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Thread: What's the least amount of $ you've spent on making a quilt? Have you ever made one out of completely recycled materials, including batting (exception - thread)?

  1. #1
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
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    We've often talked about the high cost of quilting.

    So what's the least $ you've spent on a quilt--lap quilt or larger size?

    Has anyone ever spent nothing on making one--by that I mean, ever had the fabric given to you or cut up old clothes and used an old wool blanket (or a castoff blanket, non wool) for the batting--and recycled for the backing as well?

    We often bemoan the high cost of our hobby. I'd love to hear some creative ways you've NOT spent a lot on a quilt. (And pulling it out of your stash doesn't count, unless when you put it in there, you got the fabric for free.)

    For example, maybe you bought fabric at $1/yard (yard sale) and were given the batting and backing, so you managed to make it for say, $8 plus thread.

  2. #2
    Super Member Chicca's Avatar
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    In all honesty, the majority of my quilts have very little cost involved. The majority of my fabric stash has been given to me by friends and family that no longer sew/quilt. My father gave me the wonderful tip of using old blankets for batting. Plus my MIL and Father gave me their thread supplies and my SIL buys me something at her craft store adventures every time she goes. She does not quilt or sew....so she does through me.

    I also spend time cutting old clothing into quilt squares and using the pieces to make scrap quilts. Another thing I do to save money is save cardboard boxes (cereal, tea...) and make the templates that I need for applique and piecing. It is such a great feeling knowing I can make a quilt for someone that is put together with nothing more than love and the love of others.

    I am so grateful for all of their help and have a great time quilting!

  3. #3
    Senior Member lindy-2's Avatar
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    i have made a few quilts lap and babt size for under $10 i got the fabric eather given to me or got it cheap at a yard sale i think my cheapest quilt was a realy prety one i made for my grandfather when he was in the hospital i think it cost about $4 i was given batting scraps and peiced them together the main fabric that i also used for the backing was $1 a yard at a yard sale and i was given a sewing machine cabinit that had a drawer full of thread so it was a very inexpensive quilt and he absolutly loved it you couldent tell i spent so little on it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member MawMaw B's Avatar
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    I was helping some church ladies for a while and almost everything we used was donated. Fabric was lots of scraps and backings were old sheets. Thread and crochet thread for tying were donated. Some blankets were used. The only thing bought were rolls of batting and that was at a discount. So it can be done.

  5. #5
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    I have become a master at finding the garage sale/rummage sale bargain. Just got a roll of 48 inch wide battng for my charity quilts. I am using scraps and strings from a friend and the foundation is newspapers.

    Right now, my fabric purchases have averaged $1 and are used for backing and sashing.

    A retreat neighbor made a wonderful nautical looking quilt of recycled blue and white mens shirts with a red one thrown in for contrast. It was lovely and only took a weekend to make.

  6. #6
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    I was just given fabric from an acquaintance of my mother's whose eyesight is too poor to quilt anymore. I pieced together an entire "puzzle piece quilt" in 2 days from her scraps. It is 60x60. I could get away with piecing the back but I want something really cool to put on the back. The quilt is for my Nana's 94th birthday,

    I can never get away with making a quilt without buying batting...

    I have made a few quilt tops just from scraps though...

  7. #7
    Super Member Deborah12687's Avatar
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    I was given a medium box of fabric that I was digging thru at a garage sale that was closing down and she gave me the box for free. At the same sale she had a old long arm that was really very old and missing parts and she told me to take it. I didn't take her up on that offer because I may not have been able to find parts to fix it.

  8. #8
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    I actually recycle thread by taking old clothes apart, carefully, from one side of the seam and you can save the long piece of thread on the other side, wind it on a spool to reuse.




    HAH - had you going there for a bit didn't I??!!

    DH would do this, he is WAY cheaper than me...

  9. #9
    Senior Member Nancy Ingham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptquilts
    I actually recycle thread by taking old clothes apart, carefully, from one side of the seam and you can save the long piece of thread on the other side, wind it on a spool to reuse.




    HAH - had you going there for a bit didn't I??!!

    DH would do this, he is WAY cheaper than me...
    You did have me going! Thanks for the laugh. :lol: :lol:

  10. #10
    Senior Member MoMiMi's Avatar
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    Almost exclusively sew from my stash; thirft store finds, recycled clothes, garage sale finds, etc. Bought a box of thread on this board too. I do buy batting, but always use a coupon from Hobby Lobby - 40% off and/or piece leftover scraps to make my own batting.

  11. #11
    Super Member fabric_fancy's Avatar
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    i dye and screen print all my fabric so it costs me about $2 to $2.50 a yard.

    i also hand dye my backing fabric for about $3.00 a yard.

    i buy my batting in bulk rolls on sale.

    so for me quilting is very inexpensive and i use hand dyed fabrics which many quilters would love to work with if they could afford them.

    i'm surprised that more quilters haven't started to dye their own fabrics considering how expensive fabric is today.

  12. #12
    AbbyQuilts's Avatar
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    My 6$ quilt

    This quilt I found the blocks already sewn at a yard sale they were 3$ for the blocks.
    The batting is an old blanket I got for 2$ at the thrift store
    The backing is an old sheet I got for 1$ at the thrift store.

    Total quilt 6$ and it is the most LOVED quilt. My husband loves the feel of it and I have to agree its is quite cuddly
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #13
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
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    The least amount I've spent is zero. I made it out of scraps, leftover batting and thread (Poly thread given to me by my Mom c1983). Even the back was leftover flannel from another quilt. It was part of a challenge one summer at the Scrapbusters list to use something that didn't require any purchasing, but I went further to use up stuff that would be considered recycled. I tied it using wool leftover from tying another quilt. It was a mystery quilt and some of my choices of fabric didn't bring the design out that well. This was a lap sized quilt.

