Get 5 tips to save money on your next project. Plus, hear an interview with Cherry Guidry!

April 06, 2020
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Money-Saving Sewing Tips

Joanna Burgarino, the editor of Quilts & More, shares 5 money-saving tips. Let’s face it, quilting can be an expensive hobby. Between costs like a sewing machine, notions, helpful tools like specialty rulers and scissors, and irresistible new fabric lines, there’s a lot of investment in each quilt you make.

  1. Pool resources with other quilters near you. Guilds, classes, and Facebook groups are great resources for meeting other quilters -- and many quilters who have been quilting for years have some fabric and supplies they wouldn’t mind giving away so that they have space to get new stuff.
  2. Sew from your stash. Chances are you have accumulated a lot of fabric, notions, and tools that you forgot you had over the years. Do a good cleaning of your sewing space at least once a year to remind yourself of what you own -- you might be surprised at just how much you can quilt with what you have.
  3. Scavenge usable fabric and hardware from worn out clothes or items you don’t want any more. Well-worn flannels, wool sweaters, denim, and T-shirts are popular fabrics to include in quilts and other sewing projects. If you make bags, you can take hardware off of old purses that are broken.
  4. Keep an eye out for coupons. Whether you buy your supplies at retail craft supplies stores or at your local quilt shop, chances are there are some deals you can take advantage of. Some quilt shops have email lists where they send information about flash sales. If you’re patient, you can get an item you’ve been eyeing for less than regular price.
  5. Experiment and learn how to “make do with what you got.” Sometimes the most expensive part of a project is buying specialty things, like a particular weight of interfacing or polyester fiberfill. There are times when you can swap in a different, similar item based on stuff you have around. Muslin fabric, or even fabric scraps can be used as a lightweight interfacing. Shreds of fabric scraps can be used as stuffing for items. Templates can be made from cardstock instead of template plastic if that’s what you have on-hand. Keep in mind that your project results might be slightly different than expected because of the swap.

Back to Basics with Joanna

A lot of smaller projects like pillows and table runners make them great for featuring fussy-cut motifs. Fussy-cutting, or carefully cutting up your fabric so that a particular image, such as a flower, animal, or word, is centered in your unit or block after you piece it together, is simple in theory, but it can be a little tricky to get the image just how you want it. Joanna shares some of her favorite tips for fussy-cutting.

UFO Challenge with Doris

Doris Brunnette, the editor of Quilt Sampler, addresses a common finishing problem, so you can complete your UFOs. In this episode, she tackles how to pre your backing before you quilt your project. She talks about extra-wide backings you can buy in the store, how to piece a quilt backing, and how to prep your backing for quilting.

My Cherished Quilt

Doris shares the story of her most cherished quilt, which was a handwork project she started on road trips with her husband, and later finished piecing on the day her husband died.

We will be featuring more My Most Cherished quilts as a regular column on the last page of each issue of American Patchwork & Quilting and would love for you to share your most cherished quilt on Instagram and tag it with #mycherishedquilt.

Getting Sewcial

On today's interview, Joanna chats with Cherry Guidry of Cherry Blossoms Quilting. Cherry made her start in the quilting industry as a blogger more than 15 years ago. She now is a talented fabric designer with Contempo Studio, a published author, and an amazing pattern designer -- you know her best for her seasonal appliqué designs. In this interview, she chats about her start as a quilter, tips for sewers wanting to start a blog, tips for using electronic cutters and fusible appliqué, and some fun storage ideas.

Follow Cherry on Instagram and Facebook.