Focus Fabric

A focus fabric or focal fabric will make it easier for you to choose fabric for your quilt.

Sometimes the focus fabric may be a photo or a painting as seen here. I used this photo from an old calendar to pick the fabrics in my quilt.

star focal fabric
blue star focal fabric
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focus fabric
focus fabric
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focal fabric
focal fabric
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Learn how quilters use a focus fabric to choose fabric for their quilt.

NOTE:  to enlarge the video, click the PLAY button, then click the full-screen icon at the bottom right of the video.

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TRANSCRIPT: Focus Fabric – Encyclopedia

I really enjoy choosing the different fabrics for a new quilt. But at times I can be very anxious about this, as there are so many fabrics to choose from. So I like to use a fabric that I call my focal, or focus, fabric; a fabric that gives me a guideline for colors that I choose to be in my quilt. And also, it give me a guideline for the feel of the quilt, and I’m going to look at the patterns of the fabric that I’m choosing to see if they go along with the pattern in my fabric. So I’ve chosen this fabric to go with the focal fabric. You can see the colors match and this is a more modern, graphic fabric and this fabric is more modern, graphic. So keeping with that polka dot theme, I found another polka dot fabric that I like, and you can see that the background is not exactly the same, but pretty close to this blue. And the polka dots are almost the same size as these dots, although they are different color. I think both of those fabrics would work in my quilt. I found another polka dot fabric, where this blue is a little off, not exactly, but pretty close and the green’s not exactly, but pretty close. So focal fabric, when you’re using the focal fabric, you don’t have to be exact on your color, it just sorts of gives you an idea of where you’re going.

So another fabric that I choose, or picked out was this pink fabric. You’ll see that the pink’s almost identical and it’s got the reds. I’m not sure I would use this in this quilt though because all the other pieces are very graphic. Whereas in this quilt, or in this fabric, the cherries are shaded and more realistic looking. So it might work in little pieces. Another fabric that I chose, but probably wouldn’t use is this one. It’s got the dots, like these fabrics. It’s got the blues and greens that match up to the blues and greens in this. But it’s a little loose, it’s not as tight as this. Where these are strong lines that separate the boundaries, these boundaries sort of blend with each other. So I probably wouldn’t use that, maybe I could get by with a little piece, but the pattern of it just doesn’t fit the style of this quilt.
Another piece of fabric, that also is close to the same colors, but I wouldn’t use this because this is a more traditional type pattern, where this is more modern. So I hope this has helped you see that you can look at the colors of the quilt and the patterns when using your focal fabric.

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