Pre-Quilted Fabric: Themes and Designs to Choose From

One of the most prevalent trends in knitting is the pre-quilted fabric. Traditionally, simple quilt versions from the ’50s were mostly stamped using embroidery stencils.

There are many different designs, themes, and colors to choose from when making and buying pre-quilted fabric. You can make a pre-quilt either by hand or machine. If you are a beginner, start by learning how to sew handmade pre-quilted fabrics.

Pre-quilt fabrics help quilters explore their creativity and save time during other quilting sessions. Before starting your quilting process, ensure you pre-cut, pre-wash, dry, and press your quilt panels.

Let’s dive into an in-depth discussion about pre-quilted fabric for beginners.

What is a Pre-quilted Fabric?

A pre-quilted fabric is composed of a lightweight cotton sheet stitched to a layer of batting with a regular pattern.  

The most common pattern is the diamond, although many others exist. On some pre-quilted fabrics, you will find an extra cotton layer at the back, creating a functional and artistic function. 

Many pre-quilted fabrics have techniques like embroidery for decorative purposes and sentimental value. Embroidery involves stitching different textures, shapes, and colors to form a unique textile.

When making your pre-quilt, you may choose to use an edge guide or a quilting bar to alleviate the drawing and sewing process. Although edge guides are essential assets, don’t panic if you lack one. You can still create a pre-quilt by marking lines (we will discuss that later).

How to Make Pre-Quilted Fabric for Beginners

Making your own quilt is the most satisfying craft in knitting. You can agree that handmade pre-quilt fabrics have a special touch. You can be as creative as possible when making your quilt since materials come in different sizes and designs. 

In addition, making your pre-quilt allows you to save on the cost of buying quilt fabrics from stores. We’ll be using 8.5-inch double-sided square pre-quilt fabric perfect for a jewelry case for this example. You’ll need the following supplies:

Step 1: Launder, Dry, and Press your Fabrics

Did you know that fabrics like cotton shrink after washing? Laundering, drying, and pressing helps you get the measurements of your materials before and after shrinkage. This makes it easier to estimate the extra yards of fabric required after the shrinkage effect.

Step 2: Prepare Your Sewing Machine

Use the instructions manual to set up your machine. If you have a quilting bar, attach it to your needle arm.  If you lack a quilting bar, follow the instructions given by the manufacturer.

Step 3: Mark your Fabric

Pre-quilted fabric
Image Source: Linda-matthews.com

When marking your fabric, consider the size of quilting lines you prefer. Often, quilting lines measure between  ¼ inches to ½ inches. However, more extensive quilting lines are more convenient if your project is vast.

A pre-quilt fabric can either be square or non-square. Let’s discuss how to mark both shapes.

Square Fabric

    1. Arrange the layers of fabric as follows: 
      • Bottom- the wrong side facing up
      • Batting
      • Quilt top-right side facing up

      2. Use safety pins or basting glue to sandwich the layers together while ensuring the edges are aligned.

      3. Mark 1/8 inches from the edges of your pinned fabrics using your tailor’s chalk

      4. Make loose stitches around the 1/8-inch seam line  

      5. Draw a 45-degree diagonal line between two opposite corners (Upper left to the lower right). To achieve  a 45-degree angle, diagonally place the ruler on the top raw edge of the fabric

      6. Repeat step 5 with the remaining two corners( upper right to the lower left)

      7. Position your layers of fabric on the sewing machine 

      8. Stitch on one diagonal line and do the same on the opposite line

      9. Stitch all around the perimeter of your sandwich

     10. If you are using a quilting bar, use it as a guide to sew new parallel diagonal lines(You can start by stitching the one set of lines in one direction and then proceed to the next)

     11. Continue stitching until your square quilt is filled with equal diamond patterns

     12. Trim excess threads, quilt top, batting, and quilt backing fabric until you have smooth and even edges

     13. If you have a pattern piece, measure the grainline of your pattern piece to your pre-quilt

     14. Stitch your pattern accurately. 

Note: If you don’t have a quilting bar, you’ll have to measure and draw all the diagonal lines while ensuring they are evenly spaced

