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Topic: What does "fat quarter" mean?  (Read 8804 times)
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Writer78
« on: June 09, 2006 07:02:40 PM »

Quick and possibly dumb question - can someone tell me what the term "fat quarter" means?  I"ve seen it applied to fabrics on craftster, but I'm not sure what it means.
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LaughingLark
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2006 07:09:35 PM »

Not a dumb question. My understanding, and I imagine a quilter will wander in here soon to confirm this, is that a fat quarter is a precut piece of fabric that is a bit more than 1/4 of a yard. They are a handy size for for patchwork, and a great way to buy a small amount of fabric without waiting in line at the cutting table. They are sold folded into small, neat squares, big enough that you can see the pattern of the fabric, but small enough that the fabric store can have a bunch of colors grouped together in a neat display.

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loves2experiment
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2006 07:11:01 PM »

Hey Writer78!

A Fat Quarter is a piece of fabric that measure ~ 18 inches by 22 inches Smiley
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Writer78
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2006 07:29:28 PM »

thanks, both of you fine ladies!

loves2 - missed ya, baby!  hope you're having fun crafting and swapping.
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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2006 07:44:24 PM »

Writer78, I missed your nagging smothering excellent organization skills too Wink  That was one heck of a swap!  Hope you're well!



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kmsmaverick
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2006 11:43:59 AM »

my mom said if you measure 1 yard of fabric, then fold it in half and half and cut; wahlah- four blocks, 17 or 18ish by 22ish. that's why some fabric stores won't cut single fats at the bolt counter.  especially if it's a print that won't sell again as an F.Q. it leaves them with a fat scrap (i just noticed that that looks funny fat scrap hee hee hee).
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mwoollard
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2007 07:33:39 AM »

I have just been looking on ebay at fabrics and noticed the phrase "fat quarter" or "fq"

can someone explain what this is please  Huh
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« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2007 08:07:30 AM »

It's a pre-cut square of fabric used for quilting.
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bemaha
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2007 11:00:07 AM »

1/4 yard of fabric. Quilters love these.
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paroper
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2007 11:06:41 AM »

In surface area it is 1/4 yard but it is 1/2 yard long and cut to the center fold instead of being cut all the way across...hence, a fat quarter. 
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ShaynaYasha
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2007 11:53:11 AM »

Put really simply.. it's a piece of fabric that is 18" x 22".  It's still 1/4 of a yard, but it is a more useable piece of material
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alyson630
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2007 08:00:34 PM »

so if I were to go to joanns or somewhere, do i just ask for a fat quarter? will they know what I'm looking for?  I need a liner for a purse I'm making and I think that size would be perfect.
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ShaynaYasha
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2007 09:01:32 PM »

Yep.  They know...just ask for a Fat Quarter & they'll cut it for you.
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bemaha
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2007 09:20:35 PM »

And most fabric stores have stacks of pre-cut fat quarters lying around.
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paroper
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2007 06:21:30 AM »

I suspect that you'll have to buy a half yard to get a fat quarter.  Most fabric is cut all the way across...a fat quarter is half of a half yard of fabric and most stores do not have a lot of use for half of a half.  Many stores sell pre-cut fat quarters...then they just make two "sets" of fabric when they cut.  You might be able to find another quilter who is buying and one of you buy half the fabrics, someone else buy the other half and then swap halves. 
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ShaynaYasha
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2007 07:20:38 AM »

Joanne's  & Walmart are some of the stores that cut FQ's.
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alyson630
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2007 02:13:29 PM »

I was at Joann's today.  They had some precut fat quarters in the quilting area.  They also had some precut fat eighths.  The eighths come bundled together in 7 9x22 pieces.  I got a bundle of different pink pieces.  Yay!
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sister-ilse
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2007 09:45:44 AM »

 Huh

Dear Craftsters,

Im sorry to ask, but in some of my sewing patterns it is asked for fat quarters.

I guess its some kind of fabric measurement, but maybe Im wrong?

Pls. give me a hint!!!!!

Thanks, Kirsten
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flipflopsgirl21
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2007 09:51:00 AM »

i'm not sure what the dimensions are but they sell fat quarters near the quilting stuff pre-cut in stores like joann's
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« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2007 10:11:15 AM »

Slightly more than a quarter yard, cut in a special way. Here's a link that describes it better than I can Smiley http://www.serve.com/marbeth/fat_quarter.html
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sister-ilse
« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2007 10:40:26 AM »

Thank you, Ladies!

Ill have to read that linked information more than just once, but I guess I can figure it out!!!!

Great help!!

 Smiley
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« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2007 06:38:08 PM »

A fat quarter is a quarter yard of fabric in an 18 inch by 22 inch rectangle (approximately)  rather than a 9 inch by 44 inch strip.

