Christmas is coming, and you need gifts. If you have a quilter on your list, that quilter wants one thing above all others. A quilter’s dream gift is fat quarters.
A quilter is someone who makes quilts as a hobby. True quilters are practically fanatical about their love for the craft. They probably already have the tools of their craft, such as sewing machines. What they need is the fabric to make more and more quilts. There is no such thing as too much fabric – they always need more.
A fat quarter is a piece of fabric measuring roughly 18″ x 22″ – about a quarter of a yard of fabric, but cut slightly differently than simply asking for a quarter yard at the cutting counter. (A “regular” quarter would measure 9″ x 45″, since fabric is usually manufactured in 45″ widths.) This is done by cutting half a yard off the bolt, then cutting that piece in half so as to produce a near-square. The method of cutting fat quarters provides a really nice area of fabric for cutting pieces from. Quilters prefer fat quarters because they can cut larger pieces for their quilting projects. By comparison, the regular quarter-yard pieces are very narrow, which limits quilting pieces in size.
Quilters make their quilts by cutting fabric into pieces, usually geometric shapes such as triangles and squares, and then sewing them together to form patterns. This requires a lot of fabric to make one quilt. More importantly, it requires a lot of different fabric. The art of quilting is placing different fabric patterns together so they form a pleasing new overall pattern.
For this reason, quilters need lots of different fabrics, but they don’t need a lot of each individual fabric. This is why quilters prize fat quarters so much. A fat quarter gives a small but usable amount of one fabric to mix into a quilting project.
So, if you have a quilter on your gift list, determine your budget, then go out and buy as many fat quarters as your budget allows. If you want to buy from a store that refuses to cut fat quarters, then get half-yards instead – twice the fabric of each pattern, same width.
There is just one rule: GET COTTON PRINTS. Cotton is the fabric of choice for most modern quilters. While a quilt needs a variety of different prints, most quilts feature the same type of fabric throughout.
Don’t get solid colors. While quilters do make extensive use of solid colors, they can shop the sales and get solids cheap. If they desperately need a solid now, they can just run out and get it – fabric stores always have the basic solid colors in stock. There is nothing exciting about solid colors.
Don’t buy a gift certificate, either. There is much more to a fabric gift than simply getting more fabric. Half the excitement of a fabric gift is getting prints that the quilter might not have bought personally.
You see, in today’s world, there are hundreds of new prints produced each year. Nobody is rich enough to walk into the stores and order one fat quarter of everything produced. It simply is not possible. So therefore, when quilters shop for fabric, they walk in and pick out fabric that catches their eye. They collect a bunch and go home.
So, here’s the secret for why a fabric gift is so awesome: the fabric that catches YOUR eye will be different than the fabric that catches the quilter’s eye. That’s a guarantee. So as a result, the quilter gets some nifty fabric that is different and exciting. When that fabric makes its way into quilts, those quilts will be more interesting than the usual quilts that quilter makes. In the end, your fabric gift makes the hobby more fun and exciting. You can’t beat that for good gifts!
Where can you get these good gifts? Why, you can get them in local retail stores or online. Stretch your dollar by hitting a sale at the local fabric discount place. Aim high for the exotic find by searching eBay for rare fabrics. Go for the gold by hitting online specialty quilting shops.
Whatever fabric you decide to get, your quilter will be in fabric heaven. Now there’s a win!