Quick Tips

Tips for Quilting on a Budget on and off Instagram

Heyyyyy there! Guess what. Its Friday. Hallelujah. I’ve been waiting 7 whole days for you.

Today’s blog post is something I have been thinking about for weeks now, and I think I am finally ready to share my thoughts. I am in the middle of a “buying fabric freeze”, and it’s opened my eyes to how I truly feel about my budget and the cost of creativity. The Instagram community is amazing. But it also it very hard to stay in budget when all day long you are looking at pictures of other people’s fabric stashes, new lines of fabric, out of print lines of fabric, hundreds of potential projects,and “sales” left and right. Since becoming more involved, it has been something I have had to watch very carefully, and at times have gone a titch overboard with that luxury of just having to leave a paypal address!!

There is also part of sharing all your pictures on social media that makes people think you are loaded! Hands down one of the most frequent things I’ve been asked since starting my Happiness in the Making Instagram is, ” How on earth can you afford all that fabric? Quilting is so expensive!!”

Guess what. You’re right! It is, can be, and often times ends up that way. But does it always have to be? NO!!! It’s easy to look at quilters on instagram and assume they are rollin in it, that their salaries are basically for fabric/longarm fees, and nothing else. If only that were true… buuuuut… I have bills to pay and we like to order pizza on the weekends. I absolutely have a quilting budget. Lets talk about it.

Instead of saying these are things EVERYBODY SHOULD KNOW, I’m instead going to say, these are the things I wish I would have learned a looonnnng time ago, that help me be able to afford to do what I love, and stay on Instagram.  Enough said. Grab a treat and lets get to it!

Dear new baby quilter Haley,

  • BE REALISTIC    If you have 15 works in progress, you do not need any new ones. The odds of them ever getting to be sewn with slim to none, and your list of projects is ever-changing. If you don’t have a purpose for it in the next year… don’t buy it. Not only will  you die one day and it will probably be given away and made into puppy beds, but half the joy in buying fabric, is giving it life in your own creative ways. It also helps me when I have a limited amount of space. I personally have 1, nine gallon bin that holds all my fabric. If it doesn’t fit, I have to use up some of what I have first!  Same goes for works in progress. I have a limit and cant buy fabric for anything new until one of them is completed.
  • DESTASH DOES NOT EQUAL DISCOUNT!! Dear Instagram destash pages, full of out of print beauties. You absolutely kill my wallet. Never forget that destash does not mean it’s on sale. It can mean that you are buying fabric at an emotional value, not what it should be priced for! And people are allowed to do that! They can sell their stash for what it means to them. But 6 dollars a fat quarter is 24 dollars a yard guys! Plus shipping! If they are too tempting, dont’ follow them. For me, destash ignorance, is truly bliss. OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND!  If there  is an account that is causing you to have one to many package explanation chat’s with your husband, unfollow them! Just like you rid your house of junk food when you are trying to loose weight, rid your feed of pages that are consantly draining your wallet.
  • AVOID THE TEMPTATION OF THE SAMPLE SPREE This one is all about delayed gratification, and understanding how prices will change 4 months down the road. There is nothing that makes me cringe more than seeing people buy a sample spree, or pre sale fqbundle for 150 dollars, that I can buy for 85 in 4 months. If that’s what makes them happy,  great. But if it can wait, let it! If you can wait even longer, it will definitely go on sale .On that note, there are some shops that keep their items fairly priced no matter when they sell them. Find those shops and love them.
  • DONT BUY FABRIC JUST BECAUSE ITS TRENDY Instagram is a place full of beautiful projects made from a wide range of fabrics. Its hard not to get caught up in what everyone else is sewing with. It’s simple. If you think its beautiful, and have something you would love to make out of it?  Then make it work. If not? Just admire what others have done with it and save your pennies for what you love.  Don’t get caught up in the name of the designer. There are new lines being released every other day it feels like. All it means is that we have more choices. Be selective! Don’t think you need it all!
  • WAIT FOR SALES/DISCOUNTS There are certain ways that I love to work discounts into my quilts. Here are a few of them.
    • Lots of shops offer discounts if you finish the bolt. This is perfect for backings and larger chunks of fabric.
    • Purchase from the same shops more than once. Almost every Etsy shop I buy from sends me a discount for my next order. Small fabric shops are so good to their frequent shoppers. Give them some major love.
    • If you are having someone quilt a quilt for you, price check and figure in shipping. Lots of quilters will give you discounts if you send them more than one.
    • Don’t be ashamed to use that 60% off JoAnn’s coupon to your benefit. Batting, thread, backing, basting spray. If you want your money to be spent on your fabric, make sure everything else isn’t as expensive.
  • FIND FABRIC GEMS IN RANDOM PLACES Garage sale? Estate sale?  Your grandmas closet? Thrift stores? If you love to quilt and can’t afford anything new, search for something old. You will create something unique, and beautiful! And will be so proud you didn’t have to sell a kidney for it.
  • THE BEST GIFTS ARE FABRIC =) This one is mine and my husbands favorite way of getting me the fabric I love. Flowers die guys… but fabric stays pretty forever!! If there is something I am dying to have but I can’t work into my budget, I will ask for it for my birthday.. or Christmas.. or valentines day…  We know in my family that chocolate makes me fat, I don’t wear jewelery, and I’ll never be disappointed with  a jelly roll with a ribbon around it!




That was the longest wordiest post ever. But hey… If it saves ya 5 bucks???! Worth it!!! Happy Sewing this weekend!!

9 thoughts on “Tips for Quilting on a Budget on and off Instagram

  1. You make a lot of sense! I have so many projects to do that they will keep me busy for another year! I have slowed down considerable in purchasing fabric that is “pretty”. I have to have a project in mind now to purchase in quantity. Thanks for the words of wisdom and advice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This post has my name on it! I’m so guilty of all of the above. I’m knew to this community and just love fabric. The struggle is real! Thanks for sharing your wisdom. I needed to hear it

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Haley,

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!! This post was fantastic and oh so needed. I’ve gotten myself so frustrated with IG because I want it all. And I find myself getting sucked into it. And I’ve even seen new lines of fabric come out that I’m not that giddy over but because everyone else is I think it must be awesome so I buy it anyway and I’m like “WHAT, this fabric is so not me”. (Luckily I’ve only done that once and learned my lesson). But oh wow, was this just fantastic advice.

    Loved it! Thank you Haley!

    – Dori @redfeedsack –

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Excellent post and just what I needed to read. I have a room full of fabric, tons of UFOs, and really need to use what I have instead of looking for the next great find. Thanks, Haley!

    Liked by 1 person

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