fat quarter size with a pile of fabric

Easy Fat Quarter Size Guide For Your Sewing Projects


If you are just beginning to quilt or sew, one term you’ll come across is “fat quarter.” It’s a term that you might overhear at a fabric shop or you will see it as pre-cut fabrics in a store. So let’s explain fat quarter size so you have an easy guide. 

 A fat quarter is actually a specific piece of fabric that measures 18 inches by 22 inches. This is a beloved cut because it’s a manageable size that’s perfect for a variety of projects, be it quilting squares, patchwork, or smaller projects where you don’t need a half yard of fabric.

Think of fat quarters as the Swiss Army knife in your fabric stash. They’re versatile enough to be transformed into a plethora of delightful creations.

The size makes them ideal for those times you want to experiment with prints without the commitment of buying yardage.

Plus, with fat quarters being relatively uniform, they stack and a great way to store easily, causing minimal chaos in your crafting area.

Navigating through fabric selections can be overwhelming, but once you’ve got your hands on a fat quarter, the potential projects seem endless.

Whether you plan to create plush quilts, stylish tote bags, or charming baby clothes, the fat quarter is often your starting block. 

Its size is especially perfect for quilting, letting you mix and match cuts of fabric without wastage, ensuring that each piece you sew has its own unique flair.

They actually make quilting fabrics from a fat quarter of fabric that are color coordinated and pre-cut. 

Fat Quarter Size

Photo Credit: canva.com

When you get your hands on a fat quarter, you’re holding a quilting staple that is a must-have for patchwork and small sewing projects.

It’s larger than a regular quarter-yard cut straight from the bolt, offering more versatility and creative potential. They are perfect for creating a quilt top.

Standard Size and Dimensions

A fat quarter comes from cutting a half-yard of fabric, which is typically 18 inches by the width of the fabric, and then slicing it in half along the fold. This gives you a piece approximately:

  • Height: 18 inches
  • Width: 22 inches (for typical 44-inch wide fabric)

American vs. International Dimensions

When comparing dimensions, it’s important to note that an American fat quarter is usually cut from fabric that’s 44 inches wide, whereas fabric width can vary internationally. Here are the specifics:

  • American Fat Quarter:
    • Height: 18 inches
    • Width: 22 inches
  • International Fat Quarter (mostly UK):
    • Height: 50 centimeters (approx. 19.7 inches)
    • Width: 56 centimeters (approx. 22 inches; based on 112-centimeter wide fabric)

In comparison, a fat eighth is half the size of a fat quarter, and a quarter of a yard is a straight cut measuring 9 inches by the width of the fabric. A fat quarter metre refers to a cut based on a meter of fabric rather than a yard and is typically slightly larger due to the longer length of a meter (39 inches) compared to a yard (36 inches).

Where To Buy Fat Quarters

Photo Credit: Canva.com

See Best Fat Quarter Deals On Amazon

When you’re on the hunt for fat quarters, you’ve got two main avenues: heading to your favorite quilt shops or finding the perfect piece online. It’s all about variety and convenience, so choose what works best for your quilting game.

Fabric Store Options

At your local fabric store or quilt shop, you can get hands-on with the latest fabric collections. Here, you can feel the texture, play with color combinations, and pick out precut fabrics on the spot.

  • Check for Sales: Local shops often mark down older collections to make room for new stock.
  • Inquire About Bundles: Some stores bundle fat quarters by theme or color, which is great for coordinated projects.

Online Purchases

Online stores open up a multitude of options right at your fingertips. No need to leave the house; you can shop different retailers and even score unique patterns that your local spot might not carry.

  • Watch for Deals: Sign up for newsletters to catch flash sales or exclusive offers.

Remember, when shopping online, always consider shipping costs and return policies to avoid any surprises. That is one reason why we love buying the type of fabric we are searching for from Amazon and Etsy. Happy fabric hunting!

Fat Quarter Projects

When you get your hands on a fat quarter, you’re holding a versatile piece of fabric that’s ideal for an array of crafting adventures.

Each fat quarter gives you enough material to make something beautiful without the commitment to a larger project.

Quilting Projects

You can create stunning quilting patterns with fat quarters. They’re especially handy if you’re after a scrappy look or need an assortment of prints and colors.

  • Number of Fat Quarters for Quilts:
    • Baby quilt: 5-12 fat quarters
    • Larger quilts: May require 20+ fat quarters

Each fat quarter measures roughly 18″ x 22″, perfect for cutting smaller squares and triangles without waste. Mix and match to amp up your quilt’s visual appeal. Make sure and check out our free downloadable quilt patterns.

Sewing Small Items

Your sewing projects can be diverse and creative when using just a single fat quarter or more. Fat quarters are ideal for:

For these smaller items, the size of a fat quarter means you can often cut the entire pattern piece out of one single piece, maintaining pattern continuity.

Remember, each project might need a different amount of fabric, so always plan accordingly before cutting into your fat quarters.

With a stack of fat quarters, your sewing and quilting projects can come to life with a delightful array of colors and patterns, all manageable in size but endless in possibility.

Fat Quarter Varieties and Alternatives

Exploring the world of fabric can be thrilling, especially when you realize how many varieties and alternatives there are to the classic fat quarter.

Whether you’re aiming to create a sampler quilt or looking to mix up patterns and textures, these options can elevate your sewing project.

Specialty Precut

What is WOF in quilting
Photo Credit: Amazon.com

Jelly Rolls: You’ve probably seen these – they are collections of 2.5″ wide x 44″ long strips of fabric rolled up. Ideal for strip quilting, these save you time on cutting and allow for an array of coordinated patterns.

Layer Cakes: Like a sweet treat for your sewing, layer cakes are 10″ squares of fabric. They offer more material than charm squares, perfect for larger patchwork.

Charm Squares and Mini Charm Packs: Charm squares, typically 5″ specialty cuts square, provide a variety of patterns from a single line of fabric. The smaller cousins, mini charm packs, are 2.5″ squares that can be used for small accents or intricate pieces like in sampler quilts.

Table of Specialty Precuts:

PrecutSizeBest for
Jelly Rolls2.5″ x 44″Strip quilting, coordinated looks
Layer Cakes10″ squaresLarge patchwork
Charm Squares5″ squaresVariety in a single project
Mini Charms2.5″ squaresSmall accents, detailed work
Photo Credit:Nanasewing.com

Mix and Match

It’s all about the combinations when you mix and match. Going beyond single fabric collections, you can create unique looks.

Fat Quarter Bundles: These are handpicked selections that blend different patterns and fabric lines. They take the guesswork out of mixing patterns and are perfect if you’re looking to make a sampler quilt with a modern twist.

Variety of Fabrics: The beauty of mixing and matching lies in the variety. You can combine solids with prints, cotton with batiks, or incorporate different textures to add interest to your project.

Tips for Mixing and Matching:

  • Balance bold patterns with subtle prints or solids.
  • Contrast your colors for a dynamic effect.
  • Coordinate color schemes to maintain a cohesive look.
  • Sample small pieces before committing to the full quilt layout.

By exploring these varieties and alternatives to traditional fat quarters, you’ll not only expand your fabric stash but also your quilting horizons.

Fat Quarter Resources

How Many Fat Quarters In A Yard

How big is a fat quarter

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