Following in Kayla’s Footsteps…Maybe?!

Some of you know we have a daughter Kayla.  She’s our second child, second daughter.  She looks a little more like the Kramer side of the family but she’s a lot more like my side of the family.  Whatever mix she is, we sure do love her.

Kayla is my frugal girl.  She’s not impressed by fancy things.  She does like name brands but only if she can snag them at Goodwill….and she does.  She’ll be my kid that retires and is a millionaire as she’s a great saver and never spends beyond her means.

Some of you followed along as she did her charity knitting/crochet marathon.  She made projects using 26.1 miles worth of yarn and donated all the items to charity.  Doing that made her get creative..she used primarily thrifted yarn…but oh the things she made!!

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Here are a few more she’s done….

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Well…I don’t think that restricting herself hindered her work.  I actually think it enhanced her work.  She had to get more creative and crafty with what she had.

My favorite is one she recently finished.  Read more about it on her blog.

Finished Big “Blackberry Salad” Crocheted Blanket in Pinks & Browns

Well…this has me all thinking….
I love what Kayla has done and made thrifting….I used to think she was a little overboard with her “not buying new yarn” challenges….well, I am now I am so tempted to go that way.  I know there are many reasons Kayla does it.
1-it saves money
2-it saves the landfills
3-it challenges her
4-she loves the “make do” attitude
5-she doesn’t like commercialism

Well…I am on that same band wagon….SO…maybe I should give it a try.

I think I am going to do it.  I thought about if enough that this would be my plan….

I can buy all the fabric I want via thrift stores and garage sales.
I can by thrifted items like shirt or sheets.
I will accept gifted fabric and scraps.
I am allowed to pick out fabric for my birthday present.
I am allowed to design something from a fabric line and make it as long as I don’t pay for the fabric and it’s for a publication.
If I absolutely need something for a gift to make the project look right.
Buying quilt pattern books is allowed.

After I got that great haul of fabric that I told you about on Sunday, I think I can….remember this?  The great Kaffe fabrics!!  All of this would be completely okay for me to buy!!

I thought about waiting and starting at the new year but why wait.  It’s been a bit since I’ve purchased anything new anyway….

I think my biggest challenge will be coming up with border fabrics….or sashing fabrics.  I can also imagine if I do Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt that I might not have enough fabric for that….But here’s the good news.  I can break the challenge anytime I want!!  I can also get a little more creative in what I do!!

This has nothing to do with me “wanting to use my stash”…sure, that will happen BUT it’s more of all the things that I listed why Kayla does it…and of those, having the “make-do” spirit is starting to inspire me!!

So here I go.  This mom is following in her daughter’s foot steps.  Anyone want to join me?  Of course, you can make your own rules….(or should I say, guidelines)  I’m excited to start!!

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22 thoughts on “Following in Kayla’s Footsteps…Maybe?!

  1. Mary Ann Harpe

    So, I can’t find fabric at the thrift stores like you do but I am piecing backing and not buying much at the stores and I have always done Bonnie’s MQ quilts out of stash! Mary Ann

  2. Kristine

    Jo I have been on board for 3 years now. I hit the mother load a couple of years ago at a garage sale. 110 yards for about $40. This year I picked up another 40 yards for $40. The only fabric I have purchased are neutrals. I love to do Bonnie’s mystery quilts and again other than neutrals have Not purchased anything new! Best of all the fabrics I have purchased at garage sales are beautiful and up to date! Have fun thrifting…..

  3. Pack Rat With a Plan

    I have been doing something similar for several years now: thrift store & yard sale finds are fair game, but I am even getting pickier at that and purchase at a store if it is absolutely necessary for the project to be a success, but only on sale and/or with a coupon. I agree completely with Kayla’s reasons. I just got a new job and the new wardrobe is 100% thrifted!

  4. Anne D.

    I put myself on a “buying fast” a couple months ago, as we will be moving next July and I don’t want to move a lot of stash (or a lot of anything, for that matter!). My exception is: when I need something to finish a project (usually batting, but could be fabric, too). I finished a flimsy last night, so today I need to see if I already have the right batting, or if I need to get to a store for some.

  5. Carol Lorraine Stearns

    I have purchased very little this year. Taking a workshop today that requires 1 yd of a border fabric or stripe. I have several options to take with me. I might even take another project along to sew while I am not sewing on that. I might even take a striped shirt hanging in the closet to use for the project.

  6. Elle

    Kayla’s work and commitment to her community are a wonderful example to be emulated. I too hit the thrift stores when we need something before I hit retail. Living below ones means helps immensely in achieving financial goals and Kayla will surely become the millionaire next door :-)

    Thank you for all of Kayla’s photos. I think I’ll go dig in my yarn scraps and start a copy of that first knitted afghan! I need a new “sitting project”. :-)

  7. Jean

    So impressed by Kayla.

