Fabric Measuring Tips

Fabric Measuring Tips


What do you get when you buy our fabric?


Many people ask us:  what is a fat quarter?  Well, as you can see from the picture above, you get the same area as a normal quarter metre, but in a different shape.  A fat quarter is a measurement that you will often find in patchwork patterns, and it is also the approximate size of a cushion top!  

Why do we sell some of our fabrics in fat quarters and some in thin quarters?  Well, some fabrics have patterns that go across the bolt, from selvedge to selvedge, and if we cut them in a fat quarter you would lose some of the lovely pattern.  So we cut it in a thin quarter!

If the description of the fabric says  ‘FQ’ you will receive a Fat Quarter.  If it says ‘1/4m’, you will receive a Thin Quarter.

All multiples of fabrics are cut in one continuous piece from the bolt, unless otherwise stated.

1 FQ = 50cm x 1/2 width of fabric (usually 55cm)
2 FQ = 50cm x width of fabric (usually 110cm) (i.e. the equivalent of 1/2m)
3 FQ = 75cm x width of fabric (usually 110cm)
4 FQ = 1 metre x width of fabric (usually 110cm) (i.e. the equivalent of 1metre)

our fabrics are measured metrically. 

How to measure for simple borders or binding?

We sometimes get people telling us they need metres and metres of fabric for their borders & binding. Surprisingly this happens more often than you would think!  A simple way to work out the amount you need is this simple sum.

Measure around your quilt.  For example, if my quilt is 1.5m x 1m, my total length around would be 5m. Figure out what width you want your border to be.  Remember to add on seam allowances!  For this example, lets say I need 12cm borders.  

So the sum is this:

5m ÷ width of fabric (110cm) = 4.54 

Round this figure up to the nearest whole number (in this case, 5).  This is the number of strips you need to join to go all the way around the quilt.

So the next sum is:

5 x 12cm = 60cm. 

And that's the amount you need! 

To prewash or not to prewash? 

Many people ask us about pre-washing our fabrics.  There is no easy answer to this, as to many it is a personal choice. We always recommend pre-washing, especially if the fabric is a dark or bright colour, or if it is a linen blend fabric. Linen blends will have a different shrinkage to cotton.  If you are mixing fabric types in your quilt, definitely pre-wash.

Wash on a warm, short & gentle cycle, with a mild detergent.

The only thing we don't recommend pre-washing are the pre-cuts, like jelly rolls.  Imagine fishing those twisted and unravelling strips out of your machine!



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