Let's FOCUS - on Fabrics for Quilting

June 15, 2014 How do you select your fabrics for quilting when you are going to work on a new project?     I think choosing your focus fabric is the most fun part of shopping for fabrics for quilting and should always be chosen first. I wonder if Sophie is in the habit of choosing a focus fabric first for her new projects?  I hope you visit www.QuiltAddict.com often to keep up with Sophie’s progress.  She has learned so much in such a short time, and is thoroughly enjoying herself - she found that quilting is truly “A Great Habit”. Are you asking yourself, “What is a focus fabric”?  It is a patterned fabric that has multiple colors, and dictates to you what additional colors you could use for your project. Before going any further, I want to clarify that Quilters do not always purchase a focus fabric first IF we are looking to build our stash.  We are always on the lookout for fabrics for quilting that are “generic” in nature and can provide a lot of “mileage” – in other words, a fabric that we think can be used with a variety of other fabrics. If you are planning on working on a specific project, I would suggest you first try to find a focus fabric in a medium to large scale print, containing some additional colors (“scale” refers to the size of the print within your fabric).  Check out the four focus fabrics for quilting in this photo. The fabric on the left with a black background and pink flowers could easily match up with various shades of pink, green, and blue as coordinating fabrics.  The “Route 66” focus fabric could use coordinating colors in yellow, red, blue, white, and green.  The red and purple medium-scale floral on the right could pick up additional red, purple, tan, white, and green fabrics.  The bottom fabric with the large “pink/orange/red” flowers (hard to tell by the photo – right?) could easily go with some pink/orange/red, yellow, gold, green, rust, and white fabrics. With so many of the above mentioned colors, it is difficult to coordinate these fabrics unless you have your focus fabric in hand.  For one thing, the color “value” (depth or intensity of color) can vary a great deal in fabrics.  I’ve also learned that it is a good idea to check potential fabrics in natural lighting - sometimes the lights in quilt shops are a little “off”, and by taking that bolt of fabric to the window, or outside, you may be surprised at the “true”