4-26-11 qotd

karpetApril 26, 2011

A friend went to her LQS last week and the owner told her the new bolts will be selling at $11 yd. Gas prices are at the $4 gal. A bag of sugar at our grocery store is the same price - only it is a 4 lb. bag instead of a 5 lb. bag.

So, the question is, is your quilting affected by the economy yet? Do you have any 'guidelines' you go by, like "I will only buy what's on sale" or "I will only buy what I need" or "I have a set limit I'll spend each month" etc.

If your quilting is not affected yet, what will affect it? If the price of fabric is over ______ yd, if gas prices go above _____ gal. ?

Just curious how everyone is prioritizing their love of quilting.


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I'm worried more about the price of food and gas than I am about buying more fabric right now! Realistically, I know I can sew from my stash for quite a few projects. I have plenty of cones of thread and since I really love to make scrap quilts, I would only have to purchase backing and batting as needed. I heard just this morning on the news that cotton has increased 40% and prices for clothing at the Gap and Old Navy etc. will increase 5-20%. But my first thought was "oh no!!! quilters' cotton will go up!"


    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 10:16AM
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Right now I am using from my stash, and exchanging "scraps" with fellow quilters to freshen up my choices. While I can afford to purchase fabric if I sacrifice in other areas, I have made the decision to only get what I need (mostly for backs right now). Thread is costing more and that has to be purchased, even to use up the stash. I am using up my bits and pieces of odd colored threads for basting (and some piecing).

In some ways I think the prices are throwing us back to the "traditional" ways of quilting. Using what you have at hand to create from our hearts that will be loved by our family.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 10:23AM
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Although I'm concentrating on the garden right now before it gets so hot, when I do go back indoors, I will be in the same situation as you folks. I still have quite a stash, but not enough for backings. I have quite a bit of thread and it isn't the premium quilting thread, but it will do if needed. As far as buying new fabric, I never buy anymore unless it's on sale and I have a definite need for it. This has been for the last 5 years since my job went overseas, and the job situation in this area plummeted, so I have learned to be frugal for quite awhile. I miss flitting around the fabric stores on a whim and buying with no plan, but those days are long gone, hopefully not forever.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 10:53AM
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I too am going back to my roots and using what I have on hand which is quite a lot. I've known for some time that the price of cotton was going to go through the roof so I will just roll with it and only buy what I need, and preferably on sale. What's really throwing me is the price of batting. I have quite a lot of thread on hand and could sew with that for a year or more.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 12:54PM
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I'm also using from my stash and have quite a bit of thread on hand. Might even go back to winding my own bobbins, but the prewounds sure are nice to have. Even the sale fabric....if I don't need it, I don't buy it. When I get back home, I think I'll be doing some trading to get some white/WOW and neutral scraps.

I'm sick and tired of the government not putting a cap on gasoline prices. Milk prices are atrocious! Chicken is less expensive than hamburg now! Think I'll check out whole chickens and see if it would be worth it to buy them, bake them all, pick them clean, freeze the meat and make broth with all the bones and skin and freeze that! Oh great! Now I'm hungry for chicken and homemade noodles!


    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 2:29PM
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I also have plenty of fabric. I just don't admit it when I want to go shopping. But, I find myself driving less as gas prices rise. And I found a new store that has long racks of half price as they move in newer lines. I could design around that if I needed to.

I use my Joanns coupons for batting and buy it ten yards at a time.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 3:23PM
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Thank goodness I have a Hobby Lobby here and they have coupons every week. Plus they have Warm 'n Natural/White batting which I love.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 3:35PM
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I've been trying to buy most of my fabric on sale for quite awhile now...both at LQS and online. I also stocked up on batting but just yesterday looked for some thread cones and really got sticker shock at that! It's going to be interesting to see if the cotton prices ever go back down once there's another good crop.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 3:40PM
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My initial response------I'm SO--0000OOOOO!!! glad I closed my quilt shop before cotton prices went up so high! I was already hearing women say they were using their stash due to the economy - & that was 2 1/2 yrs ago!

(for once in my life my timing was right!) lol

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 6:42PM
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I too stopped buying just because I like it, it is pretty, I can use this in "blank",...just pick one. I buy now for specific projects only. I did it mainly because I was running out of room to store my stash without taking over other areas of the house. But every once in a great while, I slip up and buy a yard because it tells me to take it home.
My guess is cotton prices will not go down any time soon. I don't think a good crop will help either. One of the main reasons for higher prices is that in other countries, think China and India, with higher population growth and new found wealth, demand is up for cotton products. And it seems that once a company finds it can get a higher price for whatever reason, they just never go lower again.
Remember when gas went to $1.00 a gallon and the outrage that brought on? LOL Well, the outrage didn't last long and now we are paying close to $4.00 a gallon.
I too worry about food prices so I my garden is bigger this year than in the past.
It seems there is always something to upset your financial budget!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 6:15AM
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here is a link to a Wall Street journal article from October 2010...

