Navigating the Quilting Bakery – Fabric Advice For Beginning Quilters

For the person who is just getting into the art and craft of quilting, the first visit to a quilting store can tend to be a bit overwhelming. On the surface, a person might thing that quilting is a simple as finding a pattern, finding the right fabric, having a few quilting specific tools and supplies. Stofnodig Katoenen stoffen While this is true, like most things that are taken seriously by a lot of people, once you start peeling back the layers of the onion, there is a lot to learn. Take fabric for example. Once you start your investigation you will begin to see lots of new and wacky terms. The conversation could go something like this; “Like this pattern? It is very easy, all you need is this quilt kit. However, is you like a different color, you could also make it with these pretty fat quarters, charm squares, jelly rolls, layer cakes or turnovers.” Hold on just a minute! Are we trying to quilt here, or have we accidentally landed in a New Orleans Bakery? “Pass the beignets please!”. Here is a quick rundown of the terms that you will need to familiarize yourself with to help you navigate this strange new world of quilting fabric.

Quilting Fabric

The best fabric to use for quilting is 100% cotton. Most quilting fabric is 42″ wide although you can find wider yardage that can be found to use for backing. Obviously, quilting fabric comes in and infinite number of colors and patterns. It is usually recommended that the fabric be washed prior to using to minimize shrinkage and/or fading. Keep in mind, though, that fading and shrinkage is not quite as much of a problem with higher quality fabric. If this is a concern you can always wash a small piece of the fabric prior to using.

Quilt Backing

Quilt backing is the fabric panel used as the back piece of a layered quilt. Backing can be made from a single piece of fabric or it can be pieced or assembled in another decorative way. Sometimes it is possible to find specific fabrics that are made in wider yardage that can be used specifically as backing. This may be a good approach for getting started with beginners quilting.

Quilt kits

Quilt kits contain all of the necessary fabric, in the yardage that you need, to complete the specific quilt patterns that you would like to make. Usually the backing fabric, batting, and thread are not included in the kits. For the busy quilter kits eliminate a lot time, effort and initial confusion that it takes to pick out fabrics that will work for a specific pattern. It also minimizes waste. Also, if you see a quilt kit that you like then you can be assured that yours will look the same.

Quilt blocks

Quilt blocks can be a single piece of fabric cut to your specification or pattern specifications or it can be a pieced block (several pieces already sewn together in a particular pattern). A single quilt block can be used for different purposes such as a quilted wall hanging, quilted potholder, quilted table topper, quilted candle mat or several blocks can be sewn together to make a larger quilt. For the beginning quilter or quilters on a budget, you may want to search the internet, or our quilt pattern section for a free quilt block pattern.

Quilting Fat quarters

This is a one fourth yard cut of fabric that usually measures 18″ x 22″ instead of the typical 9″ x 42″ quarter-yard cut. The advantage of a fat quarter is that it is a wider cut of fabric and more economical than the 9″ wide quarter yard for certain quilting patterns. There are many quilt patterns designed specifically for fat quarters.

Quilting Charm squares

These are also sometimes referred to as charm packs, are 5″ squares of fabric from a specific fabric line. These come with forty squares in a pack with at least 1 square of every fabric in the line. These may be used to make quick and easy small quilts by sewing coordinating squares together and bordering with coordinating fabric from that same fabric line or any other coordinating fabric of your choice. There are also new patterns out using charm squares to sew piece blocks.

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