8 Money-Saving Quilting Tips

Keep costs down with these DIY quilting tricks and substitutions.

Bed Frame and Quilt

Bed Frame and Quilt

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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