Here is a link that might be useful: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704300604575554210569885910.html

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 6:24AM
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I agree with all the above. My daughter just called me from JoAnn's and asked if I still wanted whatever I sent her for. I asked the price and told her no, I would wait until I get a coupon. She found a sale paper with 40% off so I told her buy it. Fat quarters were on sale too. So yes I'm using what I have in my stash and raiding my quilt buddy's stash too to get by. I forgot that batting would probably go up too. Hopefully get some with the next coupon. I'm limiting my driving as well and hate the visits to the gorcery. Using freezer a lot these days. Buying meats on sale and shopping at Walmart for food staples.
Hang in there girls!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 10:28AM
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Ditto, ditto, ditto ... Now is the time for me to start finishing all the UFOs I have pieced, but that means buying the batting & backing for some. It has been fun to shop in my own store - I was amazed when I was reorganizing how much stuff I have (it's almost embarrassing!) ANYWAY, I am trying not to buy unless I need it for a project and using coupons & sales as much as possible. On the grocery front - I am truly a sale shopper. When the ads come out on Wednesday, DH & I go through them & see what is on sale & stock up. We always combine trips - and as soon as the weather is better, he will be riding our scooter or his bike most places. These lousy gas prices are making us rethink summer camping trips to closer to home and not big road trips!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 11:12AM
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I have stash to last a lifetime, including backs and batting. I'm only buying thread and needles. I quilt so slowly, I *really* get my money's worth. I've taken up knitting since Christmas so I'm spending all my hobby money on sock yarn right now--still quilting, but also knitting and OMG pulling weeds, weeds, weeds, and more weeds.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 11:31AM
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I think I will be "piecing" my leftover batting when I need some for a wall hanging or looking for flannel sheets or blankets at Big Lots. I'm fine with using flannel for wall hangings. It may be more economical to buy a flannel sheet on sale than to buy new batting at a quilt shop.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 1:06PM
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I'm mostly using what I have in my stash unless I need something for a birthday block. Batting is always a concern but I use my Joann coupons for that. DH was unemployed for over 2 years up until last May so I've been on a severe austerity program for a while now. I can't say I got used to it, but you do learn to adapt. When I do buy something it is either just the amount I need or it's something that may not be the piece I love but it's the one on sale. Adapting!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 1:34PM
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I love scrappy and have a very large stash. I don't "shop" as much anymore so it probable will be mainly backings and batts. I rethink every time I use a backing and have come to the conclusion that a good muslin backing is fine for most quilts. I like the extra wide backs and Hancocks of Paducah have Moda for reasonable prices. Wide backings offer a lot, 3 yds of fabric for one yard of 108" width and more for wider ones.
I usually buy larger batts and cut them down for smaller projects and piece when necessary.
We traded our van for a hybrid this spring. We do mostly local driving and are still working on the original tank of gas. The real test will come when we take a trip in May.
Food: Since I am a child of the 30's I have seen many ups and downs, I tend to go with the flow and avoid what I feel is not necessary. My favorite expression is "I have always had enough." Expect that will continure. Jayne

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 3:01PM
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I'm very lucky. I can make some quilts from stash fabrics. I can also hunt down bargains, and I will.

I traded in my huge van for a Prius several years ago and that has helped.

But I've always been frugal with a plan. I save up, so that when I can combine free shipping with a fabric order, and order enough yardage to get the 10% discount, that's what I do.

I buy only what I like and will use.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 10:32PM
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With the price of everything going up these days, I have been saving my scraps, even the small pieces. And I find myself buying more fabric quarters these days which I supplement with cheaper solid colored fabrics. I plan to start some scrap quilts in 2012 such as Lemoyne Star, Grandma's Flower Garden, and Flower Basket Applique quilts. Quilts that will take me a few years to make by hand sewing/quilting to stretch out the projects. I have never made a scrap quilt before. I currently have 4 quilts that I am working on and hope to have that group of quilt projects finished some time in 2012.

Am spending less money on gardening this year and rediverting those funds to quilting supplies. And I try to catch things on sale. And I have a relative in another state in a metroplex area that has a Jo-Ann's nearby so they do some of my shopping for me and mail it to me. I email them online coupons that are only good for a day or 2 and they can use them immediately for me which is really great. I am in a rural area with only supplies of fabric available to buy are at Walmart, Hancocks, and Hobby Lobby so not the greatest selection if you are wanting fabric in multiples of one color like 3 different prints of pinks. And for future quilts I am considering using a new bed-sheet for the bottom of the queensize quilts as I have heard that is cheaper than buying 9 yards for the bottom of quilts that measure 110 in x 110 in. My family likes to have a lot of length on the sides of their quilts.

And I am checking out quilt books from the library before deciding which ones to buy that way I don't waste money on books that just collect dust. I checked out one book from the library this week "Amish Quiltmaker: From Small Projects to Full-Sized Quilts" by Bettina Havig and it tells of how they use pencils to trace decorative quilt patterns on to the top of the quilts before stitching them by hand where they have areas of solid fabrics - I am going to try using a pencil and see if it washes out - if it works that would sure be cheaper than disappearing fabric ink pens. And I plan to slowly invest in quilt products such as stencils that I can use and reuse on several quilts.

And when I find quilt patterns that I like that are free on the internet I print them out and put them in clear pages in a binder. Websites aren't maintained for forever. So even if it is a quilt that I might like to make 5 years from now I print out the pattern as that website may not be available in 5 years. And I like to look at ceramic tile adds in magazines as it gives me ideas of new block designs to make to accent quilts.

It is always great to hear of frugal quilting ideas. We only have 1 vehicle so I get to town when hubby takes me as we combine trips or I catch a ride with M-I-L once or twice a month. So I have to plan ahead and know exactly what I am getting as it may be 2 weeks before I get a chance to go back to town. Thank you for all your frugal ideas. :-)

Best to you,

    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 5:33PM
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Hey Jayne -
Just saw this ad from over in your neck of the woods in case you're interested.


Here is a link that might be useful: $1 yd

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 5:26PM
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Thank you Karlene, now if I only knew how to access the site--------- Maybe it was JoAnne's as they are having a store closing sale. Jayne

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 4:02PM
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Sorry Jayne! It was an ad on craigslist - this is what it said:

FABRIC BLOWOUT SALE: Quality fabric at $1.00/yard. (585) 394-8428 Cleaning out sewing stock.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 6:33PM
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