Different types of sewing projects require different types of fabrics. Fat quarters which represent a quarter yard of fabric are the best fabrics when you carry out a quilting project. A fat quarter is a pre-cut piece of fabric used by sewers to make different quilting patterns and other sewing projects.
While starting a sewing or quilting project, you need lots of fabric. Fat quarters are good starting points for any project as they are already cut. Further, they are easy to work with and can be easily fixed together.
How Big Is A Fat Quarter?
To understand how big a fat quarter is, you first need to know the size of traditional fabric. A quilting fabric will often measure 36 by 45 inches. A fat quarter is made by cutting this fabric in half crosswise, the resulting fabric is 18 by 45 inches. This fabric is then cut into two halves vertically. The four pieces of fabric now available measure about 18 by 22.5 inches.
If your fabric has different lengths, then, a fat quarter is 18 inches wide by the width of the fabric.
Because of how they are cut, these quarters are slightly larger than differently cut quarters hence the name fat quarters. They also differ in shape from traditional fabric quarters as they are rectangular.
The size and shape of the fat quarters make it possible to cut different shapes from it.
What Are The Uses Of Fat Quarters?
Fat quarters are commonly used in quilting projects. When you want to bind a quilt, fat quarters come in handy. You can cut strip pieces from them that you can then join together to make a binding for your quilt. The strip pieces cut from fat quarters can be cut crosswise making them easy to join and to form the corners that you need to make a quilt binding.
You can also use fat quarters for applique. You can cut them into large chunks of patchwork that you can sew onto other fabrics or garments as applique.
Fat quarters are sold in collections. You can get a pack of fat quarters of different colors that you can use to make colorful fabrics. Quilters love fat quarters more for this. They can make a colorful quilt from a single pack of affordable fat quarters.
They make it easy to cut large pieces of fabric than would be possible if you were using long quarters. This helps to reduce fabric waste regardless of the project you are working on.
Fat quarters are popular with quilters. However, you can also use them in your simple sewing projects. You can use them whole depending on the size of your end product or you could cut out pieces from the fat quarters.
They are easily and affordably available in sewing supplies stores. You can buy in sets of different colors and patterns or you can buy a set of uniform fat quarter fabrics. This saves you money as you don’t have to buy different colored fabrics when you can a set of different colored fat quarters.
How To Cut Fat Quarters?
Step 1. Roll out a piece of fabric onto your cutting board. Make sure it is properly straightened out on the cutting board so that you don’t have a crooked fabric on one end. Also, make sure you choose your fabric to fit the task you have at hand. You will need cotton fabric for quilting fat quarters.
Step 2. With your ruler, measure 18 inches on the fabric that is lying on your cutting board. Mark with a pen. A fat quarter measures 18 inches by the width of the fabric. The width of the fabric may be different depending on the fabric you are using. A fat quarter must be 18 inches in length.
Step 3. Place your ruler at the 18 inches mark vertically so that it lies along the width of the fabric. With your rotary cutter, cut the fabric along your ruler. Remove the remaining fabric from your working area.
Step 4. Place your ruler right at the edge of the fabric. Slice off the edge as thinly as possible so as not to affect the size of your fat quarter. Depending on the fold of your fabric, you will have one or two fat quarters that are ready to cut into quilting strips.
How to Cut Fat Quarters From A Half
Step 1. Roll out a yard of fabric from a bolt and place it on your working area. This fabric measures about 36 by 45 inches pieces of fabric. Straighten it out as flat as possible to make it ready to work with.
Step 2. With the fabric properly straightened out on your working surface, measure 18 inches alongside the length of the fabric. This brings you to the 18 inches mark. Use a marking pen and mark the exact half of the fabric.
Step 3. Place your ruler at this point and using a rotary cutter, cut the fabric from top to bottom. This will maintain the height of the fabric at 45 inches. Meaning you now have half a yard of fabric measuring 18 by 45 inches.
Step 4. Put away the bolt of fabric so that you can cut two fat quarters from this fabric easily.
Step 5. Place your half-yard fabric on your working surface. Bring your ruler to the width and measure and mark the halfway point. This will be about 22.5 to 23 inches depending on the size of your fabric.
Step 6. Cut at this halfway point of the width of the fabric crosswise so that the resulting two pieces measure at least 18 by 22.5 inches. You now have two fat quarters that you can use for your quilting or sewing projects with ease.
Difference Between A Fat Quarter And A Regular Quarter Fabric
Yes. A regular ? yard fabric measures 9 inches by the width of the fabric. On the other hand, a fat quarter measures 18 inches by half of the width of the fabric. As the regular quarter is much longer, it is known as a long quarter.
The fat quarter and the regular quarter both have the same amount of fabric. Four of each will make a one-yard fabric. The major difference between the two is the shape and the type of fabric that can be cut from each.
You can cut larger pieces of fabric from fat quarters than you can cut from regular ? yard fabric. You can also cut out piecing strips easily that you can use to bind your quilting project. This is why many quilters prefer to use fat quarters in their projects.
Are Fat Quarters The Same Size?
Not all the time. Depending on the country you are in and the metric of measurement you use on your fabric, your fat quarters may be bigger or smaller than others. When the measurement metric for fabric is in yards, the fat quarters are smaller than those that are measured by the meter.
Fat quarters measured in meters end up being 20 inches by 22 inches. While those measures in yards 18 inches by 22 inches.
What Are Fat Eighths?
Similar to fat quarters, you can also buy fat eights. Fat eighths are half of the fat quarters. However, they are cut differently. A fat eighth is cut crosswise on a ? fabric. If the fabric measures 9 inches by 44 inches, it is cut crosswise so that you have a fat eighth measuring 9 inches by 22 inches.
Fat eighths are not standard. When buying them for your projects, make sure to enquire about the measurements before you buy.
Can Fat Quarters Be Made With Other Fabrics?
Normally, fat quarters are made from quilting fabrics. This is because they are quite popular with quilters. However, you can use and make fat quarters with any other type of fabric for any kind of sewing project.
You don’t have to be quilting to use fat quarters. You can use them for embroidery and patchwork projects. You can use them to sew different sizes of garments as they are easy to cut and piece together. They will ensure that you save money and reduce waste on your fabric as you can cut large enough chunks to use.
Further, you can get sets of fat quarters in different colors. This ensures that you can carry out any project you have in mind with affordable pieces of fabric. You don’t have to buy the full fabrics of the different colors you need. You can buy a set of fat quarters that contains fabrics in the colors you desire.
Buying sets of fat quarters allows you to save on fabric and reduces waste. Buying large fabrics to cut out leads to a lot of leftover fabric when you are through with your project. With fat quarters, you can use only what you need and save the rest for another project.