Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fabric Selection for Your Handmade Quilt

By Nancy S Ball

Fabric selection is an important factor when you embark on a new handmade quilting project. Since any handmade quilt will require many hours of labor, albeit a labor of love, you want to ensure that the finished quilt will be a project you will be proud to display, to use in your home or to give as a gift. You want it to look beautiful, and you also want it to be durable for the purpose for which it was created.

It is especially important that the same type and weight of fabric be used for the entire quilt. Each type of fabric has its own particular washing requirements. Just as colors can clash with one another, fabric types can clash and distract from the beauty of the handmade quilt. The first thing you want to consider is how the quilt will be used.

Quilts made for decoration and display:

For quilts that don't get a great deal of wear or require frequent laundering, delicate fabrics, such as silk, make gorgeous quilts.

The author is the proud owner of a handmade quilt made by a special aunt in the "bowtie" pattern using necktie fabric. It looks beautiful folded at the foot of a bed in a spare room where it does not get heavy use.

You can create a special souvenir from a trip by purchasing fabric while on your trip. A family member of mine went to Hawaii and purchased a variety of colorful Hawaiian fabrics. When finished, the quilt was colorful and beautiful and a lasting memory of her trip.

Another family member created a lovely and unique handmade quilt using cloth decorative calendars. It is important to note that the fabrics decorative calendars are made of may not launder well, so will require delicate care.

Quilts made for gifts:

Men's neckties that are out of style or no longer worn, can be used to make a gift for a special man in your life. The bowtie pattern is an excellent choice, and most men would be happy to have a handmade quilt made from their old neckties.

If you sew and make clothes for yourself and your children, a special quilt can be created for yourself or your child using these left over fabrics.

If you are making a baby gift, flannel or chenille are excellent choices. These fabrics are soft, warm and durable. Keep in mind baby quilts get lots of hard use and need to be laundered often.

Quilts made to use as cover for cold winter nights:

Cotton and similar weight fabrics have long been used for quilts to use on your bed to keep you warm throughout the night. Quilters can be creative and select fabrics such as flannel and woolen weights for extra warmth.

For the true quilt lover who owns a number of beautiful handmade quilts, it is fun to use a variety of fabrics. Whatever the purpose of your handmade quilt, taking time to consider exactly the right fabrics to use before starting your project will assure a beautiful handmade quilt will result from your efforts.

The author has had many years of experience in creating handmade quilts, including pattern selection, fabric selection, piecing quilt tops, as well as hand and machine quilting. A feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment awaits anyone who enters the creative world of quilting. Find quilting tips and information and the best quilting frames and supplies at

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