So what is a fat quarter? A fat quarter, in the sewing world, is something you really need to embrace. It is a really great fabric size used for quilting and other projects. Fat, in its positive connotation, means generous, abounding and prosperous. The fat quarter is just like that. It is a measured cut of fabric that can give a variety of different sizes and pieces to use for all sorts of sewing and quilting patterns.
WHAT IS A FAT QUARTER?
In simple terms, a fat quarter is a pre-cut piece of quilting fabrics that is 22 inches (56cm) wide by 18 inches (46cm) high. It will usually then be folded in quarters so it is a nice grab sized item at your local fabric shop.
How many fat quarters in a yard?
There are 4 fat quarters per yard (0.90m). Think of it as simply cutting a yard piece of fabric into 4 equal pieces. Due to the standard 44-45 inch (112cm) width of fabrics, a fat quarter will be rectangular rather than square.
Are all Fat Quarters the Same?
There can be a slight difference in fat quarters in different countries. For example, in Australia, they measure fabric by the meter (a meter is approximately 1.1 yards) so a fat quarter is a little wider than it is in the US in some but not all occasions. It depends entirely on the manufacturer or shops it is sold in.
Cutting Fat Eighths and More
Fat quarters are so generous with the number of pieces you can cut from it. The quarter can become an eighth and the eighth diminishes to other sizes going down the line to teeny tiny 2’’ squares.
All these miniature sizes have delightful names, like charm squares, layer cake squares and Jelly rolls. You can indulge in all these treats and not have to count one single calorie.
Jelly rolls are cut from long strips along the selvage of the fabric and are particularly useful for quilt borders and small sewing projects like hair accessories.
How to Cut a Fat Quarter
See how you can get 4 fat quarters to a yard and these can be further cut down into fat eights.
As you can see from the diagram, fat eights can be cut vertically or horizontally. In plain fabrics, this makes no difference but if your fabric has a pattern, just make sure the fat eighth is cut in the correct direction to best display the pattern.
Here is a chart to show you the sizes in both metric and imperial for some common fabric-cuts including what is a fat quarter.
What is a Fat Quarter and Fabric Cuts Chart
|MINI CHARM SQUARES||2.5 X 2.5||6.4 X 6.4|
|CHARM SQUARES||5 X 5||12.7 X 12.7|
|JELLY ROLLS||2.5 X 42||6.4 X 6.4|
|LAYER CAKE SQUARES||10 X 10||25.4 X 25.4|
|FAT EIGHTH||9 X 21||22.8 X 53.3|
|FAT EIGHTH*||11 X 18||28 X 45.7|
|FAT QUARTER||18 X 21||45.7 X 53.3|
|HALF YARD||18 X 44||45.7 X 112|
|ONE YARD||33 X 44||94.4 X 112|
Fabric Cut Printable Chart
The fat quarter is abounding with multiple sizes do you know you can cut 99 X 2’’ squares from one fat quarter.
Wonderful facts to know, but how do you remember the numbers are in that magic moment when you find the most amazing fabric?
That’s when you pull out your Handy Fabric Shopping guide with all the measurements on one piece of card. It is a printable masterpiece that you can fold and store in your wallet.
Then off you go with this, compact, size guide to any fabric shop. This Handy Fabric Guide comes with measurements in meters or inches.
Exactly what you need for whichever system of measurement you use.
Click this link to download your printable fabric cut guide.
Take your Easy Quilting Fabric size guide wherever you go.
When you see all those tempting rolls of fabric tied up with ribbon you can pull out your guide and know just what each piece measures. You can feed your desire to have beautiful fabrics.
Go out and buy all sorts of fat quarters and turn them into delicious, handmade creations. Bon Appetite and enjoy indulging in a fat quarter or two!
Now you know what is a fat quarter it is time for some projects!
Where to Buy Fat Quarters
Many fabric stores now carry fat quarters as they are becoming more popular especially with quilters. Look for bundles with a good assortment of complementary patterns and colors.
My other favorite place to purchase fat quarters is Etsy where you can get many of the popular designer quilting cotton fabric in fat quarter sizes.
Fat eights are not as easy to find but of course, you can cut your fat quarters in half and you have 2 fat eights!
What are Fat Quarters Used For?
Fat quarters can be used for absolutely anything you want, not just quilts. The best thing about fat quarters is that they are amazing for small sewing projects.
They result in minimal waste and allow you to purchase a greater variety of colors and textures than if you had to purchase whole yards. This makes them very economical and fun to use.
Now you know what is a fat quarter, here are some of my most popular items you can sew.
- DIY Napkins
- Doll Pillows, Doll Blanket, Doll Mattress
- How to Make Bias Tape
- Free Makeup Brush Pattern
- How to Make Fabric Bows
- Continuous Bias Tape
- How to Make Scrunchies
What is a Fat Quarter – In Conclusion
So a fat quarter is simply a yard cut in quarters! If you think of it like that instead of remembering the measurements you will never go wrong.
If you want more free fat quarter ideas, then check out my tutorial on small sewing projects.