Oh my – I feel like such a dummy, but as I delve deeper into this crafting hole that I love – I keep coming across things that I just don't know. Things like – what is a fat quarter of fabric?
Recently Cricut had a huge fabric sale, and I jumped all over that, but I had no idea what I was doing.
How I Bought a Fat Quarter Without Knowing What It Was
I purchased a Cricut Maker machine about a month ago.
This article explains what a Cricut machine is and what it does, but the short version is that it is a precision cutting machine that is capable of cutting fabric.
Now, because I am a beginner – I don't have much fabric in my collection of craft supplies. Which is why I picked up a few cheap craft supplies at an after holiday sale here.
And it is also why I went a little crazy over the recent Cricut fabric sale.
The prices were so good that I just added random items to my cart willy nilly – because I hadn't yet planned out a project.
FREE QUICK START GUIDE TO GETTING ORGANIZED
Sign up for our newsletter and go from chaos to control with our FREE Quick Start Guide to Getting Organized - 5 day email series.
Two of the things that I got were the stacks of fat quarters shown in the photo below.
The one pictured above I bought at Walmart of all places. (And if you are wondering – the surface underneath is the Cricut self healing cutting mat).
When I bought these, I actually had no idea what a fat quarter of fabric was exactly – but I figured it looked like a good amount of fabric to get started.
(Just as an aside – I am really glad that I did grab these stacks because I can tell now that the Cricut fabrics – the ones here are from Riley Blake designs – seem like a really good quality fabric.)
They have a really nice substantial feel to them, and I suspect that they are a high thread count, though they don't say.
What IS a Fat Quarter?
Anyhow, back to the fat quarter thing.
I actually came across this fantastically thorough article at The Spruce Crafts blog that explains what a fat quarter of fabric is – complete with diagrams.
Basically it is one quarter of a yard of fabric, if that yard were cut into four squarish sections – as opposed to four long strips – if that makes sense. (the article on the Spruce blog has the visuals).
Typically, a fat quarter of fabric will measure about 18 inches by 22 inches.
The theory is that you get more workable area on your fabric, especially if you are a quilter. This has to do with the way the selvage runs and the resulting stretchiness of the grain.
In fact, this article – also on the Spruce Crafts blog – explains the different fabric grains and things you should know about them if you are a quilter.
Fabric Grain Makes a Difference – Especially If You Want to Make a Quilt
I didn't tell you this earlier, but in addition to those fat quarter stacks – I also bought a Riley Blake quilting kit during the Cricut fabric sale.
Naïve soul that I was.
I then watched this video about binding a quilt, that completely opened my eyes to the concept of selvages and fabric grain, which then led me to learn about what a fat quarter is exactly.
Oh my – I waffle between “What have I gotten myself into?” and “I clearly have a lot to learn.”
In the meantime, at least I now know what a flat quarter of fabric is – which I think is a pretty good place to start.
I'll go with an 18 inch by 22 inch rectangle of fabric with a selvage on the short side as my explanation.
Pin this article to your favorite board on Pinterest to refer to later.
Don't forget your FREE Quick Start Guide to Getting Organized!
Sign up for our newsletter and go from chaos to control with our FREE Quick Start Guide to Getting Organized.