Choosing the fabrics for making a quilt is arguably one of the hardest and most important parts of making a quilt a success. Whatever your chosen design or accuracy of your sewing, having the right fabrics will make any quilt look fantastic.
When choosing the fabrics to make up our pre cut patchwork squares and fabric bundles I consider the following:
What fabric do I want to use, cotton or polycotton?
What style of quilt am I looking to create?
Do I want a bright, muted, mixed colour or one/two colour colour scheme?
How many fabrics should I use?
Cotton or Polycotton?
Cotton is a natural fibre that is soft, hard wearing and washable. It takes dye easily, therefore it comes in a huge array of colours and designs. Regular cotton has commonly been chemically treated in some way, either during the growing process or during production into a fabric, therefore more environmentally friendly alternatives are now available, e.g, bamboo or organic cotton. Cotton is expensive to buy and creases easily, but will last a long time if you are making a quilt as a family heirloom.
Polycotton is a blended fabric made from a mix of cotton and polyester. It was designed to create a cheaper alternative to cotton that combines the good qualities of each. Polyester is a man made fibre that is strong and crease resistant. Polycotton will also produce a good quality quilt and is much cheaper to buy.
Vintage inspired prints and florals have become increasingly popular over recent years. Looking back to vintage fashion and interiors has always been a love of mine, hence the fabrics at HotPinkHaberdashery mainly run along this style. The trend for vintage and retro can be created by combining pretty prints, unusual colour combinations and traditional florals.
Other styles you may consider include modern & bold; making a quilt with large geometric inspired shapes or abstract design, crazy; using fabric scraps and an undefined pattern, traditional; following a popular quilting pattern in a mixture of plain and printed fabrics.
Enrich your chosen style with suitable accessories and decoration e.g. Buttons, embroidery, lace, ribbon etc.
Once you have chosen your style, choosing the right combination of colours is incredibly important to its success. Unique colour schemes can really make any quilt or other craft item you produce, stand out from the crowd.
This blanket was crocheted by my sister in law for my daughter; the unusual choice of a pale grey background creates a vintage style and emphasises the bright colours of each flower. It looks fantastic.
Crochet blanket for Maya by Clare Morgan
If you want a multi coloured look, as long as the fabrics are all the same style, this will also work. The popularity of our shabby chic packs proves that this can create a great result.
Our Shabby Chic Fabrics
To choose fabrics and colours successfully, ideally before making your quilt, lay all the fabrics next to each other. Do they all have the same tone? Or does one fabric stand out amongst the rest? Does each fabric contain similar colours? Do all the prints complement each other?
This is one of my favourite parts of making a quilt. If you would rather this be done for you, try out ready made packs of fabrics and patchwork squares instead.
Ready Made Patchwork Squares
How many fabrics?
If you have chosen to follow a set pattern to make your quilt, the amount of fabrics you need will be decided upon. If you are designing your own pattern, I tend to choose either five or six fabrics. This allows for a range of fabrics of different scales and designs.
This is my newest selection of Cotton fabrics; I choose multiple colours of medium floral, a ditsy floral and a complementary polka dot, all of the same style and tone.
I hope that you will be able to use these pointers to help you in making a quilt of your own. Check out our customers Gallery for ideas. We love to see your successes....so send us your pictures if you have colour inspiration to share.