In this post we’ll be gathering the fabric required for the quilted throw pillow and giving you tips for finding fabrics that work well together.
First things first – the type of fabric required. For quilting, you should start with a stable, woven cotton fabric (not a stretchy knit or jersey type of fabric). This ensures that the finished project will keep its shape properly and makes it easy to sew accurate, straight seams. There are many online quilting shops which carry a seemingly endless range of fabric designs and colours. Or perhaps you also have a local quilt shop nearby – it’s easier to compare different fabrics with each other in person if you can, though some online shops will also offer this service if you contact them. For quilting beginners, quilting cottons are an excellent place to start – avoid anything too thick, as this will make quilting your finished project much more difficult.
Next, decide on the colours for your pillow. The sky’s the limit here! You could try a variety of shades of one colour from palest pastel to bright and strong, a combination of two or three contrasting but complementary colours, stylish neutrals or even a whole rainbow. Pinterest and quilting blogs have plenty of inspiration if you’re struggling to find ideas. We’ve chosen fabrics in blue and pink for a classy pastel look.
Now we need to narrow the selection down to 2-4 fabrics. If you’re using two main colours like us, keep the numbers even and choose either 1 or 2 fabrics in each colour. Consider the colour value of each fabric – how dark or light is it? A good way to assess this could be to snap a photo of the fabrics you’re considering and make it black and white – darker fabrics are easier to spot this way, without getting distracted by the exact shade. A quilt made from all dark fabrics or all light fabrics will have a very different look to one made with a combination of lights and darks. Think about print size, too. A solid or small-scale pattern acts as a contrast to prints on a larger scale.
Choosing quilt fabrics is all about your own taste, there are no right or wrong answers – if you like the look of a combination of fabrics, let that be your guide! As a rough guide, for a 45x45cm pillow you shouldn’t need more than two fat quarters worth of fabric for the front of your cushion (a fat quarter is a cut of fabric commonly sold by quilting shops measuring approximately 56x50cm or 18×21”).
Lastly, you’ll need to choose which fabric will form the reverse of your pillow. Pick a good match to the fabrics you chose for the front of the cushion or simply buy extra of one of the fabrics to use for the reverse. For the reverse, you will need 1m of fabric – this includes a square to use as the backing for the front of the pillow, which will be inside the cushion and not seen when finished but makes it much easier to quilt.
Stay tuned for the next post in this series coming shortly!