I didn’t realize how great I had it. When I was in Alaska, not only did I get a steep discount because I was working at a quilt shop, I also lived with quilters, all of whom had either left supplies or brought their own and were happy to share. But, coming back I had to leave a few things behind. I couldn’t justify stuffing 5 yards of fabric and my sewing kit on top of my already stocked full suitcase.
But what’s a crafter to do, back home with no supplies? I decided to stock up and get some basics for when I wanted to tackle my next sewing project. Whoa are quilting supplies expensive. Thankfully Grandma had a sewing machine for me.Which brings me to your biggest money saver.
1. You Never Know Until You Ask
If you need supplies or fabric, before you hit the shops, ask your friends. Chances are pretty high that your crafty friends will have some fabric they don’t have a use for, or old mats and scissors they no longer need. Post on Facebook, check with grandma, join a quilting circle. But if you do have to buy a sewing machine, or need to scout the big box stores, weigh your options.
Your sewing machine will be your biggest investment. And if you’re a beginner, dropping a hefty sum for a high quality machine might not seem too appealing. Luckily there are options. I had a friend find a relatively inexpensive Singer and Walmart. Yes, Walmart. Think about the use, how likely you are to use it after your first big project. Are you planning on selling your projects? All these are going to help you find the machine for you.
3. Know the Necessities
Quilting is a multi-billion dollar business. And it can be so tempting get wrapped up in the latest gadget and tools that you see in video tutorials and magazines. There’s lots of really cool tech out there, made specifically for the quilter. But if you’re quilting on a budget learn to weigh the difference between cool gadgets and must haves. Here is the list I made of what I knew I would need for my sewing space.
- A Cutting Mat $25-90 (depending on size)
- A really good pair of fabric scissors $8-16
- Measuring Tape $1.50-3
- Rotary Cutter $10-20
- Spare Blades
- Extra Bobbins $2
- Sewing Machine Needles $4-10
- Seam Riper $4
Everything else, fabric, thread, fabric can be budgeted when you actually have a project in mind.
4. Coupon Chic
Do you like Hobby Lobby? Who doesn’t! The best thing is, before you check out you can pull up a 40% off coupon for your most expensive item. Bring your friends and have them each use the coupon. Go coupon crazy. For the big box stores, Joann Fabrics, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, chances are a quick google search before checkout can save tons.
5. Consider a Side Hustle
Do you just absolutely love quilting, are you addicted to fabric and all the things with it? An easy way to help fund that addiction is trying to work a few hours at your local shop. You will probably get a discount and you’ll get first pick of the new merchandise. Even if your shop is fully stocked, consider teaching a class, specifically partnering with your local quilt shop. They may agree to host the class, discount supplies, or provide door busters for your class only.
Those are just a few things to help ease your wallet and still get you quilting. What works for you, have any amazing deals that you have come across? Let me know