Making do with what you’ve got

For the past couple of months, I’ve been intentional about trying to solve a problem/meet a need using what I already have on hand, instead of buying anything. Occasionally, I do have to buy a new item; however, it’s been a fun, freeing, and creative experiment.

Pending retirement, the current economy and an abundance of fabric & craft supplies made me challenge myself in this manner. Apparently, I’m not the only one. Kristen over at the Simple Handmade Everyday podcast mentioned in a recent show that she would be shopping her stash when it came to quilting. She has plenty of fabric and gas in So Cal is expensive. Has the current economy and/or recent lifestyle changes impacted your quilty spend in any way?

For me:

I no longer purchase quilting magazines. I read them for free through my library’s Libby app.

I no longer buy every product listed for a QAL or class. I plan to do the Lori Holt Farm House Star QAL that starts soon. Fabric will come from the stash. I have the star simple shapes, but I’m not buying any more circle templates. I’ll DIY using my circle cutter and heavy duty template plastic already in my stash (or I’ll see if I can cut on my Cricut Maker). If I already own a 45 degree triangle, 60 degree triangle and Tri-Recs triangle rulers, please explain to me why I need yet another specialty ruler? No, thank you.

I think the biggest impact for me is how high gas prices have curtailed my “recreational” visits to area quilt shops. I used to visit the local shops on a regular basis just to socialize and see what’s new. Now that Stitch N Quilt has closed, it’s a 30-45 minute drive to get to the nearest quilt shop. Before, I was able to stop on my way home from work and buy what I needed. Now, I dig deep into my stash, make a list and call first before heading to one of 3 LQS. I will shop online; however I prefer to support my local brick & mortar LQS when I can.

My quilty socializing will be with sit ‘n sews with friends in my own basement or joining a couple of bee groups on the west side for bimonthly stitching sessions. I do have FW Club and Lori Holt Club offered by a LQS on my wish list. I may sign up for one club this quarter and the other the following quarter to see what they’re all about. You can bet I’ll incorporate as many errands as possible on the days I make the trek to the quilt shop in that part of town!

Otherwise, I’ll be in my studio listening to podcasts or sewing along with the sewlebrities on You Tube.

One Comment on “Making do with what you’ve got

  1. I have been doing the same thing for the last 10 years. I have been using fabric that I have collected years ago. I was given a lot of fabrics when I was in a quilt guild. I was always amazed how many would buy fabric just to put it in their stash and then turn around and give it away to make more room. I find scrap quilting is fun

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