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Thread: Frustrated by Fat Quarters

  1. #26
    pw6
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    I don't use them for that reason.. buy 1/4th yard cuts, you will be happier.. and the quality is not there either.

  2. #27
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    My first quilt teacher taught me to pull the fabric sharply. If it makes a "thwack" sound, it on the straight grain of the fabric. If it makes a "thud" sound, it on the cross grain. Works every time.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlightlyOffQuilter View Post
    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
    I love your description of the five year old cutter ... got a wonderful visual image! Anyway, if I am buying for a specific project I generally buy 2 if the pattern says 1 will suffice. I will also open up fat quarters at new stores (new to me) or at quilt shows and check them before I purchase them. I had one vendor tell me I couldn't do that because it messed them up. I said ok and left the stack of 20 that I had selected. I think she got upset when I had already found several that were poorly cut and other customers were noticing. Oh, well,....

  4. #29
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    I am probably in the minority, but I seldom buy fat quarters, I'd rather just buy 1/2 yard and then I'm absolutely sure that I will have enough for that particular project, and any extra goes into my scrap basket.

  5. #30
    Super Member wildyard's Avatar
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    I am happy when my FQs don't have selvedges, that means a little more fabric to use and not have to trim away! I, too, am not concerned if my fabric is a little off grain when I am cutting a piece or two. Perhaps being a scrapper is partly why. Sometimes you just have to get that bit where you can. I do NOT do anything to distort the grain, tho, I just use it as is, so there is no reason for it to "change" when it gets washed.
    The only time I am concerned about having the fabric grain is when folding and cutting the strips for borders, binding, strip piecing, etc.
    Linda Wedge White

    I believe UFOs are like scraps, ferns and dust bunnies. Once you get two, they send spores out into the air and more just happen anywhere the spores meet.

  6. #31
    Super Member Marysewfun's Avatar
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    Another thing that can throw your fat quarters off is washing the fabric. I have unfolded them from the store and they look great - I always wash all my fabrics before using and sometimes when they come out of the dryer they don't look the same way they did when they went in. I make dolls and clothes so it isn't so critical for me.

    Marysewfun
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    Have a great day!

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marysewfun View Post
    Another thing that can throw your fat quarters off is washing the fabric. I have unfolded them from the store and they look great - I always wash all my fabrics before using and sometimes when they come out of the dryer they don't look the same way they did when they went in. I make dolls and clothes so it isn't so critical for me.

    Marysewfun
    Washing lets fabric revert to its natural / normal state. Whatever that might be.

    I have learned to not try to straighten fabric after it has been washed. It just pulls back to what it wants to do.

  8. #33
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    I pick up fabric at resale stores and sometimes for whatever reason there is not a salvage. I just tug gently on the fabric and it's easy to tell the grain by how much "give" it has.

  9. #34
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    This where KNOWING your quilt store comes into play. My fat quarters are always perfect, with one selvage showing, and cut correctly. If I purchase a fat quarter from an "unknown" establishment, I actually open it up (it's legal!) to SEE what I'm buying.
    Sewing With Passion!

  10. #35
    Super Member AnnT's Avatar
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    Since some fat quarters are actually less than the 18 x 22 anymore, I'm seeing fat quarters without selvages.
    Take time to recharge your batteries. Itís hard to see where youíre going when your lights are dim. Robert H. Connelly

  11. #36
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    Also, more frequently these days, I have noticed the fabric width has gone down from 44-45 inches down to 42-43 inches, so that may have an effect on the 22-inch width also if the shops are cutting right down the middle.

    I don't know, but I have always preferred half-yard cuts to fat quarters. I just find it is more usable for me. I feel like I am buying a scrap when I buy a FQ.

  12. #37
    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    I guess I never thought about the selvedge edge being missing from precuts, because I remembered from a junior high school 'Home Economics' class that you could find the straight of grain in small pieces of fabric, if you remember that woven fabric has some 'give' across the grain but almost none on the straight of grain. I just do this automatically when I have an piece that is no longer yardage, before I cut. Doing this will also make it easier to piece because all of the stretchiness will be one direction on any quilt made with right angles, so I get more accuracy. My corners are not always perfect, but at least I know I have done all I can to get it that way. Lol!
    If you always do, what you have always done, The results never change. Change is the wings you give yourself.

  13. #38
    Senior Member kathyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dina View Post
    Oh, I am glad to read this!!

    Dina
    I agree.
    The problem could also be from not good quality fabric. But then I am a fabric snob when it comes to buying fabric. For as much time as I put into making a quilt I want the best fabric I can afford.

  14. #39
    Senior Member shirleyd's Avatar
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    I'm always learning from this board! Interesting information on fat quarters that I've never given much thought. Thanks for posting.
    ShirleyD

  15. #40
    Junior Member M cubed's Avatar
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    I don't buy FQs very often for piecing, but for applique. When I wash them, I have to worry about shrinkage - and some fabrics shrink a lot! I couldn't depend on the amount of fabric available if I used FQs. I prefer to buy yardage for piecing.

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