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Thread: cutting fat quarters

  1. #1
    Super Member Celeste's Avatar
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    I just bought and washed a bunch of fat quarters. MOST are from a quilt store, some are from a fabric store. (I'm keeping them separate.)

    My problem is that since I did not pay attention to how they were originally folded, I'm not sure how to refold them then CUT into strips. ':oops:'

    If they have that white selvage strip, do I fold that the long way(touching the other side), or face to face- touching itself?
    (I sincerely hope I am making sense!)':cry:'

    Face to face seems to me to be the only way I can tell if I'm folding or cutting straight. (on the grain, or whatever it's called.)
    Please help!

    Thank You!

  2. #2
    joy
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    One selvedge edge touches the other.... that is the width of the material.

  3. #3

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    Joy you are a Joy,

  4. #4
    Sis
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    Celeste,
    If it has a white selvage strip or if the edge is uncut, then fold it over to the opposite side of the fabric that looks the same. This will make a fold that lays the length of the fabric. Usually the cut ends will ravel and the selvage edges won't.
    (After you cut the appropriate width strip, the selvage edge is cut off the strip as it tends to distort/pull up the edge).
    I hope this helps and doesn't confuse you more.

    Sis

  5. #5
    Super Member Celeste's Avatar
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    I think I got it! Thank You!

  6. #6
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    Hey Celeste,
    I've been waiting to see if anyone would ask.....they didn't! So, umm, uh, why you keeping the FQs separated? Are you doing a test or something? Are they all cotton? Are they separated by color or by purchase?

    Being nosy is 2nd nature when it come to quilting, for me anyway. lol lol
    Sharon

  7. #7
    Super Member Celeste's Avatar
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    Hi nosy Sharon!

    I guess you could say it is a test. Although I haven't done much quilting, I have done some reading, and talked with my mom who has done a lot of reading and a little more quilting. Apparently there is a difference in the quality of material- quilt stores having the best quality.

    So, I thought I'd sort of test it out and makes ones I REALLY care about out of the quilt store fabric and others out of the less expensive type.

    By the way, me? I'm never nosy, but always curious!

    Ever hear of the saying "Curiosity killed the cat"? If I was a cat, I'd have been dead a long time ago!

  8. #8
    Norah's Avatar
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    Celeste, sounds good to me :wink:

  9. #9

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    Celeste, be sure when you fold your fabric from edge to edge that it lies flat. You'll have to trim one end before you start cutting but then you know you are cutting on the grain. After I've washed a large piece of fabric I always hold it up and fold it selvedge to selvedge and move the fabric back and forth until it hangs straight and then fold in half again and trim one end and then start cutting into strips.

  10. #10
    Suz
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    Celeste,

    Yes, selvedge to selvedge. Be consistent with all of your folding. If the slevedge is missing, stretch the fabric east and west, then north to south. You will see the difference in the stretch. East/west will stretch more. Sewing a strip from an east/west cut to a north/south cut can cause some aggrevation.

    SOOOO, if you are cutting strips for a log cabin quilt or for four patches strips, make sure your fabrics are all cut from the same direction. If consistently folded you will not need to test for the stretch.

    Good luck. Suzanne

  11. #11
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celeste
    Hi nosy Sharon!

    I guess you could say it is a test. Although I haven't done much quilting, I have done some reading, and talked with my mom who has done a lot of reading and a little more quilting. Apparently there is a difference in the quality of material- quilt stores having the best quality.

    So, I thought I'd sort of test it out and makes ones I REALLY care about out of the quilt store fabric and others out of the less expensive type.

    By the way, me? I'm never nosy, but always curious!

    Ever hear of the saying "Curiosity killed the cat"? If I was a cat, I'd have been dead a long time ago!
    Yeah, Curious Sharon, that sounds way better than nosey Sharon!! Means the same, but hey, I'll take relief wherever I can get it! lmbo

    Thanks for 'splaining. Thought it was likely that reason, but could have been colors. I learned after buying and paying top dollarsssss in a nice quilt shop to stretch test my fabrics and to not believe what is on the cardboard it's wrapped on. It wasn't what it said on there, but the stretch test would have told me that if I hadn't trusted so easily!

