Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A bit discouraged...

Surely I'm not the only one who from time to time feels rather depressed about how much money this craft of ours costs?  So often I'm making projects using scraps and leftovers from other projects, which is totally fine and I very much subscribe to the "use what you have" school of thought.  Or I'm making something for someone else with fabric that they have supplied.  Or I'm using supplies that I received as a gift or bought in the clearance section.....

But once in a while there's a project that I would love to do and I feel hindered by the cost.  I could just go out and buy what I want, but I also need to balance that with being a responsible member of our family, making wise choices, and sometimes I have a difficult time justifying it.  Which is HARD because I love to quilt!!



What's got me thinking this way at the moment?  The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt.  I haven't really been drawn to it in the past but lately I've been feeling like I want to tackle a long-term, challenging project.  I would need to buy the book, which locally would cost me $30+ and online wouldn't end up being much cheaper to Canada.  And to make all of the blocks, which I'd like to do, requires a lot of fabric and I don't want to go the scrappy route this time.  It's a dilemma!  I joined a Farmer's Wife Yahoo group, which gave me access to the templates and I gave four blocks a try this past weekend using scraps (see above).  They were a lot of fun and it has me wanting to make a lot more!  And my mind just can't get off of Denyse Schmidt's Chicopee line......

So I'm just curious what your thoughts are on this sort of thing?  How do you justify the cost?  Especially if, like me, you don't work outside of the home?

Let me know in the comments!!

23 comments:

Lucy @ Charm About You said...

Have you tried looking for a second hand copy of the book? Amazon often has them cheaper used. I try to buy fabric in sales when I can but I agree it is an expensive hobby!

blocksandmore said...

Before buying
check libraries, ebook, second hand books, or friends for a loaner. That alone could be $30.00 towards Chicopee.
I've been working very hard to use the fabric I have at home and skip collections ( I well for ever morn not having ).
I hope you figure ( juggle, scrimp, save) a way to make your Farmers Wife in Chicopee.

Lynn Wilson said...

Do you belong to a guild? Often that can be a way to borrow books. You might also see if you could trade some work at your local quilt shop for fabric. Get on craigslist and put an ad saying what you want. Often people like me would like to find a good home for some of our overflow. Where there is a will, there is a way.

Lisa said...

I agree with Lucy about getting your book! That is the way I get them! It is expensive when you use designer fabric not on sale but I try to find the best price on Etsy or online (shop around)! When you make a project such as this you are making an heirloom for your family that can never be replaced because you made it and one day your Grandchildren will have it in a special place in their home. Some quilts are to be cherished! That is how I justify it!

Erica said...

I'm sorry you are feeling discouraged! I totally understand that feeling, our hobby is very expensive! I actually got my Farmer's Wife book from someone who had already given up on their attempt so maybe someone out there would be willing to send you theirs.

I justify the cost of fabric because of how much sanity quilting gives me. But I also almost never buy fabric unless it is on sale. I would imagine that you could find some really good prices on Chicopee since it has been out for a while.

I think it is also important to remember that we all come from different circumstances and are at different places in our lives. It is difficult to see people who can afford to buy everything new and exciting.

LeslieAnn79 said...

I tell myself life is short and if my bills are paid and we have what we need why not? If its a big expense I pass it off as a christmas or birthday, or mothers day present to myself. I'm a stay at home mom too and I try not to feel guilty about what I spend on my hobbies because they come after all the important expenses.

Cille said...

Good advices already on paying a little less for the book. As for the fabric I know what you mean. I always try to save wherever and whenever I can - with Danish fabric prices at around $30 per yard that's necessary even with a well paid full time job :) most my purchases are sale fabrics, but once in a while I do allow myself to get exactly what I want despite the price. The way I see it is that all things considered quilting is not expensive hobby compared to golf, bricking, and what have you. The projects lasts for a long time... and always ends up being used and loved for years and years to come. So I say go get your fabric and save a little on the book :)

Cille said...

Ups... I meant biking ;)

Kate said...

I know what you mean. Being on maternity leave has meant no new fabric. Sorta. But I don't drink, smoke, gamble or anything like that so I figure this is what I get. Helps keep the hoarding to a lesser degree.

Jo said...

I agree it is an expensive hobby. Like you I do not work outside of the home and I find it hard to justify buying the latest (so very appealing) ranges, especially when it appears everyone else has them! Sometimes though I just have to give in and buy a little bit of some but usually only when there is a special offer!
For books I use the library a lot! Indigo online also has the book for $20, I make sure I just spend enough to get the free shipping.
Sewing is my little bit of sanity and tell myself that lots when I am feeling guilty.

