Fat Quarters (winners and explanation)

on January 17 | in Contests & Giveaways | by | with 15 Comments

Thank you all for sharing your favorite quilting books.  Such a huge variety of suggestions came in!  If you haven’t had a chance, you might want to peruse the comments from the previous post.  We will also be compiling a list of the most frequently mentioned books, which we’ll put up in a couple of weeks. 

We selected two people at random from the comments to win a pack of 8 fat quarters from Sew,Mama,Sew!  Congratulations to Kari and Nicole.  (Please look for your emails from us.)

Someone asked us to explain what a fat quarter is.  Not a dumb question at all! 

Most cotton fabric is 44″ wide.  When you order a yard, you get a piece of fabric that is 36″ by 44″.  When you order a half yard it is 18″ x 44″ and usually when you order a quarter yard it is 9″ x 44″.  Makes sense, right?

Well, 9″ x 44″ is pretty long and skinny.  There are only so many ways you can chop it up if you’re trying to make shapes for your quilt.  Plus, it is awkward to work with–harder to use a rotary cutter on it and harder to position on your cutting mat. 

To create a more user-friendly shape for quilters, you just have to cut the fabric a little differently.  Imagine a 1-yard piece of cloth.  Cut along the fold so you have 2 pieces that are 36″ x 22″, then cut those in half so you have 4 pieces that are 18″ x 22″.  Fat quarters!

All that said, we don’t usually sell fat quarters.   Why?  The least we have to cut off the bolt is a half yard, then we cut that in half to get 2 fat quarters.  We always end up with a leftover piece of fabric.  If we had a retail shop it would be easier to tie them in a bow and put them by the registers for impulse buys (you’ve all seen it, I’m sure.)  But online, we just end up with leftovers.   Our apologies, quilters! 

Thanks again for all the comments, everyone.  We’ll be posting an overview of Quilting Month very soon.  I have to say, it is looking very exciting! We have unbelievable guest writers and lots of opportunities for you to participate. 

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15 Responses to Fat Quarters (winners and explanation)

  1. Sara says:

    I always wondered what a ‘fat quarter’ was. In fact, I was just thinking of that the other day! You read my mind, and now I know! When I see it mentioned in sewing books and mags it’s like the editors assume everyone just knows what that is.
    Thanks!

  2. Angela says:

    I’d just finally had the fat vs skinny quarter mystery explained to me when my mother in law came to visit last month. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Carrie says:

    Those are some GORGEOUS fat quarters! I want some!

  4. Nikki says:

    I get the fat quarter thing, but can I adapt a “fat-quarter-friendly” quilt pattern to quarter yards or should I just buy 1/2 yards and make my own fat quarters?

  5. Stephanie K says:

    Interesting about you not selling them. I know it’s not really convenient and I only buy that way if there’s something I just have.to.have and I can’t buy a $20 yd of Japanese fabric. :D

  6. Alicia says:

    Now I understand the fat quarter vs the skinny quarter – thank you for the simple explanation – so helpful.

  7. Candace says:

    Darn, my comment didn’t show up below. Was it because I linked to the books on Amazon? Looks like there are a lot of great titles for me to look up. Thanks. :)

  8. Libby says:

    Congrats to the winners. And thank you for the opportunity to win fabric. It’s been a lot of fun. The only problem is there are too many projects that I end up wanting to make after visiting your blog.

  9. Kathy says:

    Looking forward to quilt month. I have just started quilting and I am sure I will learn a lot. Thanks for your terrific site! Be well.

  10. Kristin says:

    Thank you for explaining. I am anxious to get started!!

  11. Sequana says:

    And now they’re selling Fat Eighths……..seems to me I even say Fat Sixteenths somewhere. Next it will be Fat Inchies. *L*…….well, they already make those, don’t they? PSI?

  12. Holly says:

    Best explanation of fat quarters that I’ve ever seen! Thanks!

  13. Courtney says:

    I want to echo Deirdre Peters’ comment above. I now understand clearly. Thanks for the explanation!

  14. Funda says:

    Congratulations to the winners! I will be happy to see the list of the most popular books.

  15. Deirdre Peters says:

    Oooh. So that is why they are called “fat” quarters. I knew what they were and how they were cut, but I didn’t consider the “long, skinny quarter” versus a “fat quarter” of a yard. Brilliant!

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