When a pattern says it uses FQs, does that mean you will be able to stack the FQs and cut, as in stack and whack? Or do you cut the individual pieces or strips from the FQ and then put them together.
Aside from the obvious, working with a smaller piece of fabric, what is the advantage of using FQs?
Remember you are talking to a student of Eleanor Burns and strip piecing. So that is how I look at patterns....how can it be strip cut?
Today's Annie's patterns had a quilt called 'Bundle of 10'. It is made with 10 FQs plus fabric for sashing and border. Why not just use yardage?
I know, buy the pattern and find out. lollllThis message has been edited. Last edited by: paus4quilts,
That appears to be a pattern that requires a lot of different fabrics and each is cut into the same blocks. So stacking it would be logical plus it appears to be designed so you can cut them at once. (I never stack more than five with a new blade.) Also it's probably designed not to waste fabric so the FQ size is important. These are often designed for teaching purposes. They're easy to teach and fabric choices are easy if you use one line of fabric that coordinates. Great beginner quilts with beautiful results. The directions will probably have you restacking the cut pieces for variety but you can still do the sewing in a long line.
My interpretation of FQ quilts isn't that you stack them all up to cut, tho you might be able to. I love that the variety of fabrics is achieved by small amounts and if you have 12 different fabrics, you can make the quilt, and not have to hunt more.
I've notice that Eleanor often recommends cutting Width Of Fabric Strips in half for easy handling...so FQ would work!
Could you be a little more specific about what the actual instructions say? From the pic of the lovely quilt, it would look like you could stack FQ's. But need a little more info about what the instructions said.
I don't mind coming to work. But that 8 hr. wait to go home is a drag.
As you can see, there are 16 blocks and upon enlarging the photo it appears there are six different fabrics used not counting the sashing and border. Though the border fabric does appear in the blocks.
I was just curious about why the FQs were a better cut to use than yardage. I really thought it was because you could stack and cut them since they were smaller pieces. Coordinating fabrics would be a big advantage if you bought a bundle and were doing a controlled scrap quilt.
Yes, Eleanor often said, and did, cut her fabrics at least in half for easier handling. She would sometimes change that, depending on the size block she needed.
I'm sorry, Indy. I only have the info that was posted on the site for the pattern.
If you stick to the original design, I only see a few places on that quilt that match, where you could strip piece. Is that what you are thinking of doing -- piece 2 strips side-by-side and then cut sub-units? If you wanted to change how the fabrics are scattered thru that quilt, you could do more strip piecing than they show. But then your design wouldn't be so random.
Otherwise, I'd go with cutting separate pieces of yardage. I wouldn't trust myself to get FQ's all lined up on-grain, in a stack, for gang-cutting. And what if the ruler slipped & I had to cut a piece again? Would I have enough fabric with just a FQ? So I'd find the widths given for each fabric piece in the blocks & then figure out the best way to cut them from yardage. I like scraps, though, and I wouldn't mind having leftovers.
I also think some quilt patterns use "Fat Quarter Friendly" as buzz words to sell them, and so it's less of a purchase of fabric. But I find that whenever I buy FQ's, I usually regret it later, wishing I had some actual yardage...especially if it's a fabric I really like.
That all said, I have a friend who follows FQ patterns to the letter when it comes to buying & cutting. She doesn't have problems doing that. She's a better cutter & piecer than I am, I guess!
When I first started quilting, I bought Fat Quarter because I loved all the different fabrics. Didn't take long to realize that unless you're making a scrappy quilt, there's not enough fabric there to do anything with. So, I very seldom buy a fat quarter any more. I buy yardage and try to get enough to do whatever I want, even though I might not have a specific project in mind. I never thought the idea of using Fat Quarters was to allow for cutting multiple layers. I just thought it was a pattern that used many fabrics and a fat quarter was enough of each one.
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Fat quarters work better for some patterns, but not all. Sometimes you can use a regular quarter in place of fat quarters--but not always! You have to look at the cutting sizes and then do the math to see if you can get all the pieces out of a regular quarter. Example: if any pieces are squares greater than 9 inches, you would need more than a regular quarter yard cut! If you need a combination of 6.5 inch squares and several 3.5 inch pieces, you may or may not be able to get them all from the quarter yard (6.5 plus 3.5=10). If you need all 2.5 inch cuts, you get 7 half strip cuts from a fat quarter (18/2.5=7.2) where as you get 3 full strips from a reqular quarter 3x2=6 half strips 9/2.5=3.6 (7.5 inches used and 1.5 inches is left) In this example: you would have to see exactly how many pieces are used in the pattern--perhaps there is enough extra fabric in the fat quarter to make the pattern work.
Using a fat quarter pattern for regular yardage is easy, but it requires you to do the work of deciding just how much fabric you will need and how to cut it! Of course if you have half yard of all the fabrics in reqular cuts, you can be assured that you have plenty of fabric to make the pattern.
The reverse is true too--not all patterns for regular cuts of fabric will work for fat quarters. Example: you can cut 4 8 inch squares from a fat quarter and 5 from a regular quarter. It is all in the math!
