Get the Most Out of Your Fat Quarter Collection
Use Your Fat Quarter Efficiently
Fat quarters are an incredibly versatile way to buy quilting fabric. While selecting single fat quarters in your favorite colors is fun, purchasing curated bundles (aff link) is so much more inspiring. All those coordinated fabrics presented together look fabulous and so alluring. But do you know how to cut a fat quarter for quilting?
Fat quarters are a fantastic way to buy quilting fabric. Seeing them bundled up & tied with a bow makes them so hard to resist. Keep in mind though, they are meant to be quilted with and not just collected. Discovering how to cut my fat quarters into versatile fabric cuts for multiple projects has been a game changer for me. Now I’m much more apt to use them.
It’s important to take inspiration from the fabric you purchase and use them in your quilts. I promise they aren’t intended as decorative elements for your sewing room. So, what do you do with an abundance of fat quarters filling up your stash?
Use them of course! What’s harder for you to do? Untying that perfect little bundle or actually cutting up a fat quarter? With a good plan to put those gorgeous fabrics to use, you’ll be able to stack up your fat quarters and begin cutting sooner than you might think.
Easily Cut Fat Quarters into Usable Precuts
How To Cut a Fat Quarter for Quilting
My sewing room is filled with lots of beautiful fat quarters, and I needed a way to easily use them. Since I do a lot of patchwork style quilts, having plenty of precuts available is wonderful inspiration for me. Even better is having all that fabric cut into the right sizes that I can put to use right away.
Fat quarter bundles (aff link) are a great resource because there’s enough fabric to use and make an impact in your quilt design. Yet there aren’t any patterns that use an uncut fat quarter just as it is. Cutting fat quarters means potentially losing the integrity of the fabric once it’s in smaller pieces. So how do you keep it intact but also cut it into precut sizes?
Cut Fat Quarters into Your Most Commonly Used Block and Strip Sizes
The method I use to cut fat quarters gives me multiple quilting options. A lot of my quilts have varying size blocks mixed together. The bigger cut pieces look great showcased when mixed with lots of different fabrics. Long strips are perfect for making strip pieced blocks, smaller patchwork squares, borders or even bindings. But the 5-inch square is one of my favorite precuts and I always make sure there are plenty available for a quick quilt.
Best Way to Cut a Fat Quarter
Recommended Quilt Cutting Supply List:
Keeping those sizes in mind is exactly how I cut my fat quarters. With a stack of six fat quarters on my cutting mat and a sharp rotary blade it’s time to cut. Starting at the selvage side of the fabric, I cut from side to side creating a 10” x 22” block. Note: The 22” width will vary depending on the manufacturer and original width of fabric. The remaining 8” x 22” piece is set aside to be used for patterns with larger blocks that showcase focal fabrics. Now I can enjoy seeing my favorite fabrics used in bigger pieces in my quilts.
The remaining piece is trimmed down along the selvage edge to measure 10” x 20”. The narrow strip that’s cut away will vary in size depending on your fabric. These pieces can be used in scrap or strip piecing, small patchwork blocks for borders or accents, and even in bindings if wide enough.
Now it’s time to make a decision. Do you want eight 5-in squares or two 10-inch squares? Both are very versatile and can be cut from the 10” x 20” fabric. You may even decide on a combination of both sizes. Whatever option you choose, you’ll now have a varied selection of precut fabrics ready when you need them. Depending on the size of your fat quarter stash, you may just find a treasure trove of fabric at your fingertips!
Best Guide for Cutting Fat Quarters into Precuts
Fat Quarter Cutting Chart Download
The free printable Fat Quarter Cutting Chart includes 4 pages of cutting layouts and fabric guides to help you determine what is best for you. The 5-inch charm squares have become my recent favorite quilting precut and there’s a layout for cutting your fat quarter into all charm squares. They are very easy to quilt with and have so many design possibilities.
Consider that cutting 12 different fat quarters into 8 charm squares each will give you ninety-six 5-inch squares. That’s equal to more than two charm packs. Now take a look a how many fat quarters you have and imagine all the quilting possibilities just waiting for you. Let your imagination inspire you to use your fat quarters and make more beautiful quilts!