Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Shortly after I retired my dear husband bought me a new sewing machine capable of doing all of the "little things" I can no longer threading the needle on a sewing machine, hand quilting, hand embroidery and even sewing on buttons!  My "Ellie" is a wonderful machine that will give me hours, days, weeks and YEARS of sewing enjoyment!  I had begun sewing again (I had sewn/quilted in my early to mid twenties) in an effort to keep my mind active and "save my sanity".  I had worked long hours six, sometimes seven, days a week for many years and being "sedentary" was driving me nuts!

Fat Woman Stock Image
I am just not the television and bon-bon type (although the lady above and I have a lot more in common than I would like!)

Sewing, quilting and just about any "hobby" usually comes with inherent expenses...some costing much more than others!  I have since jumped back into quilting and sewing with both feet and have attempted to support my "fabic habit" as cheaply as possible.  The best method I have found for obtaining cheap (actually FREE) fabric has been Freecycle.

I have received many yards of wonderful fabric from fellow quilters who were more than happy to help a "newbie" establish her stash.

My second source of cheap or FREE supplies has been to purchase the fabric and notions I need with gift cards earned through reading emails, doing searches, making required purchases and doing surveys. There are hundreds of websites that say they will pay you to read emails, do surveys and make purchases.  The ones I use most frequently are MyPoints, Swagbucks, Inbox Dollars and Recyclebank.  While I don't do as many surveys as I really should (I do occasionally leave my computer to do something else, lol), I do a LOT of searching and reading... and all four of these sites have points that add up quickly.  Just this past week I purchased some needed, and some just plain "wanted", sewing supplies and books using $40 worth of "free" gift cards received as awards from these companies! 

My next favorite supplier of fabric are our own closets!  Eventually all clothing wears out and the areas that are still in fairly decent shape can contain large pieces for crafting.  Sheets also provide quite a bit of material for quilt backings and piecing.  Worn out jeans from our family alone have been used to sew up a twin sized and queen sized denim quilt...and I still have an entire trunk full of perfectly good denim cut from worn out jeans! It seems THAT supply is endless, lol!

My fourth source for a cheap fabric "fix" are our local thrift stores.  There are many yards of fabric available in the form of clothing that has been donated to the thrift shop.  If possible try to get mens XXXL (or larger) shirts to provide the most yardage.  Garage sales also offer a wide variety of clothing that can be cannibalized for sewing and crafting.  Many times, if you hit the garage sale near closing time the homeowners will be more than willing to drastically drop the price just so they don't have to carry everything back into the house and then find someplace to store it until the next garage sale.  At the end of my garage sales I have almost always left unwanted items on the driveway with a large sign stating that everything is free for the taking.  I have never had many leftovers that I had to then donate or discard.

My last ready source of supplies are the big stores such as JoAnn's.  JoAnn's usually mails out sale brochures and coupons on a monthly basis.  A coupon that is good on "sale items" is a goldmine in disguise!  When I have one of those puppies in my pocket I make sure to spend extra time scouring their remnant bin and their mark down bins.


My final suggestion is just to "put it out to the universe".  I began doing this several years ago and have found that frequently when I express a desire, the desired item magically comes into my possession, without even mentioning it to others!  Of course, if you spread the word among your family, friends and coworkers you have an even better chance of finding what you need! 

So, how do YOU support your "habit"?


  1. Church rummage sales have been supporting my habit for awhile now. Amazing what you can find hidden away in the piles.

    God bless.

  2. The church down the corner from us used to have some REALLY good yard sales, but they have been getting smaller and smaller. I think people are holding onto what they have and just making it do for longer! Take care!