Thursday, May 25, 2006

Frugal But Not Second Rate

A few days ago I mentioned the jeans quilt that I was making for my sons. Yesterday, I was able to get a great deal done on the first one. I used the sewing machine all by myself, no tutorial required. My 7th grade home ec teacher would be proud, or maybe just shocked.

The first one is for my oldest son who turned 7 yesterday. About 1/3 of the squares are already sewn together, so he was able to envision what the finished product would look like. He was really thrilled, especially because I left pockets on some of the squares. He's planning to use them for secret storage.

When dealing with kids, I think one of the secrets to a project like this or any frugal project for that matter, is to to make sure the final product doesn't look second rate. The few extra minutes it takes to measure or rip out a seam you messed up are well worth the effort.

That having been said, I don't have a lot of time in my world for perfection, so I use a few shortcuts to make it look like I'm more talented than I actually am. With the denim quilt, I'm staggering the squares so no one can tell if they aren't perfectly even. I'm also knotting the quilt which will make any slightly irregular squares blend in because the knot causes the fabric to pucker anyway.

It helps that this is not the first quilt I've made. I've definitely gotten better over time. Still, I don't think I'd win any awards for my skills but what I've done so far has been very functional. All of my quilts wash beautifully, they keep you warm, and they were a heck of a lot cheaper than buying a new one. What more can a mom of four ask for?

For those of you who are intrigued but have never tried sewing before, the only cure for being new at something is to get right in there and try. Take a few books out of the library, talk to friends who sew or just try to recall those seventh grade home ec classes. Once you understand the basics, you take that info and make it relevant to your own project and before you know it, you're a frugal sewing whiz!


Ruthie said...

Katie, I wanted to let you know that I dreamed about quilt making last night. I was pretty excited about it after reading the articles about it in the Tightwad Gazette, but after spending a few afternoons with my sister in fabric shops I thought there'd be no way I could afford it! Now I'm starting to get interested again, thanks!

Katie said...

You're welcome. I know what you mean, fabric is expensive. I just told my family to send any worn out jeans my way so I have more raw materials.