Top this! A stitch in time saves money with this bargain coverlet

Summer is one of my favorite times to take on sewing projects because I finally have time to enjoy the creative process.

I always love to try something new, to use fabrics in a different way. So this summer I'm going to make a new coverlet for my bed just from fabrics I find at garage sales.

"What?" I hear you cry. "Can't be done! You'll never find a piece of fabric big enough!"

Want to know my secrets?

Start with the color

First, establish a color palette that works with your bedroom before you go shopping at garage sales. After all, we want to change the bedspread, not the whole room.

Once you have your colors in mind, go to the local paint store. Why?

You know those wonderful strips of paper that show you what colors the paints will be when dry? Select the ones that match the bedspread color you have chosen, and keep them with you during your hunt for fabric. This will save you a lot of time and effort and also prevent you from buying the wrong-colored fabric at the garage sales.

Find the sales

Now get the newspaper out and mark your sales. Start early (but not too early - respect the stated starting times), and consider having a friend go with you. One person can drive, and the other can give directions and look for signs.

Plan out your route.

Take some convenient beverages and energy snacks with you, and be sure to break your large bills and carry change - a $20 is a sure-fire way to kill any chance to bargain!

The search is on

Start looking for fabric.

And here's the second secret: Don't look for a single, big piece of fabric. Chances are you won't find it, and if you do, it will probably be stained.

Instead, try looking for napkins that make instant quilt squares when sewn together. Single curtain panels also can be joined together in strips, as well as fabric cut from full-length skirts and larger blouses.

Look for table runners and stained tablecloths with areas of good fabric still intact. Remember your color cards, and buy with no remorse! After all, you're saving tons of money.

A stitch in time

Take everything home and wash, dry and iron it. Plan out your pattern and cut the fabric to the designed size and shape, adding a seam allowance for sewing.

By August, put everything in a lovely box and wait for the winter winds to blow. Come colder weather, you will be ready.

Open your treasure box of summer "finds," brew up a pot of tea and stitch the winter away with summer's colors.

You'll have fun this summer, save money and create something beautiful for yourself. How can you top that?

Ana Kinkaid converts rummage finds into treasured decorative accents. She would enjoy your comments at BetterSecondTime

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