Choosing fabrics for quilts in three steps

Mollie Makes beginner's quilt tutorial | Mollie Makes 45

Making a quilt for the first time? Keep your cool with our top tips for choosing fabrics for quilts – it’s easier than you think…

Every day you’re creating colour combos just by getting dressed, and it’s the same idea when choosing fabric colours and patterns for your quilt design. Assuming you’re picking fabrics to sew the beginner’s quilt pattern in Mollie Makes issue 45, we have a few tips to get you started.

1. Choose your main fabric

You need to start somewhere, so dip into your fabric stash and pick out your faves. Unless you’ve been waiting for a project just like this, don’t be guilted into using that bargain bolt you purchased a year ago. Besides, you might not have enough and it’s a sure-fire way to get project boredom before you’ve even started cutting squares.

Choosing fabrics for quilt - Mollie Makes

Plan your quilt colours around your first-choice fabric, much like arranging your house around that item of furniture you adore.

2. Select a colour rule

Heard of Adobe Kuler? It’s a colour combination generator and very useful for marrying up your fabric with other colours if you’re unsure. It also visually explains what the different colour rules look like e.g. the Triad colour rule is red, blue and yellow, while Complementary colours are green and purple.

Adobe Kuler

Click and drag one button on the colour wheel to get a shade that matches your main fabric and you’ll find a selection of six, perfectly matched colour choices. Play around with the other buttons until you have a combination that you love. Of course, this is only a guide, what you’re aiming for is a good variety of colour values i.e. light, medium and dark. Print out a few options. Next stop: the fabric shop!

3. Patterns

Don’t stress about the matchy-matchy; unbalanced pattern scales are not the enemy! The beauty of quilting is that you’re interspersing them with other well-chosen patterns and colours, which is a real treat for the eyes. Tip: put them together and then stand back a bit to get the overall effect. When you’re happy with your selection you’re ready to quilt.

Fabric Friday collection on Mollie Makes

We’ve dedicated A LOT of time searching for fabrics over the years. See the full Fabric Friday list and read more about quilting supplies.

Found your perfect quilt fabrics? We’d love to see. Show us on InstagramTwitter and Facebook.

Learn how to hand embroider a quilt in Mollie Makes 45

Mollie Makes issue 45 digitalMollie Makes 45 is out now! Available from all good newsagents, supermarkets and our official online store. Or download it from ZinioGoogle Play or Apple Newsstand.