the needle, and the machine didn't want to pierce the dense spots...

    Also, if one doesn't have a huge stash, what's recommended for top fabric for practicing? I found some $5/m (39") clearance fabric, and have been using that, but it feels really wasteful...
    Tammi - I've found that many baby steps tend to get you further than a huge leap in followed by a huge leap out - http://www.archaicarcane.com
    Singer 411G, 301A, 2x 221 (featherweight), 222k - the holy grail, 99-, 15-90 Centennial, 27, VS2, 28 hc, 128 knee bar, 201-2, Pfaff 130-6. Non-Vintage - Pfaff 6122, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81595 serger, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81155, 2013 APQS Lucey

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    Super Member nanacc's Avatar
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    I have used old mattress pads, thrift store blankets, old fleece sweatshirts! Hit the thrift shops! I have seen many fabrics at different sites online for less than $5/yd. Also, old cotton sheets or discount store sheets are some of my choices.

  3. #3
    Senior Member SlightlyOffQuilter's Avatar
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    Hit up the local thrift stores and goodwill for cotton sheets and those cheap fleece throw blankets. I stocked up on the fleece throws at our local CVS Pharmacy after christmas they had them on sale for 2 dollars a piece, and not only are they perfect for practice, they make amazing batting for light weight lap quilts that I make for the nursing home !

  4. #4
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    check thrift stores for inexpensive-worn blankets, mattress pads, fleece...also, check with 'quilting friends' and area long arm quilters- sometimes they have scrap batting laying around they are willing to part with- it Is easy to piece batting (butt the edges & stitch a wide zigzag) for me batting scraps multiply like fabric scraps---I always have a large garbage bag full, and willing to give pieces to anyone who asks- as for inexpensive practice fabric- check places like Joanne's for $1-$2 a yard muslin...and it doesn't need to be (wasteful) if you do something with the practice pieces...some things we have done with practice quilts over the years----bound the edges- gave them to the kids with fabric markers to decorate-color- they then kept them to use for picnic quilts, play outside quilts, build forts quilts. zigzag the edges (or apply a machine binding) and donate to the area animal shelter- donate to the local pre-school (and/or) daycare to use for nap mats, .... all kinds of things to do with those practice pieces---some of them turn out to be pretty useful- masterpieces (in someone's eye)
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  5. #5
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    How about using water solvable thread in the bobbin when you quilt your sandwich? You could quilt up a storm, mist it with water and let the sandwich dry and use it again. Water solvable thread is a bit pricey but a lot cheaper than making new sandwiches.

  6. #6
    dd
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    Super Member dd's Avatar
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    Those practice quilts could be donated to an animal shelter or hospital. They are always in need of fur baby bedding.
    Blessed are the quilters, for they are the piecemakers.

  7. #7
    Senior Member GemState's Avatar
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    You can get extra use out of your practice sandwich by changing thread color. It looks kind of messy, but the different color lets you try something else over what you have done before.

  8. #8
    Super Member Murphy1's Avatar
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    When I first started fmq I practiced by making and quilting pot holders. That is a great use of scrappy batting pieces too.
    Murphy1
    For our wonderful Golden Retriever adopted in March of 2010.

  9. #9
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy1 View Post
    When I first started fmq I practiced by making and quilting pot holders. That is a great use of scrappy batting pieces too.
    ... or how about placemats? or market bags? or ??

    Turn your practice work into something practical and usable.

    While it's nice to find other options to use, ... just as you found that overlaying with new cotton for a clean slate on top doesn't work, it's best to learn and practice by using similar the types of fabrics and battings you will be using for "real".
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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  10. #10
    Super Member willferg's Avatar
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    I wish you were closer, I'd give all my charity quilts to quilt, and I'd supply everything plus gratitude for your efforts. Maybe check in your area to see if you can help charity quilters by offering to quilt...

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