Choosing The Right Print for a Stunning Quilt

Types of Prints

There is an incredible amount of prints to choose from in the quilting industry.  Listed below are a few different prints that you will find at Snip and Stitch.  This list does not even begin to cover the array of prints available to you.

A solid fabric is a single colour fabric, with no patterns.  The choice of a solid fabric also offers different looks and textures in creating your design. Stonehenge basics, moda’s marbles, kona cotton solids, shadow play basics are a few of the great solid fabrics Snip and Stitch carries.

KonaCotton_Catagory Large_FQ-1854

Mini print fabric is when the fabric has prints but they are on a tiny scale. These tiny print fabrics are ideal for beginners that do not have a lot of experience working with prints.  These prints are forgiving and do not show mismatches as boldly as other prints. Jo Morton and Kim Diehl are famous for designing around these prints and using them in traditional heritage quilting. These are sometimes looked to as the modern calico prints in warm tones.

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Dot fabrics have one design feature reprinted to appear like polka dots at even spaces. It might be dots, flowers, geometric shapes etc. The modern quilting movement has made this a popular print choice!


Large scale fabrics have large designs across all of the fabric, making it not an ideal fabric for smaller quilts as some of the design may be removed.


 Stripe fabrics can contain small to large stripes.


Tone on tone fabrics are a print in one colour and show various shades of that colour.  Some tone on tone fabrics also offer great texture because they are printed onto the weft and warp yarns of the fibers during the printing process.


Which Print to Choose

Now that you know about many of the different prints you will find when searching for fabrics for you quilts, it is important to understand which fabric will work best for your project.

For the largest part of the quilt choose a quality fabric. Make sure that the colour of this fabric fits with the quilt you are inspired to make. The thread count in fabrics varies and the higher the quality thread count should be chosen depending on the project.

If you are designing a quilt where the print is not the most important part of your quilt, choose solid fabrics to accent the print. Solid fabrics tend to show imperfections easier so beginners may want to use prints for the feature part of their quilt.  Large prints are great for borders and to highlight a main part of the quilt and are also greatly used for various special techniques where you take a large scale print and cut it up and create another totally different look such as One block Wonder or Stack n Wack.  Small prints however are great for small blocks and also binding, backing and sashing.

Before purchasing the fabrics for your quilt, put the swatches of the fabric together to make sure you are creating the look that you desire. Don’t be afraid to make a quilt with a variety of prints.  Check out this cuddly and bright quilt for my grandson using large scale print on the back and a number of print types on the front.


Choosing colours and prints to make a stunning quilt is a challenging process. The knowledgeable staff at Snip and Stitch is here to help these tough decisions easier.  If you bring in your imagination, we can inspire your to create a beautiful quilt!

Happy quilting,




  1. Marian Crosby says:

    Excellent and valuable information. Choosing sashing is an area that at times is difficult. I started a quilt with sunbonnet sue using scraps. Each block had different backgrounds so nothing seemed to work when I tried to find the right sashing. It was suggested I use black which I did. It doesn’t seem to add life nor does it seem to pull it together so I have not completed the top. A post on choosing sashing for blocks would be useful information. Thanks

    Sent from my iPad

    • Sounds like you have done a lot of work on your quilt. Sashing is very difficult! Rather than being tempted to sash over it, it would probably be best to remove the sashing that has been done. We would like to highlight your blocks and removing the sashing would provide you with the opportunity to do this. Please feel free to bring your quilt into the store and we would be happy to help you find a solution.

    • Just posted a new blog on sashing….hope you find it helpful!

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