I read a great post by Laura Stepien on 52 Quilters on how to start quilting inexpensively.
I thought I’d add a few other ways to get started for (almost) no money.
How to learn to quilt for (almost) no money!
FREE Books on how to learn all quilting techniques can be found at your local library! And, unless they are requested, you can keep the book for a month or more. Most local libraries will take purchase requests if there’s a book you’d like to have them buy. Also, if your county or city library system doesn’t have a book , they can request it on InterLibrary Loan–also free.
CHEAP CHEAP BOOKS on how to learn all quilting techniques can be found on Ebay, at your local Goodwill Industries book store–also Salvation Army AND your local library book store. The books might not have ‘modern’ in the title, or they might be a few years old, but so what!! You can find excellent books and magazines with all the techniques you need, and as you learn, you can modify a pattern or adapt a technique yourself.
YOUTUBE is an outstanding source of wonderful how-to videos. Start with my favorite site– Missouri Star Quilt Company. They have an entire channel of quilting tutorials and all kinds of free info on their site. Then, keep exploring. You can learn almost all the basics for free by scouting around YouTube.
GO TO ALL OF YOUR LOCAL QUILT GUILD SHOWS AND MEETINGS because they always have a table full of inexpensive magazines and books. Yes, they might be old but I guarantee you that you’ll get lots of wonderful information. My guild just recently had a show and we sold books for $2 and magazines for about 50 cents a piece. Visitors can shop their sales.
LOCAL QUILT GUILDS sometimes have beginner quilting workshops OR they have groups for beginners. A guild membership is a great investment so JOIN a guild!!
LOCAL QUILT SHOPS will also teach classes for beginners.
How to find Almost Free or very low cost Fabric!
LOW COST FABRIC–always, always shop the sales at your local quilt shop or other local fabric stores. Get on their mailing list for early notice of their big sales. Their bargain bins might have fabric as low as $3 or $4 per yard!! And, at your local shop, they only buy quality goods, so cheap doesn’t mean ugly or bad fabric. You can sometimes snag good deals at Walmart and at Joann Fabric stores (in the US)–get on the Joann’s email or mobile phone list for fabulous coupons. I’ve gotten 20% off entire purchase including stuff on sale!! 30% off notions like cutters, scissors, rulers, etc. is fairly common.
LOCAL QUILT GUILDS sometimes have tables of inexpensive fabric at their meetings so be sure to check those out. Even visitors can buy the fabric.
ALMOST FREE FABRIC can be found at, yes, your local Goodwill and Salvation Army. A 100% cotton shirt or dress for $3 can yield a lot of fabric for a quilt. I’ve known quilters who found 100% cotton sheets at Goodwill and used them for backing, or wool blankets for the batting. Find it, wash it and use it. No one needs to know that it came from Goodwill!! There’s an entire movement of quilters who use recycled/repurposed fabric, inspired by the famous Gee’s Bend Quilters. Do an internet search about them and find their books in your local library.
Low Cost Sewing Machines Work Great. See my earlier post.
Now, saving a ton of money means only one thing….you can splurge on a lovely fat quarter bundle at your local quilt shop or online Etsy shop.
Like buying something from this beautiful group of jelly roll strips from SewFunQuilts on Etsy. Look for fabric sales or ‘destash’ sales on Etsy. Great bargains!!