Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Some Frugal and Green Sewing and Quilting Tips

I really love scrap quilts, as you can probably tell if you look at any of my completed quilts ( the side bar of my other blog, Angel Scraps Quilting). Although I do buy more fabric than I should, the majority of my quilts are made with leftover fabric, clothing and fabric that was given to me.

Quilting can be expensive! The cost of quality fabric, batting and thread is shocking to me at times. I really try to make my quilts using what I have on hand, supplemented by small amounts of purchased coordinating fabrics.

My most recent plan for using scraps normally thrown away is to make a selvage quilt! Of course, I am not the one who first thought of this. There are many selvage quilts on the internet. For just a few look HERE, HERE and HERE, if you haven't seen one before. A selvage quilt is the ultimate way to quilt green and frugally.

I have dedicated one of my plastic drawers to store the selvages that I will "one day" use to make my quilt. There's a lot of pink in there right now because I just finished making some pink projects.

I have plastic drawers for all sizes of fabric strips which I cut and sort as I go when making quilts or other projects. I have drawers for 1 1/2 inch strips, 2 inch strips, 2 1/2 inch strips, and strips smaller than 1 1/2 inch which I label "strings".

For example the below picture shows a small string left after cutting the strips needed to make the binding for the baby girl's quilt that I just finished. That string will go in a plastic drawer, which is bulgingly full.

I love it that I know I could probably sew contentedly the rest of my life without ever buying any fabric, if I had to, just using the scraps and other fabric I have accumulated, most of which was at no cost.

Other low cost quilting projects that I have been planning long term are:

1. A quilt made from men's cotton dress shirts. I have been saving these from family and also inexpensive purchased ones from thrift stores, etc.

2. A string quilt using the strings I have been accumulating.

3 Scrap quilts of all kinds.

4. Memory quilts made from a loved one's clothes.

The free quilt batting that I won from Quick Quilts came last week!

I will use this for a special quilt of unknown design sometime in 2011!

There are some frugal alternatives to using purchased quilt batting. An old blanket or quilt that has been laundered could be used for the batting. If its inside the quilt and the color doesn't show through the quilt top, no one is going to see it anyway. I haven't used this method, but am sure the quilt would be just as warm and cuddly as it would be using a new purchased quilt batting.

I also save most of the leftover pieces of quilt batting. They can be pieced together for small projects such as crib quilts. I also use the small pieces for quilted totebags, purses, coasters, etc.

I would love to make a quilt using nothing purchased! I could do a series of posts showing how it was made. The backing fabric could be pieced from stash and scraps as well as the front. Maybe soon!

Usually this time of year my quilting and sewing slows down dramatically until after the first of the year. I plan to keep hand quilting the Grandma Quilt and continue working on some quilts in progress. But, will probably not have any more finishes of bed size quilts this year.


Granny J said...

I love seeing the quilts made from scraps and old clothing. After all, that is how quilts originated, using discarded clothing to make quilts to keep warm in the winter.

I've used lightweight fleece blankets instead of batting in a couple of baby quilts and the recipients loved them.

Sportsgirl said...

you are so organised!!

Florrie said...

I love all your organisational tips..........I dare not put any photo's of where I store my yarns and fabrics.....quite shocking.
Love the idea of a selvidge quilt, and I too have used recycled wool blankets purchased for pennies from the charity shops to make and line all sorts of projects.
My slogan for and re-use.
florrie x

Pen Pen said...

I like scrap quilts too! I need to use up a lot of stuff too... in fact, I never need to buy another craft project in my life. I have enough now to keep my grandchildren busy long after I"m gone. LOL

Anonymous said...

Whew! I tire just reading all that you are doing. You really have it all together.


Anonymous said...

Hi Debbie,
Are you working on anything for Christmas?
I would love to see you do a totally, from your stash, quilt!


Alexandra said...

I thought about you today...saw some nice material scraps at the thrift store.

Debbie J said...

Thanks Ladies! I'm afraid I'm not nearly as organized as I seem.

Coleen, I haven't been sewing anything for Christmas yet. I have been too busy making other things, but maybe I will get something done. I would love to do the stash quilt so that just might be on my 2011 to do list!

Debbie J.

Deanna said...

It is so secret that I enjoy scraps and scrap quilts. You are right about it being a sort of expensive hobby, but it is very cheap therapy and there are ways to keep the costs down. Using what is on hand is a good place to start. Sometimes I wish my work were more "fashionable," but fashionable would require a great deal more cash. Scrappy and dated is much better than debt. Have a great day!

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