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Trying to keep costs down

Trying to keep costs down

Old 03-01-2022, 06:26 PM
  #61  
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Almost every quilt l make is given to a good cause, children's aid, hospitals, QOV, nursing homes.l belong to 3 quilting groups. 2 do fundraising to buy backing and batting , then accept donations of fabric for members to use in their charity quilts, but l still end up using parts of my own stash, batting when there's a shortage of that ( often!), and thread. For me, it's all about the creative outlet. I'll donate my time and expertise to these quilting projects instead of outright cash donations. I've also made fundraising quilts for humane society, local theatre group, and Red Cross. This is the way l give back to the community.
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Old 03-01-2022, 07:11 PM
  #62  
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Most repairmen work in the store, at least where I live. I thought it odd that I told the sales lady several times, I only needed something simple. I asked to see the Janome machines and she takes me to top of the line. I guess that what sales people do. I have found a used machine to purchase and wonder if I am making the right choice. The Juki is in my price range and quilters have raved about it, so now second guessing myself. I have picked up fabric at estate sales too. It would be nice if fabric were a bit more reasonable without having to dig for deals all the time. I probably picked the wrong hobby, but I can't draw or sing. Anyone sew clothes and quilt?

Last edited by scrappy101; 03-01-2022 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 03-02-2022, 10:00 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Schill93 View Post
When your single with just one income and struggling to pay the bills, quilting as a hobby can be very difficult. That is if you go into drool mode at the sight of all the new beautiful fabrics in current day collections. I know we can always find fabric at yard sales and thrift stores, but how lovely will those quilts be? You might be able to occasionally find some pretty fabric, but how many will coordinate and go together when you want to make your quilt. It's a good thing that scrappy is in vogue now.

I for one want to make every quilt given to someone whether charity or family member beautiful, and sometimes that can be difficult on a strict budget.
Much of what you say here really resonates with me but I'm learning to work around some of these challenges... I know others have shared some of the same strategies but I thought I'd give my approach.

1) Love drooling over the new fabrics? I do, too! But I also try to limit my visits to the LQS to essential trips only (mostly for batting or backing for a current project) and if I am totally overwhelmed by the need to buy new, I take a look at their bargains - my LQS offers scrap bags at $6-8/m (when fabric usually costs $18-28 this is a good deal) and sometimes will offer similar prices on certain lines of yardage as well. I'll confess, the scrap bags are actually a huge weakness for me but so far I've been lucky and have found some real gems that I was able to use in the bags that I bought that I didn't really "need" :-)

2) Speaking of scraps, I actually have a bit of a habit of buying these from thrift stores as well. And we're talking seriously small scraps, sometimes. (https://www.quiltingboard.com/showth...94#post8515494) I find the key thing with thrifted fabrics (whether they come from a store or an estate sale or are just gifted to you) is to be patient. The quilt I made here was inspired by a small collection (a sandwich-sized baggie) of HSTs I got in a bundle from the thrift store. I liked the blue/cream combo and built a quilt up from that "feeling." But I didn't actually use them until several months after I bought them - I just needed to play with fabric one day and decided to go through that bag for my fix. :-) To everything there is a season - even thrifted fabric bits! And don't forget that moment of joy when you do find something amazing at the thrift store!

3) Scrappy may be "in," I guess (I'm not that on top of quilt fashion - scrappy has always been something I liked), but it is also beautiful. I agree that I would like every quilt I make to be beautiful (I allow dog quilts to have functionality as a higher priority, but they also need to be attractive). Since the beginning of Covid, I have made over a dozen quilts of varying sizes, and the ones that get the most positive feedback and signs of coveting are the ones I made from scraps and what I had, and not from a coordinated collection. There are a couple of fabrics that I'm not sure I'll ever find a home in a quilt for, and I've put them in a bag away from my "definite keepers," but I've been surprised before and so I'm not getting rid of them just yet. :-)

4) Emotional investment is important for me as I'm making a quilt. Often I'm thinking of the intended recipient (whether I know them or not) but I also like to engage with the quilt process in a meaningful way. I am definitely not a "quilt in a day" type of person! I find I enjoy taking the time to put my scrappy fabric collections together so that they _do_ coordinate. The one quilt I made from a single fabric collection was very pretty and went together quickly and I'm pleased with it (as was the recipient), but I never felt a strong connection to it as I made it. I think most of the investment (colour, scale selection, etc.) was done for me so while I sent it with a lot of love for the recipient, it's been a bit of a case of "out of sight, out of mind" which is not the case with most of the other quilts I've made.

