What is a Fat Quarter?

For those of you wondering what “fat quarters” are, this post is for you.  Here is what they look like.  You may have seen them at the quilt shop.

A fat quarter is a 1/4 yard of fabric. Its dimensions are 18 x 22″.   


What makes this cut of fabric “fat,” is how it is cut.  Normally, if you ask for quarter-yard cut of fabric off the bolt, you will get a piece of fabric measuring 9 x 45″.   

Instead, a fat quarter is made by taking 1/2 yard of fabric (18 x 45″) and cutting it in half width-wise.  Both are technically 1/4 yard cuts of fabric, but fat quarters are generally preferred because you can get more out of it.

For example, let’s say I am cutting 5″ blocks for a project.  From a traditional 1/4 yard of fabric, I will only be able to get nine squares maximum from it.  From a fat quarter, I will get twelve.  That’s more blocks for my money.

Oh how I love fat quarters.  They are little bundles of happiness. 


  1. Victoria Paige @ Boutique Uniquely

    July 6, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    I love FQs too. Thanks for this explanation 🙂

  2. Anonymous

    July 8, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    I have been wasting so much material. So happy you posted this.

  3. Liz

    July 21, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Thank you so much for this fabulous tutorial! My grandmother barely started a guilt (her first) but was unable to finish it and gave me the material. I'm going to follow along and finish it up! Looking forward to the next step! 🙂

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