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Choosing Quilting Fabric

Posted by Quilting Bee on

Quilting fabrics decide the aesthetic appeal of the quilt, so choosing which to use is perhaps one of the most crucial decisions you have to make when quilting. If you fail to form a quilt with a cohesive color palette, all your stitching skills are laid to waste. It is a good thing that different kinds of fabrics today provide many options, but how do you exactly know which fabric is best for your quilting project? Here are the things to look out for:

  1. Fabric type. There are many different fabrics you can use for your quilt: velvet, wool, leather, denim, silk, among many others. But although you can use nearly any kind of fabric, 100% cotton fabric is still the most preferred material for quilt. One, it is easy to press and quilt. Second, it is less likely to fray. And third, it maintains its color. Of course, the type of fabric to use still depends on the pattern you have in mind, so don’t feel limited with your fabric choices. 

  2. Thread count. It refers to the number of threads per square inch and is used to indicate how fine a fabric is. A thread count that is anywhere between 68 to 78 is a good indication that a fabric can last and is less likely to shrink. To know if a fabric has an ideal thread count, check the threads. If the threads look intact and don’t easily pull apart, you are holding a good choice. 

  3. Print. There are three things you need to remember when choosing prints. One, you should have a variety of small, medium, and large prints in your fabrics to lend texture and dimension to your quilt. Fabrics with almost the same size of prints tend to look boring and flat if pieced together. On the contrary, a range of sizes gives depth and movement to the quilt. Second, check that the print is on the grain. A print that is not aligned with the grain has the possibility of creating a distorted and crooked design. Finally, examine pattern consistency and make sure that the entire fabric is printed. If there seems to be empty spaces where prints should have been, you may not be able to use some parts of the fabric. 

  4. Color. The most important component of a quilting fabric is the color. A coherent and dynamic color scheme gives the quilt an interesting visual appeal, so it is very important to be careful with the color combination. To come up with a coherent color combination, you have to choose a main fabric that has many different colors. Then, select fabrics with colors pulled out from the main fabric. To avoid dullness, pick the quilting fabrics within the range of light, medium, and dark hues.
These are the color values and are important in balancing the overall color of the quilt. Two tips when buying a fabric: make sure the color doesn’t fade in some parts; choose the fabric whose color doesn’t come off on the hands when rubbed.

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