When faced with a new sewing project, many people, with their color swatches in hand, look on the internet or browse through bolts of fabric at their favorite fiber supply store. They may even purchase special cutting devices, templates, rulers, threads, pressure feet, the list just goes on. I am not that way, at all. I am a super frugal girl who has a strong background in fiber art, sewing and design. Recently I met this wonderful woman in the parking lot of Walmart, (I can meet people anywhere). Her name is Mary and she is a knitter. Knowing how fiber artists are, she automatically assumed that I had a large stash of fabric. I’m not so sure she believed me when I told her that I didn’t; it’s true though. Here is my fabric supply.
As you can plainly see, I have very little and most of it has been cut up into various size squares and organized into containers that are labeled: 1 1/2, 2, 2 1/2, 3, 3 1/2… you get the picture. My art cupboard, which is right next to the fabric shelving, holds all my art supplies and art desk and is much larger then my fabric “stash”. I don’t purchase fabric or supplies just because something catches my eye. I purchase fiber art materials when I need them and the rest of the time I try and use up my scraps. The only exception is when I find high quality sheets at bargain prices.
On this fabric supply shelf are a few of the sheets that I find from time to time at thrift stores. They make great backings for quilts, especially if I am machine quilting. They also are very handy for household projects like the one I completed this weekend.
These are new curtains for the bathroom that my husband and I are remodeling. I say remodeling, but it is more like the plumbing on the sink had been causing us problems for 13 of the 13 years that we have owned this house and a few weeks ago it flooded the cabinet below it, so we were kind of forced into the remodel. And once you purchase a new sink, then there is floor that has to be patched or replaced, then the toilette started leaking all over the floor. You get the picture, so our remodel was a forced one and because it was all totally unexpected, we had to do it on a tight budget, right down to the curtains.
So I headed off to my mini fabric supply area and started rummaging through to find something that would look nice and had enough fabric yardage to do the job. I found a very nice sheet that I had purchased for $2.50 several years ago at Goodwill. I have always like the fabric, but never had a use for it until now. So I got out my handy dandy tools and set to work.
My tools are super simplistic and very cost effective. A yard stick that costs $4.00 at todays prices, but I have had mine for 30 years so I probably paid $2.00 for it. A pencil and $ .25 pencil sharpener, a bowl out of my kitchen cupboard and of course, my scissors.
The kitchen bowl was used to make rounded corners on the bottom of each curtain so the ruffle would flow smoothly around from the front edge to the bottom.
Of course when making a quilt it is undoubtedly quicker to use a rotary cutter as oppose to scissors, but you don’t have to have one to sew or quilt. A really good quality pair of scissors is all you really need.
Although sewing is a billion dollar business today, we don’t have to actively participate by spending our hard earned dollars on the latest fad. We can make do with what we already have, it just takes a spark of creativity.