This post is actually what made me want to start a blog. I've been mulling over this topic of "budget" quilting for a while now, and it's something that I haven't seen talked about on the numerous blogs I follow.
First, an overview of my quilting so far - I started in January of this year, during a time when my husband was unemployed, we had numerous bills, and we were tentatively planning a move out of the city. In other words, a terrible, terrible time to take up an expensive hobby that seems to require a lot of tools. It is now May, my husband has gainful employment, we made the move, but we still have next to no extra money. I feel like this whole process has helped me to become very resourceful, and has made an enormous impact on the quilts that I am making and plan on making - my whole quilt style, essentially. I realized as I was writing this post it was becoming unwieldy, so I feel like this will end up being a three parter, just a heads up!
The first block that I made was a scrappy trip-along block. The only tool I bought was a 9"x3" quilting ruler, and I found a fabric store local to Arizona that has giant piles of cotton fabric scraps for $4/yard. I had a pair of great fabric scissors from when I attended college for fashion design, so I just used those, drew some lines, cut them out, sewed it...yikes.
I'm sure you can see the problems for yourself...
So, I realized I needed a couple more materials. I saved up for a rotary cutter, which helped, but not having a square ruler was killing me. Plus, I couldn't afford a mat, so I had to find alternatives at home...usually just the table underneath the fabric (it's not a great table, don't worry! No furniture was harmed!). Early last month, I was finally able to get a 12.5" square ruler and a 24"x18" self-healing rotary cutter mat (both at about half price, otherwise there's no way I could've afforded them), and I am on it now. My seams have a chance at aligning! I can cut in a straight line with no fear! Magic!
Armed with these tools, I feel I can accomplish quilting. I know that I don't need anything else. There's a couple of things that I feel I could benefit from, such as a smaller square ruler for my hst's, or a longer rectangle ruler, or a triangle ruler maybe. But I recognize that those are luxuries and not necessities. In essence: if you are a beginning quilter with not much to spend on hobbies, invest in a large, square ruler, a rotary cutter and a self-healing cutting mat, and possibly a rectangle ruler (I would say at least 24" long, if you really want bang for your buck). The rectangle ruler is sort of a luxury too though, quite honestly, I use my square ruler for everything. The larger rulers and cutting mats are incredibly expensive, but since you can use them no matter the size of your quilt block, you don't need to get a dozen smaller rulers in varying sizes. Just get them on sale! Joann's 50% sales or coupons are the way to go.
Fabric-wise, I rely on my local SAS Fabrics. That place is amazing. But more on that next post!
Do you have any thoughts about this matter of "budget" quilting? Any experiences or wisdom to add? I'd love to hear it! Being a new quilter myself, I could use as much guidance as possible ♥