Of course, none of these strategies/approaches/observations is 100% consistent, but these are the trends I've noticed in my quilting practice and they explain why I don't mind quilting on a budget.

Last edited by Gemm; 03-02-2022 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 03-03-2022, 04:31 PM
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Gemm: What an interesting post. My LQS here doesn't offer much of anything in the way of a bargain. They have one table where they have discounted fabric to $8.99 a yard, but you must buy the remaining amount on the bolt. I have yet to see a fabric I liked well enough to buy the yardage on it. They sell most fabric there for $13.50 a yard, and their fat quarters are $3.60 each.
But I continue to search for sales on line, and check out thrift stores when I go.

Question How does clothing cotton hold up in a quilt? Is it less durable?

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Old 03-03-2022, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Schill93 View Post

Question How does clothing cotton hold up in a quilt? Is it less durable?
Now this is a good question. I think the key to success here is the fact that when you are thrifting you are able to touch the fabric to get a sense of the quality. I have been disappointed in one or two checked/plaid shirts I bought in my early thrifting days that seemed okay but when I actually cut them they were pretty flimsy, so that was a lesson learned. On the other hand, I found a fantastic men's XL bright orange Hawaiian-style shirt with flamingoes on it (you can see them in some of my I Spy quilts) that put the weight and feel of some of my quilting cottons to shame.

I do think durability might also be tied to how worn the shirt is to begin with. I do check collars and underarm areas carefully for clues to this but I believe the most important thing is to really get a sense of the quality of the cotton by lots of handling before you buy. :-)

Edit: I should make it clear that none of the quilts I've used clothing in have "lived" longer than two years, so I really can't say they've been through the wringer much yet! Durability tests usually go over decades, right?
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Old 03-03-2022, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by scrappy101 View Post
Anyone sew clothes and quilt?
I sew clothes as well as quilt. I do more quilting and bags now than I do clothing, but some of my favorite garments are ones I've made. I also combine the two and make jackets that are pieced and quilted. So many possible variations!
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Old 03-04-2022, 09:48 AM
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I pretty much quit sewing clothes when the cost of patterns got so high. And how many clothes does a person need? The quality of homemade is so much better than store bought that they last forever. Quilting is also costly but it keeps me sewing and there is always someone willing to accept one. Whether family, friends or charity.
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Old 03-04-2022, 06:13 PM
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I have enjoyed the comments on this thread. Lots of good ideas here. Perhaps the focus should be more positive. I have more money for supplies now than I did when I had children at home but I have loved sewing for decades. I have quilting friends who spend more than me and others who spend less. The focus should be on enjoying the process. It is creative to make something. It is soothing to do the repetitive work. It is exciting to feel connected to a project you envision and create with your labor and deeply satisfying to put in that last stitch. I suggest everyone pull their focus in - thinking others have more $$ or supplies, what does that give you but discontentment?
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Old 03-05-2022, 06:16 AM
  #69  
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I also am retired and make a few quilts a year, more smaller things. I am making my 2nd grandchild a T-shirt quilt for graduation. Last year I made my first grandson a T-shirt quilt. As it seems so many people are into the soft fleece blankets now. With that in mind, I got a piece of no plush fleece that went so well with the school colors. No batting just the top and fleece back. It is as heavy, but not heavier than a quilt with batting in it. Grandson just loves it as it is so soft and cuddly. Sometimes I feel that quilts can be stiff even after being washed. I think some are just quilted too much and that is what makes them stiff. If they are not cuddly, they won't be used as much. I want the quilts I make to be used. I also do my own quilting on my regular sewing machine so I can control the amount of quilting. Not everyone is comfortable with their own quilting on their regular machine but I am and so enjoy doing it. I learned by watching a few U-tube lessons and then practice. That is my biggest money saver with quilting. Love to shop thrift stores, etc. to find bargains. We all have our own ways. Enjoy the process and what works for you.
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Old 03-05-2022, 07:08 AM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by scrappy101 View Post
Most repairmen work in the store, at least where I live. I thought it odd that I told the sales lady several times, I only needed something simple. I asked to see the Janome machines and she takes me to top of the line. I guess that what sales people do. I have found a used machine to purchase and wonder if I am making the right choice. The Juki is in my price range and quilters have raved about it, so now second guessing myself. I have picked up fabric at estate sales too. It would be nice if fabric were a bit more reasonable without having to dig for deals all the time. I probably picked the wrong hobby, but I can't draw or sing. Anyone sew clothes and quilt?
Yes, I do! I love sewing clothes for my grandchildren.
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