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Thread: Frustrated by Fat Quarters

  1. #1
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    Frustrated by Fat Quarters

    I just finished cutting out my FQ throw.....thank God! I had so much trouble with the FQs. So many of them didn't have a selvedge and that made me question the grain of fabric. They where poorly cut and after squaring off there wasn't enough left for the layout. I used a pattern by Lynette Jensen and it looked so easy. Did I do something wrong? Should I quit and take up knitting? LOL.
    Families are like quilts, lives pieced together, stitched with smiles and tears, colored with memory and bound by love.

  2. #2
    Senior Member SlightlyOffQuilter's Avatar
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    Not all fat Quarters are equal ! I have had some that looked like they were cut by a 5 year old with ADD in the middle of a carnival ! If I am doing a pattern that says you can cut all the pieces from 1 FQ with not much left over ( sorta like a Swoon ) I ALWAYS , ALWAYS, buy 2 ! Because I KNOW, there is going to be a strange cut when I buy it, or Murphys Law says that I will cut something wrong LOL
    If you ever see a quilt without any flaws, rest assured that I did not make it ! http://slightlyoffquilter.com

  3. #3
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    Wow. I never heard of a fat quarter without one selvedge. That can't be right. Glad you persevered through it. But quit? Nah...

  4. #4
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    The selvedges can be hard to see sometimes, particularly on some batiks, homespuns, unusual fabrics. I run my fingernail along to see if I can loosen a thread if I can't eliminate a side. If you prewash, it gets more obvious.

    hugs,
    charlotte

  5. #5
    Super Member SueSew's Avatar
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    The only time I have seen an FQ without one selvedge is when I bought some hand dyed fabric at a quilt show. The sizes were way wacky because they were cut out of wider material.

    I did one quilt which was a pattern for fat quarters, and I had to supplement also, mainly because I worried about getting straight grain without worrying about how much I cut off the edges to get it!

    I learned my lesson and my next quilt - a 'scrappy' medallion - I bought LOTS of them and made sure to lay out every one, press it and measure it against my cutting board to see if I was going to come up short.
    SueSew
    "If it's messy, eat it over the sink!" Mom

  6. #6
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    Perfect straight of grain is important on clothes construction but not as necessary on quilt piecing. Obviously you don't want your pieces cut on the bias but I few threads off I don't worry about.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustAbitCrazy View Post
    Wow. I never heard of a fat quarter without one selvedge. That can't be right. Glad you persevered through it. But quit? Nah...
    Bought quite a few selvage-less FQ bundles from Ebay a few years back, before I had extra cash to spend more for very good quality LQS fabrics. I found 2 sellers were shipping out FQ's without selvages. The first shipment I didn't really look at as I didn't use it right away. Too late to send it back. The second shipment returned with the seller being very good about the refund, and no explanation why the selvages were cut off. I learned to check them before purchasing, and thankfully I haven't come across this problem in any quilt shop.

  8. #8
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    Perfect straight of grain is important on clothes construction but not as necessary on quilt piecing. Obviously you don't want your pieces cut on the bias but I few threads off I don't worry about.
    Oh, I am glad to read this!!

    Dina

  9. #9
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    You can always tell the straight of grain from the crosswise grain just by tugging on the fabric, too, if it has no selvage.

    If you pull and it has some give, that is the crosswise grain (or the grain that goes across the width of the fabric). If you pull and there is no give, that is the lengthwise grain (the grain that runs the length of the selvage). If you tug and it really has give, then that's the bias, with the true bias being at a 45-degree angle to the selvage.

  10. #10
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    I have come across lots of FQs that do not have a selvage. I have bought them from our LQS and reputable online sources that are well known. These FQs were cut from wide width fabric instead of the regular 42" -45" widths, thus some pieces may not have been an edge cut with the selvage.

    The precision in cutting will depend on the person/machine that does the cutting. We have seen many comments here on how precuts of all sizes can be the wrong measurement and they can come from fabric lines with a variety of prices.

    It can be 'luck of the draw' whether the FQs are the right size or wonky. I always "over buy" fabric so I don't come up short when doing a project. This covers not only poorly cut fabric at time of purchase but also any of my mistakes that I may make while working on the project.

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