Paus for those I still buy yardage, gives me room for errors in cutting! LOL! Also if I want to use the fabric from the quilt in the border I have it for later when I decide! This way it all matches, since it could be years before I finish it! LOL!
“I have found that all the ugly things are made by those who strive to make something beautiful, and that all beautiful things are made by those whose strive to make things useful.” Oscar Wilde
I don't know anything about the pattern you posted, but I do have a couple of comments on fat quarters. I really do like them as I like to make scrap quilts. A few years ago, I made a RWB scrap quilt out of fat quarters then drove the 40 minutes to JoAnn fabrics to get yardage of one of the fabrics for the back. Of course, that fabric and most of the others didn't come in yardage! Another almost goof - I ordered a kit of batiks with a pattern that used up the whole fat quarter. I washed the fabrics first as specified, but some of them shrunk - a lot! The company sent me new strips of the fabrics I needed, but still.....
That pattern actually has three units that can be strip sewn. The long thin piece on the side is two fabrics. (Magnifying glass helps) There is only one singular piece, and some of the fabrics are used twice in the blocks.
I laid them out on my quilting software and if I was going to piece the blocks it worked ok, kinda. Trying to cut for strip piecing, you did wind up with too much sameness in the blocks even with rotating the fabrics.
I guess the advantage is if you are doing a scrappy quilt and there is uniformity to the block sizes you can get more variety for a similar price.
Hope others will share; maybe there is a point I'm missing.
STM, I had a similar problem with shrinkage of pre-cut fabric. Made me sick. No other yardage around.
Paus-FQ typically cost more per yard than if you were to buy regular yardage. Most quilt stores charge more for 4 fat quarters compared to the regular price of 4 quarter yards because of the extra labor involved for cutting/folding/labeling fat quarters. Also when a store cuts fat quarters--two are made and both must be sold to make the same profit. Because two are cut off the bolt at the same time, you have 1/4 yard less on the bolt to sell--and sometimes, a customer comes in and needs that extra quarter yard so does not buy that fabric (not enough left now). The quilt store will have lost a bigger sale by having cut the fat quarters. These are the two reasons why quilt stores are reluctant to cut lots of extra fat quarters and why they typically charge more for them.
Again the size of the needed pieces in the pattern and how many you can get out of each cut is pattern specific. Variety and the cost of that variety is related to a specific pattern (fat quarters may or may not be the most economical).
If you are looking for more variety (scrapy look), you can always add in more fabrics from your stash! You don't have to limit yourself just to fat quarters because your pattern is for fat quarters. You can use a combination of both if you want--ultimately the choice is yours!
Usually, I get my fat quarters in a kit or if there is a great sale. For the most part I buy yardage. When I buy yardage, it is typically 1/3 yard or more. The extra 3 inches come in handy especially when trying to make a fat quarter friendly pattern.
One more thing regarding price, quilt stores that cut their own FQ's typically charge the same price for all fat quarters. This relates to ease of tracking inventory. Because they charge the same for all FQ's (batiks are usually in a different category and cost more), they are usually priced slightly higher than the high end price range of the fabric on the bolt. You may actually be paying lots more for a fat quarter than you would if you bought off the bolt. It is best to compare the price on the bolt with the fat quarter if both options exist. Sometimes you need a little more of a particular fabric and all you can find (and you are lucky to find it) is a FQ--then it is worth the price even if it is more!
About cutting: The fat quarters that have the salvage printing can have less useable fabric! Most shops cut along the fold as it unwinds off a bolt. Cutting this way also makes some fat quarters larger than others because the fabric on the bolt is not always folded directly in half! Because of uneven folding on the bolt and cutting along the fold, some fat quarters are not even at the top and bottom--crooked--which can lead to less useable fabric. This also impacts those "tight" patterns. I have been challenged by these "issues" more than once when working with fat quarters!
Several years ago, while on vacation, I bought a PP pattern for a WH and FQ's at the LQS for something to do. It took me a couple of years to finish and because it was my first PP adventure, I was overly generous with patches cut to cover. Of course, when I got to the last block, I was short one of the greens. I hunted high and low in every store I saw. I kept a swatch of the fabric in a baggie in my purse. I ended up using a close but not quite substitute. I put that block bang center of the WH to make it look planned but every time I looked at it, my eyes went right to that block. I ended up donating it to a fundraiser.
So I am reluctant to buy just a FQ if I like the fabric. Maybe that's why my friends now come to shop at Joan's stash first before going to JA's.
Interesting discussion. Like a couple of others, I seldom buy FQs. About the only time I do is if I'm making a pattern that calls for them and I'm selection fabrics in colors or styles that I don't use often. Otherwise, I nearly always buy extra to add to my scrap stash.
I can probably count on both hands how many FQs I've bought. I have them but they pretty much came from winning on the FQ Bingo. I always buy yardage. As Imaquilter stated, the FQs are more expensive and I'm a real cheap son of a g un. And higher cost pretty much goes for most pre-cuts. I can cut a lot of fabric, and buy more for the differences.
Thanks so much for all the comments. It is a good discussion.
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