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frugal decorating 

Category:  Decorating

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Decorating with Quilts

 

By Nikki Willhite

www.allthingsfrugal.com

Not just for beds

Nothing warms up a room, or gives it more character than a quilt. Most of us cannot afford high quality quilts, but there is no lack of beautiful, hand stitched imported ones at economical prices.

A quilt is extremely versatile. It passes the "Rule of 3".  For an explanation of this concept, click
Shopping,"The Rule of 3" 

 
What can you do with a quilt besides put in on a bed?
 
You can drape it over your sofa, or an armchair.
You can hang it on the wall.
You can use it as a tablecloth.
You can use it to keep you warm
It will beautify your home no matter where you display it

If you are a seamstress, a quilt you've made yourself from scraps of clothing your family has worn becomes very sentimental to you. I buy scraps of fabric bundled together when I go to Goodwill. I take them home and wash them. Some of them are very interesting. I like to make dolls, and I find the older cotton prints especially suitable for Raggedy Ann type dolls.

Almost anyone can make a simple quilt of plain squares. Most quilts look good, no matter how simple. You don't have to have special equipment to put it together. You can buy some fabric for the back at Walmart, or use a sheet. Batting can also be purchased at Walmart, or you can use an old blanket between the layers. A blanket will make it warmer and thicker. Pin it to your floor, and take some yarn and tie the layers together in some of the squares.

Fabric, blankets, yarn and sheets can all be purchased from Goodwill if you don't have them! If you wash them, and add a little bleach, they should be fine. The only thing I'm careful about is smell. If they have an odor, musty or smoky, I won't buy them. (Your nose is your best friend when you go thrift store shopping.)

The hardest part for beginners in making a quilt will be putting on the binding. There are several different ways to do it. Some of them are easier than others. As long as the edge is finished off, it will be fine. There are lots of books at the library that will explain your options.

This is a great hobby, because it uses leftover fabric, and can be quite economical. Don't get overwhelmed when you see the elaborate designs of professional quilt makers in books and on television shows. There is beauty in simplicity. Why life has to get so technical sometimes, I don't know! It seems to take all the fun and relaxation out of it.

If you think creatively you may come up with some interesting ideas for designs. I had a roommate in college (in the 70's) that did a quilt out of material that she had tie-died (Actually, I think that may be in vogue again!) Some people make them out of old denim. You can appliqué on some of the squares, put on trims, paint or stencil them with fabric paint, and so on. Some people even put family pictures on the fabric and make them a photo album.

If you're thinking of making a project this year, think about making a quilt. If you move you can take it with you. Depending on how much you like it, you can either pass it down to your children some day, or you can keep it in the car for emergencies. They can be donated to charities and distributed to people in need worldwide. When the weather turns cold in Seattle, they are in great demand for homeless shelters and for the people who won't come in from the street.

 

There always a need and a place for a quilt.

 

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