Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 40

Thread: Frustrated by Fat Quarters

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Southern Illinois
    Posts
    302

    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
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Somewhere Out There
    Posts
    378
    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
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    2,376
    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
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    541
    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
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Nawth o' Boston
    Posts
    1,870
    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
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    29,661
    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
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    1,807
    Blog Entries
    1
    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
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    5,045
    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
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Freeport, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    148
    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
    Super Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,379
    Blog Entries
    1
    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.

  11. #11
    Super Member Billi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    3,817
    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! LOL
    Nice visual, I had no idea you found some of my stash. I'm trying to get better :-) hahaha
    Billi
    It's never too late to have a happy childhood

  12. #12
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,197
    Makes me wonder if the seller didn't cut off the selvages before cutting the FQs to do those selvage projects.

  13. #13
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    3,141
    I learned with my last FQ bundle that all FQs aren't the same. Now I get at least 1/2 yard of coordinating fabric. It helped make up for the smaller FQ's hidden by the folds of the bundle.

  14. #14
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    19,379
    Sometimes a seller will cut around a flaw for a fat quarter and that is why the selvage es are mkssing.

  15. #15
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    19,379
    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.
    I have found my blocks press out a lot better when the threads in all the pieeces are perpendicular to each other.

    I feel that grain lines do matter.

  16. #16
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    19,379
    Quote Originally Posted by Annie Pearl View Post
    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.
    It is really difficult to cut 18 x 22 inces of pieces out of a 17 x 21 inch area.

    The only thing " wrong " you may have done was thinking that all fat quarters will have 18 x 22 inch usable fabric. A very few do. Most do not.

  17. #17
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    La Pine Oregon, USA
    Posts
    5,911
    FQ cut wonky...go to a different quilt shop
    I know there is a lot of recommendations for worrying about the bias....I don't. My theory is that my quilts don't hang..therefore no sagging like in a skirt you make. And somewhere on ANY quilt a cut will have to be made that is not straight of the grain (think circle). After all the stitching and quilting, I DARE you to figure out which block isn't on the straight of grain.
    Dee


    "A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing." by George Bernard Shaw

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    329
    Start buying fabric by the 1/2 yard cut.

  19. #19
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Centralia, WA, USA
    Posts
    4,891
    I think this will never be a problem for me. I only buy fat quarters for smaller projects and applique pieces or to add a touch of variety in a quilt (like 2 or 3 for different patterns or colors to mix in). No way would I buy only only fat quarters to make a whole quilt out of them. There's just too much wastage that way. I buy yardage off the bolt for most of my projects. Locally non-sale priced fat quarters run around $3 each or $12/yd. That's about the same as premium quilting cloth. To me premium starts at around $10/yd. You can probably spend more if you want. The difference is a yard off the bolt will give you more material you can use because it isn't already cut into pieces.
    Rodney

  20. #20
    Super Member MaryStoaks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    La Quinta, CA
    Posts
    3,925
    I use fat quarters a lot and have bought many fat quarter bundles from Connecting Threads. The bundles are all coordinated and seem to be cut by machine. All the edges line up and are the same size, a real nice stack when they come in the mail. Very little ironing required, easy to use and I haven't noticed any missing selveges. I watch for their special sales and clearance, last Black Friday I made out like a bandit and bought 11 bundles, a Christmas present to me!
    Mary

  21. #21
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Camarillo, California
    Posts
    35,480
    One reason why I hardly ever buy Fat quarters. Either they are not cut quite the right size or.... I decide I like the fabric and now I don't have any left for anything else. Many of the FQ patterns can be cut from yardage. I prefer buying yardage for many reasons, but will occasionally buy a FQ.


    My newest Grandson, Caleb Austin, was born May 29th. I am now Grandma to 4 precious babies. I am so blessed!!!!

  22. #22
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    110
    Frankly, I hate pre-cuts and kits. I don't ever buy pre-cuts and buy very few kits. I guess I'm old fashioned!

  23. #23
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Heart of Colorado's majestic mountains!
    Posts
    3,758
    Fabric does need to be cut on grain in a quilting project. It does matter when the patches are off grain. When you wash the quilt, they do pull back into their natural state. You can starch them to make them behave when you are making the squares but they do go back to natural when washed. Ann, yes, quilting will hold them down but if you look carefully you will see that they still pull back to their natural grain position. Does it matter? Only if it matters to you. Everyone seeks their own comfort level on this question. I buy yardage to avoid the miscuts that so often come with precuts.

  24. #24
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Alturas, CA
    Posts
    8,403
    Another reason that I don't buy pre-cuts of ANY kind. The grainline is easy to figure out though.

  25. #25
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    19
    Blog Entries
    1
    I am so glad someone brought this subject up. I had such trouble with how the fat quarters I bought several years ago were cut that gave up and I just made it a rule to never buy them again. No selvedges, cut wonky so that when you try to even them up you lose inches, serious unraveling when I pre-washed them.......to me just not worth it. Now that I know others have found similar problems I at least feel better about my decision. Thanks...... Annie Pearl!!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.