Any advice on building a stash of good fabric with a limited budget? What type of fabrics should I spend on? Also templates! Where can I find them for cheaper than normal? All I have is a 5x20" june tailor rectangle ruler. It has lines for cutting triangles but I have no idea how to use it for that.
I built my stash as I worked on quilts. I also occasionally would buy 1-2yds of a fabric I like. I've been doing that for about 3 years and have a nice stash and have been able to use it with only a random purchase of more fabric for a project-like backing.
Joanne's with a coupon is a good place to get rulers etc. Some LQS have good prices on templates and are helpful in teaching how to use them.
my stash has mostly come from leftovers from quilts. look to freecycle in your area, to maybe come up with cotton fabrics.
i moderate a board in our area.
i think White fabric or White on white is always needed.
if i have a coupon for Joanns or hobby Lobby, i get a couple yards of "blender" fabrics.
i also try to cut small pieces of fabric leftovers into 2 or 3 " square pieces, and toss them in a box, for scrappy quilts to make at a later date...
I built up my stash from buying a little extra every time i made a quilt. Sometimes i but fabric just because i like it and save it til it "talks to me" Buy what you like and as much as you can comfortably afford. Your stash will grow and grow!!
There are some really good teaching videos on the page of this link.
One of them may be your ruler.
This is another link with lots of really good teaching videos.
Keep an eye out for garage sales and estate sales, look on craig's list, etc. Most of my stash has come from one woman who was DE-stashing! I got tons of fabric, books, magazines and batting for cheap cheap cheap! You can check out second hand stores like Salvation Army, or consignment stores. They sometimes have fabric, but you can also go to clothing! A bunch of xx-lg cozy flannel pj's will make a great rag quilt, men's cotton dress shirts, too. The bigger the better (more fabric!). I use flat bed sheets for backing and just pick up a couple when they're on for a good deal - MUCH cheaper AND it's plenty big enough so there's no piecing.
Also look for sales at your local craft/fabric stores, I never buy anything at my fabric store unless it's on sale (unless it's *very* important...which most stuff isn't lol). I also try to buy 1/2-1 yard (or more) extra every time I *do* buy for a project.
I buy from discount places, or the sale tables at LQS - a lot of people will say stuff like "I can only afford Walmart" - and if a particular piece of fabric at Walmart is GOOD QUALITY I will buy it IF the price is right - but why pay $5 a yard at wm for low quality fabric when you can get out-dated (last year's or the year before) of Kaufman, Marcus Brothers, Windham etc..
Whittle's, Marshall dry goods etc etc
I usually hunt for a "quilt" and get two yards of each of the fabrics that I'm deciding on - sometimes 3 yards of one of them for sashing or whatever... then I can use a solid or whatever out of my stash..
I got Tall Cotton solids yesterday at Marshall's for $1.99 a yard - it FEELS LIKE KONA solids - nice and heavy and soft... not see thru etc..
I got some Kaufman for $3.99 a yard - I also got some Kaufman at Hancocks on the markdown for $3.95 a yard...
No way shape or form would I pay $8 or better for a yard of fabric -
Before you buy a lot of rulers or stash, it helps to know what type of quilts and colours you like. I know that almost all quilt blocks that I make end up at 12 1/2". As a result a 12 1/2" ruler to square up my blocks before assembly is really useful. I also know that the components to make a 12 1/2" block often include 4 1/2" or 6 1/2"sections so I bought those sized rulers to help me square up blocks. You could use your 5 X 12 ruler but having the exact sized ruler really helped me. The biggest mistake in building my stash was in buying too many brightly coloured focus fabrics. If starting a stash, I would advise investing in blenders, tone on tones and "quieter" fabrics that will be needed in your quilts. Before I really quilted, I just didn't understand just how important these "boring fabrics" would be and just how much of this type of fabric you would need to complete a quilt. I also didn't realize that you need a selection of light colours to balance the deep intense tones that I favoured. Put the word out in your community that you are a quilter and you may be surprised at what "gifts" may come your way when family is cleaning out grandma's sewing room. I have been gifted with all sorts of fabric just because people know that I love to stitch. I was even given a couple of good sewing machines this way. Happy fabric and ruler collecting!
All excellent ideas!
bonnie has a great site, and she has loads of ideas for scrappy quilts..leaders and enders, while your making blocks, can create beautiful quilts!
one is a mens dress shirts, in plaids and stripes, all gotten from second had shops and free cycle or from some mans closet!
you could also go to the classified section here and request scraps for your stash, either to buy or you pay for postage!
i have sent quite a few boxes of scraps to people here!
do you want some,? i can toss you a flat rate envie full of some scraps!
they sell alot of fabric here cheap..!
Some great ideas on where to get stash. thanks.