    [IMG]http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL252.../377419023.jpg[/IMG]

  14. #14
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
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    Thanks! These are great ideas.

    I'm glad to hear that so many have found ways not to spend $200 and up on fabric for quilts! It is much more encouraging to people who want to do quilts for charity, esp. to think that they don't have to spend bookoos of money on each one.

  15. #15
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fabric_fancy
    i dye and screen print all my fabric so it costs me about $2 to $2.50 a yard.
    So do you buy muslin? If so, where? How much is the dye?

    I've dyed one piece that I found that was white 100% cotton at the thrift store. I bought green dye and made myself a piece of really pretty mottled green. I've used it all up now. I felt pretty proud of myself, though, I have to admit.

    I've not really thought of doing it in a big way, though. But it's an idea. We can buy dyes here...and I can sometimes find off white or white all cotton sheets at the used clothing store...

  16. #16
    Super Member Butterflyblue's Avatar
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    A lot of my early quilts were practically free. You can see they are very scrappy, and small (which helps a lot!). Also several older women who no longer sew had gifted me their old fabrics, and someone even gave me a queen-size batting.

    The fish quilt was made from scraps leftover from different clothing projects over the years, and backed with something my mother gave me out of her stash. The batting was the only money I paid out of pocket for it.

    The sampler was made with gifted fabrics, or some that came from a box of fabric and scraps I bought for $5 at a thrift store. Batting was the only cost on that one. The sashing was something I traded sewing patterns for. The backing was mostly pieced from old clothing.

    Overall I'd say I've made four or five quilts that were similarly inexpensive. I gave the elephant one at a baby shower. It cost under $3 and thread, because I used batting scraps my aunt gave me and did it in a quilt as you go method, with a center panel that came off of the $1 a yard remnant table, and other fabrics that had been given to me. The binding I had to go and purchase; it was about 75 cents worth of fabric from wal-mart. Of all of my "cheap" quilts, that one came out looking the most put-together.
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  17. #17
    Super Member Butterflyblue's Avatar
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    I also did this one out of recycled clothing and some dark blues that were either given to me or came from goodwill for about $2, I can't remember. The batting had been given to me, as had the backing fabrics (backing is pieced). I used a store-bought quilt binding on it, which came to probably $4 or $5.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member marscrafter's Avatar
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    I think the least I have spent was $10-15, and that was when I was given scraps by a friend that makes clothing. I think I had to buy batting. I do try to buy sheets when they are on clearance for backings on projects I machine quilt.

  19. #19
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    One cost me $28 which was the cost of the thread.Everything else was given to me for my birthday present, by a number of different people.

  20. #20
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    I've made dozens over the years that cost nothing. Recycled jeans, old blankets and bedspreads, even sheets for backing. My friend has one from jeans that is 30 years old. He's slept under it every night except for once a year when he has it dry cleaned.

  21. #21
    Super Member Greenheron's Avatar
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    I made a no-cost quilt when first married: a bundle of upholstery squares intended for rags, squared and stitched into a top, old ragged blanket for a filler, old flannel sheet for back, all tied together. My DFIL was the lucky (?) recipient.

    I'm working on a $8 quilt right now. Found 6 dozen appliqued star squares at thrift shop + denim squares & rectangles from the old jeans pile + $3.50 for additional applique motif fabric + old flannel sheet ($.50) for filler and last, flannel for backing (saved from my -now- 30 something son's homemade kindergarten nap bag. :thumbup:

    and to all you previous thrifty posters: WAY TO GO!

  22. #22
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    HI Chicca

    I could have written your comments about making quilts for nothing. I couldn't have written it better. The only thing you left out that I do is using sheets. As we all know, the center most part of a fitted sheet gets all the wear. When worn enough to no longer be useful as a sheet, cut off the edges and use them to find, strip, square, etc. Where does the center of the sheet go: Cut into potholder squares and use 2 on either size of the heat resistant fabric. None but the elastic on the corners not saved and if I could think of what to do with that, I would use it too.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chicca
    In all honesty, the majority of my quilts have very little cost involved. The majority of my fabric stash has been given to me by friends and family that no longer sew/quilt. My father gave me the wonderful tip of using old blankets for batting. Plus my MIL and Father gave me their thread supplies and my SIL buys me something at her craft store adventures every time she goes. She does not quilt or sew....so she does through me.

    I also spend time cutting old clothing into quilt squares and using the pieces to make scrap quilts. Another thing I do to save money is save cardboard boxes (cereal, tea...) and make the templates that I need for applique and piecing. It is such a great feeling knowing I can make a quilt for someone that is put together with nothing more than love and the love of others.

    I am so grateful for all of their help and have a great time quilting!

  23. #23
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    i made a queen size quilt backing and all for around $50 dollars once my lqs was having a 50% off sale and i used all fabric that was 50% off it was done in purples. i gave it to my sil. it came out really pretty and no one knew either !
    carla

  24. #24
    Super Member Dodie's Avatar
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    my least expensive quilt lap size cost 75 cents the fabric for the top was scraps given to me for the batting I picked up an old mattress pad for 50 cents backing an old sheet for 25 cents at a thrift store and tied it still using it today and is very soft and still bright as fabric was polyester blends and for dying fabric I have picked up white on white at Joann's and used rit dye the flowers or white does not dye so you can have pink or whatever with white flowers

  25. #25
    Super Member dltaylor's Avatar
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    yep, I done some that is no cost to me. Everyone at my job knows I quilt so whenever they have fabric or supplies they send them to me. Just the other day I received a envelope with a quilt pattern in it. The note said "thought you might be interested.". I work with just great people.

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