Tips And Tools Tuesday – The Perfect Place to Find Practice Fabric!

Have you ever wanted to try making a block using an unfamiliar technique, but, didn’t because you were afraid you’d mess up and waste fabric?

Been there.     Done that.    I don’t like to waste fabric!

When designing a new pattern, or trying out a new block or technique, I don’t use the fabric that I designated for that project. Oh, no. Like I said, I don’t like to waste fabric.

The other day, a friend mentioned that she would like to try paper piecing, but was afraid. She didn’t want to mess up and waste fabric. I suggested she try it out with fabric she doesn’t care about. It doesn’t have to be pretty. Just something cheap, cheap, cheap.

Where can you pay the lowest price for fabric?

A Thrift Store.

They have shirts and dresses really, really cheap. Like, 50 to 75 cents for a shirt, and maybe $2.00 for a dress.  Most shirts are about one yard of fabric, and dresses, around two yards. Take them home, wash them up, and cut them up.

No big investment, and you can practice till your hearts content. If you don’t like the end results, no great loss.

When I make a cheap practice block, and it is successful, I keep it as a sample. I can make notes on the fabric of things that I learned about the process. Maybe some things went well, and others, not so much. Or, it may be a while before I can make the actual project and I don’t want to forget what I did. I keep it just as a top. That way I can see which way I pressed the seams for ease of construction and quilting.

This is the mock-up that I made when designing the Star of the Magi Table Topper pattern (Soon to be released.) I used some solids I had on hand. A friend cleaned out her fabric stash and gave me A LOT of it. What a blessing! She gave me a ton of solids. Cheap is good. Free is better!

This color placement, yuck! But, that’s okay. This was strictly for piecing accuracy. I was more concerned with the pattern pieces I’d drawn, and whether they would fit together when sewn. The color placement play came later, with the intended fabric. I’m keeping this “pattern” for future reference.

This is the final arrangement of the fabrics I chose. The “star” pattern is not as pronounced, but, I really like the movement. The colors seam to be marching clock-wise around the block. And, if you tilt your head, you can see the cross in the middle.

Trying a new technique or block pattern doesn’t have to be scary from a financial perspective.  Cheap practice fabric is out there!

Today is a good day to try that “scary” technique you’ve been avoiding.

It’s also a good day to check out our Facebook group, The Lookout Mountain Quilter, and join the fun!

Diane

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