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Thread: Quilting on a shoe-string budget

  1. #1
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    My question is about how to quilt on a shoe-string budget.

    Does anyone have any ideas? What about recycling

    material from used clothing?

  2. #2
    Senior Member sewing4kix's Avatar
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    I like to check my local goodwill and other second hand stores as well as garage sales and auctions. I also subscribe to joann fabrics online and mail coupons. They do run great sales. Also look for after holiday sales on holiday themed fabrics. My SIL also keeps her eyes open for me. I tell her anything cotton will work for me. Hope this helps!

  3. #3
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    Least expensive ways to obtain fabric:
    Walmart (tends to have the lowest prices in my experience and some of the same fabrics as more expensive stores)
    Estate/Garage Sales
    Consignment shops
    Using old clothes (everything from t-shirts to flannel or workshirts to blue jeans and more!)
    Doing simpler patterns that require no fancy rulers, patterns or tools
    Using a zigzag stitch to piece extra pieces of batting together so there is no waste.
    Holding onto scraps

    Right now, I am putting aside my husband's ripped (in the elbows!) workshirts and will make a quilt from them.

    Hope this helps

  4. #4
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Clothing is fine to use for quilting. Some prefer to just use cotton clothing. Many use sheets, dust ruffles , where ever they can find useable fabric. One note just make sure they all play well together in the washer... in other words all have the same washing instructions.
    Sometimes just letting people know you are looking for fabric can help. I have plenty of my own fabric but people often give me fabric they have no use for .
    One of my first quilts was old blue jeans .. cut up into squares... it was before rotary cutters ... and local quilt shops.

  5. #5
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Ask friends for old shirts. 100% cotton if possible. YOu can use an old sheet for backing, and a flannel sheet or thin used blanket for batting. If you don't have a machine, you can hand piece & hand quilt or just tie. This site has a lot of free quilt patterns made from scraps:

    http://www.quiltville.com/

  6. #6
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    Sound like a good idea to me. I do minor alterations for people to buy fabric. Also, my dad and cousin brought me fabric because I crochet afghans for them. The yarn was given to me by a supervisor who passed away two days before Thanksgiving. Check to see if you have a freecycle.com or a craigslist in your area. A member from this board sent me some of her scraps. Good Luck.

  7. #7
    Super Member spartan quilter's Avatar
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    I find that doing SID for the quilting saves me a lot of money. I did invest in a walking foot, so it is a lot easier now. Just another suggestion.

  8. #8
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I am not on a shoestring budget but that does not keep me from being frugal. Goodwill and Salvation Army stores are great places to find fabric, old blankets to use for batting (picked up a wool army blanket for $5!) and I have a complete stash of 100% cotton shirts destined to become a quilt, will more than likely get more than one out of them.

    I find fabric deals on line as well and budget accordingly for my quilting expenses. I buy a lot now so when I am on a fixed income I will have a stash of all I need, except thread which I don't like to bulk up on ahead of time too much.

  9. #9
    Super Member gzuslivz's Avatar
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    I barter with a friend. I babysit her dogs when she needs me to. In return, she long-arm quilts for me. Also, let everyone you know that you would like fabric. You would be amazed at how many people are cleaning out someone's house and finds fabric.

  10. #10
    Senior Member SparkMonkey's Avatar
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    I do a lot of work by hand so it takes me longer to finish a quilt. Since I only work on one at a time, and I'm only able to finish a handful per year, it comes out to just a few hundred dollars a year. I'm buying middle-of-the-road fabric (Joann's and Hobby Lobby, mostly), good batting, and good thread, and I try to buy all of those on sale or with a coupon.

  11. #11
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    I have fabric from several sources; goodwill, old clothes, local quilt shop(sale) friends; garage and estate sales.
    Just make sure everything has the same content for washing.
    Also Joanns has coupons and alot of local quilt shops will honor those coupons as well. And don't be afraid to ask local shops when they are having a sale. But usually you can't use a coupon with a sale item.
    I save all scraps and use them for potholders as little gifts. And now love the idea of mug rugs !

