Selecting your cot quilt fabric
If you’ve been following the steps in the previous article you will have worked out your cot quilt pattern. The next step is to select the fabric for your easy cot quilt.
I tend go to ‘my favourite local quilt shop’ or a shop on the web and browse around to see what new fabrics are around. Once you start making a few cot quilts you’ll start looking for better deals on the fabric. When you do buy, make sure you buy all the material you’ll need at one time. I have had problems when going back a few months later for ‘a bit more’ of a certain cot quilt material, only to find it’s no longer available at that store. As a rule of thumb you’ll need at least 6 fat quarts, plus the border fabric if using one, plus the binding and don’t forget the backing material if you want it to blend in.
For this cot quilt I wanted a fun pattern to use as the center panel, similar to the aeroplane cot quilt I’d previously made. The shop I go to turns over their fabric quickly so there is always something new. I eventually settled for the ”cars, trucks and aeroplane” material as the centre piece.
Before I bought the rest of the fabric I first checked my stash to see if I had anything that a) would work and b) had enough of. Sadly no. To cut down on the cost for this quilt I sourced the rest of the fabric I needed elsewhere.
Tips when selecting your cot quilt fabrics:
- Lay them out next to each other, as close to the width you’ll be using.
So you’ll have the outer border about 8 in wide, the thin strip about 2 in wide and the centre panel pieces.
- Stand back and look at the overall colour effect.
- Don’t be frightened to be bold.
- Most shops have minimum lengths they will cut. So you will end up with scraps to add to your stash. If you find it hard to work out how much fabric you need your quilt shop will be only too happy to help. But as an average you’ll need a bit more than the overall size of the quilt you want to make (don’t forget the fabric for the back and border)
- Allow a bit for shrinkage.
Washing your cot quilt fabrics
- It’s important to wash all the fabric before cutting as some fabrics can shrink. It would be terrible to go to all the work of making a quilt only to have it ruined because you didn’t pre-wash all the fabric. Most quilting fabrics are cotton – it’s best to wash in cold water.
- Be kind to the environment and use a biodegradable product, like the miracle wash balls I use.
- Hang out to dry but not in direct sunlight.
Ironing your cot quilt fabric
My quilt shop snips the edge of the fabric and then tears it along the length. This tear goes with the grain of the fabric, which is what you want. This tear gives you the ‘true’ straight line or ‘grain’ of the fabric.
- Lay the torn edges together and iron your cot quilt fabric. If you’ve got a fabric that has lines it may appear to not be straight. However it will be, it’s just that the print was maybe not totally on the grain.
Ironing the edges gives you a great edge to make your first and subsequent cuts along.
- If you have a wide piece of fabric you may need to fold it more than once.
Note: cutting more than 4 layers of fabric may be hard, depending on the thickness of the fabric.
Once you ironed all your pieces of material you’re ready for the next step – cutting your cot quilt fabric ready for sewing.
Next topic: cutting your cot quilt fabric