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Thread: Be Honest Please - Quilting: love it. Should I quit while I am ahead?

  1. #1
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    Be Honest Please - Quilting: love it. Should I quit while I am ahead?

    Hello. You all are great. So much information here! I have been on this board so much the past few weeks. I mentioned that I was starting to quilt on a widow/widower's board, and one of the members referred me here. You may know him. He was married to Adrian'smom (I think that is it?). You all made he and his son the most beautiful memory quilts when she passed... For this alone I am forever thankful to all of you. (I have also looked up some of her work... fantastic!).

    So here is my question. I live off disability in Boston. My funds are quite limited. I stumbled into a free quilting class with materials included (how cool is THAT). Note my computer will now only type in italic - huh...

    So I am hooked! Love quilting. I am disabled, so it gives me something i can do most days that I don't feel well enough to do "other things". I am so excited to learn and try. BUT...

    The expense seems astronomical. I made the lap top quilt in my class for free (the backing is a bit too small = 1 inch - maybe a label there???). I bought a bunch of christmas fabrics (1/4 yard) at joann's and made the missouri star christmas tree skirt (top only). The fabrics were under $3 a yard. I am now doing the Craftsy BOM 2012 (see how afraid i am of the quilting part???). I got all my fabric at a discount store in Chinatown (lucky) for $3/yard). I have 8 squares done - need to do more. I bought all the mateiral at a discount store in Boston that was selling their $5/yard at $3/yard. May be cheap, may suck. I don't care!!! I am learning.

    So my question is this: Do I quit now??? I don't have several hundred dollars a month to throw into this. Should I really just quit?

    Second question: If I don't quit, how in the H E double hockey stick do I learn to FMQ??? (Don't actually answer this part. I bought Leah Day's Craftsy class. Relying on her).

    Third question: What do I really "need"? I now have a Brother XR 1300 (?) from Costco (christmas/birthday present). I have a cutting mat, rotary cutter and 6.5x24 ruler (Joann's, 1/2 off!!!).

    I got a 12.5x12.5 ruler for xmas - for my Craftsy top .



    Now I feel like I need gloves, a slider, bobbin washers (whatever those may be). I just don't know...

    BTW - I also took a free class on Cathedral Windows. Got a bolt of muslin at 1/2 off at Joann's. My nephew saw the start of this quilt and said he would like one "5'x7'" When could that be done??? Also, he is very kind and offered to sell my quilts, with a 95/5 split - 95% for HIM and 5% for ME. What an angel!!! LOL

    Seriously - should I just quit while I am ahead???

    P.S. Got the cutest little gadget holder at GW today for $2.99. No fabric there, but plenty of stuff (CD racks, etc).


  2. #2
    Super Member Crqltr's Avatar
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    I quilt my own quilts and don't use all the extra stuff...sounds like you have the set up needed. You can add other stuff as you learn. Sounds like you are pretty good about finding sale fabric...I say keep up the good work!

  3. #3
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    I forgot to add - which is most awesome and life-affirming!!! I got a care package from a board member. SO MANY FABRICS!!! and other items. and love... How could you ask for more than that??? Thank you special friend. I am forever in your debt!!!

    P.S. I hope you don't mind, but I opened my gift at a homeless shelter. I let each sewer there (4 total) pick her favorite and keep it. (Except the hearts!!! I kept the hearts separate!!!). So many tears shed. So much love shared. You have no idea..

  4. #4
    Super Member JulieR's Avatar
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    No quitting! Fabric can get pretty expensive, but you can be clever about where you find it. A good deal of my stash came from Craigslist at HUGE price cuts. If you are patient and willing to work for it there are always deals to be had.

    As for what you "need" to quilt, well, the list of what you already have looks pretty good to me! Maybe some needle and thread if you plan to hand-bind? DO NOT buy gadgets at this point; if you choose a quilt that "needs" a gadget then come back here and someone can show you how to get the same effect without it.

    Quilting can be very spendy, but you can be economical about it. If nothing else, try a hand-pieced or hand-quilted project to slow you down a little

  5. #5
    Power Poster lynnie's Avatar
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    People will always give you fabs. I do my own quiktuling by hand. Dont give it up.
    You'll find fabs will come to you.
    give linus a bit. They send you fabs and you can make for them.
    Last edited by lynnie; 12-31-2012 at 02:33 PM. Reason: add

  6. #6
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like you are hooked on quilting!! I think you have the basics that you can do most of the simpler quilts with. Many of our members here have good luck at thrift stores either buying fabric or men's shirts for the fabric. Many members here also sell on our board fabrics for cheaper than in the stores. For patterns browse www.quilterscache.com. It is a free site. Also another good place for ideas and free patterns is http://quilting.about.com. Have fun!
    Have a great day sewing and remember to "not sweat the small stuff"!!



