Choosing And Preparing Fabric For Quilting


A substantial part of the enjoyment of quilting is gathering the materials that you will use. There are two methods: you can either select the pattern first or the fabric first or if you are an experienced quilter, you can ignore the recommendations on the pattern and use whatever fabric you please. However, this is a big step that the novice must not take lightly

Most quilters will opt for cotton, 100% cotton, because it is the easiest cloth to use, is pleasant to deal with, is washable and is readily available in different patterns and weights.

In fact, you cannot go wrong with cotton, whereas most people do not really want anything to do with man-made fabrics and silk and satin are both a problem to use and expensive.

When you go into a quilting or craft shop, you will see bolts and bolts (rolls and rolls) of 100% cotton fabric, so choice will hardly ever be a problem. In the beginning, a suggestion is to use tightly woven fabric, because loosely-woven cloth can 'pull' and distort leaving unsightly 'holes', which you cannot fix because they are not breaks.

You will have to put a great deal of effort into your quilt so it is worth spending some time on planning your quilt and the pattern and the design that you would like. The colour is particularly important because you or your customer will have to live with it for many years.

Attempt to use contrast as much as you can, but that is outside the scope of this piece, so you will have to look it up if you do not understand it already. However, basically it involves using warm colours like red, yellow, orange and brown with cooler colours like blue, green and violet. You can contrast black with white very effectively as well.

You could also endeavor contrasting different textures. Smooth, coarse, high grain and low grain, high density and low density cottons can be mixed to stunning effect with a bit of consideration and practice. The same can be said of the pattern on the cloth. Therefore, you can alternate or mix colour, grain and pattern.

When you get brave enough, you can add other types of cloth too such as velvet or taffeta. Whichever textiles you decide to use, you must test them for shrinkage.

Take a piece, measure it, wash it as it must be washed, dry it out, iron it and then measure it again. This will tell you how much that fabric shrinks, so you can write that down in a notebook.

Pre-shrink all textiles that are going to shrink before sewing blocks of themt into our quilt or you will have big problems later. When you have washed and dried the block of fabric, it should be ironed.

If you make a decision to use a fabric that needs dry cleaning, you will have to make certain that anybody who buys it from you knows this. It would be a sensible idea to embroider a label saying as much and attaching it to the quilt so that neither you nor anyone else will forget.

 


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