Family Photographers who shoot outdoor sessions know how important it is to have something for families to sit on during the sessions, and it’s no secret that quilts fit the bill perfectly. But finding an affordable quilt isn’t always as easy as it seems. Here’s a breakdown on my favorite places to shop for beautiful quilts, both new and vintage.

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New in every hue.

If you need a beautiful quilt fast, or price is your main concern, start at a local/mass retailer. Stores like Stein Mart, Kohls and Target carry a lot of quilts in many different patters, materials, and sizes. Search their websites first to see what they have in stock at your local store, or purchase right from their website if time is of the essence. And as a reminder, do a quick search for promo codes and coupons before purchasing to save a little extra! Retail Me Not is a great site to bookmark and reference and Coupon Sherpa has a convenient app you can search before checkout.

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Handmade with love.

If you’re looking for something a little more personal, with a little more love and sweat love put into it, check out these online stores that make beautiful handmade quilts and sell each one with pride.

Needle and Grain

Bryson and Susan Leach started Needle and Grain, a small woodcraft and sewing studio in Franklin Tennessee, to focus on exploring and preserving the traditional art of making things by hand. Together they work to promote the joys of hard work and family by creating quality products, uncommonly friendly service and wholehearted integrity.



First Shelter

Christy Nelson describes First Shelter as modern design sensibility combined with organic, hand-dyed materials. The brand is a culmination of years spent obsessing over how to create product in a way that is sustainable and fulfilling to both the maker and the customer. Every quilt is created in San Diego, California.



Live Love Smile

Etsy storeowner Lise O’Malley started Live Love Smile when she became discontent with working long (and cold!) hours at local craft markets, and says she’s never looked back. She says being part of the Etsy community means the world is at her Galway, Ireland doorstep.


Secondhand and sensible

If time isn’t an issue or you just love the thrill of the search, then scour several different secondhand outlets regularly. With a little patience and persistence, you’re bound to find quilts with well-worn edges and loads of character. Online options include eBay and Craigslist, and if you’d rather stay local then visit many different thrift stores, antique stores, consignment boutiques, and yard sales. It requires more time and patience to go this route, but he finds are always worth it.

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All in the family

Quilts were most popular in the mid-1900s, which means there’s a good chance that someone in your family already has one, or two, or several. Ask your mom, grandmother, and other female relatives if they have any quilts tucked away in a trunk or the attic. As the easiest and most affordable, you may want to start here when beginning your search. Also be sure to ask your clients if there is any special family quilts that you could use at the session. A quilt that means something to family will make their images that much more special to them.

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