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Frugal Quilting Basics

quilting and piecing thread



Basic Building Blocks


4 patch quilt block


Squares and Rectangles

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

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flying geese quilt block


Cutting a Single Triangle
Half Square Triangles
Quarter Square Triangles
Split Quarter Square Triangles
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floral diamond in a square or square in a square quilt block


Beginning Blocks

The Pinwheel
Flying Geese

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goose in the pond quilt block



Friendship Star
Sawtooth Star
Ohio Star
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Goose Chase Quilt Block

Quilting Favorites

Churn Dash
Flower Basket
Log Cabin
Maple Leaf

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Frugal Quilting Tips

helpful sewing tips

Backing - You do not have to use a solid piece of fabric for your quilt back.  The backing can also be pieced.  Use large squares and rectangles to make it fast and easy.

Block Size - The larger the block, the faster the piecing process.  You will also have fewer scraps and less waste.

Batting - Always save leftover pieces of batting.  You can use the bigger pieces for wall hangings and small projects, and the scraps for stuffing pillows.  You can also tie a piece around the end of a stick and use it to pick up threads from the floor so they don't clog your vacuum cleaner.

Also, use them to make Swiffer replacement pads. They are great for collecting dust. The polyester cotton blend of batting works well for wet jobs

Blankets - Wash old blankets and use them as the filler in quilts that you are planning or tying or doing some simple machine quilting.

Buttons-  Buttons are expensive.  When you go to a thrift store, take a quick look at garments with good buttons.  Sometimes an item marked for $2.00 will have $10.00 (or more)  worth of buttons on it. If you use buttons for sewing clothing, or embellishing quilt projects, this is a good way to build up a stash.   You can buy a button organizer, or just use egg cartons, safety pins, or twist ties.

Design Boards - There are many ways to make design boards. Any hard surface covered with a little batting and felt or flannel works. If you don't have room for a board, make a portable design board by using the flannel back of vinyl tablecloth. Or use a flannel bed sheet. This is also a great recycling idea for flannel sheets that have pilled.

Ebay - Cut leftover pieces of fabric into squares and sell them on ebay, or sell by the pound.

Estate Sales - Find the estate sale of a quilter, and you will find incredible buys on fabric.

Marking - The most inexpensive, and accurate way, to mark some lines is with your iron.  When you fold you square in half, whether it is on grain or diagonal, and then press it, you get a perfect line without distorting the fabric.

Needle Disposal- You can use old needles to hang pictures.  If you want to throw them away, be careful, as they are sharp.  My favorite way to dispose of them is to place them in the plastic containers that come with SoftPics for your teeth.

Needle Threading - Always cut your thread at an angle before threading a needle. The thread will also go through the hole in the needle easier if you wet the needle.

Pin Cushions-  Pin cushions are easily made with pieces of leftover batting. However, another option is to use a candle stump, the bigger the better.  The wax keeps the pins from rusting and it helps them easily slide through fabric.

Quilting - For easy quilting, use a fabric with a large scale design for the backing. Quilt from the back using the design as your guide. See Scrappy Quilts and Their Backing at Scrappy Quilting to see the picture of a linear and floral design fabric that would make a great quilt backing.

Recycle -  Whether it is the fabric for the top of a a quilt project, the back, or the batting, look for items that can be recycled.  Blankets make good batting, clothing is fabric.  Sew two shoulder pads together, cover them with fabric, and you have a potholder.

Selvage Strips -  When you tear the selvage off your fabric, keep it and recycle it.  It is very strong, and can be used like a lightweight rope.

Sewing Rooms - You can keep your sewing room much cleaner if you keep an empty tissue box near your sewing area and cutting board. Use it to easily throw away bits of fabric and thread as you work.

Thread - You don't need to collect a lot of different colors of thread for piecing.  You will need white, and a putty, beige color for the rest of your fabrics.  If you machine stitch the top, you can pick out multicolor thread or a special color to match your quilt top.

Be mindful of the weight of the thread you use with your sewing machine. A medium weight thread if best (50 weight). If you use a thicker thread, the extra bulk of the thread will reduce the accuracy of your patchwork.



Quilt Sizes

tape measurer

Miniature <36"

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



Like Frugal Living?  Visit these Sites...

Free Clipart

Frugal Happy Families

Mini Preppers

Scrappy Quilting

Simple Living

eagle clipart

squirrel for frugal living

wood burning fireplace for emergency preparedness

the churndash quilt block for scrappy quilting

snoopy resting for simple living

Be warm, be safe;   save time and money.    Be frugal and be happy.








apple quilt block


Novelty Blocks

Jars - Food, Bugs, etc.
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More Quilting Blocks

log cabin courthouse quilt block with shoofly center block

 Blocks  (1) (2)   



The Quilt Gallery

blue star for quilt Gallery

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

The Quilt Gallery





 Frugal Quilting Tips

helpful tips






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