What are the three most important things to consider when making a quilt? Fabric, Fabric, Fabric.

comments (1) April 4th, 2008     

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MaryRay Mary Ray, contributor
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Start building your fabric stash.

Start building your fabric stash.

Photo: Mary Ray

It’s what you see and what you feel and for most of us, it’s why we sew in the first place–we just love working with fabric. Most quilters work with 100% cotton, although other fibers like silk, linen, and even wool are becoming more popular and prevalent in quilts. If you’re new to quilting, however, I recommend starting out with cotton because it’s easy to sew and the cotton fabrics available nowadays are just so gorgeous you may not want to consider anything else.

And if you’re prepared to become a fabriholic–someone who recklessly buys fabric without a project in mind but can’t resist the cloth because it’s just so beautiful–check out some of these amazing fabric designers and manufacturers: Amy Butler, Kaffe Fassett, Valori Wells and companies like Moda, for starters. They really have created a fabric explosion in the world of quilting. Whether your taste leans toward huge flowers, great graphics, vintage reproductions, dots, stripes, novelty prints–it’s all out there and more. Choosing some of these fabrics pretty much ensures that, whatever you make, your result will be fabulous. What a stress reliever!

The cost for most of these fabrics is under $10 per yard–although you can find more expensive cottons as well. But most quilt shops–and this is really cool–sell fabric in already cut pieces called fat quarters. Instead of cutting a quarter yard across the width resulting in a piece that’s 9 x 45 inches, a fat quarter is created by cutting a half yard length in half again forming a piece that’s 18 x 22-1/2 inches. It’s a more usable piece. One manufacturer, Moda, also sells bundles of precut fabric called Jelly Rolls (narrow strips of laser-cut fabric) and Charm Packs, which consist of a lot of small pieces.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fabric, but it’s a start. There’s lots more to explore. If you’re really serious, the best way to learn about fabric is to visit fabric shops where you can look, touch, and ask questions. Check out fabriclink for a comprehensive fabric dictionary, plus lots of other fabric info–both technical and fun.

There are two ways to purchase fabric:
1. Buy specifically for the project you’re working on.
2. Buy fabric you love when you see it and you’ll have on hand when you need it. Once you get it home you can start building your stash.

Tip: Put ups
Technical term for how you’ll find fabric in the shop–on a bolt, on a tube, cut into fat quarters, etc.

posted in: vintage, fabrics

Comments (1)

Isabellas_Quilts writes: I completely agree with your Ideas on this.
I buy GOOD fabrics. My very favorite is Northcott,Debbie Mumm,Kona,It all has to be 100% cotton.
Please don't skimp on your fabric for the back of your quilt project.
However,I have been lucky enough to pick up some Great fabrics for a $1.00 a yard. Once you've been around fabric enough, you can just feel of the fabric and know If It's right for your stash. I have everything from Alot of Cotton, faux suede's,fleece to satin's.I make curtains,quilts,clothes and handbags.
Posted: 11:06 pm on May 6th
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