What is a Fat Quarter?
A fat quarter is the same amount of fabric as a quarter yard of fabric. The difference between a fat quarter and a quarter yard of fabric is the shape.
First let's start with a yard of fabric. Most quilting fabric is about 45″ wide. A yard of fabric is 36″ x 45″. If we cut that yard into quarters you would have 4 pieces each 9″ x 45″.
How to Fold A Fat Quarter
This 60 second video shows how to fold a fat quarter to a size of about 6-1/2″ x 4″. It will not come unfolded until you want it unfolded.
Since this method of folding keeps the fat quarter folded, the fabric is easy to store. Store them in rows in a drawer or bin and you can see the variety of fabric at a glance. Look for containers that are about 5″ tall. Take a few folded pieces to the office supply store and you are sure to find just the right container for your studio.
Because fat quarters are considered pre-cuts, they are widely available individually or in large or small sets. Fabric manufacturers often sell pre-cuts as a set for fabric collections. Quilt shops sometimes cut yardage into fat quarters to help move the inventory and provide customers with the fabric variety they want without breaking the bank.
Check out the large variety of pre-cuts at the Fat Quarter Shop.
In summary, fat quarters:
- give quilters a larger variety of fabric
- provide quilters with a more manageable cut of fabric
- are widely available and often marked down in price
- have a multitude of patterns and books written just for them.