What is a "Fat Quarter"

Updated: Aug 21

Don't worry! No one is commenting on any human body parts if they are asking if you have any fat quarters. :).

What is a Fat Quarter

A fat quarter, in the world of quilting, uses a 1/4 yard of fabric and is generally cherished by many quilters. If you take a one-yard piece of fabric off of a bolt of fabric that is 44/45” wide and cut it into equal quarters, one yard will yield four fat quarters that are 18” x 22” each. I have compared that with a quarter yard cut off of the same fabric for the picture below - since sometimes pictures make it so much easier to understand.


Do I want a fat quarter or a quarter yard cut?


That depends totally on the use of the fabric! If you need to cut long strips for sashing or binding for your quilt project, you definitely would want a quarter yard cut. However, if you are looking to make a bag or are needing 10” or 12” squares, you need a fat quarter. Both contain the same 396 square inches of fabric. If your project calls for you to cut out 5” squares. You are going to get 12 of those 5” squares out of a fat quarter and only 8 out of a quarter yard cut! Read your patterns and plan for the best use of the fabric you purchase.


What can I do with a Fat Quarter?


Did you know there are books and patterns written specifically for use with fat quarters? The designers have done so much of the work for you by figuring out the cutting instructions for fat quarters! Many of these patterns are super easy and are great for beginning quilters or for just getting a project done fast. They are beautiful and collecting fat quarters with floral designs on them is the best way to get the variety of flowers needed to create these masterpieces.


Quilt Stores sell Fat Quarter Bundles!!


When a fabric designer comes out with a new line of fabric, they will usually sell the entire line in fat quarter cuts. Your local quilt store will have them displayed in a neat, folded stack all tied up together. They are so beautiful to look at and touch (because quilters love to touch their fabric!). I know they mean for us to use them in our newest quilt project, but they are just so beautiful to have on my shelf!!


Fun with Fat Quarters


It's always a great time when groups of quilters gather together and work on projects. But after a while, you need a break, and we have discovered an enjoyable game that you can play with Fat Quarter pieces of fabric. It is called Left Center Right (LCR for short). It is a three dice game of luck and all it takes for quilters to play is three fat quarters!!! You take turns rolling the dice and you either get to keep your fat quarter, pass to the right, pass to the left, or put it in the center of the table, which puts it out of the game. Whoever is the last person to have any fat quarters in front of them is the winner of all of the fat quarters in the middle!!! We find that this works best with at least four quilters (which means the winner will have 12 fat quarters as their prize) up to 10 quilters (which means the winner will walk away with 30 fat quarters)!!

Conclusion


Now that you are familiar with the tern Fat Quarter and what you can make with your fat quarters, did you know there there are also fat eighths, charms, candy, layer cakes, turnovers, honey buns, and jelly rolls!! All calorie-free just waiting to be used in your next project - but I’ll fill you in on how you can use those delectable pieces another time. If you have any questions or comments or topics you would like me to explore, please comment below.



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Stitchin' Heaven Howdy is a blog designed to inspire and draw out the creativity of the quilter, sewer and the crafter. If you love fabric as much as we do, we look forward to building a great community.  

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