What is a Fat Quarter

Craft Ideas Books, Quilting

I just answered an online question, what’s a Fat Quarter, and thought I should respond to it on the blog instead, as you all might be interested also.

Fat Quarters are typically used for quilting and patchwork. They are bundles of fabric that are pre-cut to size.

‘What size?’ you might ask? And this is where it gets technical for my audience who measuring standards vary between yards, meters, feet and stones.

The fat quarter is a US term based on a yard of fabric. Let me explain:

  • A yard of fabric is cut 36” long. Fabric width varies, but most cottons for quilting and patchwork are 42” – 44” wide.
  • A normal quarter yard of fabric is 9” long, and 42-44” wide.
  • Now, a fat quarter is the same 1/4 of a yard of fabric, but rather than being cut into one long strip of just 9”, it is cut more like a fat square, i.e. 18 x 21” or 18 x 22”.

And there’s your answer.

If you are a beginner in quilting or patchwork, just note that there are also smaller sized ‘nearly square’ fabrics sets for sale. Some of these are 8” x 22” other are 6.5 x  6.5” or even 5 x 5” squares.

Over the years, I have build up some fabric collections. Let me share my best designers and types of fabrics. I have four:


Her fabrics are gorgeous, be that by the yard, in fat quarters of by the square. Amy Butler fabrics are clearly my favorite.

Amy Butler Fat Quarter

Here’s a sample of her fat quarters fabric collections, which I quite like. (click on image to learn more). However, her most loved / famous collection is really the Amy Butler Soul Blossom Fabric Collection, which is in one word ‘beautiful’.

If you prefer to get an overview of the Amy Butler collection of other fabrics + books filled with gorgeous project patterns, then click this link. Well worth a look, both for fabrics and books!


Besides beautiful fabrics for grown-ups, Kaufman also has fun fabrics for kids: cupcakes, Dr. Seuss and tons more themed fabric collections.

Again, Kaufman also sells fabric by the yard. which is ideal so you can create a solid back to a quilted blanket top.

Kaufman Fat Quarters


Again, Moda also has the most beautiful fabrics, in pre-cut in fat quarters, such as this one:


or Moda, by the yard, or pre-cut in smaller squares. Can’t go wrong with Moda fabric.

Some Moda Fat Quarters are on the romantic side of the design scale. Most Moda fabrics are contemporary. All are happy!


Crafty Cuts have a range of brighter and bolder fabrics, and I love them, for their lower prices, as well as for some of their designs. Have a look at the fabrics from Crafty Cuts

And there you have it. My four favorite fabric designers. Of course, there’s plenty of solid colored fabric to be had and frankly, with so many busy and bold patterns around, I crave for some plain white at times, or bight blue, and make summer shoes…


diy ruffle shoes Now if you want a project or two to sew with any of these gorgeous fat quarters, here is our list of 88+ sewing projects, and growing…



Fun Ruffled Summer Shoes ~
How to Make Your Own

amy butler fabric


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