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How to Choose the Best Fabric for Your Quilting Project

Planning a new quilt is always exciting. There is a thrill when you finish up an old project to start a new one, or even when you are planning your first quilting project. However, choosing the right fabrics is a challenge all its own. Whether you are a seasoned quilting veteran or a newbie standing in the fabric store, here are some tips and tricks that you can use to choose the right fabrics for your quilting project.

Matching Types of Fabrics and Patterns

Matching materials is the most important tip that you can use to make a quilt. It is important to choose fabric that looks and washes well together. You do not want to use wool scraps on a quilt that you plan to stick in the dryer. Choose fabrics of a similar material such as cotton, polyester, or linen that can be put in the dryer. Cotton is the most common quilting fabric.

You also need to choose cloth that looks good together. Fabrics that have complementary patterns and color schemes are vital to the harmony and aesthetic appeal of a quilt. Choose swatches and scraps to compare to one another and make sure you see them together in good lighting before you decide what to use. Use a color wheel to help you decide on the right colors together. The primary colors (red, blue, and yellow) are easy to match. There are also classic color combinations like red, white and blue for country quilts that everyone loves.

Plan for Durability

While planning, make sure you know what the quilt will be used for. You do not want to choose a weak, thin fabric for a quilt you intend to use regularly as a bed cover or blanket. Thick, sturdy cottons should be used for regular use, but delicate, affordable fabrics are fine to use for a wall hanging quilt.

What pattern are you using this fabric for? Are you using it for a scrap quilt? Do you have a specific design in mind? Choose the best fabrics for the job at hand, and see if the pattern maker has any recommendations for construction.

Choose a fabric that wears well. Something that will be washed many times needs to be both colorfast and have a color scheme that will wear well as the fabric fades. Wash your swatches a few times to test the fastness of your chosen fabrics. Buying quality materials ahead of time helps, as you are bound to run into issue after issue with fabrics of poor quality and construction.

Choosing Materials

Strong materials are best for quilting as they can stand up to the tests of a quilt. The cutting, piecing, and binding stages all will test your fabric, and weak, thin material won’t be able to compete. You may end up repairing your quilt over and over.

Many quilters already have a big stash built up by the time they have completed two or three quilts, so dig through the supplies you have – you may already have everything you need!

Now that you have these tips and tricks in your quilting arsenal, go forth and create a beautiful keepsake piece that will last a lifetime.

About Amy Patterson

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