Quilting is one of those pastimes that can be extremely enjoyable and worthwhile for enthusiasts of all ages – that is, once you get the hang of it. We often find that first-time quilters, and even those who have dipped their toes in once or twice, get a little nervous when it comes to choosing the right fabric for an upcoming quilting project. It’s easy to get caught up in when it comes to worrying that you’ll somehow choose wrong and end up with something completely different from what you were envisioning.
Luckily, there are plenty of resource outlets available (like us!) that can help you steer clear of any possible fabric-related issues. While choosing the right quilting fabric can truly make all the difference, it really isn’t very difficult to determine what you need. Allow us to point out some basics to be aware of:
Pay attention to suggested materials – If you’re choosing to use a pattern, it would be extremely beneficial to take a look at the suggested materials. The plain fact about it is that a style that may be right for one fabric may be a complete mess when used with another. Taking any recommendations into consideration can take the guess work out of the process from the get-go.
Get familiar – Sometimes the best thing you can do is just to do some research; go to a fabric store yourself to scope out your options and see which ones appeal to you. You can go ahead and ask a store representative for their assistance or jot down the names of the fabrics you like, take that list home and do some research about them online. Here’s some information to get you started: woven fabrics are created on a loom, making them very stable with little to no give. Knits tend to be thicker and drape very well, while micro-fibers have the ability to be very plush. When in doubt, consider your options with 100% cotton – but always be sure to pre-wash to avoid shrinkage.
What to avoid – While fabrics such as silks and satins are absolutely gorgeous, they can be very slick, making it increasingly difficult to hold down. Whether you’re choosing to quilt by hand or machine, the last thing you want to worry about is your materials slipping out from underneath you.
Color scheme and pattern – You want to make sure that you are choosing fabrics that will complement each other when placed together as a whole. If you find yourself a bit lost, choose one fabric as your large, focal piece and then work around that. Choose two or three smaller prints that are of similar color but don’t compete visually with the larger print. Don’t be afraid to get adventurous with your patterns either!
To sum it all up, we just have one last piece of advice when it comes to choosing the right fabric: ask! This goes back to what we said earlier; use the representatives at quilting stores to your advantage. Here at The Fabric Stasher, we’re here to help you! We want your first quilting experience to be as successful as you, so if there’s anything we can do, let us know!