I’m so excited to have you all along for this mini creative journey this year. I have already been so inspired by your incredible mini quilts! Part of the reason why I wanted to plan this mini quilt sew along was to share simple tips to help improve your quilting and sewing skills. For this first “tips and techniques” post, I want to go over how to choose fabric for your mini quilt projects.
Choosing your fabric is, in my opinion, one of the very best parts of any project! Whether you’re at the quilt shop or digging through your fabric stash or scrap bin, you are working with a fresh canvas and taking the first step in bringing a new creation to life. Have fun picking your colors, prints, and textures for your creation!
Here are my four tips:
- Choose high-quality fabric. This may sound obvious, but there is a difference between “quilt shop fabric” and other kinds of fabric that quilters sometimes overlook. Make sure that there is a thread count near 75, which is fairly standard for high-quality fabrics, with a thread weight of 30 or 34¹. Often the thread count isn’t accessible, so a good rule of thumb is to get your fabric from a local quilt shop rather than a larger, general craft or fabric store. By feeling the fabric in your hands, you should also be able to tell the difference between high and low-quality fabric. Just like with anything else you create—if your base ingredients aren’t good to start with, you are likely to be disappointed by the final outcome.
- Make sure your fabric is appropriate for your specific project. It is always important to know what kinds of fabrics are appropriate for your individual project. In regards to mini quilts, it is important to pay attention to the scale of the fabric prints. You can run into problems with the way the prints show on the quilt when using fabric with large prints and cutting it into small pieces. Be sure to pay attention to the size of the prints on the fabric in relation to the sizes of your project pieces.
- Take advantage of the opportunities to use up your leftover fabric scraps. I think mini quilts are perfect for using up scraps from past quilts and for finishing old orphan blocks that are extra from past quilts. Since mini quilt patterns are often very small, you can use all kinds of scraps to fill in the gaps on your mini quilt without having to buy all new fabric or use up new pieces.
- Choose a variety of light, medium, and dark-colored prints. I am a sucker for well-contrasted fabric in any project—whether it’s quilts, bags, or clothing. You can really add depth to a project if you are able to use a variety of light, medium, and dark prints. I often like to choose a fabric with a print I love and then pick colors based around that print. It helps give you a place to begin!
Thanks for stopping by and continuing along with me in my resolution to create more and to create more often. I can’t wait to see your beautiful mini quilts this month!
Knot and Thread Design
¹ Sloan, Pat. “Fabric Quality.” PatSloan.typepad.com, Pat Sloan, patsloan.typepad.com/quiltershome/fabricq.html.