Quilting and Stuff by Knitnoid

Year of the Pig – Question #10

Jill’s question this week is:

How do you save time and money while quilting?

#1 – Shop my stash first.  I don’t have a huge stash – especially not of yardage, but I can generally put together a scrappy quilt from my fabric bins (stuff larger that a F8) or my pre-cut bins (strips, brick & blocks).

#2 – When I have to buy – fabric, batting, or thread, or anything really – I do my  best to get it on sale.   I can’t think of the last time I paid full retail price for something.  Even if it’s not on sale,  I typically get 10% off because I’m a member of a quilt  guild.

#3 – Shop for fabric where you don’t normally think to look.  Check out thrift shops.  I was in one the other day and there were two different 4 yard cuts of quilting cotton for about  $8.  Since I didn’t NEED any Hogs on Hogs or Bears on Hogs, I left it at the shop.  Which is a good segway to the next point.

#4 – If it doesn’t have an immediate purpose LEAVE IT AT THE STORE.  That’s not to say that if your selection of red fabrics is low and you find a great red that you love you can’t bring it home.  That fills a purpose – filling out your selection of red fabrics.  But it does mean that if you found a great fabric, you love it, but have no idea of what you are going to do with it, or when you plan to use it it can stay at the store.

#5 – Buy only what you need plus the little extra that you always want to have for cutting mistakes.  If the pattern calls for 1/2 yard, buy the 1/2 yard or maybe 5/8 — not the whole yard.  The exception of course is if the sale price is only for 1 yard cuts or more — but if purchasing the whole yard will cost significantly more than getting just what you need on regular price – buy what you need.

#6 – Just because you have a coupon doesn’t mean you have to use it.  I just got a postcard for my birthday at a LQS. It’s worth 25% off my purchase during a two week period.  Unless it’s good on long arm rental, I think the only thing I’m going to use it on is pre-wound bobbins for the quilt I’ll quilt on the last day the coupon is good.

#7 – Similar to shopping the stash, work on your UFOs.  Most of my UFOs I have everything I need to finish them. Borders, backings, bindings and occasionally sashings tend to be the exception.

Ok, I guess that about sums up how I save money on my quilting.  So what about time savers.

#1 – I’m a big Leader/Ender fan.  Bonnie Hunter has a great tutorial about Leaders & Enders here.  So, while I’m piecing a project that I needs to be done “now”, I’m also piecing a project that can be done “whenever”.  My current leader/ender project is Fun with Bricks.

#2 – I’ve never been one to be able to pick up an entire quilt off the floor or design wall and sew the blocks together and have them in the right order.  On the other hand, don’t like getting up after one seam to get the next block.  So, I’ve taken flower head pins and put numbers on them 1 – 2- 3- 4, and so on – I think up to 8.  When it’s time to sew a row together, I stick pin #1 in the top left corner of the 1st block on the row.  I flip block #2 over onto it and then stick a straight pin through both blocks where they will be seamed together.   Flower pin #3 goes in the 3rd block, and I go down the row.  Now, I can take the entire pile of paired blocks (don’t forget to bring block # 7 with you) and sew them into pairs and then the pairs into 4’s, without turning a block up side down or putting block 1 & 2 after block 3 & 4.

#3 – Get a design wall.  It is so much easier walking up to a wall and arranging blocks than trying to arrange them on the floor and having to get up and down, or on the bed.  The bonus is you don’t have to worry about the cat rearranging them for you.

#4 – Change and/or sharpen your rotary blade.  I can’t tell you the # of times I fuss with a blade not cutting all the way through and keep messing with it.  Then I’m amazed at the speed in which I can cut fabric with a new blade.

#5 – I used to belong to a group that sent out a reminder to wind your bobbins once a week.  It take the same amount of time to wind 10 bobbins all at once as it does to wind one bobbin 10 times, but you only thread your machine once instead of 10 times.  Also, the project goes faster once you start sewing if you don’t have to stop to wind another bobbin. (I tend to piece everything using gray thread).

I’m sure there are other things I do which speeds my quilting along, but since I do them all the time by habit, I don’t necessarily realize it’s saving me time.

Check out the link’s over Jill’s to see how other same time & money when they quilt.

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