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How to Pick Fabric for a Quilt

Learn how to pick fabric for a quilt from quilting expert Cathy Izzo in this Howcast video.


I think choosing fabric for a quilt is really the best part. It's really fun; you can play with pattern and design. Definitely it's some people's favorite part.

The easiest way I think to choose fabric if you're a beginner is to find a print that you really love and make sure it's multi-colored. It should have several different colors in it. Then it's just a matter of pulling out the colors that are in the fabric.

You can see here, we've pulled out a really nice complementary purple and a green and a beige with some gold. The other thing you want to think about is the scale of your fabric. You want to have different size motifs, here it's a little bit bigger, these are small, and this is sort of a medium.

You want to have different patterns and this is another example. We have this great children's print with fairly large animal motifs and we've pulled out some coordinating fabric. We've got some smaller owls, we've got a nice polka-dot and we've got kind of a stripe.

Don't be afraid to mix different design elements, stripes, dots, little florals, it all works together. You want to make sure you have a nice pleasing balance.

Another tip, you can use for choosing fabric, on the salvage of lots of fabrics they have what we call, "Gams", they're just dots of colors that are used in the print. It's kind of a cheating way to help you find colors that would match or coordinate really well with the prints you've chosen.

If any of you have an art background, you might be familiar with a color wheel and that's another good way to choose fabrics. You can choose analogous colors and make sort of a monotone quilt or complementary colors.

Choosing fabric for a quilt can be very scary but try not to let it overwhelm you. Just pick fabric you love, colors you feel comfortable with and have a good time.

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