    Happy Quilting, do let us know your results, k? Curiousity may kill this old cat yet!!

  12. #12
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    PS, I have a really good friend that works in a fabric store/quilting store, she said when they have new fabrics come in that are soft folded they will always put them on old empty cardboards. That there is no label to afix to the cardboard for the new fabric and they often try to tear of the old label but it doesn't always work.

    Now, they are an honest group of folks. What do you think the less honest would likely do????

  13. #13
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    i am new what is fat quarters thanks dorothy from tenn

  14. #14
    Super Member Yvonne's Avatar
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    A fat quarter is a quarter of a yard of fabric. They cut the yard in half and in half again making *fat* squares as opposed to cutting across the width of the fabric and making long, skinny quarter of a yard. You usually find these fat squares rolled up and tied in the quilt stores. JoAnn's folds theirs. Sometimes you can buy a group of fat quarters that 'go together'. It's just another way for us to spend our $$ and add to the stash! Me I want the WHOLE yard! :lol:

  15. #15
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    I don't mean to confuse the issue, but I was told:

    A Fat quarter is essentially a half yard of fabric, split at the fold. Thus you have 18 inches in length, but 22 inches in width. So when you press the fabric you will be folding the selvege edge to the center (fold) cut before cutting.

    I also prefer to wuy a whole yard and keep the remainder for another quilt at another time....or for making pot holders, etc.

    Please correct me if this is incorrect. A long-time hand quilter gave me this information and I was sure she knew what she was talking about. She could be wrong, I could be wrong and now we are all confused.

  16. #16
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    Hey June,
    You heard correctly, it's 18 X 22 with one edge usually being a selvedge. So my ladies at the local Hancock's tell me anyway!!


    :wink:

  17. #17
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    which - to be annoyingly picky and precise - is one quarter of the yard. (one half yard cut in half again.)
    :wink:

  18. #18
    Norah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatriceJ
    which - to be annoyingly picky and precise - is one quarter of the yard. (one half yard cut in half again.)
    :wink:
    But you are also always there, usually right, and most often have an opinion, not to mention you're plum cute. :-o

  19. #19
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    i knew there was a reason i liked you. LOL

    thanks. you have made my day. :D

  20. #20
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    How't this for the technical definition? I agree it is equal to 1/4 yard of cut fabric, but the measurements are cut in order to give you more length to work with. I have always thought this was strange. But then, I don't have to buy them if I don't like them, right?


    " cut piece of fabric which is made by cutting a half yard in half again vertically. The piece is therefore approximately 18" x 22". This allows for cutting larger blocks than a standard quarter yard which is 9" x 44".
    quilting.about.com/library/0lib/bl0_quiltterms.htm - Definition in context
    -

  21. #21
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    Here we go round the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush................remember that song? Lots of repeating of the lines, that's what we've all been doing, saying the same things in different ways. lol lol

    Tactile, verbal, hammered in.............been there??
    lol lol

  22. #22
    Norah's Avatar
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    Jim's definition of a fat quarter..........five nickels stacked one on top of the other.

  23. #23
    Super Member Yvonne's Avatar
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    That's the best definition yet, Norah!

  24. #24
    Boo
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    June, you did well. A fat quarter is exactly the way you said. I also used to buy at least a yard, but now that I have found so many quilts I can make using fat quarters, this way I can afford to buy an entire collection from a new fabric line. If you saw the Chocolat quilt, you can see this is one that used an entire line. Fat quarters are still just $2 a piece at my local shop, but sometimes she will put up the whole collection a bit cheaper. As it is now for every 10 FQ's bought you get one free. So you can see why I started my fat quarter collection. :lol:

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