Bake Shop Basics: Budget Quilting

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Today Oda May is covering an important topic – how do you enjoy your hobby when you’re on a budget? Click through for her tips.

Quilting can be an expensive hobby. Sewing machines and notions and fabric add up very quickly. Sometimes buying the supplies for just one project can be overwhelming. So how do we enjoy our hobby and still stick to the all-important budget?

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Shop the Sales

This is an obvious way to save money in any kind of shopping you do. Stalk your favorite shops for sales. Sign up on their email lists so you know when the sale is happening. Join the frequent buyer club at your local quilt shop and ask them when they run their yearly sales. Put those dates on your calendar. And when you go, go with cash so you stay on budget.

Plan Ahead

It’s like making a list before going grocery shopping – you’re definitely going to spend less money that way. Many quilters make gift quilts throughout the year, which is an incredibly generous gift of both time and materials. Try spreading those handmade gifts around to avoid a big budget overrun in the months leading up to the holidays. And get creative! Maybe it’s time to indoctrinate one of those gift quilt recipients into the craft of quilting. Buy them a class instead this year and before you know it, they will be making quilts for you!

Sew Your Stash

Take an honest assessment of your current stash and use what you have. Sprinkle in a new half yard or two and it will make everything look fresh and different.  You can also get creative with dyeing or bleaching your fabric to turn it into something new if you just can’t make it work for your project.

One at a Time

Working on one project at a time is an easy way to save money. Put your focus and resources into that one project.

Charity Quilts

Join a local quilt guild or sewing group and get involved with making charity quilts. This is a great way to enhance your skills and get some sewing time in without the financial investment. And the best part – the quilts go to a good cause.

Substitutions

So you just bought one charm pack and the quilt calls for an entire layer cake? Get creative with the cutting Cut some more charms from your stash to make up the difference and bring some solids into play. They’re priced a little lower per yard than prints and they can certainly bring the zing to a scrappy quilt.

Don’t Forget the Leftovers

This is particularly true for precut quilts! There’s almost always a bit leftover. Stash it and save it for a scrappy quilt. Jelly rolls make for wonderful scrappy binding and you can never go wrong with a colorful mix of orphan charms and layer cakes. Use a strong unifying color like red or black and you can make just about anything go together.

Readers, how do you save money and still enjoy your favorite hobby?

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