Thursday, August 21, 2008

Quilting 101

Quilting as an art form has been experiencing a resurgence for some time now. For the last decade the number of quilters in the US has grown dramatically. Younger women and men are exploring the world of fabric and the ability to express themselves through the use of it.

Quilting was once an intimidating form of fabric expression-even to experienced seamstresses. Not so anymore! Patterns have become more user friendly and there are classes taught all around the US and the world. Many for beginners and many classes with an approach to quilting that is not as rigid and rule bound as quilting was in the past. In fact, there are almost no “rules” now..Quilting is really being viewed as a form of self expression as well as a utilitarian craft.
A beginner has a few things to consider when embarking on a quilting adventure. First, a general plan or “feel” he/she would like the quilt to have. Is it going to traditional, impressionistic, geometric, or a mix? Once you have your general idea in mind, you can begin the process of choosing fabrics. Some people work from a pattern that they like first and others choose a mix of fabrics and find a pattern or design one that best expresses those patterns.
Choosing fabrics involves several considerations: Scale, colors, tone, repeat of pattern, and fiber content. Manufacturers today design whole collections with different prints of many scales and tones which could be used to make your quilt. Or like many, you will want fabrics from a variety of manufacturers to meet the needs of your particular project. A focal fabric is the beginning of the process of coordinating your fabrics. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a single fabric, but a general theme that you will want to use as a guide when incorporating other fabrics into your project.
The Specifics of Fabric Choosing will expand on the process of selecting fabrics for your project.

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