Creating a beautiful and functional quilt is more than just sewing pieces together. Quilters must choose a pattern, decide on a theme, and choose fabrics. Choosing fabrics requires knowledge of different types of fabric and how they work together.
One popular quilting fabric is minky fabric. Minky fabric feels very soft and smooth.This silky fabric is available in a wide range of styles, colors, and patterns. Quilters often choose minky fabric when creating baby quilts. The texture of minky fabric is perfect for sweet baby cuddle time. There are special tricks that make sewing with minky fabric a little easier. Since it creates fuzz when cut, quilters usually use a rotary cutter to reduce the mess. A half inch seam allowance can reduce fabric curling during sewing. It is also helpful to pin minky every inch and a half. Quilters should keep in mind that minky is a messy fabric. It should not be ironed directly. This is a perfect fabric for smaller baby quilts.
Cuddle fabric is another fabric often used for quilts. This type of fabric is a knit type fabric with a nap. Nap, or pile, is the direction of the fibers. When the nap is pushed up, it is dark. When the nap is down and smooth, it looks shiny. Quilters should consider that cuddle fabric often requires extra yardage because it is a one way cuttable fabric. Even though cuddle does not fray, it does shed and a lint roller should be kept nearby. When sewing cuddle fabric, pinning well and a walking machine foot keep the fabric from shifting, especially for straight seams. For quilts, a spray adhesive is great when layering the quilt. Keep in mind that cuddle fabric is heat sensitive, and low heat is safest. This slick fabric can add variety to a quilt and increase the softness factor.
Another fabric that creates a soft and warm quilt is flannel. Flannel is a downy, medium weight cotton fabric. It has a fuzzy finish on at least one side. Flannel is either brushed or loosely spun. Quilters prefer it when creating warm winter quilts. Plaids are popular designs for this fabric. One of the best qualities of flannel is that it gets softer as it ages. In other words, it is a low-maintenance fabric that does not need to be ironed, dry cleaned, or replaced often. Flannel and brushed cotton are very similar. Brushed cotton is woven fabric that is brushed to create a velvety texture. It is known to be very soft and comfortable against the skin, providing insulation and extra warmth. Flannel is brushed on both sides and is fuzzier, warmer, and thicker than brushed cotton. Brushed cotton is brushed on the face side, and it is soft and breathable.
Batik fabric is often used by quilters. It is a hand-dyed fabric that shows off beautiful and vibrant patterns. Cotton batik is most popular for quilters because it is easy to work with and adds interest to any quilt. Batik patterned fabric works well to bind or back quilts but can need a bit of extra special care. Washing in cool water can reduce fading and shrinkage.
Overall, quilters choose fabrics based on their project. Minky, cuddle, flannel, brushed cotton, and batik fabrics are used for a variety of reasons in different quilts. Each fabric offers challenges and benefits for a quilter. However, each adds interest to any quilting project. The Quilted Cowgirl has a variety of fabric designs, styles, and colors in stock. Their expert advice can help you piece together a true work of art.