Non-square Fabric

If your quilt fabric is non-square, you only have two alternatives:

Method 1 Method 2
    1. Estimate the section of fabric needed. For instance, if your material is 45 by 30 inches, mark an area 30 by 30 inches.
    2. Draw a diagonal line as discussed above within the marked area. The two sets of diagonal lines should be perpendicular to each other.
    3. Using the sewing machine, stitch the lines while extending the lines beyond the marked area. 
    4. Continue with step 4 until your quilt is wholly stitched
    1. Draw diagonal lines from corner to corner
    2. In a parallel manner, ensure that you stitch all the lines to form diamond shapes.
    3. Stitch your marked diagonal lines
    4. Continue with step 4 until your quilt is complete

How to Sew Double-Sided Pre-Quilted Fabric

Pre-quilted double sided cotton
Image Source: Frumble.co.uk

A double-faced quilted fabric is a type of fabric that is quilted both at the top and the bottom. The double-faced pre-quilted fabric is suitable for frequently used cloths and décor projects. Such items include jackets, blankets, bags, and wall hangings.

In addition, you can also make quilted upholstery fabric using a double-sided quilt since they tend to get dirty easily. When using double-sided quilted fabric by the yard, you are free to switch between the top and the bottom layers since they are both quilted.

Watch the video below on how to sew your own double-faced pre-quilted fabric.

If you are looking to know how to make a t-shirt quilt, use the following steps:

    1. Estimate the Size of Your Quilt

There are many quilt sizes available in the market today. To save yourself the stress of tedious calculations, below is a comprehensive table of the different quilt sizes and their respective mattress sizes:

Mattress

Size of Pre-cut Batting

Size in inches

Size in cm

Size of the quilt (Inches)

Crib

45 x 60

27 x 51

69 x 129.5

36 x 54

Small single

30 x 75

76 x 190.5

45 x 60

Twin single

38 x 75

96.5 x 190.5

68 X 80

Twin XL

72 x 90

38 x 80

96.5 x 203.5

85 X 117

Full

54 x 75

137 x 190.5

86 X 90

Full XL

90 x 96

54 x 80

137 x 203.5

98 X 117

Queen

90 x 108

60 x 80

152.5 x 203.5

104 X 122

King

120 x 120

76 x 80

193 x 203.5

96 X 110

California King

72 x 84

183 x 213.5

122 X 122

      2. Cut and Starch the Panels

This is the most time-consuming step in quilting. It involves cutting each fabric panel according to size and spritzing starch around the edges. Ensure you spritz starch on the wrong side of each meeting to prevent damaging the graphics on your fabrics.

What starch is ideal for my fabrics?

A non-aerosol brand or homemade starch is best for your knit fabrics to prevent stretching and curling. Try not to skip this step since it contributes to the overall appearance of your quilt.

      3. Sew the Panels Together

Using your sewing machine, stitch the columns together right sides facing each other. This helps hide the seams at the back of your quilt.

Note: Fewer and longer seams require less time to be sown.

      4. Add an Applique or Any Other Embellishment to the Quilt Top

For this step, you can use cut-out pockets from your old t-shirts. Go ahead to firmly starch them and finally applique the pockets on top of your finished quilt.

An applique is also a suitable method to only decorate your quilt, but also to hide stains on your quilt. If you are a beginner, you can learn how to applique on a quilt by watching online tutorials.

      5. Sew the Batting Fleece Layer

By now, you already know that a batting is wider than the quilt top both in width and length. Therefore, tape down the fleece along the perimeter and at the corners using masking tape. Consequently, your batting is kept flat and firm.

The next step is to lay the finished and stretched quilt top over the fleece with the right sides facing outwards. Pin the two layers together and baste around the perimeter of the edges. Trim the excess fleece and align the edges of both layers.

      6. Sew your Second Quilt Top 

Baby quilt fabric
Image Source: Stitchedincolor.com

Take the two-layered quilt with the fleece layer facing up and place your second quilt top to form a sandwich.  Match and pin the layers together and sew. Trim any hanging threads and fraying edges.

