Thursday, August 14, 2008


A husband stepped on one of those penny scales that tell you your fortune and weight and dropped in a coin.

"Listen to this," he said to his wife, showing her a small, white card. "It says I'm energetic, bright, resourceful and a great lover."

"Yeah," his wife nodded, "and it has your weight wrong, too."

Whether they’re the kind we step on and see bad numbers, or the kind that are on scary critters, most of us don’t like the idea of scales. But there is one kind of scale we don’t have to fear – fabric pattern scale! When choosing fabrics for a particular quilt pattern, the place to start is with the main, or “focal” fabric. Quite often a pattern will incorporate one fabric that is the centerpiece of the quilt. It may be in the center of the blocks, the borders, or the corners. Usually, this fabric will be cut into the largest pieces. So, how do you choose the right fabric as the focal? Grab a ruler! Look through the pattern directions and find the measurements of the focal fabric cuts. Let’s say it’s 5-inch blocks, and you want the focal to be a floral pattern. Simply measure the flower groupings and see how the one you love would fit in a 5-inch block. The flower or flower grouping should mostly fill the space, with just a small amount of background showing. It should also not be cut off such that you can’t really tell what the flower is.

Choosing focal fabrics online can be a little tricky if there is no scale with the picture. At the shop, we are more than happy to measure any print for you, whether it be a flower grouping, or the length of a repeat, or whatever! Just contact us, and we’ll happily grab a ruler.

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