Quilt Fabric for Stitchery Crossover in Color

Let's talk quilt fabric.

The colorful floral print shown above is one of the two quilt fabric options you'll see in my samples throughout this course.

For Mia Rosa, you had a few choices for your border fabric. And then the fabric arrived with your kit. Easy.

Same thing for Piazza. Make your choice and the exact amount needed arrives in the mail.

Now you're making your own unique fabric selection for your Stitchery Crossover in Color project. As you consider your options, this lesson may come in handy.

As for a traditional quilt, the quilt fabric choice for your Stitchery Crossover in Color project can be the source of inspiration for thread color and stitchery fabric color. The quilt fabric discussed in this lesson will become the border surrounding the stitched center for your blocks.

If you're a quilter, you may already be aware that the quality of quilting cotton fabric varies based on the quality of the greige (pronounced like the color 'gray') used in the the manufacturing process. The quality of the greige fabric is based on the density of the thread twist and the thread count that make up the fabric weave. The quilt fabric available at independent quilt shops is typically made from high-quality greige goods.

Personally, I only buy/sell/use 100% cotton, woven, quilt-shop quality fabrics. I recommend that you use the highest quality quilt fabric that you can afford.

The stitchery fabric discussed in the previous lesson, the fibers or thread selected for stitching which will be discussed in the next lesson, and the quilt fabric choice discussed in this lesson, should be considered and selected together. They are the three main, connected elements that will become the essence of your Stitchery Crossover In Color project.

We'll explore various features of quilting fabrics that may factor into your quilt fabric choice for this project, so let's get started.


First, a short discussion of scale. The Frixion pen is in the photo so you have something familiar for print scale comparison.

I would define this fabric example as medium- to large-scale. I would consider it the upper limit of the scale that would work well with the Stitchery Crossover in Color project.

In particular, I like that there aren't a lot of jarring color twists in this print, in a broad sense, this reads one color to me.


Here is another larger-scale print that falls in a similar cool color family as the floral print in the photo above.

Unlike the print above, I do not feel that it is a good candidate for our project.

This print appears to be a subtle geometric print, however, notice the strong, narrow, dark blue stripe that you don't necessarily see at first glance. Is that a vertical stripe? Horizontal? or does it jump from vertical to horizontal as the blocks are sewn into the end project.

To me, the stripe within the geometric print seems way too much to track as I make and assemble my blocks.

Geometric prints aren't necessarily a bad thing, but directional prints--such as a bold stripe--might add an added element that may or may not ideal in a Stitchery Crossover in Color project.

The ultimate goal for a Stitchery Crossover in Color project is to showcase the stitching. Therefore, the quilt fabric complements the stitching.


I feel that the best scale for this project is a small- to medium-scale print. And this black-and-white spotty print fits that bill.

However, the high-contrast polka-dot is jarring and distracting. It would steal the thunder from the beautiful, delicate stitching project you're about to begin.

A fun print, but not for this project, in my opinion.



Here is another example of a medium-scale print featuring soothing colors. However, there is a lot going on here. Could all the different egg patterns and colors distract from your lacy stitchy stuff? 

This print doesn't necessarily read as a solid color. As a general rule for Stitchery Crossover projects, I prefer prints that read as one color, but they don't have to.

What I really like about this fabric is that it does not feel overbearing to me. If I really love this fabric, I might test it with one block to see if I LOVE the results.

Key word: LOVE. More on that key word to come.


This is one of the two prints I've decided to work with--the purple flower for the block borders, and the deep forest green for accent elements in the finished project. This is why I've chosen these prints for my Stitchery Crossover in Color samples:

  • The purple flower print is small scale
  • It reads, generally, as one color
  • The print includes specks of dark green that create interest and add potential for another fabric in the final quilt project
  • I LOVE the print, and I can envision working with it for a long while
  • As a bonus, I have plenty of it on hand.

The purple print above has a smaller scale. It's also a little bit busy, but not so busy to make it distracting. One of my favorite colors is purple, but I rarely use it in my quilts.

While I mentioned the forest green coordinating print, I won't go into more details about additional fabrics needed to complete the project until much later in a separate construction course.

After all, this course focuses on the construction of one block. Once the twelve featured blocks are complete, we'll have more work to do, and, potentially, fabric to select to construct the final quilt. As you make your quilt fabric choice for this block or quilt project, be mindful that your fabric choice might invite other colors (or prints) into the mix.

