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Mimimum investment to start quilting ?

Mimimum investment to start quilting ?

Old 05-12-2015, 10:52 AM
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Default Mimimum investment to start quilting ?

If someone had absolutely nothing in the way of sewing supplies - no machine, no books, no fabric, no thread, no needles, no cutting equipment (no sicossors), nothing related to sewing - and wanted to make a lap size quilt (approximately 45 x 60) - approximately what would it cost?
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:00 AM
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Great question! That depends on a lot of factors...does the person have access to borrow a sewing machine, are they going to purchase it new or perhaps a yard sale or 2nd hand shop? Do they have a quilting friend that could loan them a cutting mat and rotary cutter or are they close to a Joann's and can use their coupons to get a discount on these items? Are they going to purchase the fabric at a quilt shop or a discount shop (like Joann's) or online? It could run from under $100 to $500...or more. Too many factors to say exactly how much. I know my sewing machine was used but still cost me $1200 BUT it has lasted for 8 years and will go for many more. A lot of my accessories I've gotten at yard sales, estate sales and Joann's (using coupons) BUT I've had 8 years to accumulate them. Fabric can be as little as $4 a yard or over $12 a yard...it depends on where it's purchased and the quality. I know many people use old cotton clothing from 2nd hand stores for fabric too.
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:18 AM
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I just started doing this about 2 years ago, and I was taking a class that was making a quilt about that size. Let me try to remember.

I'll talk about the machine at the end of this post.

Cutting mat, rotary cutter, and ruler I bought in a kit by Fiskars. That runs about $54.99 at JoAnn's - now half off. I also used a half off coupon when I bought it, so let's say $30 for that.

Scissors probably run about $8.

Books would depend, but I'd say $0 because most of that can be found online. Maybe $10 for a Craftsy pattern. I've also found craft books at Goodwill for super cheap, about $.50

Fabric and batting - for that size quilt, at a place like JoAnn's you are probably looking at $150+. At a quilt store, at least $200. And I'm really bad at estimating costs for fabric (ask me how I know...) so that's probably super conservative.

Thread - about $8.

Needles - about $5.

As for the machine - it varies greatly. I realized that the new machines I could afford would not likely last long and wouldn't be worth the investment, and the ones that would last would have run me probably $500 +. So I ended up going the vintage machine route. I happened to be very lucky and had my Grandmother's FW sitting in the closet. I got that all tuned up and ready to go (last servicing/use had been in the 1970's!) for $90. I eventually picked a nice 70's Kenmore that does zigzag and other stiches for $50 (and that came with a nice sewing basket!). So....for a machine you can spend just about $0 or thousands of dollars depending. For my purposes, I'm going to say $100 for a machine.

So, that's $311. And that's a very conservative estimate. I'd say you could easily be looking at $500. It's a very costly hobby! And that doesn't factor in the fabric addiction that will develop and the money sink that becomes!
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:59 AM
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I think if you went with low cost clearance fabric or even thrift store men's shirts, scissors, needle, thread and then batting, you could do it for less than $100 actually. But it would all be hand sewn/quilted and take quite a bit of time. The most expensive part could actually be the batting. I am specifically thinking of the hexagon GFG quilts. You can print free paper ones, but do have to cut them out.

Quilting used to be much less expensive until we decided we needed all the tools, such as the rotary cutter, mat, rulers, etc. Leftover dress fabric was used along with feedsacks.

If you go buy a sewing machine, rotary cutter, mat, ruler, thread, needles, batting, fabric, etc, I would agree it could easily run $500 or more.
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Old 05-12-2015, 12:42 PM
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Quilting isn't an inexpensive hobby but then so many hobbies require a larger investment. You really don't need everything that is listed. If she is a friend, I would let her borrow the basics. I have extra rulers, rotary cutter and an older mat.
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Old 05-12-2015, 04:02 PM
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Minus the sewing machine I probably spent $150 getting started.
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Old 05-12-2015, 04:04 PM
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Then again, you can do it with just scissors, ($5), needle and thread (another $5); used Goodwill-type fabric or old clothing of 100% cotton ($3-4); and a cheap batting (on sale, small, $8-10) for a total of $20-30; use an old milk carton for a template (cut with your $5 scissors); measure with a household ruler or a school ruler you swipe from one of the kids....it is possible to make a nicely done four-patch for next to nothing unless you really want to make the investment everyone has mentioned. Just sayin'.....
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Old 05-12-2015, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Mdegenhart View Post
Minus the sewing machine I probably spent $150 getting started.
When I started (circa 1970) that $150 covered the sewing machine, too. LOL
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Old 05-12-2015, 05:19 PM
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Plus the cost of a beginning quilting class.
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Old 05-12-2015, 05:34 PM
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My sister used to chide me about the amount of money I spent on quilting stuff-I reminded her that I didn't smoke (she did) and that I had half a closet of clothing, most of which I had made (she had two closets full). Quilting brings me happiness so I spend my portion of money there. But I might add that few hobbies are cost free and probably not cost effective. I think its prudent to really think about how many rulers and gadgets you need or want to be responsible for. Lots to think about but If you find happiness in learning to quilt, welcome to our society of contented people.
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