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# Thread: Number of fat quarters = quilt size??

1. I am super new to all of this, so please bear with my elementary questions!!

A nearby quilt shop is going to have a fat quarter sale (25 for \$25!!) and I figured that it would be a good time to get what I need for one of my wanna-do projects - a large quilt for our queen-size bed. (Actually, I think the store bought one I have now is a King because I wanted it to hang down...)

Are there any formulas to figure out how many fat quarters it takes to make a quilt like this? I guess it depends some on the particular design & how many seams.... I haven't figured that out yet. But even if I were to be ballpark, I could still save a ton of \$.

Thanks so much! I'm looking forward to learning a lot here!

2. Interesting question. A *lot* depends on the pattern you select. However, by Googling info on the net I came up with the following calculations.

Assume a king size quilt is 112" x 120". Assume you can cut six 6-1/2" squares from a fat quarter. Assume the quilt is made up of 6"-finished size squares.

For this quilt, you would need about 380 squares (112/6=19 squares across, 120/6=20 squares down, 19x20=380 squares). Since you can cut six squares from a fat quarter, you would need 380/6=64 fat quarters minimum. It does not allow for tossing fabrics you don't like, or don't go with your design, and it does not allow for miscuts or fabrics that shrink (if you prewash), and it does not provide for either backing fabric or binding fabric.

If you are super-new to quilting, I highly recommend that you do not start with a king-size or queen-size quilt. A crib quilt or lap quilt would be best.

I'm not that keen on buying fat quarters because they can be difficult to put together if they are all different colors and designs. If I were to make a scrap quilt using fat quarters (say, like an Irish Chain pattern, which I love), I would buy half the fabric in a background I liked and cut only half the quilt from fat quarters.

3. A warm welcome to the world of quilting! It's fabulous, challenging at times, but great therapy and a limitless field of creativity.

Everyone has their own answers based on what works for them. The only "stupid" question is the one that didn't get asked. So, ask away. There are so many talented, practical and smart women here that are always ready to help.

I'd approach your question to say that you should pick out a pattern first that will give you a place to start. The design of the pattern, the way the fat quarter is cut, the size and shape will all determine what you'll need.

The sale price is great for FQ's as they go for more than twice that (closer to \$3 in quilt shops). If you're in a position to buy them to have them on hand or pick some for inspiration on this project, pick out and get what you can, what you love, what catches your eye. It's the start of a stash and an addiction as many can attest to here. :-) Enjoy!!!!

4. There are a lot of great patterns out there that call for fat quarters. You would then use yardage for the borders or sometimes the background.
I just pulled a Yellow Brick Road pattern it calls for 48 fat quarters for a king size (120x120) as well as 3 1/2 yrds for a border. The queen size(93 x 102) calls for 30 fat quarters and 2 3/4 yds for border.
Another favorite pattern I have used a lot for a quick easy quilt is called Bits and Pieces and that pattern calls for 40 for a king (100.5 x118.5) and 33 for the queen (91.5 x 109.5)
It would depend greatly on what pattern you wish to use. the smaller your working units, the more fabric you may need to account for all the seams.
I have, when making a queen Yellow Brick Road, just used 2 FQ of the same fabric and so only had 15 different fabrics in the quilt.
Hope this helps a little

5. Oooo - I looked those up - the Yellow Brick Road looks like what I have in my mind! That does help - a LOT!

I highly doubt that this would wind up being my first project - but it would be the most expensive. That's why I'd love to buy the fabric now! :D

6. I LOVE the Yellow Brickroad pattern for people who are new to quilting. :)

7. Good - that's reassuring!

Can anyone recommend a good place to buy patterns? I suppose I should poke around the forum a bit - I'm sure this kind of thing is posted somewhere...

8. Are you really starting your trip down quilty road with a king size? That is quite ambitious. Just have fun. You'll learn the same basic lessons whether you do a small one or a large one. A small one is quite a bit easier to maneuver. But I'm a good one to talk. My second quilt was queen size.

9. I also went the whole hog and did a large quilt on my first attempt... good grief ... didn't I let myself in for an addiction!

It's far from perfect but I learnt so much from my mistakes :D

Could I also suggest the "Turning Twenty" is a great pattern for fat quarters. I have a bundle on the shelf sat waiting impatiently to be turned into a quilt.

10. Welcome from northeast CA. Glad you joined us. I can't help you with your question since I don't usually buy fat quarters, but you'll get plenty of help here.

11. I, too, like the "Turning Twenty" pattern. My quilt that I made with the 20 fat quarters covers the top of my queen mattress with just a little bit of overhang.

12. You can Google free quilt block patterns, there are billions of them out there. Every block I have ever made has been from free patterns. Some of the instructions are a little dense (at least for me some of them were) but most of them are a breeze to work with. I generally stick with the 12" block. There is a website - quilterscache.com that is absolutely fantastic. I love their blocks. The music is good too. Happy hunting!

BOO! from Minnesota! Edie :twisted:

13. I don't think I'd tackle a queen quilt first..... although that is the way I do things.....

14. Good Morning! I hate going from CDT back to CST. I woke up at 3:00, listened to the radio, fell back to sleep, woke up, looked at the clock and it said 5:30, flew out of bed (only because I am usually up at 5:00-5:30 and figured it out, we went back on CST and it is only 4:30. Now I am up! I will be like this until the first of the year.