    Almost everything I buy is second hand and I like it that way. What many people do not realize is how rewarding it can be to live frugally. Being frugal puts a person in control of their own life.

    Love Kayla’s knitted items!

  8. Sherry Whalen

    That has been what I have been doing this year, probaby longer. I bought a few yards of a single color to use in a scrappy quilt that really needed a color to tie it all together, some requested minky to go on the back of a baby quilt, and a big roll of batting – but otherwise I have been using what I have or what I have been given. I have friends who don’t want to deal with their scraps (I can’t believe what they throw away) so they give them to me! I do my best to keep them out of the landfills and put them to use, and yes, I do make some pet beds with the tiny stuff. In the past 2 months I have made 3 or 4 scrappy backings! Some are really scrappy, some have a row or 2 of extra blocks to make the fabric piece I have big enough for a back. It’s a little more work but fun to be creative. My other motive for staying out of stores – I already have plenty of UFOs and projects that I want to do, I really don’t need to go into a store and see ANOTHER quilt that I ‘just have to make’! Right now – I am using some 10″ pieces of cotton fabric to make soup bowl pot holders – after my teacher son took his to school – and all of his co-teachers saw it and now wants one. Also working on making some ‘fidget pads’ to donate to St. Mary’s hospital – for patient use. These are fun because of all the different ‘rescued’ fabrics, zippers, buttons etc that can be used.

    This response ended up way too long lol, but Kayla is being a fabulous role model for keeping our consumerism a bit more in check. Thank you Kayla – and you are right, the easiest way to make money is to not spend it!

  9. Bobi

    I’m with Kayla! I buy all my yarn at thrifts and yard sales and I knit mostly dishcloths and hats for homeless shelters. It’s fun and challenging and I enjoy it.

    Tell Kayla I’m super impressed and inspired by her work.

  10. Cindy

    Those are beautiful items that Kayla made. I have been trying to cut back on spending on fabric and yarn. Good job Kayla, and good luck Jo . Thanks for sharing.
    One question Jo, do the sheets that you do use for backings – are they 100% cotton?

  11. Roxanne

    Kayla’s blankets are so pretty—some are so quilt-like! I admire her spirit and like the idea of challenging myself in the same direction. I will say that there are not many fabrics at my thrift stores either, and I’ve never seen it at garage sales. Lots of neat yarn though.

  12. Norma

    Great job, Kayla!
    My girls and I shop a lot at resale shops for clothing. Fabric does not appear very often at those around here. And after working at a quilt shop for more than twenty years I have a lot! Most of what I have was purchased when we had good sales but I have said for the past couple of years that I wish I didn’t have so much so I could be thrifty! I do buy good cotton sheets for backing sometimes.
    Have fun with your challenge, Jo. I’m sure you’ll get more mail!

  13. Carla

    I admire you and Kayla, as well as all the like minded commenters. One person with a “green” / “thrifty” attitude amounts to a bit. Many of us with that attitude amounts to a difference made! A desire to gift, be thrifty and clear out fabric stash is what led to the 18 quilts being made for my SIL’s grandkids. It felt great!!!!!

  14. Susie at ProsperityStuff

    How fun! Lately, I’m amazed at how creative I can get when I decide to “finish these projects without buying any more fabric”! It’s a fun challenge. Like you, I love a good thrift-store deal, and I’m often surprised to find great border and background fabrics – yards and yards – for a dollar or two!!

  15. Jo Post author

    Cindy-Yes I do use cotton sheets for backings but only 100% cotton ones…(and try to find ones that don’t look like sheets!!)

  16. LaNan

    I’ve been more conscientious about buying more fabric since I’ve been following you and I shall continue

  17. Donna T

    I commend Kayla for not falling for all the designer labels and keeping up with the Jones! Most of the young people I know, including my beloved niece only buy high end makeup and clothes, shoes and handbags! It is ridiculous! Kudos to her for living within her means!

  18. Jackie

    Jo, I did that two years ago but did allow myself to buy the three “b”s – borders, bindings, and backings. It was a great way to work through my stash. Most of the thrift stores around here don’t seem to sell fabric, but I have plenty in my stash already. Our quilt guild also started having a swap table – one gal’s trash is another’s treasure! I can’t wait to see what you make going forward!

  19. Kim LeMere

    Kayla items are beautiful and I’m so glad you shared with us. I haven’t picked up a knitting or crotchet needle in years but I may start. I gave away all my yarn in one of our moves but kept the needles and my favorite books. I find that I’m pretty picky about what I buy when it comes to fabric, I really need to love it or it needs to be going into a project that I’m starting. I look forward to your challenge but I don’t believe I have the will power to follow along.

  20. Michelle

    I’m in! (Unless maybe Knitpicks has a big yarn sale this year with colors I can’t resist.) It’s been months since I bought new yarn or fabric, but I need to keep that up.

    Solid sheets are GREAT for sashing and backings…if you can find them!

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