A Guide To Fat Quarters

So you see a new fabric collection and you’re like…

I LOVE IT

…but how much of it do I need? Can I afford them all? I can’t possibly choose!

Oh yeah, we totally get you.

This is why we offer fat quarter bundles so you can love it, make it & keep it!

What is a fat quarter?

You might have seen FQ on a tutorial and you’re like… what?!

FQ stands for fat quarter, which is a piece of pre-cut fabric that is made by cutting half a metre of the full fabric width from the bolt and then cut in half vertically, hence ‘quarters’. Most quilting fabrics are 44”/110cm wide, which makes fat quarters around 50cm x 55cm.

Are all fat quarters the same? 

Due to the term ‘fat quarter’ being all about the width, you may find some are different. This especially applies to american fat quarters, as they cut by the yard, which means you’ll find American fat quarters are a little shorter at around 56cm x 46cm. 

What size is a fat quarter?

The term ‘fat’ quarter refers to how it’s cut. Technically it is a quarter of a metre, however if you asked for a quarter of a metre at a fabric shop, they would probably cut as a strip (known as a long quarter) like this:

A fat quarter cut is a square shape which means you’re getting more scope to make wider things out of it, even though it’s technically the same surface area. 

You may find that some fabrics have a wider width, such as our PUL and Bamboo Velour. We sell this by the fat quarter, however the width can be up to 150cm, so you would get a very generous amount of fabric!

What projects can I make with fat quarters?

A fat quarter is definitely small but mighty in the sewing world. There are tons of projects you can make! Not only are they great for quilters and those applique fans out there you could also make cushions, tote bags, pencil cases, tablet covers, baskets, bibs and so much more.

We have lots of tutorials on our blog which you could make with fat quarters including:

Where can I buy fat quarters?

Right here at Plush Addict! We sell quilting collections in fat quarter bundles and you can buy any of our fabrics as a fat quarter, as they are cut bespoke for you when you order. We even have a colour matching service, just pop in the order notes which fabrics you’d like us to colour match and we’ll check for you.

We would LOVE to see what you make with fat quarters next, don’t forget to tag us in your makes on all the socials, @plushaddict and why not join the Plush Club on Facebook and share with our community of seam-stars!

Did you learn a lot from this blog? We’d love to hear from you in the comments! Make sure you never miss a blog again by signing up to our newsletter.

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If you make one of these projects please let us know how you get on!

Follow @PlushAddict on social media and keep an eye out for more tutorials & please tag us @plushaddict on social media if you make one! We’d love to see your finished project!

3 thoughts on “A Guide To Fat Quarters”

  1. It’s worth noting that although in the UK we sell in metric measurements (metres/centimeters) generally quilting or patchwork shapes are measured in inches. Quilting and cutting instructions, seam widths, quilting ruler measurements and even templates generally have sizes in inches if you’re quilting.
    Fabrics in the US are sold predominantly in imperial measurements (yards/inches). The standard size for a Fat Quarter in the US is 18″x 22″ and a Long Quarter (LQ) is 9″ x the width of the fabric, often 44″. USA produced patterns may omit measurements in cms even for crafts and dressmaking – especially ‘Indie’ patterns from non-mainstream designers.

  2. I think there are several advantages to buying Fat Quarters (FQs) or other cuts when crafting:
    1) You may not need a full metre for a small project and when making patchwork or applique you can have a variety of different fabric prints or colours buying several FQs or a FQ bundle.
    2) Often when purchasing smaller amounts you get charged more – this doesn’t happen with fabric. Fabric has to be sold by a set/advertised price per metre. If the shop offers smaller cuts they still have to be sold at the same price. (Not necessarily true in the USA). And often if you buy multiple FQs as an offer or bundle you get more!
    3) FQs by the nature of their shape have more of the longer ‘stable’ grainline so it doesn’t warp as much (especially if you prewash your fabric, which is often recommended).
    Although FQs are more common, if you are ‘strip’ piecing or the fabric has a specific design element (like a border print) you may with to purchase a Long Quarter (LQ) as a better option for your project.
    Some places will also sell Fat Eighths (FEs) which are half of a FQ . Although they are generally 9″ x 22″ (a FAT Eighth) they can be 11″ x 18″ (a LONG Eighth) but because the cut depends on the fabric width they don’t really have a standard size. Watch out for them in bundles …

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