Fat Quarter Bundles are a fairly recent arrival into the UK sewing world.
Growing up I never saw such a thing and even around five years ago fat quarters were still relatively new to the UK, mostly being sold through eBay. Nowadays fat quarter bundles can be seen everywhere from Haberdashery shops to Hobbycraft, John Lewis, Dunelm Mill and traditional fabric stores.
Fat quarters are used for all sorts of sewing and quilting projects, arts and crafts. Many people like the fact that they can mix and match a selection of fabric prints to make something really unique.
What is a Fat Quarter?
When I first heard of fat quarters back in 2011, I had no idea what they were. I quickly discovered they are simply a measurement of fabric, a quarter of a yard to be exact. Fat Quarters are quarter-yard cuts of fabric cut wide (hence the name fat). Their approximate size is 18″ x 21″.
Fat Quarter Bundles are usually a collection of fat quarters from a fabric line or collection, so they are perfectly co-ordinated and complimentary of one another.
They have become popular because they are both profitable to the seller and more affordable to the buyer. They allow the designer to showcase a selection of fabrics together in one go and they allow the buyer to get their hands on a wide variety of fabrics without spending a whole lot of money.
Fat Quarter Projects
There are many wonderful little projects that can be undertaken with a single fat quarter. This makes them very appealing because super-cute creations can be accomplished with one or more fat quarters. They can be used to upcycle or enhance garments and accessories with applique or block cut outs.
Things that can be sewn from a fat quarter include clutch bags, tote bags, patchwork bags, shopper bags, book covers, wallets, purses, jewellery rolls, microwave bowl pot holders, zipper pouches, aprons, mug rugs, lunch bags, laptop cases, coasters, mini quilts, table runners, knickers, placemats, baby quilts, lap quilts, bibs, appliqué, wristlets, dolls clothing, dolly blankets, quilt blocks, toddler clothes, matching accessories.
Fun Quilting with Fat Quarters
Fat Quarters are hugely popular among the quilting community and this is probably what has contributed to bringing their popularity to the UK. Patchwork and quilting have been practiced as both practical and decorative crafts for centuries and their popularity has fluctuated over the years depending on trends and styles in society.
A favorite way to use fat quarters among the quilting community is to create scrappy quilt designs, in any size – or 2 1/2″ strips. Fat quarters are the perfect size to make quilt sandwiches to practice quilting on. They are big enough that you get plenty of practice of a new design but easy to manage under the machine.
Fat Quarter bundles are the perfect basis to make small blocks using lots of different fabrics, to help you figure out what works together, how to experiment with colours and different size prints.
They are perfect for adding variety and diversity to a quilt with out having to buy a lot of yardage.
The Seductive Appeal
Some people simply like to collect fat quarters in bundles, just to look admiringly at them, to touch them and get a happy warm glow simply appreciating their colours, design and little touch of beauty.
Many love using fat quarters for making small or ‘lazy way’ projects, such as items that only take a couple of hours to create. Because a fat quarter bundle often contains a stack of coordinating fabrics, it makes choosing which designs to use, that little bit easier.
Fat quarters are quite simply fun and a wonderful way to enjoy a variety of fabric designs or to gain inspiration for interior or fashion design.
It is common for keen seamstresses to buy fat quarters of the whole collection. It gives diversity to a large project, whether that be a quilt or garment design and ensures all the fabrics are perfectly coordinated. Fat quarters are also popularly used to make custom bias tape.
Convenient to Purchase
If you are working on a pattern that uses a large number of different fabric designs, it can be tricky to find and choose many that actually co-ordinate. Buying by the yard or metre quickly becomes terribly expensive. Equally going to a fabric shop and requesting only a small amount of each, can be a little embarrassing. Fat Quarters have eliminated these problems and you can very easily pick up a pile and quickly sort through to see what you would like to keep.
Simple to Store
They can be stored in drawers, plastic boxes, stacked on shelves or even kept in bags. They fold up neatly, so they are very easy to store away neatly. Some companies sell bags and boxes that are just the size to store them. This makes it easy to see your fabrics at all times.
Easy to Cut
Whether cutting with scissors or rotary cutters, working with a small piece of fabric is always a lot easier than a large piece. Fat Quarters are ideal for small projects and make it easy to cut more accurately.