Robert Kaufman Fabrics
Zero image

Quilting > Ask Margarit Archives

Ask Margrit February 2009

Quilting Questions Answered

The e-Forum column is dedicated to you, the quilter. I would like to encourage you to participate in the e-Forum by submitting any events, thoughts, questions and hints to “Ask Margrit” and submitting your information via e-mail. If you submit information regarding quilting events in your area, we will post as many as possible. Please submit at least 2 months prior to the event.

One of the most frequently asked questions that I receive is where to find fabrics that are needed to complete a quilt, or fabrics that are wanted to make a quilt.  There are a couple of wonderful sites on line that can help you find almost any fabric that you may be looking for.  They are and

I live in a warm climate and I am looking for a suggestion for batting choices. 
I want the quilt to be light in weight but still have depth, texture and dimension.  Any ideas?

I would recommend a light weight cotton batting.  If you are machine quilting a batting that in 80% cotton and 20% polyester works as well.  It is a little harder to hand quilt than a 100% batt, but you can still hand quilt them.  A cotton batting will give you the look and feel of the antique quilts.  Check to make sure you can quilt at least 2 to 3 in. apart, unless you plan to heavily quilt the surface.  Also, cotton is a natural fiber and will better absorb body moisture.  If you want the quilt to be very flat you can quilt with a flannel center.

With the advent of the charm packs, how do you go about pre-washing them?  Do you just forgo that step?

I would probably not pre-wash the squares.  However, if you are concerned about the color running, you could soak them in cold to luke warm water, gently wring out excess water and let them dry on a towel.  Press and store until you are ready to use them.

Do people use any fabrics other than cotton for quilting?  Can I mix different types of fabric in the same quilt?

You can use almost any fabric for quilting.  Cotton is the most commonly used fabric, but you can piece with almost any fabric, depending on the look you want. 
I have used fabrics such as silk, velvet, and cotton in the same piece.  I generally consider how the piece is going to be used when I make my fabric choices.  If it is for a wall hanging that will probably never be laundered, then anything goes.  If it for a baby quilt that will be lovingly used and needs to be laundered a lot, then I select fabric that will hold up under those conditions.

Could you please explain fussy cutting to me?

Fussy cutting is cutting a particular design from a piece of fabric.  For example, if you have a floral fabric and you want to make one floral design the center square in your block, you would cut a template from a piece of see through template plastic the size of the center square, center the template over the floral design and cut it out.  In essence, you are simply custom cutting your fabric.  You can use this technique for any piece in a block.

I bought some Jacquards and was wondering if there are any hints for sewing with them?

Jacquards, with their added texture, give a look of elegance to you quilts.  Jacquards are woven differently than regular cotton, which is what gives them that wonderful silky look.  Here are some helpful hints for sewing with Jacquards.

  1. Try to keep the ripping out of the seams to a minimum as this could cause raveling.
  1. When piecing use fine pins (such as silk pins or fine quilting pins) to pin your pieces together.
  1. Use “sharp” needles instead of the “ball point” or “universal” needles in a size 10 (70) or 12 (80) for sewing.  Make sure that the needle has a sharp point and has not dulled through over use.  The sharp needle has a sharp tapered point instead of the more rounded point of a ball point needle.
  1. Use around a 2.5 (approximately 10 to 12 stitches per inch) stitch length when sewing with the Jacquards.


Please use special Print icon.