8 Money-Saving Quilting Tips

Keep costs down with these DIY quilting tricks and substitutions.
Bed Frame and Quilt

Bed Frame and Quilt

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1. Make your own lavender water for ironing quilts by combining 2 cups of distilled water, 2 ounces of cheap vodka and 15 to 20 drops of 100 percent essential oil of lavender (available at health-food stores) or another scent.

2. To brighten colors and remove age spots and yellow discoloration from quilts, combine 1 gallon of water, 1 quart of buttermilk and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Soak the quilt in the mixture and then hand-wash it with a mild soap for a bright, reconditioned quilt. The natural ingredients are safe, and there's no danger of damaging the quilt.

3. To make your own spray starch: Boil 1 quart of water. Dissolve 4 tablespoons of liquid starch in 2 cups of cold water; add it to the boiling water and return to a boil. Remove from heat immediately and add 2 more cups of cold water. The starch should be clear, not milky. Place it in a mist spray bottle and store it in the refrigerator. This is extremely cost-effective-only 2 cents a quart. Clean the iron with a wet terry-cloth towel.

4. When quilting, pick up loose pins quickly with a flat refrigerator magnet rather than buying expensive magnet wands. Tape a magnet to your sewing machine to pick up and secure pins.

5. Instead of buying expensive stilettos for sewing, use either a cuticle stick, a bamboo kabob skewer or a pickup stick.

6. Instead of buying an expensive reducing glass, buy a door peephole from the hardware store. You can also look through your binoculars backward, use a camera lens or put your back to the quilt and use a hand mirror to view it.

7. Glass-supply stores and automobile glass replacement shops can make inexpensive Plexiglas templates. Transparent squares and triangles are easy and perfect for fussy cutting for a large quilt.

8. Use parchment paper instead of expensive fusible-webbing sheets. Besides saving money, it prevents glue from adhering to the surface of an iron.

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