Anyhow, I got my stash start on fat quarters. I think I bought every one of JoAnn's when they were on sale for 99 cents. They still go on sale for 99 cents. I still load up on them. I love to do Samplers and sometimes you want a block to be the way YOU want it, not the way the colors are set out for you. That's when the fat quarters come in handy. Also, Christmas is coming - I tell everyone who asks me what I would like for Christmas, I always say fat quarters. Sometimes you can find a piece from a bolt and you just tell them you'd like a quarter yard of this or that. I can even get an eighth. Those I use for fussy cutting or little bits. I like doing quilts my own colors, not the ones that are designed for you. People can tell my quilts now. I like the blocks where you choose your own colors and even though the colors aren't all the same in the different blocks, they all blend together. That's where the border or backing or binding comes in. I usually use a tonal for the sashing or the border. Old saying - "MY QUILT - MY RULES"! I am also finishing up a baby quilt and I couldn't figure out how to quilt it, so I took some leftover embroidery thread and I am doing a running stitch around the squares, in and out of the design of the block, itself, staying next to the seams, and with a color either much darker or much lighter. It pops! And I am using up leftover embroidery thread. (three threads). I always hand quilt the smaller baby quilts or coverlets - baby quilt being 3 blocks x 3 blocks, coverlets being 3 blocks x 5 blocks (12" blocks - finished). The biggies I have professionally quilted because I couldn't do it on my machine, and I don't have a long arm. Why, you ask? My husband really lucked out on this one - our house is too small! Couldn't get one to fit in the small area we have. We have a sweet little one bedroom house, living room, kitchen, bath, front porch and front room aka computer room, tv room, sewing room, Christmas tree room. Come Christmas, all the quilting stuff is on hiatus until the 5th of January. So during that time, I give my eyes a rest, go over to JoAnn's and fill my fat quarter larder and start all over again for 2010. So that is the story of Edie and her fat quarters and little house. I love my little corner - If I had saved all my money and not spent it on fat quarters, I probably would have had enough to get a long arm, but that's ok, I love to look and feel fabric (something my mother taught me) :roll: and I am happy! And I still wouldn't have any place to put it!

God willing, my husband and I will be married 50 years this coming June. He has not been real well and it is nice just to sort of go on vacation in my little area with my audio books, sewing machine, iron and ripping tool.

Have a good day. It's the first of November already. Time goes by when you're having fun!! Edie

15. I just finished my very first quilt. A queen size for my bed. Its not perfect, I see the mistakes however no one else does. It took about a week to put it together. I had all of these bags of fabric scraps I have bought from re-sale shops for Christmas crafts and decided to do something with them. It is just a basic old style block quilt with black binding. Its pretty. A large quilt is a big project, however if I managed it, anybody can. I am now anxious to start a new one. I am truly hooked. I am thinking of doing a Chinese coin, it looks fairly easy for a beginner.

16. Can I put one more suggestion on the table?

On the assumption that you intend to buy at leat 50 fat quarters, have you considered colours yet? There will be a whole rainbow of colours to choose from.

My suggestion is that you consider choosing perhaps 5 or 6 basic colours for your pallete, and then choosing 10 fat quarters to closely match each colour. This would keep your selections manageable. Many quilters like to use a variety of closely-matching fabrics as a single colour (called going scrappy).

Also consider that you will probably need at least one colour which is lighter than the rest, and one which is darker. This is termed 'value', and most patterns rely on contrasting values to highlight the pattern.

Another trick - when you get your selections gathered together, stand back from them slightly, and look at them with your eyes half-closed (kinda squinting at them lol). When you do this you often can see if something in the collection stands out as not matching, and you can remove any that don't seem to work before purchase.

Good luck with your retail therapy lol
Kate

17. Originally Posted by pocoellie
Welcome from northeast CA. Glad you joined us. I can't help you with your question since I don't usually buy fat quarters, but you'll get plenty of help here.
Did you notice that this thread is from 2009???

18. First of all---that is a great buy making the FQ a dollar each. I have no idea on how many FQ you would need but I bet if you google king size quilts made out of FQ you may get your answer. I might suggest you don't start on a king size as you may get bored or frustrated to get it finished. My first quilt was a lap size quilt I made in a quilt shop class and I felt accomplishment and then moved on from there. Welcome to this QB. It has wonderful members and there is always good advice or all of your questions answered. The members are terrific.

19. My first quilt (probably 20 years ago) was king sized. I didn't know anything!!! It is too small--only goes to the edges of the mattress. I didn't know that you needed to measure the area to be covered. I also did not know that you needed to buy all the muslin for the background, same dye lot, so that doesn't match. We still use it sometimes--I'm saving the good quilts for my old age. lol
I've learned a lot in my 20 years of quilting and my quilts look a LOT better now, but that old quilt is a happy memory and I don't think it will EVER wear out. Good luck with your first quilt. Maybe a lap quilt would be a better choice for the first one. jmho.
Sue

20. Originally Posted by Terry.m
I just finished my very first quilt. A queen size for my bed. Its not perfect, I see the mistakes however no one else does. It took about a week to put it together. I had all of these bags of fabric scraps I have bought from re-sale shops for Christmas crafts and decided to do something with them. It is just a basic old style block quilt with black binding. Its pretty. A large quilt is a big project, however if I managed it, anybody can. I am now anxious to start a new one. I am truly hooked. I am thinking of doing a Chinese coin, it looks fairly easy for a beginner.
This thread may have originated 7 years ago, but was bumped up by Terry,m, with her first ever posting to the forum.

So may I be the first to welcome you to this community, and congratulate you on completing your first ever quilt! I suspect there will be many more in your future lol.

As for the original poster from all those years ago, I wonder if she ever did make the big quilt she had planned.....

K

21. I am quite confused due to the number of posts showing on your info, are you new to quilting? I think even a beginner can make a king sized quilt, if the pattern is not a difficult one. My second quilt was a king size bed quilt and the design was called Shaded Nine patch, unfortunately back then there weren't a lot of long arm quilting going on so it was tied but it's still hanging around.

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