    Enjoy the hunt.

  12. #12
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Craft Warehouse carries high-quality quilting fabric, and occasionally their clearance section will go down to $3 a yard. I believe Craft Warehouse is a regional chain in the Pacific NW.

  13. #13
    Super Member ontheriver's Avatar
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    I piece together smaller pieces of batting to use in wall hangings, place mats, and smaller quilts. I always check thrift stores where ever I go. I buy used sheets that are in good condition and use them as backing on a lot of the quilts I make for family. For gift quilts I will buy a new sheet from Walmart for backing. It is less expensive than yardage. Use coupons as much as I can. Keep and use scraps as much as I can, especially for applique.

  14. #14
    Super Member RenaB's Avatar
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    Yes, thrift stores and garage sales.

  15. #15
    Super Member RenaB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spartan quilter
    I find that doing SID for the quilting saves me a lot of money. I did invest in a walking foot, so it is a lot easier now. Just another suggestion.
    What is SID?

  16. #16
    Super Member SherriB's Avatar
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    It is stitch in the ditch. Or stitch in the seams of your quilt.

  17. #17
    Super Member Lv2sew2011's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RenaB
    Quote Originally Posted by spartan quilter
    I find that doing SID for the quilting saves me a lot of money. I did invest in a walking foot, so it is a lot easier now. Just another suggestion.
    What is SID?
    SID= Stitch in Ditch

  18. #18
    MelodyWB's Avatar
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    Recycling is what's it's all about..I've lost the idea of how quilting was in the past..they saved every scrap they could get their hands on and tied them..I actually sell a couple and use the money to buy more..lots of ways to stay on budget..this board will help you !!

  19. #19
    Senior Member ploverwi2's Avatar
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    I am an applique lover, the fusible raw edge kind, and you would laugh at me, if you saw my bag of heat n bond that is in all sorts of pieces. That stuff is so expensive, I never ever waste it. The very small pieces can be use to do letters or little things on quilts. I also keep all of my batting scraps and do what the other ladies do with it.
    You didn't tell us where you live, but if you would pay the postage, I would send you some nice big pieces from my stash.
    Karen

  20. #20
    Super Member GwynR's Avatar
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    Old clothes make great quilts!

  21. #21
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    Cheap sheets. One of my projects right now, I bought $3 twin sheets on sale. I got 6 coordinating colors for $18. That is plenty of fabric for a quilt or two. It won't be an heirloom, but it is still plenty of fun for me.

  22. #22
    Junior Member lsmft's Avatar
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    I use my husband's shirts and pants for many of my projects. Cotton shirting is wonderful -- I've even bought some off the bolt to add to the shirt stash! Tried to attach a photo but for some reason I can't do it today :-(

    Here it is ....
    Name:  Attachment-231458.jpe
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Size:  75.0 KB

  23. #23
    Super Member JulieR's Avatar
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    Keep an eye on Craigslist and Freecycle. I've given away fabric on Freecycle before, but gotten loads from Craigslist. I think my best haul was a woman doing a serious destash of high-quality yardage for $1 a yard (some were $2) - I brought home over 100 yards. I've also gotten bags of fabric for a song, once with an entire bag full of books and patterns thrown in for free!

  24. #24
    Junior Member doglover's Avatar
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    I just check our local Freecycle and found 4 boxes and large bag of fabric free and must take all. Freecycle and Craigslist has been a good place for me to find free and cheap fabric along with thrift stores.
    doglover

  25. #25
    Senior Member LovinMySoldier's Avatar
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    I posted on craigslist once that I was looking for some fabric for quilting. I had a very sweet lady just give me a box full :) I offered to pay her and told her that I wasn't expecting anything for free. But she wouldn't accept anything. Very sweet. So instead of looking for the deals on craigslist maybe post your ad saying that you are looking.

    I also think that if you buy for just one project at a time it's easy manageable. Most people don't finish a quilt in a week so break up the purchases. Buy just the fabric for the top, you could even wait on border fabric, then batting and backing, finally binding.

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