The art of quilting goes back generations; a skill passed from mother to daughter and family to family. A quilt can instantly evoke a wonderful memory or a long-gone loved one; the threads of a quilt can be the threads that bind one time in history to another. Those who quilt do so with an unrivaled passion – and the expert handling of quilting tools to accomplish their task.
The modern quilt maker has the choice of doing so by hand or using any one of the contemporary machines that have given quilt making an easier, more convenient alternative. There is no right answer when it comes to machine versus hand; whichever method is more comfortable for the quilter becomes part of their quilting tools of choice.
Quilting tools are largely dependent on the quilt maker’s personal style. For those who prefer the traditional hand sewing like the quilts of yesteryear, then there a few quilting tools that are par for the course, such as a ruler, sewing scissors, quilting pins, measuring tape, quilting thread in the colors that match or complement your fabric, needles, and for the safety conscious among us – a thimble.
Ultimately, the most important of the quilting tools is the fabric that the quilt maker chooses. The style, color, and texture of the fabric will determine the look and feel of the final product; while traditional quilt makers would choose their fabric based on the scraps they had available to them, today’s quilters choose fabric largely based on the use of the quilt. Soft pastels are often used for baby quilts, bolder colors are often used to complement a room where the quilt will be hung, or different blocks of fabric are used to commemorate special events. The choices are virtually endless when it comes to choosing fabric.
Modern quilt makers find the use of a pattern or template to be an essential part of their quilting tools. Such items help guide novice quilters and provide a bevy of new ideas for experienced quilt makers.
Quilting tools are varied, and ultimately, are very personal to the quilt enthusiast’s tastes and style of working. But, the end result is all the same – a beautiful quilt to be enjoyed for generations to come.
A handmade quilt is a thing of beauty; not just for the technical skill that it so clearly requires, but also for the passion required by the quilter to produce such a beautiful result. In all ways, a quilt reflects the love and personality of its maker; and nowhere is that more evident than in the choice of quilting fabric.
The choosing of quilting fabric is by far the most important element of quilting. The quilting fabric is largely chosen based on the ultimate use for the quilt. For a quilt being designed as a baby gift, often pastel fabrics are chosen; bolder quilting fabric is often chosen for the design of a decorative quilt that will be hung to complement a room; themed quilting fabric can be chosen for a specialty quilt designed to commemorate a special event.
The texture of the quilting fabric is also important – soft and supple, boldly textured, warm and cozy, or smooth and sophisticated. The texture of the quilting fabric speaks of the quilt’s personality and the way it will be used in its lifetime. Most quilters prefer to use 100% cotton quilting fabric because of its ease of care.
Just as important, however, is the quality of the quilting fabric. To ensure that you produce a quilt that can be enjoyed for years – and even kept for generations – you must be sure that the craftsmanship of the fabric is superior. While you can easily order quilting fabric online, you may not be getting the highest quality quilting fabric. Give Internet companies a trial run by ordering swatches of fabric so you can examine the quality up close. Once you establish a relationship with a reputable online company you can comfortably continue to order from them. Fabric stores are a more traditional way to shop for quilting fabric and you can easily choose quality materials with the help of a knowledgeable store employee.
Don’t neglect the quilting thread when shopping for quality materials. The role of the quilting thread, after all, is to hold the quilt together. Quality quilting fabric will ultimately mean very little if the thread binding it is of poor quality.
The quilting fabric you choose will determine your final product. If you choose wisely, your quilt will reflect all the care and attention you put in to choosing the appropriate materials.