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What are fat quarters?

The term ‘fat quarters’ is a term used in the craft practice of quilting. It refers to the size of pre-cut squares of fabric used to create a quilt. In American sizing the term ‘fat quarter’ refers to a quarter of a yard of fabric, which generally equates to approximately 45 x 52 centimetres.

In Australia, using the metric system, a fat quarter can also be referred to as a fat flat, which generally measures between 50 x 54 centimetres.

What are jelly rolls?

Another unusual term used in quilting is ‘jelly rolls.’ A jelly roll refers to a long strip of pre-cut fabric strips, usually measuring 2.5 inches x 42 inches, or 6.4 centimetres x 110 centimetres.

Jelly rolls consist of complementary fabrics already cut in preparation for being sewn together. Because the fabric is pre-cut and all that is required is sewing, jelly roll quilts are very quick and easy to make and therefore perfect for the beginner quilt-maker or those that are time-poor.

Do I have to buy my quilting fabric in fat quarters?

No, you can buy any fabrics for your quilt by the metre and cut them into squares yourself. Spotlight have all the equipment you need, such as cutting tools and cutting mats, as well as quilting sewing machines, yarns and more. But of course pre-cut fat quarters make your quilting craft project a little quicker and easier!

If you are learning the craft of quilting, you might like to purchase one of Spotlight’s quilting kits, which are perfect for beginner quilters.

Generally speaking fat quarters are 100% cotton, but you can use other fabrics if they suit your project. It is important to pre-wash your fabrics by hand to ensure that any shrinkage that could occur does so before you assemble your fat quarters into a quilt. This is also wise in order to prevent colours bleeding into one another.

What else do I need for my first quilting project?

You will need a solid piece of fabric for the back of your quilt. It is wise to pre-wash the backing to avoid shrinkage too.  Also required is the wadding, or batting as it is also known, for the centre of your quilt. Choose from a variety of wadding materials available both online or from your local Spotlight store, such as cotton, wool, bamboo, polyester and blends. Select the type and amount of wadding to achieve the desired weight of your quilt – winter weight or lightweight for summer.

If you are cutting fabric squares you will need cutting tools and a cutting mat to protect your work surfaces. You will need pins or safety pins to fix the squares into place along with yarn and needles to sew them together.

You could sew your quilt together in a number of ways. Firstly by hand, as was done for many centuries throughout past civilizations when quilts were made for warmth and for cultural reasons. Nowadays you can sew your quilt on a normal sewing machine or even a specialised quilting sewing machine, designed to make sewing large or bulky quilts with ease.

Once you have all the essential items you are ready to create your one-of-a-kind, stunningly beautiful quilt.

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