Monday, July 26, 2010

What's a Fat Quarter You Ask?...

I've had a few emails asking what is a fat quarter. Fat quarters are those little pre-cut folded squares of fabric you see at your local quilt shop or larger chain fabric stores. They are usually in front of the bolts of fabric. They are pre-cut pieces from the bolts of fabric for a quick purchase to use for small projects or scrap quilts. Here's a quick picture explanation.

Here is a piece of fabric that is one yard long...see the yard stick on the bottom. The fabric is unfolded, so the selvage (finished) edges are on the top and bottom.

Here is a close up of the 36 inch length of fabric.

Now cut that 36 inch length in half at 18 inches.

Here are the 2 strips 18 inches by the width of fabric (WOF).

Now, the usual width of fabric ranges from 42"-45" (that's the vertical ruler on the right)

Minus the white edge of the selvage, this fabric is just about 44 inches.

Now cut that in half at 22 inches.

and here you have it...4 fat quarters from one yard of fabric.
The usual measurement of a fat quarter is 18" x 22".

Hope this helps. ~Karen~


  1. A very thorough explanation, Karen.
    Blessings, Star

  2. Fabric is so expensive here that we are familiar with fat quarters and even fat eighths. Ours is different though with being metric.

  3. Isn't it nice that a FAT quarter has no calories???

  4. Awesome explanation. The pictures really help, that is what I love best about your blog and tutorials. A picture says a thousand words.

  5. I love the explanation and the pictures. We also have to buy fabric in metres here in the UK so our fat quarters are a little bigger: a metre is 39 inches. We have to pay a lot too. Most fabric now costs £10 per metre - $15.45!!

  6. Karen, I found this very helpful. I have heard of fat quarters forever, but never knew exactly what they were. I only knew they were a piece of fabric smaller than a yard !!!! LOL

  7. Thanks Karen for showing the ones that didn't know what fat
    quarters are. That's how we learn,
    from other people.":O)

  8. Karen, thanks for that. I thought I knew, but had never had it explained to me. I love how you give pictures too. That really registers when the words aren't exactly clear. Now, can I have you decipher some instructions for a pillow I am trying to make?!! It would be helpful if everyone who wrote instructions for projects were as user-friendly as you are.

  9. Thank you! I have been looking at fabrics on eBay and I had no clue what a fat quarter was, now I do!

  10. Excellent! That the best explanation of a fat quarter I've ever seen!

  11. A standard quarter yard of fabric would measure 9" X 42".

    The "fat" quarter measures 18 X 22 (approx).


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