Plaid Quilting Ideas


As you have seen, plaid is currently all the rage in quilting ideas.  Quilting Contessa explores plaid and gives you some quilting ideas and tips for using plaid.

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Plaid Quilting Ideas

Plaid is defined as a fabric with bars and or stripes that cross at right angles. When looking for definitions of "plaid", one almost always sees the word "tartan." We older quilters know that word "tartan" because kilts with large pins were the rage for us in high school.

Plaid Quilting Ideas


In case you didn’t receive the memo, plaid is in for 2019! Not only have the fashion designers made it so, but Carly Mul has discussed it in her quilting trends newsletter!


Yes, fabric designers are even including plaid in their fat quarter bundles this year, but a little at a time. We saw many examples at Quilt Market. I’m not sure how much plaid yardage we are going to see, however. When you see yards of plaid, it looks almost overwhelming.


Plaids have many uses. They can add a splash of color and a bit of pizazz to a quilt.

Plaid Shirts


Plaids can also tone down a quilt or relegate certain spots to a background role.

Brown Shirt


But what if you wanted to make a really "PLAID!" quilt? The best source of plaid may be your local thrift store. Plaid has never gone out of style for men’s shirts. A large men’s shirt with long sleeves can yield 1.2 yards of fabric. A 2XL with long sleeves yields 1.5 yards. There are videos online that will show you how to "de-bone" a shirt to get the fabric.


We are advised NOT to try to align our plaids. And "good thing!" because it would drive almost any quilter to the end of her thread!


This quilt was made by cutting tumblers from many men’s shirts. No effort was made to square the plaids. A man or boy receiving this quilt wouldn’t notice anyway. My husband, who made this quilt, calls it "In my cups" – a medieval expression for sloshed. Me? I just call it "Scotch" plaid.



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Fat Quarter
Pre-cut piece of fabric which is made by cutting a half yard in half again vertically. The piece is therefore approximately 18" x 22". This allows for cutting larger blocks than a standard quarter yard which is 9" x 44".
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