Mieka
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sewnutzz
« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2007 05:07:26 PM »

A fat quarter is essentially 1/2 yard of 45" wide material cut in half down the length-wise grain....you get 4 of these blocks from a yard of fabric.  They are called fat quarters because they are "fatter" than a quarter-yard cut cross-grain (both contain the same square inches, just one is "fatter" than the other....Hope that makes sense!

Fat quarters are often sold already cut in quilting stores, you can also find them at most Joann's.  Most quilt shops who sell fat quarters are willing to cut a fat quarter for you if you cannot find what you want already cut.

If you need a fat quarter but cannot get it already cut, purchase a half yard of fabric so that you get the right length.  Put the left over into your fabric stash.

Anne
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« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2007 11:34:22 AM »

here's an image to make it make a bit more sense...



the first shows how it would normally be cut into quarters, if you asked for 1/4 yard of the fabric. they cut all the way from edge to edge, in a long narrow strip.

the second shows how fat quarters are cut, into "fat" rectangles that are generally more useful. however, alot of stores won't cut a fat quarter for you, unless they package and sell their own.
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sister-ilse
« Reply #24 on: November 12, 2007 09:39:32 AM »

 Wink
Thank you very much Hellga,

the drawings make it a bit more easy for me. From the posts before I assumed as much. Well the fabric had to be cut in quarters, but in no way I had imagined that it would be be cut into quarters like a "cake".

In Germany its not very popular to cut fabric like this, at least not to my knowledge.

Thanks, Kirsten
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pollyputsthekettleon
« Reply #25 on: August 07, 2009 04:51:01 AM »

Hi all,
I'm Polly and new to sewing.  I love looking at all the little parcels of fabric, but can you tell me, what is a fat quarter exactly?  And are they a standard mesurement?  Would I be right in assuming that you don't use these for clothing cause they're just little pieces?

Thanks for your help.
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soorawn
« Reply #26 on: August 07, 2009 05:23:18 AM »

A fat quarter is a quarter of a yard, but cut in a different way.  If you cut a piece of fabric one yard long into four pieces, you'll cut along as you unroll the piece, no?  But then it would be quite a narrow piece.  What you do to get four fat quarters is to get one yard piece, then cut it in four as you'd divide a square, that is, cutting once lengthwise and once widthwise.  That way each piece is wider and can be put to better use.

Fat quarters are popular with quilters because they don't usually need really big pieces of every cloth they use.  They are indeed too small for clothing usually, but apart from that there is nothing to deter you from using them in whatever way you want.
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MegRoseSews
« Reply #27 on: August 07, 2009 07:26:47 AM »

Other than quilting a nice use for fat quarters is a buttercup purse. It's a free pattern on the web, for personal (non-saleable) use only.  The pattern designers said that she had a bunch of them and designed the pattern to be used with them

Here it is
http://madebyrae.blogspot.com/2009/02/free-buttercup-bag-sewing-pattern.html

I learned about the buttercup purse because I love to read the purses and bags forums here at crafster. Several people make them there. I've made several and have 3 in progress because I like the shape so much. Here is one I posted in that forum (though I was using remnant pieces from another project not fat quarters)

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=308405.0

You might search on "buttercup" in the purses and bags forum to see a lot of really nice buttercups made by Crafsters.

Happy sewing!

MegRose
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« Reply #28 on: August 07, 2009 08:21:03 AM »

I didn't know that Jo-Ann's would cut fat quarters off of bolts.  The evil twin in me see's potential for payback in this.........when I'm annoyed by them,   Cool
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elijor
« Reply #29 on: August 07, 2009 08:54:52 AM »

The JoAnn's around here (KS) don't "cut" fat quarters. They do sll some but they are precut and shipped to the store. I'd be really surprised if Walmart would cut them - but I've never asked.

Another thing to keep in mind is that fat quarters cost more then a regular "long & skinny" quarter yard. Quilt shops are where they originated and there is a bit of extra work in cutting them (2 cuts instead of 1). Also, you have to figure out how to fold them, display them, price them, etc. Even if you only cut them "on demand" you still have a leftover fat each time. Of course if you only need on piece of fabric and it needs to be more then 9" wide/tall - it might be worth it to pay the extra 25 cents but if you need two fats of the same fabric just save money and buy a half yard.
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pollyputsthekettleon
« Reply #30 on: August 08, 2009 03:35:17 AM »

Oh dear.  I think I asked a question that has obviously already been answered and then added to this thread (Does that happen?) and now I look like a Grade A ditz...  Oh the shame... Wink
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soorawn
« Reply #31 on: August 08, 2009 03:41:35 AM »

It does happen.  The good thing is that you read it  Smiley
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pollyputsthekettleon
« Reply #32 on: August 08, 2009 09:08:04 PM »

Thanks soorawn!  Just so happened that after I posted that the Random Tip at the top of the screen was 14 Tips for Using Craftster (or something like that) and one of them was "Use the Search Function"...  Which honestly, I knew I should have so serves me right, I deserve to look like a ditz.
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