Choosing your fabric is possibly the biggest job when making a quilt. There are so many colors, styles, patterns, fabrics and textures it is hard to know where to begin!
Remember when you are cutting up material for anything, be it for mending a shirt, making a book bag or even designing a pillow case, make sure to keep all the left over scraps as they will make wonderful little feature pieces in any quilt. Whatever you don’t use this time can always go into the next quilt!
Tips for choosing quilt fabrics
Should you be making a quilt from scratch and buying all of your fabric or even a portion of your fabric there are a number of things to consider:
- Is the fabric colorfast? You don’t want the color to run when you wash it! If you are not sure then always wash the fabric before you use it (this is advisable with all fabrics). Wash it on its own that way if the color does run, the other fabrics or clothing won’t be ruined.
- Is the weave tight enough? The fabric needs to be strong enough to withstand years of love, washing and use. If you choose a loosely woven fabric this may cause big problems with rips, tears and overall damage. If you are planning on using the quilt in your everday lifestyle it is better to choose a moderately dense/woven fabric. If the fabric is too dense or tightly woven it may prove to be very difficult to quilt.
- You can’t really go wrong with 100% cotton! That is all that needs to be said! If you are an inexperienced quilter I would recommend using this fabric before moving onto other more complex materials.
- Remember when using patterned fabric to make sure you cut all your pieces the same way up. There is nothing worse than finding out that you have cut the pieces on their side and there is no more material left! Refer to the How to make a quilt section for more details.
- Remember color theory when choosing fabrics. This sounds easy enough, however there are so many people who don’t spend enough time making sure their quilt has the desired depth or balance. Always keep in mind that blues based colors are cold and red and yellow base colors are warmer. Black and White will have very different effects when placed next to the same color, generally black will dim a color whereas white will brighten it.
- Take into account the responses people have to color and materials. This will be very important if you are giving a quilt to someone as a present or intending to use the quilt in a personal area such as a bedroom. As a general rule warm colors make people more active and excited, where cool colors such as green and blue make people calmer and more relaxed.
- Remember to purchase backing material that is similar weight and color to the top of the quilt. It is always a good idea to try and use the same types of material for the top of the quilt as it will be difficult to sew through uneven levels of material.
- Always buy a little more fabric than you think you need! As I said before you will always find somewhere else to use it, however if you run out and can’t buy anymore it could throw out the overall balance and feel of your quilt.
- Synthetics and mixes can be more difficult to deal with than 100% cotton. They have a tendency to pucker along seams, however if you are a more experienced sewer you may choose to use them as there are many more options and the colors are more vibrant and exciting than plain cotton.
- Try to avoid knits, stretch and crepe as these materials are quite difficult to sew with, so unless you particularly want to use them it is best to steer away.
Quilt Fabric Information
There are many different types of fabric that can be used in quilt making and it is important to make sure you use the right ones. The following articles will teach you about some of the major fabric types and help you choose the right fabric for your creation.
- Basic Quilting Fabrics – Cottons and Flannels
Cottons and flannels are the most popular fabrics used in modern day quilts. Learn why they make such fantastic quilting fabrics and which material is best for you.
- Designer Fabrics
Designer fabrics give your quilt a little exclusivity and let them stand out from others. Create a conversation piece or something special you will treasure forever!
- Novelty and Themed Fabrics
What a fantastic way to make a really fun quilt that the whole familty can enjoy. Have a look at some beautiful materials and get ideas as to how to begin your novelty quilt.
- Fat Quarters
Fat quarters are one of the the most popular way of buying materials for your quilts. Often they can be a great way to obtain a range of themed or colored fabrics that complement each other perfectly.
- Bargain Box: Discount Quilting Fabrics
Don’t want to pay high prices for material that won’t be a main feature in your quilt? You don’t have to! Read on to find out where you can get beautiful and high quality fat quarters at rock bottom prices.