  7. #7
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    Now is NOT the time to quit. It sounds like you really love what you are doing. Take it in small steps and get what you need as you can afford to buy it. I don't have a lot of the tools that others may have and I can't afford very much fabric at one time either. Ifit is the quilting that you like, you might consider doing some for charity. Quilters on the board here have mentioned charities that will send you kits to make up and return to them. You might want to check into that. If your nephew wants a quilt, maybe he could help you with the cost of the things you will need for it. You could try thrift shops for fabric and even some clothes are suitable for repurposing. There are many ways to continue to quilt without a lot of expense all at one time. I wish you many years of quilting.

  8. #8
    Senior Member sewplease's Avatar
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    Bonnie Hunter at www.quiltville.com has an extensive amount of FREE scrappy quilt patterns. You don't need a lot of yardage of any one fabric to make absolutely beautiful quilts from them. A strip or two plus other strips of like or other colors will eventually add up to enough to make gorgeous quilts. Check her out! :-)

  9. #9
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    If you really enjoy quilting then please don't quit. I also am on limited funds. buy the best quality fabric you can afford. Goodwill and Salvation Army and other thrift stores are great places to shop. I know a lot of people think that you have to use 100% cotton....but I also use some poly/cotton blends. I try to use a blend with as much cotton as possible. Bed ruffles are great a lot of them are polyester for the part that lays on the springs but the ruffle part is cotton. There is a lot a fabric in those ruffles! Good quality, gently used cotton clothing is great. You seem to have the most important and basic items so if you enjoy then continue to enjoy. Ask for gift certificates from fabric stores for birthdays etc. We can always come up with something for our quilting needs. Like a flannel back table cloth or old flannel sheet from thrift store for a design board. You might have to think outside the box to make do but that can also be fun and just think of how proud you will be when you come up with a nifty idea! I say "go for it"!

  10. #10
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    I wanted to answer your question--should you quit? My answer is NO. You have a great beginning and will gradually build up your stash. It sounds like you have a knack for finding things on sale. Another suggestion, do you have a Salvation Army or Good Will store near you? Sometimes you can find fabric, clothing that has not been worn, and sheets all for a very small price--translation yardage for a very little money. Keep reading here and everyone always know of a sale--plus JoAnn's coupons are great--half off yardage isn't too bad. By the way, your nephew had it turned around 5% for him and 95 % for you.
    Sue








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  11. #11
    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    And (shhh... don't tell the quilt police), you can go to Good Will or Value Village (or whatever equivalent you have in your town) and buy used flat sheets to use as backing. Try to find 100% cotton ones. The kicker is the batting-- it's not cheap, but look for it on sale. I've heard some people use old blankets for batting, but I'm not so sure I'd do that. And get on Joann's email list for coupons. Best to you.
    jillaine

  12. #12
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    Instead of quiting go to GoodWill, Salvation Army and other thrift and used clothing stores; find 100% cotton fabric in men and women's shirts, dresses, skirts, slacks, children's clothes, cut them apart and use for quilting fabric you will find wonderful colors and paterns. You can use top sheets of 100% cotton for backing.

    I learned to quilt over 60 years ago, grew up very, very poor; we made quilts out of anything we could find, scraps from dresses and shirts sewn by us and if someone gave us used clothing we quilted that also. Some of it you had to wash before you used it, but was well worth it. We also bought chicken, hog feed and flour and meal in cloth sacks for the fabric in them. I had flour sack (the white ones) for underwear and thought everyone had panties that had ink on them that said SteamBoat Mills. The pretty feed sacks (they were larger than flour sack) was made into clothes.

    As for gadgets, I have several I wish I had saved my money on; they are put away so I won't fuss about buying them. I would try to get the best scissors I could afford as they are an important part of your tools. You can also shop Walmart for fabric, since they have put back their fabric dept they have some good fabric.

    Enjoy this wonderful addiction that a lot of us share.

    delma

  13. #13
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    Oh, wait for Joann's 1/2 off sale to buy batting.

  14. #14
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    I want to say you need to keep quilting. As for batting. Joann's has it on sale quite often and next weekend they have an additional 25% off total purchase. Check their web site. You may be able to find the coupons.

  15. #15
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    I've just started in the forum today and found your post. I really don't think you should quit at all! Quilting really does not need to be expensive. There are so many gadgets out there and honestly, some of them are handy and others are just gadgets! I always keep in mind the women of old who quilted with poor lighting, very little fabrics on hand and turned out some beautiful quilts with very little. Keep things simple for now and keep finding those great deals you are so good at. You can find fabrics from old clothes in thrift shops and use those for quilting. There are also good deals out there on fabrics from some online fabric companies.
    Good luck to you and keep on quilting!
    "Stitch your stress away" ~ Author Unknown ~
    www.simplypiecefulquilting.com

  16. #16
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
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    I understand what it is like being disabled. I haven't been able to work in over a year, and since my problem is progressive, it looks like I never will be back to work. Quilting has saved my life...there have been times that I was so down, and it gave me a reasonm to get out of bed. I realize it can get expensive, but watch the coupons, and check the thrift shops..You wouldn't believe the fabric finds there--or clothes that can get cut up cheaply for the fabric (garage sales too) I save a bit too by using sheets for backings...and sometimes in the tops. You seem to have enough to get started. I don't buy anything unless I have a direct immediate need for it. Keep us up to date as you progress--you are one of us now!! LOL

  17. #17
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
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    P.S.--I have used cheap fleece blankets for batting that I bought in thrift shops for about a dollar...Worked great ans was warm...Sometimes I get as much of a thrill by finding the great deals as I do quilting!!

