The most essential element. Fabric and color are the twofirst things that will draw our attention. Our technique will come second. The right position of the fabric pieces and the color combination is the most attractive on patchwork.
It is obvious that patchwork can be made with every kind of fabric. However, let’ s deal with cotton fabric for the moment and leave the rest for later.
Traditional patchwork is made with cotton fabric, like our sheets. Shirt fabric is also ok. In any case, please have in mind that should you use recycled fabric, it is advisable to remove any piece faded or very used.
If the fabric is new, it is up to you whether you pre-wash it or not, before use it. I wash it only if I thing that it might behave bad in the washing machine. However, I have used such fabric without pre-washing and when I washed my final project with a color catcher, nothing happened.
As already mentioned on the first lesson, you may use fabric you already possess, as well as fabric you can buy in fabric stores or on the Internet.
On the Internet or abroad one may get fabric not just by yard/meter, but even precut. It is also very common to buy fat quarters, meaning one quarter of an inch (18*21 or22″ depending on the fabric width or 46 * 53 or 56cm). There are also fat eights which are half fat quarters. Pre-cut stripes in various widths as well as various shapes (hearts, butterflies etc) are available on the Internet or outside Greece.
However, if you live in a country that the above mentioned are not available, like they are not in Greece, please do not let this keep you away from patchwork, because we can always use fabric we like and cut it accordingly.
Same kind of cotton fabric is used as backing for our project. Please let me remind you that the patchwork comes on the top of our project, then comes the batting ant last comes another piece of fabric. Modern quilts have some patchwork on the back side as well. This is totally up to you. Should you make traditional quilts, then sheets fabric is an excellent choice from money point of view. In any case, you should take care of the back fabric to suit to the front side of your project and both of them to suit with binding which will unify all three layers.
If you start making patchwork and think of having a stash, the following may be usefull: When you go shopping and you like a fabric, it is a good idea to buy a meter / a yard in order to add it to your stash. On the other hand, if you go shopping for something very specific, take care to choose carefully the design and the colors, so that everything matches. In this case we buy even half a meter/yard (this is the minimum quantity in Greece in most shops). Solid color fabric is always necessary. Solid colors help the other designs pop up. And please have always in mind that our stash grows gradially.
Batting (or wadding in English or filler)
This is the material that we put between the two pieces of cotton fabric. It is the batting that makes our project more fluffy, gives more interesting texture and makes the final product warmer. Batting is made of cotton, wool or of blends of various fibres. It is up to you to choose. It is a fact that it is not easy to get batting with natural fibres in Greece. However, Kangaroo shop in Athens brings some cotton batting during lessons period. You may always order on the Internet.
The 100% cotton thread is a good choice in order to start. In Greece we have Petalouda (Butterfly) threads, that are the best quality one may find.