I know most of you that quilt know what a fat quarter is. However, I have found in the short time that the shop has been open, that the most frequently asked question is, "What is a fat quarter?" For those of you that don't know, let me give you a little background. And for those of you that do know, read on for some other useful information concerning fat quarters that you may not know.
Everyone knows that a yard is 36 inches long, and that 1/4 of that is 9 inches. So, a normal 1/4 of a yard would be 9 inches X the width of the fabric (usually 42 - 45 inches wide or more). A normal fourth of a yard is plenty for some things. What do you do if you need one piece of fabric measuring 15inches x 15inches? Buy 1/2 yard, you say? But then you have a lot of extra fabric you may or may not use later. Enter the sweetest invention ever (in my opinion), the FAT QUARTER. It ranks right up there with sliced bread, or chocolate in my book.
To get a fat quarter, your local fabric shop takes a one yard length of fabric and cuts it in half both lengthwise and widthwise. You will end up with 4 equal pieces measuring 18 inches X 21 or 22 inches ( depending on the original width of the fabric). Less fabric waste! Ok, quilters, I know you don't waste your fabric, there are always uses for left over fabrics . . . scrappy quilts for instance. But, if you are honest, you will probably admit to a having a HUGE pile of left over scraps of fabric for that scrappy quilt you will make SOMEDAY! I see you nodding your head in agreement.
I promised some information about fat quarters for you quilters that you may not know.
Out of one fat quarter you can cut:
99 - 2" squares, or
50 - 2 1/2" squares, or
42 - 3" squares, or
30 - 3 1/2" squares, or
20 - 4" squares, or
16 - 4 1/2" squares, or
12 - 5" squares, or
12 - 5 1/2" squares, or
9 - 6" squares, or
6 - 6 1/2" squares
There are numerous patterns on the market that only require 1 or 2 fat quarters to make. Check them out at your local shop.
Another fact you may not know about fat quarters: at Sew What Quilt Shop, LLP, we cut our fat quarters 19" by 1/2 the width of the fabric. Why? Because most patterns instruct you to square up the edges of your fat quarter before you proceed with making your project. If a fat quarter is just 18" wide, and cut crooked for whatever reason, you won't have enough fabric to make your project. Not being able to make a project after you have psyched yourself up to make something is frustrating to say the least. Our 19" cut will allow you to square up the edges nicely without fear that you won't have enough for your project.
'Til next time, Happy Sewing!