Fat Quarter

If you are a quilter, you may already be familiar with this term and the benefits of using fat quarters. However, if you're unfamiliar with quilting, you may not know how much fabric you need when you see "fat quarter" listed in a project's materials list.

When you purchase fabric off a bolt, it is generally folded in half with the selvage edges matching. A 1/4 yard cut of fabric is a 9-inch-wide strip cut across the width of the fabric (usually 44 inches wide, for cotton quilting fabrics). A 1/4 yard cut typically measures 9 x 44 inches. A fat quarter of fabric is made by cutting an 18-inch-wide strip across the width of the fabric, and then cutting the strip in half again, but this time along the fold to yield two fat quarter pieces, each 18 x 22 inches.

Depending on what you're making, it might be more advantageous to purchase fat quarters, rather than traditional yardage cuts for your project. Some benefits of fat quarters include:

The ability to cut pieces up to 18 inches long, rather than only 9 inches long
Fat quarters are often packaged together with coordinates from the same fabric line, making it easy to select a group of fabrics that go with each other.