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How Big is a Fat Quarter of Fabric

Fat quarters are a popular choice among quilters, but how big is a fat quarter of fabric? When it comes to quilting, there are a lot of different fabrics to choose from. This post will explore the size and dimensions of a fat quarter.

Fat quarters are a popular cut of fabric sold at quilt shops, and online stores. They are a great way to sample a piece of fabric before purchasing a lot of yardages.

Additionally, if you like me, you can add to your fabric stash without having to by an entire yard of fabric. Which makes fat quarters a good inexpensive way to try out a fabric. You can even purchase fat quarter bundles at a fabric shop and increase your fabric collection rather quickly.

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How Big is a Fat Quarter of Fabric

So, what is the fat quarter size?

Fat quarters will vary in size depending on the width of the fabric that is used for the fat quarter. In general, they measure 18 x 22-inches when the fabric is cut by yards.

However, the area of the material for a single fat quarter is the same as the area of a standard quarter yard.

Often quilters find the shape easy to work with for scrap quilts, applique pieces, and accent pieces for quilt tops.

How wide is most cotton fabric?

The most common widths of cotton fabrics are 44/45 inches and 60 inches wide. While the width varies by the type of fabric, quilting cotton is most often found in bolts of 44/45” wide fabric. Fabric used for apparel can range between 44” and 60”, whereas home decor style fabric is normally 54”.

Dimensions of a Fat Quarter

How Many Fat Quarters are in a Yard of Fabric?

Each full yard of fabric can be cut into four fat quarters. The yard of fabric is cut in half. Then those two pieces are cut in half again. There are four fat quarters in a yard of fabric.

However, they will not be a square due to the size of the yard of fabric. They will be more of a rectangular shape.

They’re not quite square with each quarter being more of a rectangular shape.

What is the Difference Between a Fat Quarter and a Quarter Yard of Fabric?

In short, the layout of the fabric is the difference. They both are the same amount of fabric. A fat quarter and a regular quarter have exactly the same number of square inches.

Fat Quarter: 18 x 22 = 396 square inches

Quarter Yard: 9 x 44 = 396 square inches

What Can You Use Fat Quarters For?

The main difference is the different shapes of the fabric and what you can do with the sizes.

For instance, you can cut a 10-inch square from the fat quarter; however, you cannot cut one from a quarter yard. 

Therefore, use the regular quarter yard for cutting binding strips or other long strips to be cut into smaller squares to be sewn together.

Fat quarters are great for small and medium sized projects like quilts, handbags, and some clothing. Anything sewing projects where you would like to use a use a variety of fabrics on.

Dimensions of a Fat Quarter & Fat Eighth

Fat Quarter Versus Fat Eighth

Two of the more common precut fabric sizes are sold at quilt shops, fat quarters and fat eighths. Quilters often find these sizes provide versatility for cutting pieces and squares more than the traditional 1⁄4-yard and 1⁄8-yard cuts.

Fat Quarter

A fat quarter size will depend on the width of the bolt of fabric. For this example, we will use the most common size for a yard of cotton fabric which is 36 X 44-inches. A fat quarter is 18 X 22 inches.  

Fat Eighth

A fat eighth is cut from a fat quarter; you will get two fat eights per fat quarter. Cutting this fabric lengthwise will give you a fat eighth that is 9 inches long x 22 inches wide. Cutting them widthwise will give you a fat eighth measuring 18 inches long x 11 inches wide.

Sampling Fabric pre-cut fabric stacks

Other Pre-Cut Fabric Sizes

Along with fat quarters and fat eights, there are other pre-cut fabric sizes for quilting fabrics to help make fabric crafts easier. There are so many simple patterns, sampler quilts, even hard and intricate patterns that use precut fabric sizes. These are great for a beginner or someone who wants to save a bit of time. Here are a few to consider for your next project.

Charm packs. CharmSquares measure 5 X 5-inches. Generally, these charm packs will contain 42 squares. They are perfect for the smaller baby quilts and other smaller projects.

Jelly rolls. Strips measuring 2.5-inches wide. The length will depend on the width of the bolt of fabric it was cut from. Use these for binding and squares made of strips of fabric.

Layer cakes. Generally, these are 10 X 10-inch squares. Perfect for small quilting projects, placemats, or even pillows.

Mini charm packs. Small squares 2.5 X 2.5-inches. These small squares can be joined in a wide variety of ways to create mini projects. Or join the smaller squares to make larger squares for a larger project. There are about 42 squares in each mini charm pack.      

Fabric Stash pastel samples

Buying fat quarters and other pre-cut fabric is a perfect way to try fabrics from different fabric manufacturers or to buy different patterns. A fat quarter of fabric is an easy way to build a wide assortment of various colors and patterns in your fabric collection.

Find more sewing and quilting tips and patterns.

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