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Besides the middle layer of fluffy batting, quilting fabric is needed for the top and bottom layers. Ready-made purchased bed sheets are often used for the bottom quilt layer, especially if the finished piece will be a bedspread. Cotton is the most classic and common material used for piecing together quilt tops because it’s considered the best for even beginning quilters to work with; it’s also a soft, comfortable and affordable textile.
Good quality, 100% cotton should be used for quilting fabric to avoid the material being too thin or rough. Calico and gingham are two classic cotton fabrics used for quilting. Calico textiles have an allover print of tiny flowers. The color schemes may be earth tones, dark colors or brighter shades.
Like calico, gingham also features an allover print, but it’s of little squares. Although gingham is sold in many different colors, pastel shades of blue, pink, yellow, green, tan and orange are especially popular in quilting. Quality cotton is used extensively in quilting, as it’s tightly woven rather than containing a loose weave that isn’t durable for quilts.
Other tightly woven fabrics suitable for making quilts include denim, corduroy, velvet, silk and wool. Even leather can be used in quilting, although extra sharp needles are needed and it’s not the easiest material to stitch. Wool is known for its warmth even when it gets wet, so it’s a good choice for making quilts used for camping.