There is a large range of quilt fabric on the market today. The best fabric for quilting is 100% cotton fabric. It can be bought on-line, from specialty quilt shops, discount retailers, market days and even school fairs.
Over the years I have bought a range of different qualities of fabric and I now select the fabric that best suits my needs for each project. Sometimes quality is not an issue as what I am making is only needed to last for a year or two - for example baby bibs, doll cot quilts and even wee dresses for my grandchildren.
At other times I buy top quality fabric as I know what I'm making will last 10-20 years - for example gorgeous quilts for my family.
There are also times when I mix the two out of necessity and that has also worked well - this usually happens when I go to my stash for a particular colour of fabric to add to a quilt I'm currently working on.
So when shopping for quilt fabric for your next project buy what suits your budget and current project. If you like sewing with great quality fabric but at bargain prices then check out 'The Fat Quarter Shop' for their daily specials. I have bought from them and their service is fantastic & their fabric fabulous.
There are tests you can do to gain valuable information about your fabric and how it will behave under differing circumstances, such as washing, sunlight etc. Often we have been told to prewash our fabrics to check for colorfastness and fabric shrinkage. What we aren't aware of is the different causes that make fabrics shrink, bleed, fade or migrate to other fabrics.
In recent years there has been a lot of information circulating about the amounts of chemicals used in the manufacturing process of fabric, especially formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals. My daughter pre washes all her daughter's new clothing before she allows her to wear it, as most of the residual chemicals left in the fabrics from the manufacturing process, will be washed out in the first wash. This certainly wasn't what I or my friends did 30 years ago.
But how does one know which fabrics have had excessive amounts of chemicals used in their manufacture or exactly how does one determine the quality of the fabric they are about to buy? Both are excellent questions that need to be answered.
There are a range of different types of 100% cotton fabrics on the market that quilters can choose from. Batik quilts are made from batik fabrics that are exquisite in their colors and designs. They are one of my favorite fabrics to use especially when doing applique. Also the other favorite 100% cotton fabric of mine is flannel, that makes up into soft, warm and cuddly flannel quilts.