  18. #18
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    I like the 'quilting' part of quilting more than piecing. My guild always has TONS of quilt tops that need to be quilted, so I try to do 3-4 a month. That means free materials, and lots of quilting time.

  19. #19
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    Have you joined a quild yet? My last guild supplied kits to members for making charity quilts. All the fabric and often the batting was provided and I just had to piece, quilt & bind and then return to the quild for distribution to the charity. I was gonna suggest Quilts for Kids but I see they aren't shipping kits right now as they've exceeded their shipping budget.
    http://www.thingsthatarenotperfect.blogspot.com/

  20. #20
    Senior Member RonieM's Avatar
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    If you love it, don't give it up!! Quilting is my therapy and I would never want to give it up. I am in the process of doing some cleaning in my sewing room (again). I would love to send you some fabric to help you continue your love of quilting. Please send me a PM with your address.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Dedemac's Avatar
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    Quitting is not an option. I am new to quilting and on a tight budget also. You can find fabric in unique places, I saw a quilt made from old clothes. I also found a set a work gloves for gardening at Home Depot for $1.50 that work great for working with fabric. Just keep your eyes open and look outside the box.


  22. #22
    Senior Member MissSongbird's Avatar
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    Don't quit! Quilt! We are sort of in a similar boat...sorta. I'm a college student so my funds are extremely limited.

    So I shop at joanns and hancock fabrics where I can get fabric cheaper, because it is on sale or I have a coupon (I have been looked down on because of this, but I don't care). I try not to buy all my fabric at once. I slowly collect fabric so it's not such a shock to my wallet. And I get my almost all of my patterns free from the internet, handouts at my local quilt shop, or from books at the library.

    But as far as free motion quilting goes...I can't help you there. I just found a way to quilt (with a walking foot) on my very crappy, basic machine that always seems to be inches from death. My machine just can't do it. All I can suggest is make a lot of quilting friends who will either teach you some things or maybe let you borrow a machine for a week. That's may be stretch...but maybe not. That's about all I can tell you.


    Good luck with your future endeavors!

  23. #23
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    You got a good set up. Eventhough there is a lot of great stuff out there and I own tons of it after 10 yrs all you need for machine quilting is a straihgt stich machine to piece and most likely with some help you can even free motion on it. I own a good amount of nicer fabric from fabric stores but I also look for people who are getting rid of fabric and will buy it from them. I have three friends that only use used clothing they buy at resale stores on $1 days. I would not quit. Take some time and be sure to budget so you do not put yourself in a pickle financially. Definitely look into scrap quilting. Sometimes people give fabric away on thisd board also but you will still need to pay for shipping unless they live in your area. I have bought large boxes for $5 to 20 from people in my area. It is all out of date fabric and needs a good wash but it is fabric and I am making quilts and having fun.

    My DD is a young mom and she put on Face Book that she was looking for jeans. People responded and she got bags full that she makes place mats, aprons and quilts with.Maybe all you need to do is to let people around you know. I don't know where you live but maybe some one on the board can help you with free motion etc.

    As for quilting gloves I have several friends that went to the 99 cent store and got gardening gloves they use for quilting.
    Last edited by Annaquilts; 12-31-2012 at 04:26 PM.
    Anna Quilts

  24. #24
    Super Member luvstoquilt's Avatar
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    Don't quit..you can find a lot of bargains and I am sure you will "fall into" some more free fabric as well. Hit garage sales and church sales..great place to find good fabric for almost nothing. I got a lot of patterns free at "McCallsquilting.com" when I first started. Sounds like you really do enjoy this crazy hobby. I have hand quilted several and love how they turn out.
    "You must do the thing you think you cannot do"....E. Roosevelt

    Sharon
    Yorkville, IL

  25. #25
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    There are many resources for fabric... look to relatives for clothing they want to discard. Often once "word" gets out you are looking for fabric.. it just starts coming. If you have a church you attend post a notice that you are looking for fabric. even the ugly fabric can contribute to a beatuiful quilt if you use small enough pieces.
    Don't quit.... just get word out you are looking for fabric.. perhaps on freecycle in your area or even Craigs List. It would also help to find a quilting buddy to get you over the methods which you may be unfamiliar .

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