CityHouseStudio said...

Your blocks look great, Heather!
I think if you can find the Chicopee on sale, you should go for it! Could it be a Mother's Day gift? Sometimes this is how I justify buying fabric - I tell my husband that I've taken care of gift shopping for him - then everyone is happy! Or have your husband show your kids the fabric online -- then have them choose their favorite 1/4 or 1/2 yards of Chicopee for you, and that way it would still be somewhat of a surprise!

Carla said...

It's hard no matter how we slice it. I don't shop much on line because I like to feel the fabric before I spend it. Perhaps you have something someone wants? Perhaps a trade or a yard sale! Then you'd have less clutter and money to shop : )

heidi said...

Yup, I know what you mean. I changed which quilt pattern I am going to use for my baby for one that would be smaller and cheaper. It will still be cute, but cost was certainly a big factor!

Patti said...

We sure do put a lot of pressure on ourselves to try and do it all! Fabric is just so expensive up here, but sometimes a project comes along that is calling out to be done. If you want to try some blocks in Chicopee before committing,I have some scraps that I would be happy to send you!! Drop me an e-mail with your address.

Jenelle said...

I spend way too much money on quilting, but I also forgo other luxuries because that's what I really enjoy. I try to always buy fabric on sale and that does help. Using solids mixed with prints is also a good way to reduce the cost of a quilt. I would check around on Etsy for Chicopee. I bet you can find some for a great price since it's been out for a while.

DeborahGun said...

it is really difficult isn't it - fabric is just too expensive (especially when you add postage costs as well). I would put a plea out on instagram for the book - I am sure there are people who have them who would be willing to pass it on or trade. And as for the fabric - maybe it could be a birthday present?

Claire said...

Quilting can be an expensive hobby, but there are ways to keep costs down. If you're in a quilting guild, most of them have a lending library. Make friends with the librarian and you can get them to order books you would like. I live in Ireland, so quilting fabric is expensive here. So I keep my eye out for sales in our few quilt shops, buy online when sales are on (after Christmas, Black Friday etc). Don't get too caught up with buying the latest fabric or trends, just buy what you need or really want. My quilting friends always joke that at least quilting keeps us out of the pub. And we have something to show for our time at the end of the day.

Colleen Potter said...

I agree with all the comments about how expensive this craft is and you have certainly gotten some good advice... but I'm the devil's advocate and if it's Chicopee you want then get yourself over to Madaboutpatchwork.com It's on sale for 6.00 a yard !!!! and the shipping is very reasonable and they have the best customer service - anywhere.
ps - I am not affiliated with the shop in any way other than being a happy, loyal customer

Alison said...

I feel the same way all the time and even moreso because of blogging. I feel all this pressure to stay "up to date" with fabric lines that all the other bloggers are using (but are probably getting for free!) but I can't afford it. I can't tell you the last time I bought fabric that wasn't on sale that wasn't Kona Cotton.

Kelli said...

I feel ya. As a SAHM mom as well, I try to balance buying and saving for myself. I try to use scraps and stash as much as I can for projects and most of my fabric purchases are blenders or fabrics that I think will work well in a large amount of projects so I can use every last piece. That said--every once in awhile I just feel that I need to do something for me so I buy fabric I want. And it sounds like you really want this Chicopee to make this quilt. If you're going to work hard at it, and then love it for a long time, maybe it's worth the splurge. Especially if you do find the book cheaper as others have mentioned. :)

Debbie said...

I guess I justify it by how much joy it give me...simplistic but.

Alisa said...

Me too! I've given up on ever making a quilt in one collection. I use a lot of scraps and that works for me. I have sold some items in my etsy to fund some fabric purchases and the rest I just use the household budget for. If you did save up and buy something you love to do the farmers wife quilt at least you know you'd be busy with it for quite some time!!

Kimberly said...

I so hear you, Heather! I've been in a quilting funk for a while now and I'm hating it! Fabric costs are part of it for sure, but it's also because I've started on a new venture and become a consultant with Jamberry nails. My first month was amazing, and my May is looking really busy so hopefully I'll be back in the spending-to-be-quilting swing sooner rather than later! If you'd like a Jamberry sample, you KNOW I'd love to send you one! Just fire me an email and we can talk!