4 tulip quilt blocks making a star

FRUGAL QUILTING

Frugal Quilting Tips and Frugal  Quilting Ideas to Save Money Quilting

Quilting - For the Love of Beauty, Comfort, and Handiwork

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Frugal Quilting Basics

Blocks

 

Basic Building Blocks

 

a basic 4 patch quilt block

 

Squares and Rectangles

Squares and Rectangles
The Simple 4-Patch
Squares in the Corners

more  (1) (2)

 

 

Cutting a Single Triangle
Half Square Triangles
Quarter Square Triangles
Split Quarter Square Triangles

more   (1) (2)

 

the snowball quilting block

 

Beginning Blocks

The Pinwheel
Flying Geese
Spools
Shoofly
Snowball

  more  (1) (2)

 

goose in the pond quilt block

 

Stars

Friendship Star
Sawtooth Star
Ohio Star

    more  (1) (2)

 

the goose chase quilt block

 

Quilting Favorites

Churn Dash
Flower Basket
Log Cabin
Maple Leaf

  more  (1) (2)

 

picture of a novelty apple quilt block

 

Novelty Blocks

Hearts
Jars - Food, Bugs, etc.

 more  (1) (2)

 

crossing geese quilt block

What is Frugal Quilting?

 

The Joy of Frugal Quilting

 

When I was a little girl, I slept under a quilt my grandmother made out of my old dresses.  That was a very frugal quilt.

There are other ways to make quilting frugal.  Quilting can be an expensive hobby, or it can be done in a very economical way.

You don't have to invest in a multitude of quilting tools or patterns.  It only takes a handful to tools to start quilting.  Specials rulers and other quilting papers and gadgets come in handy, but are not necessary.

If you go a long time without using special quilting rulers, you forget how to use them.  Then you have to spend your time learning how to use them again. At best it is a quick review.  At worst, you've lost the instructions and can't remember how to use them.

You don't need patterns to quilt.  Once you learn the basics of quilting, you will have more fun making your own blocks and putting them together in your own unique way. 

This website will teach you what I call "simple measurements."  Once you learn this concept, it will be very easy to make blocks that all fit together.

This website is dedicated to teaching how to save money quilting and how to be a frugal quilter.
 

SO HOW DO YOU MAKE QUILTING A FRUGAL HOBBY?

Here are some basics

1. Fabric selection. Fabric can cost over $10 a yard, or it can be purchased for under $3.00 a yard. The trick is finding fabric that is of good quality for a lower price.

Quilters love to shop for fabric.  When they plan a trip, they always check out the local quilt stores.  I have spent years going to all the quilt shops in my area buying fabric at half price.   Unfortunately, I shop faster than I quilt.

I don't buy all my fabric at quilt shops.  You can find good 100% cotton at fabric and craft stores.  What you are looking for is fabric with a good thread count, and a good finish on the fabric. It can be tricky, because some manufacturers put a lot of sizing and other chemicals on the fabric to make it appear more substantial.  Your quilt will only be as strong , or last as long as the weakest fibers in your quilt.

Some fabrics have a very high thread count.  Other fabrics, while of good quality, are thinner.  Generally speaking, you do not want to mix them in the same quilt.  If fabrics look and feel noticeably different, I would not put them in the same quilt.

2. Save every scrap of fabric that you have. You may not think you have a use for small leftover pieces of fabric, but things change and you will evolve as a quilter. You may want to do some appliqué down the road, make doll quilts or clothing, make some tiny blocks for various reasons,  do some paper piecing or use them to make interesting borders.

You don't have to organize your leftovers. Just throw them in a box box. Depending on how you decide to use them, you can organize them later.  Just save them.

3. Make scrappy quilts. A scrappy quilt is one that uses a variety of fabrics, as opposed to a very structured set of fabrics. This helps you make use of all the fabric that you have purchased, including scraps from other projects.  Also, when you go shopping, you can just purchase small quantities of that which you like. Most quilters like to get like a little bit of everything they like.

4. Make larger blocks. Block size is important in frugal quilting.   You waste more fabric when you make small blocks.  Making large blocks makes the piecing process go very quickly.

No matter how carefully you cut and sew, sometimes pieces won't match up perfectly. Fabric stretches, even on the grain. When you make larger blocks, you have more room if you have to pull a little to make the blocks fit together. When you are working with tiny blocks, there is no room for error.

5. Piece beginning quilt blocks.  Beginning blocks can be just as beautiful as blocks that are more difficult to make. You will make fewer mistakes with easy to make quilt blocks.  Mistakes waste time, and sometimes fabric. Frugal quilters do not take a year to make a quilt. Frugal quilting is making a quilt in a reasonable amount of time.  It is making quilts that will be used, sometimes called "utility quilts."

If you want to make an heirloom quilt, it can take over a year and a lot of your time. In that case you will want to use the finest fabric you can afford.

6. Creativity over expense.  Frugal quilting is using more creativity with your own designs than following technically challenging and expensive patterns.  Not only are patterns costly, but the design can be so structured that the slightest mistake ruins the appearance of the quilt.

Learning about quilting grids, and designing your own patterns using frugal and easy blocks to make your own unique and interesting quilt is more creative and saves money.

7. Avoid unnecessary paper aids. You can use quick piecing methods, but they are the easy ones, and they don't require special rulers, or extra papers that cost money that  must be removed when you are done sewing.

8. Don't waste time.  Time is a consideration for everyone. Frugal quilts should be not only easy to piece, but also easy to either tie or machine quilt.

9.  Use simple measurements.  Last, but not least, frugal quilting is using what I call "simple measurements."  This will be explained with each of the block instructions.  If you make most of your blocks in standard sizes, you can put aside blocks you decide not to use on a current project and use at a later time.  Or, if you are in the mood to piece a particular block, like the flying geese, you can make a bunch of them and just set them aside.  They not only will give you a jump start on your next project, but they can inspire your design.

These are just a few rules to follow. On the pages of this website I will be showing how to make the basic building blocks of quilting, as well as other frugal favorite quilt blocks.  You will learn how you can these blocks and alter them to make your own design.  The pages will include links to previous or relative information.

The piecing of the quilting blocks will be explained step-by-step as clearly as possible.  Be sure you thorough understand the beginning blocks before moving forward. 

There will be lots of popular, easy and frugal blocks added to this page as time goes on.

I hope you will find these pages useful to you. If you have any questions, just click on the "contact info" at the bottom of each page.

Happy Quilting!

 

You and Your Seam Ripper

No matter how long you have been quilting, you are going to make mistakes.  Keep that seam ripper handy by taping the holder to your machine.  Remove one level of aggravation.

Featured Block

The Star Puzzle

 

This is an easy block that looks good in a sampler quilt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quilt Sizes

picture of a ruler

Miniature <36"
Wallhanging

any size

Baby 36x36 up to 52x52
Lap 52-68x 52-78
Twin 64-72 x 86-96
Full 70-88 x 88-100
Queen 88-99 x 94-108
King 94-108 x 94-108
 

 

The Quilt Gallery

picture of a blue star

Beautiful and Creative quilts made with the frugal blocks featured on this site. 

The Quilt Gallery

 

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More Quilting Blocks

log cabin courthouse and shoofly quilt block

 (1)  Part 2

 

 

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helpful tips

 

 

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