For the person who is just getting into the art and craft of quilting, the first visit to a quilting store can tend to be a bit overwhelming. On the surface, a person might thing that quilting is a simple as finding a pattern, finding the right fabric, having a few quilting specific tools and supplies. While this is true, like most things that are taken seriously by a lot of people, once you start peeling back the layers of the onion, there is a lot to learn. Take fabric for example. Once you start your investigation you will begin to see lots of new and wacky terms. The conversation could go something like this; “Like this pattern? It is very easy, all you need is this quilt kit. However, is you like a different color, you could also make it with these pretty fat quarters, charm squares, jelly rolls, layer cakes or turnovers.” Hold on just a minute! Are we trying to quilt here, or have we accidentally landed in a New Orleans Bakery? “Pass the beignets please!”. Here is a quick rundown of the terms that you will need to familiarize yourself with to help you navigate this strange new world of quilting fabric.
The best fabric to use for quilting is 100% cotton. Most quilting fabric is 42″ wide although you can find wider yardage that can be found to use for backing. Obviously, quilting fabric comes in and infinite number of colors and patterns. It is usually recommended that the fabric be washed prior to using to minimize shrinkage and/or fading. Keep in mind, though, that fading and shrinkage is not quite as much of a problem with higher quality fabric. If this is a concern you can always wash a small piece of the fabric prior to using.
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