The Beginning of a Quilt
Which comes First? The Pattern or the Fabric?? Well, the not so simple answer is….Both or Either.
The Pattern: Whether it is a classic ‘oldie’ traditional block pattern, a free pattern or a purchased pattern, this can be your starting point. If you have chosen a pattern you like, then it has an influence on what fabric you want to use.
Many quilts are made of individual blocks, which are often made of a number of other blocks. The Internet is a wonderful place to look for blocks and patterns. Here are a few sites I’ve found.
- Quilt Blocks Galore – has a list by block name or size
- Quiltville – This site by Bonnie Hunter shares information and patterns for using scraps to re-purpose clothing or left-over fabric to make quilts.
- The Fabric Cafe has some simple, 3-one-yard bundle Quilt Patterns – if you buy one of their prepackaged fabric bundles, you get a pattern free.
- Lazy Girl – Lazy Girl, Joan Hawley, has created a number of patterns she sells which use her special ruler when creating the blocks.
- Moda Bake Shop – Blog sponsored by Moda Fabrics shares patterns for quilts & more. Primarily, they are ‘designed’ to be made from Moda Fabric, specialty cuts like Jelly Rolls & Layer Cakes, but can be made with the fabric of your choice.
- Henry Glass Fabrics – Another site sponsored by a Fabric Manufacturer. Click on the tab for Free Projects. These patterns have been created to show off their fabric lines, but there is no law saying you have to use these specific fabrics.
The Fabric: Either Store-Bought or Scraps can be the beginning of a quilt. This can be either a Focus Fabric – a fabric that has a medium-to-large print and a number of colors. This fabric can be used for a large outer border or a significant block, or maybe not even used. Focus Fabric can just be used to help select colors — the mixture of colors look appealing in the one fabric, then you know a mixture of the same colors in separate fabric will look good, too. Or you may just be inspired by the color of a combination of fabrics.
There is good quality, 100% cotton quilting fabric and there is less-than-good quality, 100% cotton fabric. If you are spending your time to make a quilt it is worth it to get as good a quality that you can find. Shopping wisely, watching for sales and coupons can help save money. Some fabric shrinks more than others, and some fabric can feel stiff, even after washing. Care should also be taken with dyes that may bleed — nothing can be more frustrating than a beautiful quilt that took time to make, and the first time it is washed that red fabric runs all over!
See information regarding fabric at Patchwork and Quilting (dot) Com –
Some of the sites I like for purchasing fabric include the following:
- Fabric Cafe – I mentioned this under patterns. I really like their 3-one-yard bundles.
- Piecework Fabrics -Check out their selection and specials.
- Fat Quarter Shop – Very good for both fabrics and patterns.
- Thousands of Bolts & One Nut – Lots of colors, good selection & prices.
- Web Fabrics – Nice people, good selection, large selection of Moda Blenders/Marbles
- Fabric (dot) com – Free Shipping for purchases over $35, Coupons are often available.
What’s Next? Supplies….