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Thread: Looking for suggestions

  1. #1
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    Looking for suggestions

    Hello from mid Missouri! Growing up, I began to learn quilting from my great grandmother. unfortunately she passed away when I was about 14, and I eventually moved on to learning other things. But now at the ripe age of 50, I have decided to give a go at quilting again! With my situation, (single income household, no children, but hubby and I are helping a family member going through a tough time, which equals an extra mouth to feed), our budget is extremely tight, Some weeks, I do a joy dance when we have an extra 5$ left over lol. What is a good way to start building my fabric stash? I know we have a couple of local quilter shops, but yeah, I mainly just go in and sigh wistfully as even their clearance prices are way out of my budget. I've looked at walmart, and some of the fabrics there are sort of doable, but mainly looking for ways to build a stash without a big outlay of cash. Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Super Member PamelaOry's Avatar
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    We have a local consignment thrift store and sometimes I can find fabric there for sale cheap. Other thrift stores too often have a fabric area and also sometimes get in unfinished projects as well.

  3. #3
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    Welcome from Ontario, Canada. Go to Bonnie Hunter's website quiltville.blogspot.ca and watch her video on how to debone cotton thrift store shirts for quilting cotton fabric. She also has a lot of free patterns under her pattern tab.

  4. #4
    Evy
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    Welcome from Camdenton, MO. You will be surprised how quickly your stash grows when you start sewing. Thrift shops or Goodwill/Salvation Army type stores often have quilt scraps.

  5. #5
    Super Member bjchad's Avatar
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    Also look out for remnants at various fabric stores. Over the course of a few visits you can gather enough at reduced prices to make a great quilt.

  6. #6
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    Check to see if there is a local guild in your area- or sewing group. Quilters are very generous folks, chances are someone will be willing to take you under their wing and help you along. Our sewing group members often bring in boxes/ bags of fabrics they no longer want for anyone who wants any of them we also share- give away books, magazines, patterns. We recently had one member who’s sister is no longer able to sew- she sent up 15 large totes of fabric to give away. When they were brought in we were told- take what you want- any that’s left is just going to goodwill.
    Also, check the listings here on the board- often someone is trying to get rid of stash / scraps
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  7. #7
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    Also check yard sales for both fabric and clothing that can be deboned for yardage. Welcome from Tennessee

  8. #8
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    Welcome from North Carolina. I wish you lived here. I'd give you a bale of scraps! The advise here is excellent. You'll have a stash in no time. Thrift shops, attic and yard sales, church rummage sales, people who sew,...

  9. #9
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    My advice is not to try to build a stash. It will grow with every quilt you make. Go to consignment and thrift stores and check out the clothes, not as clothes but as fabric. You will be amazed at the beautiful patterns that are available. Just stay away from polyesters and knits. You might also like to check out a few of the big name quilters that specialize in reusing fabrics, Bonnie Hunter is the one I can think of right now, I am sure there are others.

  10. #10
    Super Member luvstoquilt's Avatar
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    Garage sales, church sales and estate sales are good spots to look. When I was starting I went to a yard sale and I didn't see anything I wanted. The lady having the sale asked me what I was looking to find. I to,d her I was a quilter and was searching for fabric. She asked me to wait a minute and she came back with bags and totes full. It was her late mother's stash. I got several battings and nice fabric for $10. I learned that day to tell the seller what I was looking for! Good luck!
    "You must do the thing you think you cannot do"....E. Roosevelt

    Sharon
    Yorkville, IL

  11. #11
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    I agree about joining a club or guild. We donated 2 laundry baskets full to a new quilter and she's making Scrappy lovely quilts. But it took her a while to organize them, so I agree with suggesting that you take your time and the stash will come.

  12. #12
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    Welcome from NJ. I agree with the thrift store suggestions. There is another member her who is local to me who has built quite a stash from thrift stores/yardsales. Also see if you have a 'freecycle' area close to you.

    I also agree with the suggestion to not build a stash. Your tastes will likely change over time and then where do you put it or what are you going to do with it. I buy for projects only. I do (usually) over-buy for each project and would then easily have a stash. Since I'm not really a scrappy quilter, I usually end up giving those chunks of fabric away unless they are large enough for me to do something small with. Just a suggestion and enjoy your new hobby!

  13. #13
    Power Poster Boston1954's Avatar
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    I sent you a PM.
    Life is not a movie. No one is going to yell "CUT" when you make a mistake. - Anne L. Fulton

    I am from the South....39 miles south of Boston.

  14. #14
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    Any thrift stores or goodwill shops have a section for fabrics that you may be interested in and look at the clothing there to see if any blouses or men's shirts are in your budget. Also, I have found "started projects" or bags of scraps at garage sales and estate sales. There is a section on this QB for "fabrics for sale" too. What colors of fabrics are you looking for? I agree with the members on here that if you go to a quilt guild that will help you out too to build your stash. Please keep us posted as to what colors you would like or size of blocks. I can look in my stash and send you something also. Just let me know.

  15. #15
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    Thanks everyone for the great suggestions so far. Will definitely be checking out my local goodwill! As far as the pros and cons of building a stash, unlike alot of people, I haven't met a color or pattern that I didn't like...except maybe neons..not overly fond of those. But I love all kinds of florals, and prints...pastels...bright colors. As far as size....hmm. I've been looking into making one of the "jelly roll race" type quilts, they just look so fun, and even if you used the same fabrics, each one would be unique, and so many ways to play around with it by varying the length of the strips or even the width! I've always marched to a different drum, and I want my quilts to reflect that in the way colors and patterns go in together, if that makes any sense. I don;t plan on showing or selling my quilts, but giving them to friends or family as gifts to just say, "Hey, I love you", ya know?