Ensure you know how to bind a quilt using bias binding to finish your edges.

      7. Press your Double-sided Quilt

After you are satisfied with your quilt, press your quilt using a warm iron to flatten.

Types of Pre-Quilted Fabric Kits

Also called a quilting starter kit, a quilt kit is a sewing package containing selected pre-quilted fabric needed to make a quilt. If you want to avoid the hassle of looking for material, a fabric sewing quilting kit has all the basic supplies you need. 

The standard supplies found in a quilt kit include:

    • Pre quilt fabrics
    • Fat quarters
    • Pre-cut appliques
    • Binding
    • Batting
    • Pattern
    1. Baby Quilt Kits

Are you in a hurry to make a baby quilt? Then you need a baby quilt kit. The kit comes with pre-cut and pre-quilted fabrics, perfect for baby fabrics. There are two types of baby quilt fabrics. They include:

      • Baby boy quilt fabric
      • Baby girl quilt fabric

From fabric blocks, baby patterns, to bindings, the baby quilt kits have everything you need to jumpstart your quilting process even for beginners. If you have trouble choosing a baby quilt fabric pattern, start with the common baby dinosaur quilt fabric.

In addition, there are also baby quilt embroidery kits for quilters who want extra decorations on their fabric. 

What sizes of baby quilt fabrics should you choose?  Baby pre-quilt kits are usually square in shape and they range from:

      • 36 by 36 inches
      • 52 by 52 inches

Both measurements are convenient for making blankets that keep the baby warm even during winter.

Note: Avoid choosing kits with synthetic materials like quilted nylon fabric for baby quilts.

      2. Cross Stitch Baby Quilt Kits

Cross stitch baby quilt kits
Image Source: 123stitch.com

A cross stitch is a type of embroidery thread traditionally used to embellish home items like table cloths, doilies, household linen, and dishcloths. Cross stitches are among the most accessible techniques of hand embroidery to learn since they require loose weave fabrics.

Now you can find stamped cross stitch baby quilt kits for baby clothes and linen. The cross stitch baby quilt kits are fabric, thread, and other basic sewing supplies to help you start your quilting process.

Watch how to make a cross-stitch quilt.

      3. Collage Quilt Kits

A quilt collage or collage is a layered fabric that forms a dimensional design. The layers are cut from different materials and then sandwiched to create a quilt. The collage quilt fabrics are easy to use and enhance your creativity as you sew your quilt.

The best thing about collage quilts is you can use all types of fabric and create a mind-blowing transformation. 

      4. Watercolor Quilt Kits

Watercolor quilt kits
Image Source: Everythingquilts.com

The watercolor quilts are a more conventional technique where the interface is fusible. The pre-cut squares in your kit are then laid down in a grid by using the interface. 

Most watercolor quilt kits come with special interfacing that has the grid printing and all you have to do is add squares.

      5. Stamped Embroidery Quilt Kits

Stamped embroidery quilt kit
Image Source: Stitchitcentral.ca

Stamped embroidery is a quilting technique where the cross stitching lines are stamped on the quilt fabric to create the overall design. When quilting, all you have to do is stitch over the stamped lines. Once you’re done, wash your fabric to eliminate the stamped line.

Stamped embroidery quilt kits mostly consist of all the necessary quilting supplies only that the fabrics have stamped lines. Stamped embroidery is often found in home décor items such as pillowcases and wall hangings.

You can find stamped embroidery baby quilt kits with brands like Moda quilt fabric.

      6. Panel Quilt Kits

Panel quilt kits are your savior, whether you are looking for a quilt kit to sew a statement piece, decorative accessory, or a quick birthday gift. The kit comes with a printed fabric panel that helps speed up your quilting process.

If you are a beginner, you can learn how to quilt as you go by using fabric quilt ideas from your kit.

If you want to make baby quilt fabric panels, consider going for panel kits with 100% cotton materials.

How to Embroider on Pre-Quilted Fabric

Embroidery is the art of decorating fabric using embroidery thread and needles. Embroidery can be done either by machine or hand. If you’re using a machine, you’ll most likely need a DIY quilting frame for the sewing machine.

