Susan's Tips: How to Quilt on a Budget

Susan's Tips: How to Quilt on a Budget

Quilting is one of our very favorite hobbies here at Chateau Sew & Sew, but if you're not careful, it can become an expensive one as well. 

But no need to be discouraged! After decades of quilting, I've amassed several money-saving tips that will help you create beautiful, expensive-looking (looking being the optimal word here) quilts on a budget! 

First, as the saying goes, time is money. While classes may seem pricey but are often a time- and materials-saving necessity, especially if you are a beginner. Taking a class will provide the information and guidance you need to start a new project (or quilting) off on the right foot and help you avoid costly mistakes down the road. We offer a variety of classes to get you going including private lessons and packages and quilting-focused workshops.

If you learn by reading, quilting books borrowed from the library or websites and blogs that offer tutorials and support can also be a great resource. BellaOnline The Voice of Women, for example, provides inspiration and answers to many of your quilting questions. 

Another great resource for learning and support is local quilting guilds or sewing circles. Our very own UFO Club is the perfect place to work on projects with the support of other quilters. In addition to day-of encouragement and discounts, you can meet fellow quilters who you can lean on outside of class for questions, ideas, and inspiration. 

There's no getting around the tools you'll need to quilt (namely, fabric, of course, as well as a sewing machine, cutting mat, rotary cutter with extra blades, rulers, needles, thread, and patterns), but there are ways you can save. 

We'll never tell you not to buy new fabric (being a fabric store and all!), but we do encourage upcycling and recycling of material you've used for other sewing projects. Instead of discarding unwanted clothes and clothes, your children have outgrown to create heirloom quilts with a personal connection. Don't limit yourself to clothes. Old pillow coverings, sheets, and other unused textiles you have in the house may also find the perfect second life as a new quilt. 

An idea we love is organizing a scrap-swap event. Invite all your sewing and quilting friends to bring a bottle of wine and all their fabric scraps and spend the evening (or afternoon) together tasting wine and trading fabric. Thrift shops can be another great source for nice, inexpensive clothing, bedding, and other fabric sources (e.g., drapes), as well as the tools you'll need to get quilting. 

If purchasing new fabric, consider buying solids to incorporate into your design, as solids are often less expensive than patterned fabric. To keep within your budget, you can skip buying backing fabric and instead try this hack — piece together your leftover strips and squares to create your backing instead. 

While not our preference, if your budget is tight, you can also skip the batting and instead opt for lower-priced basic flannel between the top and bottom. The finished product won't be quite as snuggly warm but even more reason to make two! 

To save on sewing machines (which can be budget-busting machines), you can sew by hand. And even if you use a machine, there's no need to hire a long arm quilter when you're done piecing your quilt as there are many other ways to finish such as tying it with a yarn.  

Or, if you're lucky enough to live in Nola, you can use our machines for a nominal fee. All you need to do is call 504-533-9221 to set up a time! 

We're here to help you create your quilted masterpiece no matter how tight or tiny your budget is!