Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fat Cats and Quarters

Fat Cats and Quarters

This week, I’m thinking a lot about fat. I know this is not a nutrition blog, but that’s not the kind of fat I was thinking of. I began my musings while listening to the news. It’s kind of hard to escape from, here recently. There has been much discussion about those “fat cats on Wall Street” who got us into the current big mess, and who should certainly receive their comeuppance! We could muse on this subject all day, but I will leave that to other bloggers of a more feisty nature.

Hearing “fat” juxtaposed with money led me to my next fat thought – fat quarters! Are these bloated coins that are desperately trying to keep up with the price of gas? Unfortunately, no. But don’t despair! Fat quarters are indeed anxious to help out a financially thoughtful quilter. Quilting fabric, as most fabric in the US, is sold by the yard. A yard is 36 inches long, so a quarter of a yard is 9 inches long. Most quilting fabrics are 44 or 45 inches wide. Therefore, a quarter yard cut will result in a piece of fabric measuring 9 X 44 inches.

Now granted, quilters often cut their fabric into inconceivably small pieces in order to sew them back together (we’ll discuss the rationality of this process another day…), but sometimes a 9 inch width may put you in a bind. (Not to be confused with binding, which we also discuss another day…). However, you may be loath to purchase a half-yard, and end up with much leftover fabric, which is not a fiscally responsible thing to do at all! Never fear – fat quarters to the rescue!!

A fat quarter is a half yard, or 18 inch cut, which has been cut apart at the fold, resulting in two 18 X 22 inch pieces. When you buy a fat quarter, you have the same number of total square inches as you would if you bought a quarter yard, only the rectangle is a completely different shape. Oftentimes this facilitates cutting pattern pieces in a more efficient way. Many patterns are designed to use fat quarters for this reason.

At Seaside Quilting supplies, we have a large selection of fat quarter packs available. We will gladly customize a fat quarter pack for you from any fabrics you see on the site. So whether you are a fat cat or a miser, consider using fat quarters in your quilting or crafting.

"Next week's quiz: What are the dimensions of a fat eighth?"

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