How To Quilt On A Tight Budget


Quilting Contessa discusses what to do when your quilting desire is strong but your wallet is weak.

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How To Quilt On A Tight Budget

When your desire to quilt is strong but your wallet is empty, what's a quilter to do? Have you ever wanted to make a new quilt but your budget just would not allow you to head to the quilt shop to purchase the best quality fabric you desire? Do you just wait and save up your pennies until you can buy "just the right thing" or do you explore other options? Here are a few ideas that you can use during those lean budget times.

How To Quilt On A Tight Budget


Shop at Home When Your Budget is Tight

Quilting Stash


So you don't have the money to go out and purchase new fabric for that great quilt you have in mind. Do you have a stash that you can use? Really look at all of your fabric and see if you have some great fabrics you can use. Don't forget your scrap bin – this is a great time to make a scrap quilt, a miniature quilt, or use some of those beautiful bits of fabric to make an appliqued quilt.

Scrap Bin


No Stash? – Hit the Closet

So you really don't have a stash, but you really want to make a quilt. Go check out your clothes closet and see if there are clothes that you or your family have outgrown or that have gone out of style. Perhaps some of those clothes were just too good to throw away, but you just didn't want to wear them any more. You may be able to up-cycle these items into a new quilt. Obviously you liked the fabrics at some point or you wouldn't have purchased them, so it's a great place to start! Just cut them up into the largest pieces possible and use your creativity to make something fabulous out of them. This is also a great opportunity to make a memory quilt from special clothes, t-shirts, neckties, or jeans. As long as the fabric is in good shape, it can be a future quilt.

Closet Picks


No Fabric and No Spare Clothing – How About Making a Charity Quilt

Many organizations receive gifts of clothing or fabric from time to time that is donated for charity projects. This is the perfect time to visit your local Guild, community center, or church and see if they have received this type of donation that you can use to make a quilt for their charity. This will give you the satisfaction of making a quilt and perhaps trying a new pattern while it is also helping others.


Maybe You Have a Tiny Quilting Budget…

If you have a tiny quilting budget, you are not alone, but you do have options:

  1. Try the reduced section at your local quilt shop, and let the shop employees know you are on the lookout for a great deal. Great shops will let you know when they have a sale coming up because they would rather get that fabric you want into your hands to quilt than have it languish on the bolt in their store.
  2. Scout out garage sales in your area and see if there is fabric or great clothes at a tiny price.
  3. Head to local thrift stores and see what is on sale there. You never know when a fellow quilter will have made a donation or you will find a great shirt or pair of jeans that will just speak to you.
  4. Put the word out in your Guild that you are looking for fabrics at a great price – sometimes your fellow quilters will share their stash with you, or let you know where they find the best deals in your area. Some quilters regularly sell or give away their leftover fabrics when they finish a project to avoid clutter in their home and you may be just the right person to use those leftovers! Can you say scrap quilt?
  5. Check Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or quilters de-stash groups on Facebook. There are many sites that sell fabrics closer to wholesale than retail prices that might have just what you are looking for.


Though fabric that comes from sources other than a quilt shop might not be your first choice, it might be a great alternative to keep you stitching until you have the resources to make that special purchase. Who knows you may find that scrap quilts and repurposing fabrics really give you more of a sense of satisfaction than you could have ever dreamed.

So what's your favorite way to keep stitching when your budget is tight?
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Memory Quilt
A quilt with signatures from friends, community often for an important life event.

Same As: Autograph Quilt, Signature Quilt, Album Quilt
Scrap Quilt
A quilt, usually patchwork, made of many different fabrics, often left over from other projects.
A quilter's personal collection of fabrics. Buying more fabric is adding to your stash.
Quilting Contessa

Quilting Contessa is a collection of various authors around the world that have submitted articles for the QuiltingHub 'How To' quilt wiki.  These are authors that do not write enough to have their own authorship, yet provide valuable content for the site.  If you wish to submit an article, contact us on QuiltingHub.

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