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Three Tips to Know Before Making Your First Quilt

February 01, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 179

Quilts come in as many different combinations of colors and styles as the artisans who create them, and though they can seem overwhelming and complicated, especially to the beginning sewist, there are some basic principles that all quilt designs share. Below are a few suggestions for first time quilters that can help make their first quilting project an enjoyable and successful adventure.

Fabric Choice

It's usually safe to stay with 100% cotton, especially for new quilters. Cotton is strong enough to hold up to years of use, but not so dense that it's difficult to sew through. Fabrics like plush and Minky are fun, but tend to slide around a lot, making them challenging for new sewers to work with while extra thick fabrics like denim require special sewing machine needles and a firm hand.

Test your fabric by washing it BEFORE you cut or sew to make sure the colors won't run after all your hard work. And don't wash it with other clothing or fabric... just in case.

Design

Quilt designs today can be anything from carefully arranged patterns, to free formed scrappy quilts to painting like illustrations made out of fabric. However, when starting out, it's best for new quilters to begin with something simple and traditional.

One of the easiest quilt tops is a square block pattern. This design is achieved by using three or more coordinating fabrics, cut into identically sized squares. These squares can be sewn together randomly or in predetermined patterns.A frame of solid colored fabric trim around the edges makes a blocked quilt look complete and finished.

Color Choices

Choosing the right coordinating fabrics can be one of the most challenging parts of the quilting project. Before purchasing fabric consider how and where you are planning to use the quilt, and then choose colors that will match that decor. Warm colors like orange, browns or yellows tend to dominate and reflect strong emotions, while cool colors like pinks, purples and blue are more subdued and create relaxing emotions. Use dark colors when you want your quilt to be set apart or noticed like a table topper or a wall hanging and lighter shades when you want the quilt to blend with the rest of the room like a comforter or bed spread.

Keep all quilt fabrics in the same basic color family and use small prints unless you are quilting something very large.Many fabric manufacturers like Moda or Hoffman release collections of forty or more coordinating fabrics. These designer fabrics are easy to find at fabric and quilt stores, provide many options to choose from and take out much of the guess work when matching fabrics.

And finally, don't be afraid to ask for help at your local fabric shop. Sewing store employees are trained to work with fabrics and usually are experienced sewers and quilters themselves. With a little care and advanced planning, even a beginner came make an attractive quilt that will be both used and admired for years to come.

Deanne Blackhurst is a freelance writer for Sew to Speak, your one-stop online sewing and fabric store. Visit us at Sew to Speak and take a look at the huge selection of fabric, patterns and notions we carry.

Source: EzineArticles
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