Thrifty Thrills: Quilts

There was a time when I swore I’d never sew, that the sewing machine and I just weren’t friends.

Then I got married, and had babies. Our first machine was a $100 purchase so my hubby could sew patches on uniforms. Then I thought I’d give a baby quilt a try…which was a very expensive endeavor. The supplies for that quilt cost over $60, and it was a small quilt, without designer fabrics.

I was so glad to be done with it, and didn’t sew again for a few years. I then attempted some kitchen curtains, and another baby quilt (smaller this time)…but still had a love-hate (mostly hate) relationship with my sewing machine.

And then, some weird thing happened, and I decided it was a goal of mine to learn to quilt. Crazy, I know.

My hubs, amazing guy he is, ended up buying me a sweet new machine for Mother’s Day nearly 3 years ago, and since then, sewing and I are buddies. I really enjoy it!

If you know anything about sewing, fabric can be pricey! And oh, so lovely. So. Lovely.

Find me, lost in the amazing fabrics, at the craft store...

I saw all these delightful patterns just this weekend at the craft store…and it was so hard to not spend another two hours filling my arms and cart with the 50% fabrics… but I had neither the time, nor the money to just buy all the brilliant fabrics I wanted. So I bought the 1/2 yard I was wanting for bibs, and called it good.

But I do love to quilt (says the girl who has completed one baby quilt, one picnic quilt, and is working on another now). I love putting fabrics together in unexpected ways, and seeing how alive and fresh and fun the patterns and colors look together.

My favorite way? It’s thrifty.

So, how do I quilt on the thrifty side of life?

Wait for it, wait for it…

I use second-hand fabrics passed on to me from friends, and friends of friends. I also browse through the local thrift shops for donated piles of yardage and scraps from people’s leftover stashes! You would be AMAZED at what you find when you look closely through your thrift store. And, here’s another secret to my thrifty quilting:

I use sheets with patterns I adore.

Since I’m not quilting for fairs or winning awards, I don’t have to have (or desire) the absolute best quilting fabric. Sure, those designer fat quarter bundles are drool-worthy…but when you’re on a budget (or even not on a budget but like to be frugal), there are so many possibilities when you think outside the box!

Organizing scraps

For example: the above stacks of fabric are from other projects or from thrift store finds.

20140226fabric2

And more! Most of these are from a bag of fabric given to me by a friend, who got them from a friend who was moving. Aren’t they fun? When most of my stash is cheap or free, I don’t mind spending full price on some cuts that I just adore and think I can’t live without. 😉

quilt as you go block

Most of the fabric in this quilt square was cheap or free. The orange and white is thrifted, the denim is from my husband’s old jeans, the yellow is thrifted, the dark blue is thrifted. The batting was purchased on sale or with a coupon. When it comes to backing this quilt, I’ll be using a flat sheet, which I have done before and it is BRILLIANT and easy.

{This post is the *first* in a link-up, “Thrifty Thrills”. If you want to join, go ahead and add your link!}

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4 thoughts on “Thrifty Thrills: Quilts

  1. That is awesome! I am not a quilter but I have a few quilt buddies that love the thrift store finds. There are also sometimes these scavenger hunt-type weekends (I think they are called quilt hops?) where you drive around to various stores and they give samples out. I love quilts.

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