Quilters like fat quarters, but they love free patterns even more.
How do we know that fat quarters are still popular with quilters?
Although other precuts such as jelly rolls and charm packs have increased in popularity, the fat quarter remains the base for many quilts.
It is quite typical for a traveling quilter to buy fat quarters, instead of yardage, as a token of their visit to a new place.
Are they concerned about finding a pattern for their new fat quarters?
Of course not.
- Why Do Quilters Still Choose Fat Quarters?
- 15 Free Fat Quarter Patterns
- 1. Modern Cogs Quilt
- 2. Disappearing Flower Patch
- 3. Stack and Slash Quilt
- 4. Fat Quarter Fizz
- 5. Queen Quilt Fat Quarter Cut Up
- 6. Oh My Stars
- 7. Sweethearts Quilt
- 8. Cabin Fever
- 9. Fat Quarter Fancy
- 10. Fat Quarter Mystery Quilt
- 11. Chains of Love
- 12. Huge No Waste Flying Geese
- 13. Simple Bricks
- 14. Garden Path
- 15. Totally Tubular Stacked Block Quilt
What Is a Fat Quarter?
A fat quarter is a precut piece of fabric that measures 18”x22”.
To cut your own fat quarters from yardage, take one yard that measures 36”x44”. Cut that piece in half from selvage to selvage to make a 18”x44” piece.
Finally, cut that piece in half vertically to create a 18”x22” fat quarter. You should be able to get four fat quarters from each yard of fabric.
Today’s savvy quilters know that the internet has a plethora of free fat quarter quilt patterns available.
- Fat Quarter: Fabric Measuring 18” x 22”
- Fat Quarter Bundle: Fat Quarters from a fabric collection. 25-42 fat quarters usually make a bundle.
- Fat Quarter sub-cuts: 10” Squares, 5” and 4” squares, 2 ½” squares, 1 ½” squares, 2 ½ strips, 2 fat eighths.
- ½ yard of fabric will give you two fat quarters.
Why Do Quilters Still Choose Fat Quarters?
They remain popular for two reasons.
First, the fat quarter bundle takes the guesswork out of planning a quilt.
Get a bundle, which is already color-coordinated, and then search the internet for fat quarter quilt ideas.
Second, a fat quarter is easily manageable with its smaller size and ability to provide a wide variety of pieces.
Beginner quilters like fat quarter quilts because they can learn to cut blocks on a smaller piece of fabric. If they make a mistake, it only costs a couple of dollars to fix.
On the other hand, if they cut yardage incorrectly, it may cost them more than $10 to fix.
If your local quilt shop does not stock quilt patterns using fat quarters, then this article provides some great designs for all themes and styles of fat quarter quilts.
How Many Fat Quarters Do I Need for a Quilt?
This is quite a loaded question and there really isn’t a “right” or “wrong” answer to it. The amount of fat quarters you need for a certain quilt relies heavily on the quilt pattern that you choose.
Thankfully, many pattern designs give fabric requirements specific to fat quarter bundles since they are so popular.
What Size Quilt Will a Fat Quarter Bundle Make?
Again, this is one of those questions where the answer will vary tremendously depending on (1) the quilt pattern and (2) how many fat quarters are in the bundle you have selected.
For me personally, if a fat quarter bundle has less than 20 fat quarters in it, I purchase two bundles to ensure I have plenty of fabric for a queen sized quilt. The actual quilt pattern you choose plays a big role in how many fat quarter bundles you need as well.
How Do You Make a Quilt with Fat Quarters?
Fat quarters can be used to create a limitless variety of quilt blocks and designs. Normally, I recommend using fat quarters like you would regular yardage. Be sure you cut your pieces so that you get the most out of each fat quarter.
There are even diagrams you can look up online that will show you the best way to cut up fat quarters for different size blocks and pieces.
What Can I Make with 12 Fat Quarters?
Twelve fat quarters could easily be used to create several different baby quilt patterns or even a throw size with some help from a couple yards of a solid color fabric.
You could also create a table runner with matching placemats with a fat quarter dozen. There are so many different smaller projects that could be achieved using twelve fat quarters — from a quilted vest to tote bags for you and your girlfriends.
15 Free Fat Quarter Patterns
The pattern calls for 20 fat quarters and 2 ¼ yards to make the completed quilt top. The designer also gives you fabric requirements for the backing and binding.
This is an excellent pattern for a beginner quilter.
