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Cabarrus Magazine

Make Your Splash with Color

Sep 21, 2015 04:39PM ● By Kimberly Brouillette

Choosing to start a new venture and initiating the first project is the major first step to begin a new hobby! Signing up for a quilting class was the best move I’ve made personally. After two years, I’m confident that having an instructor to provide hands on assistance, coaching and instruction has made success and gratification possible and inevitable. It has been well worth my efforts.

Prepping for the first class to begin my first quilt project introduced me to the most important aspect of the project — selecting the type of fabric, color and print will make or break the outcome of your finished product. The guidelines are simple. First of all, focus on cotton fabrics. It’s durable, breathable and easy to clean. Additionally, pay attention to quality.

One way to tell if a cotton fabric is of high quality is its feel. It should not feel coarse and rough. Rather, it should be soft and dense. You can do a ‘light test’ by holding the fabric up to light. The less light that comes through the fabric, the better the quality is. If you are purchasing fabric online, you should look for designer cottons. Those are usually the ones you can trust. Try to avoid the bolts in the ‘big box’ discount retailers. Most often, those fabrics are seconds, or factory misprints. With these guidelines in mind, you’re ready to choose the fabrics.

Remember to think in threes. Choose colors in light, medium and dark shades. My first quilt was done in two shades of yellow (the light and medium) with a black highlight and border (the dark).

The print is the second consideration that also conforms to the rule of threes. The pattern prints are small, medium and large. Color and print are chosen in no particular order. It depends on which aspect is more important in your project. A good suggestion is to first choose your primary print in the color you prefer. Then, pull colors from your primary print to use as complimentary colors in your project.

Keep in mind you are buying material for a ‘quilt sandwich.’ Most of your time and attention will be spent on choosing the fabrics for your quilt top. The quilt backing is usually one coordinating fabric. It may need to be pieced if your project is a large quilt, or you may add one to two additional fabrics to fill in areas.

The middle layer is the batting, making this threesome the ‘sandwich.’ Batting fabric should be cotton and of a low loft, or density. Purchasing your fabrics and batting in the quantities identified in your pattern initiates your project!

Once you begin quilting as a hobby, there is always something to learn, a new procedure to try, or a different method with which to experiment. Whether you participate in a hands-on class with an instructor using a books and magazines as tutorials, or if you rely on YouTube how-to videos to provide you with assistance, you are beginning a hobby that is challenging, rewarding, gratifying and infectious!

Come and find out for yourself about the wonderful and creative world of quilting at the Cabarrus Quilters' Guild annual "Splash of Color Quilt and Fiber Arts Show" at the Cabarrus Arena and Events Center. It will be held Friday, September 25th through Saturday, September 26th, 2015.

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