What the Heck is a Fat Quarter?

When I first started quilting my head was always spinning with measurements. Numbers were spinning above my head… at least that is what it always felt like. Plus, there are so many key terms to learn.

Jelly rolls

Layer cakes

Charm packs

Fat Quarters

It takes a little bit of time to learn all of these terms. Then, you need to be able to figure out what this all translates into when it comes to making a quilt the size you want. If you ever sat in a math class wondering when you will use all the fractions and measurements they are teaching you… well, this is when! Love it or hate it, when you quilt, you will be using math! If you are lucky like me, then you may have a spouse that loves math!

So, what the heck is a fat quarter?

A fat quarter is essentially a block of fabric that is equal to a quarter of a yard, but instead of being the full width of the fabric bolt (usually 44″) by 9″ (quarter yard), the piece is 18″ long and half the fabric bolt wide (usually 22″). So, to break that down, a fat quarter is usually a piece of fabric that is 18″ x 22″.

The reason I love fat quarters is because you can usually buy them in bundles that are already coordinated with different patterns and colors. When you are starting it really helps you pick fabrics that will work together and make beautiful quilts.

Fat Quarter Bundle

One of my favorite places to purchase fat quarter bundles is on the FatQuarterShop.com website HERE. They have a huge selection of bundles, and I have always been very satisfied with the quality of their fabric.

I also have a subscription to Annie’s Creative Quilters Fabric Club HERE and they send coordinated fat quarters along with patterns! I have reviewed this subscription on my blog HERE.

How many squares can you cut from a fat quarter?

When you are new to quilting it can be a little challenging figuring out how much fabric you need to make a quilt. This can be even more challenging if you plan on making a simple patchwork quilt without a pattern. What you can do is plot out how many squares of a certain size you will need on your quilt to get the desired size you want.

Then, check out this diagram to see approximately how many squares in the size you are using you can get from a fat quarter. If you know how many squares you will need to complete your quilt then this chart will help you know how many fat quarters you will need! Super super helpful… right?

Hopefully this helps answer questions you may have had about the mystical fat quarter!

Bye for now!

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