The most common stitches used when hand embroidering include the running, back, and satin stitches.

There are many types of embroidery techniques to use on a pre-quilt fabric. Examples include:

    1. Huck 
    2. Drawn thread 
    3. Pulled thread
    4. Crewel
    5. Cross stitch
    6. Cutwork

Quilters often embroider their fabrics to create a sentimental value or general decoration.  Here are the steps to follow when hand embroidering your pre-quilt fabric.

    1. Assemble Your Materials

Fabric

If you are a beginner, you should choose cotton white on white quilting fabric that compliments your embroidery thread. In addition, choose a fabric with a high thread count (preferably 28 and above) especially if any decorations will be added.

Embroidery Floss

Threads floss canvas designed embroidery cross embroidery floss
Image Source: Sewing.com

Since you are embroidering by hand, then you need embroidery floss and not thread. Embroidery thread is mostly used in machines. 

Embroidery floss is a mix of many thin threads twisted to form a skein. Using a quilt kit frame, skein can further be separated into thinner portions convenient for detailed projects.

When choosing your embroidery floss, the more detailed the project, the thinner the floss, and vice versa. Embroidery floss comes in a variety of shapes and colors.

Needle

For this project, you need a basic needle ranging between size 12 to 18. Ensure that your needle has a sharp point and not a blunt one for easier penetration. In addition, use a needle with a broader eye in case you’re using a thicker skein.

Thimbles and needle threaders  alleviate your sewing process

Embroidery Hoop

An embroidery hoop is composed of two wooden circles held together by a clasp at the top. When choosing your hoop, ensure that you select a convenient size for your design. 

      2. Outline your Desired Design

If you are a beginner, consider choosing a basic and straightforward design. A simple pattern involves larger shapes, thick clear lines, and more minor filling areas. Examples include flowers, stars, and fruits. If creating a design becomes challenging, look for ideas online. 

Outlining can be done either on the fabric or paper.

      3. Apply Your Design

There are various ways to apply your design before starting the sewing process. They include:

      • Tracing
      • Stamping
      • Cutouts

As you apply your design, you should figure out what areas need filling, the colors of the floss, and the ground sections of your design.

      4. Position Your Hoop

Fabric traditions quilt fabric
Image Source: Mariescrossstitch.co.uk

When placing your hoop, the inner circle is positioned at the bottom while the outer ring is set in front of your fabric. Remember you are embroidering on the front side of your fabric. Fit your hoop on the desired section and tighten the screw. 

The hooped section should be rock hard.

Watch the video below on how to quilt in the hoop.

      5. Cut the Floss

The length of your floss largely depends on :

      • The surface area of the section you want to embroider
      • Type of stitches
      • The thickness of your fabric
      • The thickness of your floss

Avoid cutting your floss longer than the arm’s length to avoid stubborn knots. However, if your project is huge and you need continuous threading, you can use longer floss. 

      6. Thread the Floss

Thread the floss by inserting the thread into the embroidery’s needle eye. However, you won’t have to double up the entire thread when adjusting your floss. Instead, double up a portion of the length and leave a long thread tail.

Ensure to tie a knot at the end of the tail to create a stopper.

      7. Embroider From Background to Foreground

When starting your stitching process, pick a joint or corner(preferably where one object touches another). In embroidery, it’s easier to start with the backside of your fabric then proceed to the front side. This helps to overlap faulty stitches between sections and colors to create intense depth.

When embroidering your quilt, ensure that your stitches are even, small, and neat. You can perfect your skills by doing several test stitches.

How to Choose Pre-Quilted Fabric

Like any other product, there are certain factors to consider when choosing pre-quilted fabric. Let’s discuss some of them.

    1. Color

Combining different colors of fabric makes your pre-quilt look vibrant and exciting. For example, you can have the following combinations:

      • Yellow quilting fabric with a pink quilting fabric 
      • Black quilted fabric with watercolor quilting fabric

The combination of colors is infinite. Therefore, You don’t have to choose similar colors. 

If you are looking for inspiration, you can search online or use the color wheel to find the different color combinations to use when making pre-quilts. In addition, you can also opt to choose different shades of one color.

