Whether or not you feel confident as a designer, one of the most satisfying things about quilts is expressing yourself creatively. If you love colors, textures, and shopping—and we know you do—you’ll enjoy the process of combining different patterns. If you get stumped, use these tips when choosing fabric for your quilt.
Focus On One Pattern
Have you ever wandered through a shop and stopped in your tracks because one print reached out and grabbed you? That’s an excellent jumping-off point. If it’s overwhelming to think about the big picture, start with one fabric and build from there.
Stick To a Palette
If you’re a beginner, you might appreciate some boundaries, lest you lose your mind from all the possibilities. You can pull out one color from your first fabric and complement it with fabrics in the same color. Choose different shades of color while making sure they have the same tone. Vary the scale of your patterns for a good balance.
Use a Collection
There’s an art to piecing together prints with balance, color, contrast, and scale. If you’re shopping online, it’s tough to choose fabrics because you can’t be sure that you’re seeing their true colors. The solution: collections that experts have pre-curated. You can still exercise your creativity because collections usually have between 15 and 30 varying patterns that all go together. You can learn a lot by starting with a collection. If you want to mix and match on your own next time, you’ll be ready.
Try New Textures
Not every quilt has to feature floral cotton. Making a baby quilt will remind you that you want it to be irresistibly soft, which means venturing into different fabrics. Snuggling into a quilt is a tactile experience, and these are just a few of the textures you can try:
- Cuddle (polyester microfiber plush)
This quilt will be your creation, and it doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s. If you’re drawn to vivid, exotic materials, you might want to choose a batik or a specialty fabric from another country. Sort through the scraps you’ve saved for surprising contributions to your masterpiece. It could come from old curtains, outgrown clothing, or the thrift shop. Historically, quilts have always used eclectic materials.
Loosen Up a Little
Making a quilt can be frustrating if you’re a perfectionist, but remember: there’s no wrong answer here. Use these tips when choosing fabric for your quilt, and you’ll create a true original. After all, if you wanted a professional quilt, you would buy one. A hand-crafted quilt is a reflection of all the effort and love you put into it—a reflection of you. It might be a little messy and it might not end up being your favorite. But it’s going to keep someone warm. And it’ll probably make them smile. Go with your gut and have fun with it.