The Skinny on Fat Quarters


The Basics of a Fat Quarter

Fat quarter’s are fun to collect, trade and give as gifts. They can be purchased in pretty matching bundles or as individual little treats. A fat quarter is half a yard of fabric cut apart on the fold to make a ¼ yard. This creates a fat piece of fabric as opposed to a long skinny one. A standard ¼ yard is 9” by the width of the fabric.

Fat Quarter Measurements

A yard is 36 inches and most quilting cottons are 45” wide (including the selvage edge).   This means the standard measurement for a fat ¼ is 18” x 22” as we do not count the selvage. Some fabrics are narrower than 45”, making the fat ¼ narrower. A 42” wide quilting cotton will yield a fat ¼ that is 18” x 20 ½.

As with yardage, when calculating how much fabric to purchase for your project you must consider the fact that you will need to straighten an edge of your fat ¼ to ensure that your pieces are cut with the grain of the fabric.  It is essential to take trim room into account.  Here is a basic, easy to follow guide of what you can expect to be able to cut from one fat ¼.

80                         2 ” squares
56                         2 ½” squares
35                         3” squares
30                         3 ½” squares
20                         4” squares
16                         4 ½” squares
12                         5” squares
9                           5 ½”  squares
6                           6 ½” squares
4                           7, 7 ½”, 8”, 8 ½” squares
2                            9” squares

For half square triangles, take the finished side of your desired square and add 7/8”.  Then you can compare this to the above chart to see how many pieces you will get.

For example, if you are making 4 inch (finished) half square triangles, you will cut your pieces 4 and 7/8”.  Compared to the above chart the measurement that is closest to 4 and 7/8” is 5”. Therefore you will get 12 squares from your fat quarter.

If you are making quarter square triangles you will add 1 ¼” to your finished size. If you are making 4 inch (finished) quarter square triangles you would cut your pieces 5 ¼”.  When comparing this to the chart, this means you would get 9 squares for your quarter square triangle units.

Check out my video posted on our Facebook page.  Here you will see me demo cutting fat quarters!

Choosing Fat Quarters

Star bundles or fat quarter bundles are very popular and offer a great selection to the new quilter or the fat quarter collector. You can also choose fat quarters by looking at selections of prints or colours.  Come in and check out our new bright colours for summer and our deep, rich tones for the fall.  Christmas fabrics are also arriving daily.

starbundles starbundle2

Fat Quarter Patterns and Books

Two new Fat Quarter books have just arrived at Snip and Stitch! Simply Fat Quarters includes 10 fat quarter quilts that can each be made in four sizes: crib, lap, twin and king. With a variety of styles and genres, there is something for everyone. This book is perfect for quilters of all skill levels. All are suitable for a confident beginner, yet will have appeal to quilters of any experience level.


Fat Quarter Quickies helps you discover the versatility of fat quarters with 11 quick and easy projects.  The popular author Kathy Brown presents an irresistible collection of quick and easy to make quilts.  This book will help you to learn how to efficiently cut fat quarters for any quilt pattern.  This is a must read!


The Yellow Brick Road pattern is an incredibly popular pattern (used in one of our beginners classes) that brings together the simplicity of using fat quarters and the visual charm of a complex looking quilt. This easy to follow pattern allows the creator to design quilts of various sizes.

image[3] yellowbrickrd

Don’t miss our next Fat Quarter Frenzy sales! Saturday July 20, August 17, and September 21.  The more you buy the more you save!


Come see me at Snip and Stitch for a demo or to have any further Fat ¼ questions answered!

Happy Quilting!


*book descriptions highlight some points taken from



  1. […] Fat Quarter: A cut piece of fabric which is made by cutting a half yard of fabric in half vertically. The piece is therefore approximately 18″ x 22″.This allows for cutting larger squares or pieces than a standard quarter yard which is 9″ x 44″. Buying Fat ¼’s is a wonderful way to collect fabric for Scrap Quilts. See previous Blog entry June 2013 […]

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