I didn't really start quilting until I was in my thirties. I was established and had a little time. Sure I had played with it in my teens and twenties, but I never commited to the hobby. Money was one aspect that kept me from going all in.
But does it really have to be an expensive hobby?
The answer is no.
But when you quilt you may run into the attitude, which it often encountered, of "if you do it affordably you are doing it wrong, you must spend more money or you won't get a good quilt" when it comes to quilting. And this is simply nonsense. Thankfully I over heard that at one of the quilting workshops I was at. It was a sweet yong woman who just had her first child and wanted to make them a quilt.
As most women know, this is a time when money is tight and you can't afford to spend a lot on y hobby. But with quilting you don't need to. And I set her down and tried to put things into more perspective. I hope the woman that gave her that nasty bit of advice was also listening because she really shouldn't be spreading things like that, it is ungrounded.
It also shows that she has no grasp on the hobby she choose for herself.
We have to remember; quilting started out as a cheap way to make blankets. This means that fabric that couldn't be used for other things like curtains and clothing was used. They even used old rags as the batting, which were washed first of course. It's the ultimate demonstration in frugality in my oppinion. And one that makes for the perfect frugal hobby.
Here are some things that I do when making my traditional quilts: I upcycle clothing to use as fabric, which has made for some fun and unexpected results. I will purchase from the scrap bin at my local store, and I will use sheets for both patches and backing.
I will even used to heat 'n bond to fuse the extra scrap chunks of batting together. But have since learned that if I just overlap my batting scraps a half inch or so it is just as good if not better since I don't like the feel of the heat'n bond seams. And with this method the quilting holds it down and you can't tell the difference. One of my friends will zigzag her batting scraps, which also works pretty good.
I think that every hobby has an element of snobbery which doesn't help things and it is one that you see more of today than a couple of years ago.
I will relate a story that may help put this into more perspective. My mother also has a sister, she is five years younger than my mother and never took much interest in sewing. Untill a couple of years ago she never even held a needle. Yet, today she is the "best" in the family and she is always telling us we're doing it wrong. She knows better because she is always going to workshops and taking part in her local community. It was actually at one of her local workshops that I met the nice young woman and tried to help her understand what quilting was about.
Though I was surrounded by the "pros". One thing I learned is that I will never go to another workshop.
Even the woman that ran it wasn't half as good as my grandmother. And everywoman there threw more money at their one quilt than I would at a dozen of mine.
So if you get discouraged, please, please, remember:
Quilting once stood for something practical, it was there for making beautiful blankets from old clothes, scraps, and bits of fabric that no longer fit their original purpose.
Some people will prefer to spend a large amount of money on the most expensive fabric and batting around. Sure they could get as good or better for just a fraction of the price. But I am actually glad that they do it.
You may wonder about this "good for them," attitude. But it is simple, when novice enter the market they tend to waste a lot of money and that helps to keep fabric stores in business. So what if it makes them feel like they have the bragging rights to a quilt that cost $500 in materials, $200 labor, and in the end looks like they bought it from an upscale shop. Most people can't afford to pay those prices, nor would they want to.
The result is usually the same – a beautiful fully functional quilt – though you and I will actually probably use ours.