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What is Quilting Fabric?

When you start out in your quilting journey, the first thing you will need to investigate is the question: what is quilting fabric? Well, there are many schools of thought on that subject. You can use many different types of fabrics in quilts, but the primary type is cotton fabric, usually referred to as broadcloth or gingham. Cotton wears very well and tends to hold color and not fade over time, if quality dyes are used in the manufacturing process.

Quilting fabrics are available online at literally thousands of websites. An experienced quilter will do most of their shopping on the Internet, where you can comparison shop from the comfort of your living room, rather than going from store to store! Quilting supply retailers will often extend discounts to their online customers, so pay attention to the sales as you let your fingers do the shopping!

When choosing quilting fabric, be sure to select only one type per quilt, as not all fabrics wear in the same way, and a heavier fabric can stretch or tear a lighter one such as cotton. It is best to use one fabric type, unless you are making a crazy quilt. Broadcloth is probably the most popular type of cotton fabric used today and tends to be relatively inexpensive, with a wide ranging color palette and print availability. Another popular type of quilt fabric is batik, which is cotton that is dyed in the batik style, making for rich, deep true colors that do not run or fade with washing. Batik will generally cost more than plain cotton broadcloth, but makes for a striking addition to any quilt.

You can also use muslin to make quilts, although it is primarily utilized as a backing material. Quilts are composed of three layers: the quilt top, which is what you will see most of time; the batting or wadding, which is what gives the quilt its three dimensional aspect, and finally, the backing material.  Quilts are finished by sewing a binding all the way around, generally the same color fabric as the body of the quilt. 

Flannel is another popular quilting fabric. It is most commonly used in baby quilts for its soft quality and wearability. Flannel adds a little weight to a quilt, and a great deal of warmth. Whatever type of quilt you choose to make, select one kind of fabric and have fun sewing!

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