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By the Yard: Don't Buy it, De-Stash It!

Posted by Jen Lopez on Apr 3rd 2019

Most of us are not lucky enough to have a friend who owns a fabric store. With the cost of quilting fabric inching up to $11 or even $12 per yard, quilting can get expensive rather quickly. How can a quilter still afford to indulge in their craft? By sewing from their stash! Here are two stash-busting ideas.

Jelly Roll Mash-Up

There are all kinds of patterns available, both free and for purchase, of the “jelly roll” variety. Instead of buying a pre-cut jelly roll, make your own. Select a bunch of coordinating fabrics (or not-so-coordinating, if you are feeling adventurous) from your stash and cut into 2 ½” strips of any length. The more diverse the lengths, the better. Sew all your strips together (on the short ends) into one, giant 2 ½” strip. Don’t even think about the order. The randomness is what makes it fun. Then cut the mega-strip into pieces that are the desired width of your quilt. Stitch those strips together for an easy and unpredictable quilt. This is a great project for a group—every quilt turns out different.

Fat Quarter Swap

Want to get some new fabrics without buying any? Organize a fat-quarter swap with friends from a local guild or even folks online. It’s just like a holiday cookie swap: the group agrees on how many fat quarters to swap and everyone bundles up that many pieces to trade with another member of the group. You can agree on a theme—such as batiks, holiday, flowers, etc.—or just be creative!

Please join us here every other Wednesday for another fun, fiber-filled installment of By the Yard. You can also find it at, on Facebook at or on Instagram at @bytheyardcomics.

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