Nancy’s Quilting Classroom: Fat Quarter Quilt Frenzy!

I love fat quarters! The pretty bits of fabric are so tempting when beautifully displayed on shop shelves or in bins. I simply can’t resist them. The 18″ x 21″ pieces of fabric are often easier to work with than full-length quarter-yard cuts since you can cut wider pieces or large appliqué shapes. Given their variety and versatility, it’s no wonder they are irresistible!

Fat Quarter Quilt Frenzy

Once you start collecting these little bundles of fabric, they can quickly grow from a tidy collection into a chaotic mess. Shelving used to store CDs can be repurposed to store fat quarters.

Nancy's Quilting Classroom: Fat Quarter Quilt Frenzy!

Most of my fat quarters are sorted by color. I also try to keep them separated by value, within each color family. Keeping the fabrics separated by value, makes it easier to pull them out when making quilts that need light prints and dark prints. Just Because, by Alene Bailey, from Fons & Porter’s Scrap Quilts Spring 2015, is a prefect example of positive/negative quilt blocks.

Just Because - Quilt Patterns Using Fat Quarters
Just Because - Quilt Patterns Using Fat Quarters

Plastic bins are also handy for storing fat quarters. Although, I store all of my 30s reproduction fabrics together, I still separate them by color.

Nancy's Quilting Classroom: Fat Quarter Quilt Frenzy!

That way, when I’m making a quilt such as Spin City from Easy Quilts Fall 2012, I can grab the bins of 30s fabrics and head to my cutting table. And remember, you don’t have to make a quilt exclusively from fat quarters. For this quilt, I combined fat quarters with a coordinating fabric for the background.

Spin City - Quilt Patterns Using Fat Quarters

I often fall in love with a fabric collection and want to use one fat quarter of every fabric in the line. Which is what I did to make Square Connections from Fons & Porter’s Scrap Quilts Spring 2015. Here again, I added coordinating fabrics to calm down the explosion of color.

Square Connections - Quilt Patterns Using Fat Quarters
Square Connections - Quilt Patterns Using Fat Quarters

And what do I do with all those fat quarters that could fit into several different color families? I put them all together in one bin. They’ll work great together to make a colorful quilt someday!

Nancy's Quilting Classroom: Fat Quarter Quilt Frenzy!

So, just how many squares you can cut from a fat quarter? Here’s an easy reference chart to help you get started on your next quilt patterns using fat quarters.

Fat Quarter Squares Chart - Quilt Patterns Using Fat Quarters

Nancy Mahoney, Fons & Porter Guest Blogger

 

Happy Quilting!

Nancy

 

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Nancy Mahoney

About Nancy Mahoney

Author, teacher, fabric designer, and award-winning quiltmaker, Nancy Mahoney has enjoyed making quilts for over 30 years, during which time an impressive range of her beautiful quilts have been featured in many books and in over 180 national and international quilt magazines. Nancy enjoys combining traditional blocks and updated techniques to create dazzling quilts. She doesn’t consider herself a specialist in one particular area, although Nancy’s favorite techniques include precision machine piecing, quilt design, and machine appliqué. When she’s not designing and making quilts, Nancy enjoys traveling to guilds and events around the country, sharing her quilts, teaching her piecing and machine appliqué techniques, and visiting gardens. Visit Nancy on her website, www.nancymahoney.com, for more quilting information and fun!

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