What is a Fat Quarter?

Jean Chaney
Jean Chaney
Research Writer
Jean is the brains behind her fashion label. She's a whiz with a needle and thread, and has been sewing since she was old enough to hold a pair of scissors. Jean has always read more
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Isabel Misner
Isabel Misner
Expert Consultant
A professional seamstress. Isabel has her own video blog where she shares her experience about all the aspects of sewing – from choosing suitable materials to step-by-step read more
Last updated: August 18, 2023
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Could be you have been wondering, what is a fat quarter? A fat quarter is a piece that is made by cutting half a meter of the entire fabric length width and then cutting the piece half vertically. They are typically cut from quilting fabric since they provide a small piece but in a way that still gets a sizeable piece of the design. The fat quarter is a great way of adding those arrestable fabrics to your stash. Most of the fat quarter bundles are selected by the fabric designers to coordinate perfectly while still offering you a wide range of colors and designs.

What is a Fat Quarter?

Why Do You Need To Use A Fat Quarter in Sewing?

A fat quarter makes it possible to cut through large chunks of fabric that would otherwise have been impossible to do from a usual quarter yard. With it, you will easily get strips that are twice as long as the original fabric.

It also adds to the versatility of the fabric depending on whether you are working on a patchwork or not. It offers a wide application from the quilt shops since fat quarters are so popular, and hence, they offer a wide range of uses.

They also offer excellent sample quilts. If you are making a scrap quilt Trusted Source Quilt - Wikipedia A quilt is a multi-layered textile, traditionally composed of two or more layers of fabric or fiber. Commonly three layers are used. These layers traditionally include a woven cloth top, a layer of batting or wadding, and a woven back combined using the techniques of quilting. en.wikipedia.org and buying them, it is easy to start building your fabric stash. A fat quarter will form a stack that you can use to visualize your next project.

How to Use a Fat Quarter in Sewing?

A fat quarter can be used to make a great addition to your collection. You will get different types, designs, and patterns of fabric that you can use to make accents or embellish clothes by way of appliqué, make patches, make bows out of them, and compare pockets on your tops.

Since the fat quarter you have is not pre-shrunk, you will need to take to account shrinking since you might be in trouble if you don’t account for it. One way to pre-shrink the fat quarter is by rinsing it once you finish the edges and then dry it. Also, you will need to finish the edges before washing the pr-cuts to prevent fraying. If you did proper planning, a fat quarter could be cut into square pieces to effectively use for your path work.

If you are in bag-making or other fabric college work, you can do so many things with the fat quarter pieces since you have them in your collection.

Another essence of having a fat quarter collection is for your personal use. It will offer pleasure in every fabric hoarder you get looking at the stacks of fabric pieces and visualizing many of your projects to come.

How to Cut A Fat Quarter Correctly?

There are numerous ways to cut a fat quarter to take useful quilt patches. If you are already aware of the number of patches you need, it will help to reduce the waste while doing the cutting the fabric to form a particular fabric that you want. You will need a cutting mat to help you make a perfect cut.

It is vital to note that all fat quarters measure 18 x 22 inches. Fat quarters should not be washed prior to cutting since it will lead to shrinking; hence, they will no longer be appealing to use. However, you can use fat quarters to create no waste flying geese that finish at 3 x 6 inches.

You can cut 20 quarters measuring 37/8 x 3 7/8 from a single fat quarter. Squares are cut and used to form triangles of flying geese. For more precise measuring, quilting rulers can be very useful.

You can also cut another six squares from a single fat quarter measuring seven ¼ by 71/4 and create the geese’s peaked area. If the fabric is 22 inches long on the squares’ right side, you should leave a wide strip on the right. Small squares are combined with large ones to form one large flying geese. You can also cut for 3 7/8 squares to create four more geese from the sixth 71/4 square.

Other Ways to Cut Fat Quarters

Fat quarters are also cut from regular yards even though at ties, it is preferable to deal with a given quilter that isn’t used for cutting long strips. According to most reviews, the sturdiest model must be the Portman Cutting Mat Craft Knife Precision Ruler Set from W.A. Portman is the most reliable option out there thanks to its reinforced construction.

Long quarter-yard are more likely to get distorted and shrink in the process, unlike fat quarters. To do the cutting perfectly, you will need a professional instrument. Power Electric Fabric Scissors is an effective tool that will help you do the work perfectly.

Final Thoughts

This article is for anyone who has been wondering what is a fat quarter is and has been trying to get to know what it could, but it felt sheepish to ask. Craft shops and quilt stores have pre-cut pieces that of yardage called fat quarters. They can be folded together or tied as individual pieces with coordinating bundles.


Quilt - Wikipedia
A quilt is a multi-layered textile, traditionally composed of two or more layers of fabric or fiber. Commonly three layers are used. These layers traditionally include a woven cloth top, a layer of batting or wadding, and a woven back combined using the techniques of quilting.
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