How to Save Money on Fabric Part 3

Hello my quilty friends!

Today I have a free gift for all of you who have been so enthusiastic in reading this series!

I have a free printable for you to help you with my last set of tips and I hope you will love it!  Read on for all the details.  (You can also find the link to download at the bottom of this post.)

So far, we have talked about organizing your stash in part 1 and investing in a color card to avoid buying the wrong fabrics in part 2.

My last set of tips is about changing your mindset when purchasing fabrics.  If you are anything like me, you want to have it all.  But, until I win the lottery, I have had to learn to budget for my fabric purchases and buy smarter.

So I have a few more tips that ultimately will help you save when you need to buy fabric.

1.  The most common sense tip is to shop sales when you can. 

If you have a favorite fabric shop you like to purchase from, make sure to sign up for their newsletters to be alerted for sales.

I will also usually check the sale section of a shop site first, to see if any fabrics that I have had my eye on happen to be there.

However--don't buy fabric JUST because it is on sale. 

I know it may seem counterintuitive and I'm sure it can be tempting to buy that 15 yard bolt of red fabric when it is on sale for $20.  But do you know which fabrics I never use?  The ones I bought on sale and with no plan for them.  Which leads me to my biggest tip.

2. Plan your purchases as often as possible. 

You should aim to always have a plan for your fabric purchases.  I use an 80/20 rule when it comes to buying fabric.

There are times I see a collection or curated bundle I absolutely love and I will buy without knowing what I will use it in.  Especially when it comes to curated bundles because they are only available for a limited time. But I aim to only do that about 20% of the time.

80% of the time, I purchase fabrics knowing exactly what I will be using them in.  This means I know exactly which pattern I will be making before I purchase any fabrics. 

This is so helpful because you can buy exactly what you need (yardage versus fat quarters, for instance) and you aren't buying fabric "willy-nilly", as they say.

To help you plan your purchases better, I have created this 3 part planner that includes:

--a page for the patterns you would like to make

--a page for fabric collections you would like to buy

--and a final set of pages to help you plan where you will be using those fabrics. 

It's a very simple quilt planner, but it gets the job done.

You can download this simplified Quilt Planner here for free!  

If you prefer tech instead of pen and paper, I do something very similar to this on my Notes section of my Iphone.  

Having a plan for what you will buy will help you know that you are buying smartly.

3.  And my final tip is, buy the fabrics you REALLY love.

I love Art Gallery Fabrics (AGF).  Even prior to becoming a Sewcialite for their company, I almost always used AGF in all of my projects.  

There are a few reasons I did this.

First, it's high quality with beautiful design. 

Growing up, my family was really poor.  But my mother had one rule when it came to buying:  Quality over quantity. 

There is a saying:  "I'm too poor to buy cheap things" and I have found it to be true.  Any time I have bought fabric based price alone, I generally have not used it or it has been such poor quality that I regretted having used it.

When you think about the amount of time spent on a quilt, it's worthwhile to spend on buying fabrics you know will last and that you love.  

I don't think there is anything wrong with buying fabrics on super sale or of lesser quality, but I don't like to make a whole quilt with something that may not last or that I didn't enjoy making.

I will practice and make samples and things for myself with fabrics I don't love because sometimes you just want to create and get your "sew on".

But it's important to invest in yourself and your craft whenever you are able to.

Another reason I love AGF, though, is that often their collections play really well together.  Pat Bravo, the creative director and owner of AGF, spends a lot of time curating palettes and ensuring the colors match one another and coordinate--even between totally different collections. 

AGF helps take a lot of the guesswork out of coordinating fabrics.  And having coordinating fabrics is key to curating a beautiful quilt. 

If you have a shop whose bundles you love, or a designer whose collections you love, buy those guilt-free.  You WILL use those fabrics and it won't be a waste of money.  Planning the rest of your purchases will ensure you aren't spending needlessly.

I hope these little tips have been helpful.  As I mentioned on Instagram when I started this series, I will never say to stop buying fabric. I think we all have our things and for some of us, it's fabric.  

I rarely spend on other things like manicures or eating out, but I love to buy fabric and make quilts.

And, also, as a former fabric shop owner, I know firsthand that your purchases usually help support a fellow quilter and her family. 

I often used the money from my sales to purchase homeschooling supplies for my son and to pay for his various therapies.

When you purchase from a small shop, you are not only fulfilling your creative needs, you are helping someone support themselves and their family.

I hope you have enjoyed my little tips on how to save money on fabrics.  These tips are simple, but together, they are powerful and will help you gain confidence when buying fabrics.

Next time, I'll be sharing a post on how to pick fabrics for your quilt.  I will be sharing my best tips and how I make decisions when curating my quilts.

Until next time, happy quilting!

 Download your free simplified Quilt Planner here.



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