Quilter’s Quick Study: Using Directional Fabrics

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Archipelago, Designed by Connie Kauffman,
McCall’s Quick Quilts, August/September 2018

There are so many ways to create the vision of movement in a quilt design. With the design of the wall quilt, Archipelago, for McCall’s Quick Quilts, August/September 2018 Connie Kauffman presented one way when she incorporated the use of directional fabrics from Island Batik Fabrics’ City Culture 2 collection and the design of one of the quilt’s blocks. Her ideas and techniques are perfect to incorporate into almost any pattern. She used a striped fabric combined with an arrow shape to create movement and to keep the eye moving around the composition of the quilt’s surface.

Archipelago, Designed by Connie Kauffman, McCall’s Quick Quilts, August/September 2018

Archipelago, Designed by Connie Kauffman, McCall’s Quick Quilts, August/September 2018

Striped fabrics can always add kinetic energy to a static pattern, simply because the eye tends to follow the stripes along their length. Keep this in mind when selecting fabric for any pattern, if you want to create another level of interest to a design. Not only does the viewer notice the patchwork, but also the stripes help direct the gaze efficiently to take in the entire design.

Archipelago’s Blocks with Directional Print Fabric

Archipelago’s Blocks with Directional Print Fabric

Make a note… using directional fabrics take special care when cutting out patches. Pay careful attention to the pattern’s assembly diagram to make sure you are cutting patches so they face in the right direction. It’s helpful to use a design wall or other flat surface to “audition” patches as you cut them—just to save a re-cut when you are sewing blocks together later. Another caution: if you decide to use a directional fabric in a pattern that isn’t planned for them you may need to purchase additional fabric to make sure all the patches face in the desired direction.

The Archipelago pattern already includes fabric yardages and cutting directions for using directional fabric. For a quick project to use with your choice of fabric, buy it here.

Check out the new quick quilt designs in the 2018 August/September issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts. It’s our back-to-school issue with 10 patterns and some special how-tos. You can download the issue here.

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