Choosing Quilt Fabric

To choose quilt fabric one has to carefully consider all the choices one has available today in textures, colors and styles.

There are quilt fabrics from cotton to velvet, from denim to flannel, from woolen to silk. You can have plain or printed fabric. Choose among cotton, silk, flannel, denim, woolen, velvet, brocade, satin, recycled old clothes, fine jute, wool felt, suede, leather pieces, crepe and certain heavily embroided fabrics. You can then choose between soft, ragged, textured, self prints, embossed and shiny textures in the chosen cloth type.

To choose fabric one should consider that some of these fabrics are much easier to work with than others for quilting. Satin makes a beautiful quilt, but it is very slippery and frays easily making it difficult for beginners to work with. Cotton on the other hand is much easier to work with and a good choice for beginners.

Here are some other factors to consider to choose quilt fabric.


The purpose of the quilt is basically what determines how to choose quilt fabric. A baby quilt is supposed to be soft, smooth and most frequently washed. Therefore making cotton, flannels and other durable fabrics, ideal for the stability. Similarly, denim made quilt is ideal to use on picnics, or for a young child, or may be for a loved pet as well. A quilt designated for the decoration purpose has to be made with rich fabrics. Try using silks, crepes, Japanese brocades and embroided clothes for this purpose. Do not wash them frequently, dry cleaning is preferred.


Color and fabric choice goes together hand in hand. The colors play the most important role. A wrong color scheme or even one odd color can make the quilt look shabby and unappealing. A specific season quilt needs appropriate colors. For example an autumn quilt looks incomplete without the shades of gold, orange, rust and maroon. Similarly a winter quilt looks great in dark colors and shades of grey and blues. If you are making a quilt for certain bed room, try to match the color scheme to enhance the look of your quilt as well as the bedroom. Use light pastel colors for baby quilts.

Other Factors:

Apart from all these facts there are certain other things to consider. These factors should not be overlooked. Here are some key tips for the right fabric choice:

1. The fabric should be pre washed. This helps to determine whether the fabric shrinks or not because any fabric that has shrinking capability should not be used as it can distort the pattern in future.

2. Check whether the colors are fast or not. Prewashing is helpful to check.

3. Try using same type of fabric for the same quilt, such as all cotton.

4. Use a soft cotton for the lining as it can cover up for any rough surfaces.

5. For a quilt with many small pieces, choose a small print or a solid color fabric - a large print will not look right cut up.

6. Use complimentary colors - they should match nicely in a pile before you cut them.

I hope these tips and guidelines prove helpful in how to choose quilt fabric.

To help you choose quilt fabric, more on fabric types.

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