Posts Tagged ‘Fat Quarters’


Four Advantages of Fat Quarters

posted by Ozark Mountain Quilter

in Fat Quarters

A “fat quarter” may sound strange to a newbie quilter. It has nothing to do with Mardi Gras, fabric that has indulged in too many late night snacks, or stretched out fabric. Simply put, a “fat quarter” is a quarter of a yard of fabric that is specially cut for quilting. There are at least four advantages to using “fat quarters” for quilting versus a traditional 1/4 yard of fabric: more versatile, more readily available and cheaper, no loss of design, compatible with more designs and quilt book patterns.

Most fabric sold today has 42 to 44 inches of usable fabric. This is known as the width of the fabric. If you were to buy 1/4 of a yard of fabric, you would get a 9 inch (36 divided by 4) by 42 or 44 inch piece of fabric. Although this would have some usefulness (albeit quite limited), quilters would not flock to a sale of this type.

A “fat quarter” is more versatile:

A “fat quarter” is a quarter of a yard of fabric, but its dimensions are 18 inches by 22 inches (assuming you started with a piece of fabric that had 44 inches of usable fabric). This dimension is useful for quilters since it is twice as wide as a regular piece of 1/4 yard fabric (hence the “fat” designation), offers more versatility for patchwork and applique tasks.

A “fat quarter” is more readily available:

It is much more traditional for quilt shops to carry fat quarters. In fact, quilt shops commonly have great deals on fat quarter bundles, especially since these are usually from scrap fabrics. Occasionally, the fabric mills will even send these as samples or “teasers” — so the deals are abundant if you look for them. These are purposefully coordinating, and sometimes even come with your choice of compatible quilt designs!

No loss of design with “fat quarters”:

Normally, if there is a design in the fabric, you will be able to get the entire design within the fat quarter. The four corners are also less stretchy than if the cut were made the entire length of the fabric (i.e. the 9 inch traditional 1/4 yard).

“Fat quarters” are compatible with more designs and quilt book patterns:

Many common patterns use a 5 inch square block. A traditional 1/4 yard 9 inch piece would only yield 8 such squares. A “fat quarter” would give you 12 5-inch squares. A large number of quilting books specialize in fat quarter projects.

So, if you are a fan of quilting, a good place to start is by buying a “fat quarter” bundle that is reasonably priced, find a fun quilt pattern, and plunge right in! For more information about fat quarters, go to: Four Advantages of Fat Quarters. For “all things about quilts and quilting,” visit Ozark Mountain Quilter