  16. #16
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    I try not to have too much stash due to $$$$$. I buy all the fabric to make the quilt. There is usually some left over so that becomes stash. Check Hobby Lobby (in your area or on line) their fabric is pretty nice and is usually 30% off.

    Also if you just feel like sewing and want to learn check to see if there is a church group in the area that makes quilts. They can always use extra hands and may have extra fabric. At least you can sew, learn, socialize and do good!
    "In the crazy quilt of life, I'm glad you are in my block of friends."

  17. #17
    Senior Member Quiltlady330's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvstoquilt View Post
    Garage sales, church sales and estate sales are good spots to look. When I was starting I went to a yard sale and I didn't see anything I wanted. The lady having the sale asked me what I was looking to find. I to,d her I was a quilter and was searching for fabric. She asked me to wait a minute and she came back with bags and totes full. It was her late mother's stash. I got several battings and nice fabric for $10. I learned that day to tell the seller what I was looking for! Good luck!
    Some of the prettiest fabric I've gotten has been from ladies who have quit quilting and are giving it away. Also, anytime you can go to an estate sale or garage sale from someone who has passed away the chances are good that they will have fabric and sometimes even unfinished quilt tops that you can finish. These are a great way to hone your skills in quilting. I agree that you should let people know what you're looking for. Quilters are so generous.

  18. #18
    Senior Member mhollifiel's Avatar
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    Look in your own closet for 100% cotton clothing you aren't using. In addition, remember that 100% cotton sheets, some curtains, some shower curtains in good shape are also suitable quilting fabric sources in thrift shops (and at home) as well as men's shirts. Look for long sleeved larger sizes for the best bang for your buck. Thrift stores also run specials. I really enjoy recycling these type of fabrics into quilts like our grandmothers (and grandfathers) made. It's kind of neat to be quilting "green" and keeping those fabrics out of landfills while turning them into something warm and comfy.

  19. #19
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    I also agree with not building a stash. When I first started quilting, I wanted to build a stash. I spent about $75.00 at an estate sale about 3 years ago. I got a huge amount of fabric. We're talking 100 yards of fabric, easily + 2 precut quilt kits. I liked most of it and thought it would do well for scrappy quilts.

    However, I've personally used almost none of it. I've given some away. I've given some for postage. I've used it for the quilting kids' class where I volunteer, but none of it for myself that I can think of. It's all good fabric, not necessarily coordinated, though. Also, I haven't made a scrappy quilt.

    Instead of building a stash, I would consider deciding on a quilt. You said Jelly Roll Race. Start looking for fabric to make that quilt. You'll need fabric for the top, batting, binding and a backing. If the budget is very limited, you may have to piece the back as well.

    I've found my best deals at estate sales. I've subscribed to estatesales.net. I'm not sure it is active where you are, but they advertise estate sales on craig's list as well. You are most likely to find usable fabric where you find sewing machines and quilts. So, I use those as search terms. I don't buy much fabric anymore (any hopefully, no more old sewing machines), unless it's big enough to be a backing or just some small pieces of fabric in colors that I might use in a block lotto. However, I've gotten really inexpensive rulers and patterns as well as finished tops and squares, which I enjoy. I've never gotten any batting, though.

    bkay
    Last edited by bkay; 04-30-2018 at 07:17 AM. Reason: spelling

  20. #20
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    Check out the thrift shops. Not only can you find cotton clothing to cut up, but they often have fabric donated. Also, use sheets for backing ( the inexpensive sheets with lower thread counts are actually easier to quilt). I have used flannel (buying a large flannel sheet is pretty cheap) instead of batting in small throws and inexpensive clearance thin blankets (from a discount outlet). I recently made a throw out of men's shirts cut up - very different and kind of fun. Try using these options and use whatever money you have for that 'special' piece as your focal fabric. And, watch the sales and coupons. I sell my throws size quilts but only because I rarely pay more than $4 per yard (and often less) on the fabric. And please keep in mind, the person receiving your gift is going to be thrilled that you spent your time making them the quilt (or placemats or table runner), they are not going to be checking on how much you spent.

  21. #21
    Senior Member janjanq's Avatar
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    Have you ever tried fabshophop? You go to various online quilt shops and look for a bunny logo and click on it. There are about 75 different shops and if you find all the bunnies you get put in a drawing for prizes, ranging from $10 gift certificates to $500 fabric packages or sewing machines. Several hundred people win each month. I do it every month and usually win 5 or six times a year or about $100 free fabric per year. I know it's not that much but it's fun and free and who knows, you might win a lot more than that. Last month I used my $10 gift certificate to buy three yards of top quality fabric which would normally cost about $36 but was on sale for $3.50 a yard. So it cost me only fifty cents.

  22. #22
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    Now that the weather is finally playing nice here, I plan on trying to hit some garage sales and such. Again, lots and lots of great ideas! I love the scrappy/crazy quilts, as those are mostly what my granny did, and I have many fond memories. I went through the storage room and actually managed to find some fabric, so when I get a quilt top put together I will try and figure out how to put a picture up Not sure WHEN, but soon I hope. My daughter just moved back to Missouri from Colorado, so having to placate our furbaby (Miss Sadie the Queen cat) about having to put up with my Grand furbaby (Cooper) lol. She is not at all pleased with the humans right now, and has let the dog know, in no uncertain terms that SHE is the boss of everybody :P

  23. #23
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    Let people know you are willing to take fabric and it will come! Take anything given to you and pass it on to others that could use it if you don't want it.

  24. #24
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    If you need any specific color or size please PM me and I can get something in the mail to you. I have a shed and closet full of fabrics. Just let me know.

  25. #25
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    Yep! I will happily give a home to fabric orphans no one wants or needs, and pass along anything I don't use so it doesn't get wasted. Jordan, I PM'd you

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