A proper patchwork quilt can take months if not years to complete depending on how detailed you want it to be and how much detail is going into the appliqué. It’s not just the time though, whenever you’re using fabrics it can get expensive especially if you’re purchasing from fabric shops. Below are my top tips for saving some cash when you’re making your own quilts.
Have A Good Hunt
Fabric shops can get expensive but most will have a bin of remnants or off cuts somewhere. Although you don’t get the choice you’d get if you’re buying fabric by the yard the great thing about quilting is it’s meant to look colourful and a little bit miss matched. If you can’t see a section just for off cuts and remnants it’s always worth asking, they might have old rolls of fabric that don’t have quite enough left to display on the shop floor and if you don’t ask you don’t get. The scraps left over might not be quite big enough for a fat quarter but they’ll be great for creating patterns and appliquéing.
Second Hand Shops
Most second hand shops and junk shops aren’t going to sell perfect reams of fabric but they’ll sell bed sheets and curtains which will often work out a lot cheaper than buying bolts of fabric. You might not want to sleep in used bed sheets but once they’ve gone through the wash and cut up you’ll never be able to tell the difference and the great thing about bed sheets is they usually come in lots of different patterns which are great for quilting.
If you don’t mind using old sheets and bed covers then ask around your family. My grandmother had a life time of old bed sheets buried away in the spare bedroom that were never going to be used again. You could offer to give them a new lease of life by transforming them into a new quilt, not to mention help them clear some space. A lot of them might have the odd hole in them (which is why they’re probably never going to be used again) but you’ve still got the rest of the fabric you could use.
There are some things that are just nicer to buy in person, if you’re buying clothes and shoes you’ll want to try them on first and when buying fabric you’ll usually want to be able to feel the fabric and see the pattern up close. If you don’t mind this then you can save a lot of money by buying fabric online, from haberdasheries to craft shops and even Amazon, there’s plenty of choice out there if you don’t mind buying your fabric online and you’ll save yourself a bit of cash in the process.
In recent years there’s been a trend in people setting up clothes swap parties with friends and colleagues so why not take this trend over to the world of crafts. With some clever use of social networks like Facebook and Twitter you’ll be able to organise a craft get together in your local area where you can swap tips and tricks as well as material and accessories. By opening it up to crafts in general or even needlework in general you’ll get a much bigger response.