How to Save Money on Quilting

Fabric price increases are coming

It’s inevitable that inflation is going to hit the quilting world. I’ll give you some ideas of how to save money on quilting. I don’t have any definitive inside intel for when that will happen exactly to be honest. But the buzz in the quilting world is that the latest orders directly place with manufacturers may have been their last order before prices increase this Spring of 2022. I’ve seen the community discussing upwords of $16 per yard for quilting store cotton and I’m not sure my heart could handle that very well.

Sometimes this is exactly how it feels!

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Beat the increases by buying early. Many of us have a pretty good stash of fabric, but often what is missing? Backgrounds, backings, and maybe blender fabric. My stash is mostly fat quarters, layer cakes, jelly rolls, and 1 yard/half yard bundles. These lines of fabric generally requires background fabric in a more neutral tone. I’ve decided to add a few more bolts to my collection so that I have more of what I use most. 

Example: I bought a bolt each of Moda Grunge in White PaperVanilla, and Grey Paper a while back and have used 75% of the White Paper and only about 20% of the Vanilla and Grey Paper. Seeing that, and looking at my fabric, the more white background fabric definitely speaks to my stash. So I’ve decided to buy a couple more bolts of a white background to use here in my studio. I also have several fun colors of Uncorked – which is another of my very favorites, as well as a gingham and Grunge in a starry black. (my Halloween go to!)

My current bolts of fabric on hand

You might not think you need that much but consider that a 15 yard bolt used for background would likely yield you anywhere between 4 – 8 quilts depending on size and pattern. If you want to buy an entire bolt, ask you local shop if they offer a discount for that type of purchase. Keep in mind some manufacturers set the pricing so it might be out of their control. 

Fat Quarter Shop Quilting Fabrics and Supplies

Watch for sales! You can score some pretty great deals when you are watching for good sales. Subscribe to your favorite stores newsletters and they will usually let you know when they are happening. I consider anything over 30% off quilting supplies a really good sale and it will peak my interest for sure!

Facebook De-stash or For Sale Groups – Quilters Classified is a really great Facebook page to follow. People list items for sale very often and sometimes you can score an amazing deal! There are lots of them out there just enter destash fabric or fabric for sale in your search bar in Facebook to see what you can find!

What if I don’t have a stash? That’s ok, you will still get tips here on how to save money on quilting! First off, buy what you can afford. Many of us love quilt store cotton and swear by it. It does feel great in the hands and likely has a higher quality density/weave and color to it. But many swear on the awesomeness of big box store or craft stores fabrics. Use what you like here! There are no rules no matter what anyone tells you. There are definitely preferences but not rules. Check clearance bins in online stores to help build your stash. It isn’t always full of unpopular prints or what others didn’t want. The store may have simply overbought and you can find some amazing deals there! I’m always checking. Besides, if a fabric speaks to you – that’s all that matters!

Special offer from Annie’s you don’t want to miss! Joining one of Annie’s Kit Club for quilting is an awesome way to build your stash. And through the month of March 2022, Nationals Craft Month, it is 100% off the kit to give it a try. YES, 100% OFF. Pay shipping and taxes to see what it is like! You can cancel at any time or adjust your membership to ship 1 – 6 months! Talk about flexibility! I am currently in the Fat Quarter Club and the Jelly Roll Club. Click the graphic below to check it out! There is a Batik Club, CharmPack Club as well as some holiday block of the month type clubs! The promo code should fill in automatically but if it doesn’t it is: NEWCRAFT

I reviewed Annie’s Quilting Clubs in a previous blog post. Check that out right here!

Consider high quality muslin. Muslin comes in a variety of weights and they can have a different feel to them for sure. But it is generally cheaper in price by quite a bit and will help with the question of how to save money on quilting. You could consider using this as background or backing to save some money. Here is a link to some Muslin from Moda at the Fat Quarter Shop, but I have not personally tried it – check out the reviews if you decide to go this route. I do have a bolt, but I’ve had it a long time and I think it came from JoAnns. I remember buying it by the feel and look. 

Use more solid fabric. Solids can be much easier on the wallet. Bella Solids and Kona Solids for example are much cheaper and can really stretch your stash! Look at what colors you have a lot of in your stash and buy some yardage to keep on hand.

Scraps, scraps, scraps! Use those scraps! If you are anything like me you have an impressive amount of scraps taking over your space. I need to make a few quilts that focuses on just using some of those. If you are a beginner, plan on having scraps as you learn. I personally keep anything over 1.5″ or so.

Save money on the back. Backings can be beautiful or they can be simple. Consider simple if you are going for saving money. 108″s can be cheaper option but not always. Consider shopping the clearance section, using a solid fabric mentioned above, muslin, or using bedsheets. Either flannel or cotton works here. Vintage bedsheets can be really fun!

Make a thrift store quilt. I’ve always wanted to do this and is the ultimate how to save money on quilting tip. Hit up a second hand or thrift store and buy pieces of clothing, sheets, curtains etc to use in a quilt. One day life will slow down enough for me to give this a go and have fun with it. Now I do realize this might not be a quilt that stand the test of time for 100 years. But it also might. This is how quilts were made more than 100 years ago you know! You can use stabilizer for some more flimsy fabrics too. This would be a really fun challenge and great way to beat the high prices. Can also spark your creativity!

Support your Local Quilt Store

I would imagine this will hit your local quilt store pretty hard, because it will take buyers a while to adjust to those prices as well as the prices of everything else. (At least here in the USA right now in early 2022) Try to support your local quilt store anyway you can. Classes, clearance bins, patterns, notions and fabric if you can stand to. 

Check out my last blog post to learn how to nest seams!

Tell me in the comments your favorite how to save money on quilting tip!

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  1. Back in the day…I used Muslin for all backing of quilts. It is soft, washes nice, the problem is if you want a crisp starched look, this is not what you want.

  2. I have gone to Good will and some thrift stores. I have found some interesting material. I’m new to quilting so I wasn’t sure I could use sheets and all. Thanks for the great ideas!

  3. Fabric in my area of Canada has been $22/meter (39”) for over a year now. $16 sounds like a sale to me!!!

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