For example, if your central color theme is green, you can use shades like light green, dark green, lime green, to mention a few.

      2. Quality of Fabric

Quality is the most important aspect of quilting fabrics. If you make the mistake of buying low-quality pre-quilt fabrics, you’ll probably have a bad quilting experience.

Although there are many types of cotton fabric, the most common type of pre-quilt fabric is the quilter’s cotton. The quilter’s cotton is composed of 100% cotton fiber with a thread count of 68 by 68 inches. Advantages of using pre-quilted fabric by the yard quilter’s cotton include:

      • Easy to sew and embroider
      • Light-weight
      • Holds creases
      • Easy to press
      • Durability

      3. Print Scale

Quilt Prints have evolved immensely over the years. According to fabric traditions quilt fabric has either solid or small prints. The hobby lobby pre-quilted fabric is available in many different patterns. They include:

      • Large scale
      • Medium-scale
      • Small scale
      • Random dots
      • Geometric variation

The print scale is an essential aspect in determining the sizes of blocks to cut. For instance, if you cut 3-inch squares, a small-scale print is more suitable than a large-scale print.

When choosing the print scale for your fabric, consider using various print sizes and arrange them according to your preference. You can either select print scales that balance or contrast. For instance, you can learn to sew prints of the same size or contrasting sizes. 

Make your pre-quilt as attractive as possible.

      4. Theme

When choosing fabric for your pre-quilt, select one that fits the theme of your quilt. For instance, if you are making a Christmas gift, a pre-quilted Christmas fabric would be suitable. Quilted fabric by the yard has themes like baby showers, picnics, thanksgiving, and Halloween.

Nonetheless, not all pre-quilt fabrics have themes. Experienced quilters tend to use blank quilting fabric to pick and quilt any theme of their choice. 

      5. Quilt Kits

If you are a beginner with no idea where to start, consider buying a quilt kit. Instead of buying quilting fabric bundles, kits have pre-cut and pre-quilted fabrics that are easy to use and sew. 

In addition, different quilt kits have various fabric collections with matching colors and print sizes to save you from the hassles of finding suitable fabric for your quilt.

      6. The Brand

There are many knitting brands in the market today. Therefore, extreme care is required when choosing the brand for your quilting fabric. If you choose reputable brands like hearth and hand quilt, you are guaranteed quality material fit for quilting.

If you are a beginner with no information about woven labels, you can search online and read reviews of the different brands available and decide on the best one. 

You can also seek recommendations from an experienced quilter, friends, and family with knowledge of the industry. 

Frequently Asked Questions

    1. What Can I Make With Pre-Quilted Fabric?

There are many home décor items and clothes you can make with quilted knit fabric. They include jackets, baby blankets, mats, sleep sacks, table cloths, kitchen gloves, tote bags, to mention a few. 

      2. Can I Wash Pre-Quilted Fabric?

Yes, you can. Most pre quilt fabrics are made of cotton, which shrinks quickly. Therefore, you must wash your cotton fabric to provide extra material after shrinkage.

However, some quilters choose not to wash before quilting.

      3. What is the Importance of a Pre-Quilt Fabric?

A pre-quilt fabric is essential in retaining heat even during the winter seasons. Pre-quilts come in different sizes and thicknesses. Thicker fabrics offer extra durability, which increases insulation.

      4. How Many Colors Can I Use in My Pre-Quilt Fabric?

Remember that you are making your quilt. Therefore, there are no rules! You can choose as many color combinations as you want

      5. Can I Mix Fabrics From Different Quilt Kits?

Yes, you can. Like quilted fabric by the yard, some pre-quilt materials blend effortlessly with other quilt fabrics. Although it’s easier to mix fabrics from the same collection due to accuracy, you are free to combine as many collections as possible.

Conclusion

If you are a beginner, making pre-quilt fabric is completely optional. Nonetheless, pre-quilts are not only functional but also contribute to the overall appearance of your quilt.

For projects that need a soft touch, or clothes that need insulation, pre-quilted fabrics are the most convenient. Happy quilting!

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