What happens when you come across a fabric you love but you don’t have a particular project in mind for it? Do you buy it? If so, how much do you buy? Here are some suggestions to help you make those determinations.

​Novelty prints: 1/4 yard, fat quarter, or 1/2 yard because they are fun but perform best as focal fabrics or accents.

Florals, paisleys, geometrics: 1/2 yard or 1 yard because they can work as either focal fabrics or blenders. Small-scale motifs often are easier to incorporate into projects than large-scale prints.

Blenders, polka dots, stripes, solids, tone-on-tones, batiks: 1/2 yard, 1 yard, or 1-1/2 yards because these classic fabrics look great in most projects as accents, backgrounds, or color unifiers.

Backing fabrics: 3–5 yards because you want enough for a standard-size quilt. If you end up needing more, you can select a second fabric and piece the back.

Other factors to consider:

  • Your storage space (larger cuts take up more space)
  • Your budget
  • How easy it will be to find the fabric (or similar fabric) at a later date