Does anyone really need a tip for how to buy fabric? Well, maybe not if you are buying fabric to make a quilt from a pattern. But what if you want to have fabrics on hand to make a quilt before you know what quilt design you’ll be using?
If you like to buy pre-cuts of a fabric line, go ahead and buy a 10-inch square pack or a 2-1/2″ strip set and a charm pack. (Of course you could purchase a full fat-quarter pack, but that can get pricey and may not give you enough lights for background or yardage for borders.) You’ll use the precuts for most of your block piecing. But don’t forget to buy some yardage to go with the precuts.
Depending on the size of quilts you like to make, buy a couple yards of one of the fabrics from the line, such as one of the light fabrics, to use as a background in your blocks.
Buy a yard of a couple different fabrics in the line to use as borders. Just pick fabrics that will contrast well with each other — either based on value, color or scale of the print.
Buy a half-yard of one of the fabrics from the line to bind the quilt.
And lastly, pick one of the fabrics from the line and buy enough to use as the backing. You’ll likely have more than enough fabric to make a quilt from that line of fabrics, plus have leftovers to add into the stash and scrap pile to include in future quilts.