Final result: I'm going to use this print for the samples in this course for one of two versions of the blocks. I'll be pairing this purple print with 32-count evenweave stitchery fabric in antique white.


For a second version of the blocks, I'm going to feature 28-count evenweave fabric for the stitchery and the larger-scale, pink/orange watercolor print. As we progress through the various block courses, you'll be able to make your own comparisons with these two very different prints.

The watercolor floral reads overall as pink/orange but includes other colors that could inspire accent fabrics for the final project or thread choice for the stitching.

Since these two fabrics are quite different, they won't appear in the same project together.

In Summary

When considering quilt fabrics for a large Stitchery Crossover project, like Stitchery Crossover in Color, I prefer a small- to medium-scale, somewhat solid-reading, non-directional print.

How Much Fabric?

Now that we've got the creative juices flowing, let's talk numbers.

The amount of fabric you need may be affected by the Stitchery fabric thread count discussed in the last lesson. With fewer stitches per inch (14 stitches per inch, for example), you'll want a larger piece of quilt fabric for each Stitchery Crossover in Color block. Conversely, the more stitches per inch (higher thread count stitchery fabric), the less quilt fabric you'll need.

As with the stitchery fabric quantities, recommended quantities provided below are based on the examples I'm making for this course series, with a focus on a 12-block quilt. The project will develop over the course of the 12 planned Stitchery Crossover in Color lessons.

Stitchery Fabric 14 sts/inch 16 sts/inch 18 sts/inch 20 sts/inch
12-block quilt 1-2/3 yards 1-1/2 yards 1-1/3 yards 1-1/4 yards
One Block 13-14" square 12-13" square 11-12" square 10-11" square


The quantities stated above represent the bare minimum needed to make the block/blocks.

**Some advice: Since I'm a bit of a worry-wart, if I were shopping for new fabric, or shopping in my stash, I'd upsize the 12-block quilt quantities stated above by at least 1/2 yard, to make sure I have enough for the project and for who-knows-what might come up over the course of several months of making.**

Heads up! Our final quilt project is still under development! This page may be updated to include additional fabrics such as sashing and border elements. As you shop, consider/purchase a yard or two of coordinating prints to go with the focus print you select for the blocks.

And a Warning

I know I may have said this a few times already, but this next statement is at least as important for this fabric-choosing step than at any other point in this Stitchery Crossover in Color course series. If you don't absolutely LOVE your fabric selection at this point--the very beginning of the project--it's not going to improve with time.

Whether you're planning to make a single Stitchery Crossover in Color block or a large, multi-block project, your interest in completing the project could wane if your fabric doesn't speak to you.

Once we get into the process as these lessons progress, it will be worthwhile to make one block, stitched and bordered with quilt fabric. Then stop and re-assess. Hang the block on the wall, on the refrigerator, on the steering wheel in your car, pin it to your significant-other's back (be careful not to stab him or her if the shirt is on their back!).

Then step back and really look at it.

Lots of fabric is available out there. Don't settle for something because it's on sale or because it's the last bit on the bolt. New fabric is released all the time. Be patient, the right fabric for your project will find you.

Don't buy it if you don't LOVE it! And if you buy it or choose it and it doesn't float your boat when it's sewn to the first block, reassess and don't be shy about a little reverse sewing.

If you don't absolutely LOVE your fabric selection at this point--the very beginning of the project--it's not going to improve with time.

Potential sources for Quilt Fabric

  • Local Quilt Shop. My best and strongest recommendation would be to seek out your local independent quilt shop for high-quality, woven, 100% cotton fabric. It's where I go for all things quilty. If it were up to me, every town would have a independent quilt shop, unfortunately, that's not the case.
  • Shop Your Stash. Most quilters have a weak spot for fabric. This project may be the perfect opportunity to use that fabric find you simply couldn't leave at the store. You loved it then, perhaps you still love it. Check to make sure that stash fabric treasure has enough yardage to accommodate your Stitchery Crossover in Color project plan, and dig in!
  • Buy Online. I hesitate to make specific recommendations here because there are lots and lots of options to buy fabulous quilt fabric online. Guaranteed, as soon as I make a recommendation, I'll leave out a very qualified online shop. If your google-searching comes up short, feel free to post in the facebook group for some recommendations from your fellow stitchers-in-crime.
  • Big Box Outlets. Quality quilting fabrics can be purchased at big-box outlet stores. Shop with caution, the juiciest bargains may not be the best quality fabrics.

It bears repeating, buy/use the best quality quilt fabrics that your budget can sustain.