Known as the disappearing nine patch, it was renamed by Leah to accommodate the use of flower-themed fabric in her design.
It appears complicated, but the trick is in cutting the blocks apart and turning them.
The instructions for this quilt are located right below the first picture.
If you need a small lap quilt or a baby quilt, consider this as for a first project.
Do you love the idea of layering several fabrics all at once and cutting them into random shapes?
Then this may be the quilt for you.
Once the layers have been stacked in order, it is time to sew. Stack and whack quilts put fat quarters to good as the entire fat quarter is used in the quilt.
Are you looking for an easy fat quarter quilt?
Try this pattern if you want to use odd fat quarters that don’t seem to really fit with anything.
Just be sure to separate them into dark and light piles before you cut. The key to this quilt is the light value in contrast to the dark.
This charming fat quarter quilt finishes at 92” x 96”.
If you wanted to make it a little larger add borders.
Border strips could finish anywhere from 3”-5” wide depending on how much larger you want the quilt to finish.
The pattern uses Fig Tree fabric; however, a themed assortment would undoubtedly show off in this pattern.
6. Oh My Stars
This is a fun project that allows the quilter to work along at their own pace.
It was initially written as a quilt along.
A quilt along is an event where each week a new block is released.
The quilter makes the block and waits for the next week.
By the end of so many weeks, the quilters have enough blocks completed to make a large quilt.
The instructions for each block are found when you click on the pictures of the finished quilt block.
Read through all the links for special instructions before purchasing background yardages.
What could make a better gift for a loved one then this sweethearts fat quarter quilt?
Stay organized when cutting for the blocks.
Sandwich baggies will help keep pieces from escaping your work areas.
The diagrams showing block placement will help you piece the top together correctly.
Again, stay organized, or your blocks may not look like hearts when you are done.
8. Cabin Fever
This beautiful quilt will surely warm your lap this winter.
The blocks finish at 12” and only requires 5 fat quarters for the colored blocks.
The background fabric really plays a significant role in the outcome of this quilt.
Audition your five fat quarters against potential background pieces before purchasing the material.
This bright, beautiful quilt uses the same technique involved in making snowball blocks.
This quilt finishes at 54”, which would make a lovely gift for a loved one or a child.
Themed fabric for children that love superheroes, spaceships, horses, or flowers would work well.
A large portion of the block remains uncovered from the corner units.
10. Baby Steps
This free baby quilt pattern is a fabulous option if you want to create a small quilt for a new baby. The style of design is a brick layout and looks lovely with soft, warm colors for a baby.
This free pattern has a well-written and thorough tutorial, and I highly recommend this to any beginner quilter.
The tutorial even shows you how to cut the fat quarters into “bricks.” The finished quilt will be a 42” square.
11. Chains of Love
Cheer up your home during the winter with this heart-themed Valentine’s Day quilt.
Use five fat quarters to make this wall hanging (50” x 42”).
Pay attention to the no stacking warning in the instructions.
They want you to cut each fat quarter individually to get precise squares.
Beautiful and vibrant, this pattern is an excellent example of how just 20 fat quarters can create an amazing quilt. The finished quilt for this pattern will be a lap quilt of 48”x60”.
The pattern has diagrams showing how to piece the blocks together step by step. The designer also gives cutting instructions to get the most “bang for your buck” from the fat quarters.
13. Simple Bricks
This easy fat quarter quilt pattern would be stunning in flannel.
It has straight seams and finishes at a lap quilt size of 63” x 72”.
Do you need a gift for a student going off to college?
Consider this pattern.
It does not require a lot of tedious cutting and the strips go together quickly.
14. Garden Path
Did you say a picnic quilt?
I am ready to take my wicker basket filled with wine, cheese, and grapes and set this quilt out on a sunny day.
It features a 9 patch block set against contrasting squares alternating across the row.
Time to dig through those fat quarters and get to work.
I have a picnic to go on.
This downloadable PDF pattern is another beginner-friendly project that is sure to impress the recipient of the quilt. The finished quilt will measure 52 ½”x65” — which is the perfect size for a throw quilt.
The designer has also made video tutorials to help you along the way. Neat, right?
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Now that you have some great ideas to make a fat quarter quilt take a trip to your local quilt shop and see what they have to offer in the way of fat quarters.
If you already have a stash of fat quarters pick out the ones that color coordinate and get started.
Your quilt will be beautiful, and you will discover that fat quarters are a great base for any quilt.