Fat Quarters are pieces of fabric that have been cut from a Whole Yard of fabric cut into quarters. Or, a Half Yard, cut in half cut on the straight of the grain, making it Quarter Yard. A regular Quarter Yard would be cut 9" x 42" or the Width of Fabric (WOF), making it a long, skinny length of fabric. A Fat Quarter is cut 18" x 21", a quarter of a whole yard, or a half of a half yard. This large rectangle is more useful for quiltmaking, especially if cutting pieces larger than 9".
Benefits of Fat Quarters
Many quilters find Fat Quarters more useful than a regular Quarter Yard cut.
They can cut quilt block components larger than 9".
Fat Quarters are easier to wash with less tangling than a regular quarter yard
Fat Quarters are easy to fold and stack in a collection. Many quilt shops and manufacturers sell Fat Quarters in bundles, often of an entire line of fabric, making it possible to have a piece of each fabric in the collection.
Quilters who like to make "scrap" quilters or quilts with a wide variety of fabric like to buy Fat Quarters to create a working "stash".
Quilt Designers have books and patterns for Fat Quarters and other PreCut fabrics.
Supplies and Tools for Fat Quarters
Fat Quarters are available at quilt shops and online retailers, sold individually or in bundles with a variety of prints in the bundle.
What I Wish I Knew When I Started using Fat Quarters
That is is OK to open a bundle of Fat Quarters and USE them. Many quilters take a lovely bundle home and then don't want to open the bundle or mix them up with other fabrics.