Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fat Quarters . . . love 'em or hate 'em?

I haven't always felt this way, but now I'm willing to admit it....
 I kind of hate fat quarters! They just sit there in their cute little bundles or in a basket or a neatly stacked pile near the checkout. Staring at me; calling to me; tempting me. I know better, but I give in. I can't help myself - they're sooooo cute!

And so I take them home to add to/build up my stash. I convince myself that now I'll have all these great choices for my next project. But, inevitably, one of two things happens. Either, I don't have enough fabric to make what I want, or (and this is most often the case) I love the fabric so much, I never allow myself to use it! There's so little of it and if I use it, it'll be gone!

So I hoard it. Like some prized possession that has to be cherished. I may be working on a project and need a little bit of a certain fabric and the perfect color and print is right there in my stash, in a fat quarter. I pick it up and get ready to cut a 2-1/2" X 5" piece out of one corner . . . and I can't. I talk myself out of it.

I usually start out unable to decide whether I want to keep more of the length or the width of the fat quarter. Then I progress to thinking I may need the whole piece to back a place mat or mini quilt. (Sadly, if I make a set of place mats and decide I'll put a different backing on each, I sure as heck won't waste that beautiful fat quarter (my current favorite one) on the back of something!)

So I'm stuck - I can only collect them; I can't use actually use them! My solution (like any good quilter) is to buy more fabric. I can cut up a half yard, or better yet a full yard, without hesitation! I don't really know why that is - I'm sure there's some sort of psychological problem causing this, but that's just how it is! I have to buy bigger pieces. I'm not alone here - I have many quilter friends who agree that a fat quarter is never enough. I probably chose those friends because we think alike!

And then there's family. My daughter ... and business partner (sigh) .... believes all fabric should be sold only in fat quarters! Or maybe she thinks it IS sold only in fat quarters. I've never seen her buy anything else. She is completely blind to real bolts of fabric. She's like the cartoon where the 2 guys are stranded on the little island and one looks at the other and sees a giant turkey leg! She walks into a fabric store and sees everything turn into fat quarters. You know - I'm starting to think I'm okay and she's the one with the "issues"!!

Anyone else have an opinion on fat quarters? Do you love them or hate them? Use them or stash them?


  1. I avoided buying fat quarters for a long time for the very reasons you list. Eventually the lure was too great and I succumbed. Then for a few years I would just fondle them and oohhh and aahhh at them. Finally I snapped out of it and now I am starting to use them up. It was a long, difficult will get there :)

  2. Haha!! Thanks Chris! It's nice to know I'm not the only one to go through this. I've started telling myself there will be more fabrics that I will love just as much. But, I've also started buying 1 yard cuts . . . just to be safe!

  3. I use them and then go right out and buy more. I have sometimes gone so far as to buy the end of a bolt for fear they will stop making a pattern I love. The lure of beautiful fabric stacked neatly by color is the same feeling I get when I go to flower market.... it feeds my senses. No worries, Vicki. You aren't the only one with this disease!
    P.S. Hi Tucker!

  4. Hi Judy! Hi Buddy!


  5. Yep, I have a love hate feeling towards fat quarters, especially those in set. Hate to break into them.

  6. fat quarters are my weakness. they fit so nicely into my hand! oddly, i've realized that they way they're folded makes a difference - the more neat and tidy they're bundled up, the more likely i am to gravitate to them. it's weird, i know!

    i have the same problems with cutting into them, and they tend to be so varied that i never find the right use for them anyway!

  7. How interesting! Makes me wonder if it's the packaging that draws my daughter to them as well!

    Regardless of what moves her, I'm sticking with "buy a yard; a fat quarter is never enough!"

    Thanks for sharing a different perspective Amy! :)