Wednesday, 28 November 2012

An Interview with 'Frugal Queen'!

This year has held a lot of changes for me, both in lifestyle and health. Regular readers will know I'm passionate about the environment and a keen recycycler.  I've become even more fascinated about the positive health benefits of all types of needle crafts, and how creating and making can improve our well being. 

With that in mind, I'd like you to meet a special guest  to Adventures in Thread. Over the last year I have become a  regular follower and reader of 'Frugal Queen'.  Rather than my explaining why I think this is such a wonderful blog, let me introduce Frugal Queen herself, to tell you all about it;

Hello Froogs,

Could you tell us a bit about your blog, for readers who aren't familiar with it, please?

My blog documents my journey, which started in 2009 to being debts free and now documents my long journey to being mortgage free.

Frugal Queen has well over a thousand followers, you've won awards and been featured in the media. It feels as if there is a real community spirit which has built up to support you. Apart from the practical aspect of saving money,  why do you think your posts have touched a chord with so many people? 

I'm honest. It's not great at times, sometimes I have days where I'm really down and I think that resonates with people who equally are having difficulties in hard times. Mostly, I look at the sum of all my days and life is really good and I share the great fun that living simply can be.
You make beautiful quilts from old clothing/textiles and charity shop fabrics -  saving money and helping the planet. What  would your advice be to someone who wanted to begin sewing or quilting and is short of cash?

You don't need much money, I have made king size quilts on a sewing machine I bought from Argos for £65, you can use polyester wadding if you have to, but I use good wadding so it lasts. I go to every jumble sale I see and get a lot of fabric there.

 How did you learn your sewing skills?

I'm completely self taught, using common sense and you tube tutorials. My first quilts and sewing attempts were hit and miss but I'm forgiving and allowed myself to make mistakes. I've got better and made my first dress last summer just by following instructions on the pattern.

 Frugal Queen is very much about helping others and sharing knowledge. You now hold communal stitching days (such as quilting and bag making) at your home, for  your readers.  Can you tell us about this and how  the idea came about?

I was asked, by blog readers if I could hold tutorials and now I teach others (my trade is teaching) -  I also like the concept of paying it forward.

Worry and anxiety over finances is incredibly stressful for many people. Stitching, knitting, crocheting and creating can be very therapeutic,  and recent studies have proved creative tasks are good for us.   How has your health and well being improved through doing/making things yourself?

It has massively increased my own sense of self worth. I can make things therefore I am! It sounds extreme but I'm a whole lot happier. I couldn't work for a while due to stress and sewing filled my day with purpose and now it fills my time with utter joy.

 Do you think that having less resources can make people more creative ?

Totally, it's the drive. I look at the posh how to instructions from companies such as Moda and then find fabric from cheaper sources. My local charity shops sells shirts for 50p and dresses for £1, I can get over a metre of fabric from either, if not two from a skirt.

 Finally,  as so many of us are looking for ways to economise these days,  do you have a last frugal sewing tip to share?  

Use every little shred and make 'crumb' quilt blocks and eventually, you'll have enough for a quilt.

Thank you  for sharing with us Froogs! 

Frugal sewing, recipes, simple living,  and good plain speaking!
Go and visit her for an inspiring read -  I guarantee you will learn something new!x


  1. She sounds much like me, only my top tip for minimising Xmas spending is to dump the whole thing - saves a packet!=)

  2. Interesting interview - thank you both!

  3. thank you for sharing this interview, a very inspiring lady,I will follow her blog and her journey through life

  4. Thank you for sharing the interesting interview .

  5. Thank you, i loved this interview. Ladies both after my own heart, i have sewn & made for many years partly because i love to and partly our of necessity, but its now become a way of life. Its so lovely to see more and more folk heading down the same route.

  6. An awful blog which has no real advice to give people who actually do have very little money. She has a choice and she chooses to save her money and pay off her mortgage - choices which are a luxury to the average person. Her 'advice' often consists of buying things which cannot be afforded in order to save money. I can't have a wood burning stove such as she gloats about. Lined curtains are expensive, a hot water bottle costs money too. If you have no money then you are too poor for these things. For a person who genuinely has no money and doesn't do any of these things that she tells you to give up in the first place it is all a bit pointless and of no use whatsoever. You can't give up eating out if you last did so over 20 years ago, or give up buying shoes if you have one pair with holes in, or buying take out if you always cook from scratch. All in all I find this a very boastful website where the writer has been verbally abusive and bullying to someone who commented on an article very inoffensively saying they disagreed slightly with her. They felt the need to take down their blog after being told to f off. They were treated very aggressively. I do not like this blog at all and I think it is very self serving while being of very limited use.

    1. Dear Anonymous,
      I was very sad to read your comments, and am sorry that you are in such a difficult situation; and that you feel that you are unable to make comment here without an identity. I fully appreciate that we all have different situations in life and so differering points of view. It does seem a little strange that you have chosen to make comments on this post about specific issues relating to the 'Frugal Queen' blog, when the post is intended to be about looking at crafting/sewing on a budget, and how making things by hand can help our well being (as explained in the introduction) but assume that you have reasons for doing that.
      I wish you well and hope very much that your situation improves.

  7. I do wonder how much of Frugal Queen's blog Anonymous has read. I discovered it and started to read it from the very first post, back in 2009. I have copied & pasted many, many recipes and tips, acted on much of the content in order to make my pension go further and I'm finding it an essential part of my day to read this blog. I eat healthier food more cheaply; feel good to be acting in a way that is kind to the environment and my home is now cleaned using her alternatives to expensive cleaners and polishes.
    I haven't seen any aggressiveness, bullying or abuse - only honesty, excellent advice & helpfulness.
    Anonymous? As a pensioner I wasn't in the habit of going out for meals, to the cinema, theatre or any other expensive lifestyle, but I'm now able to make much better use of my income to lead a better, more fulfilling life.

    1. I'm glad you've enjoyed it as much as I have, and thank you very much for becoming a follower here.

    2. Rambler, I agree that the Frugal Queen blog is full of great tips about cooking and cleaning etc. I read for quite a while and enjoyed it. However, if you have never seen any bullying or abuse, then you have never read the comments. I finally was so disgusted by the way she responded to some quite innocent comments that I just quit.


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