If you are on a limited budget as we are, our hobbies must fall in line with our family priorities and responsibilities. I don't think that means that we can't make quilts -lovely quilts-if we are on a limited budget, it just means being thoughtful and careful with our hobby.
Here are some tips that I have picked up over the years:
1. Check supplies before buying anything.
Most quilters have a supply of fabrics which we lovingly call our 'stash". I have a stash -and this is only after quilting for four years! It takes a bit more imagination to make a quilt with what you have, rather than rushing out to buy fabrics which match the picture you saw in a magazine or on a you tube video, but the resulting quilt will be original! Recently I needed a border for the music quilt I was working on -by going to my stash and trying to use what I had, I was forced to become more inventive and creative. I think it is working! It is important to know what I have already in my stash so that I don't re-purchase fabric I have already got -which would be a waste.
2. Buy boring stuff
This way you can keep your fabulous fabric as the feature in a quilt without needing lots of it.
4. Be accountable. I am part of an online quilting group called "Stashbusters"- we encourage each other to use what we have and keep away from the shops. I also make sure any purchases I make are recorded in our family budget -this keeps me grounded in reality.
6. Look in unusual places for fabric: I like to go to op shops where I have found fabric remnants like the gorgeous 1.5 metres of new batik fabric I got today for a measly $3. I have used cotton sheets as backing for my quilts -nice and wide and soft. I have started looking seriously at the 'novelty print' sheets from the 80s -would make a nice nostalgic quilt for a hipster or two -with motifs like Star Wars or some such. The quilt above was made entirely from fabric I found in Fremantle op shops when I worked there -and I gave it to a colleague when we finished our project.
I have also taken part in scrap swaps with people either close to me or across the world -a great way to get some 'new to me' fabrics and to make friends too.
I have a lovely friend who was given a lot of fabric from a shop which was closing down -I was allowed to pick some bolt ends -and they have been great. The only stipulation was that we had to USE them. Happy to do so!
5. Make scrappy quilts -and have lots of patterns for them.
Bonnie Hunter has some lovely free patterns on her blog -and lots of techniques for storing them to turn a messy pile into a useful resource.
Do you have strategies for keeping the cost of quilting down? What are they?