Monday, May 27, 2013

Dear Fat Quarters...

Many of you commented last week about my surprising rule against fat quarters, and I realized that while I wrote this post a while back, I apparently never published it. Whoops! So, here it is, my Dear John letter to fat quarters. Have a wonderful day!

Dear Fat Quarters,

It's not you, it's me. No, that's not true. It's you, it's totally you. I can't put this off anymore. I simply have to break up with you, because there's just not enough of you. Seriously, 18" x 22" is just not enough for me anymore. Because every time I make a quilt, or a pouch, or a bag, I go to reach for you, and you're just too small. Or worse yet, I cut into you, thinking I can make it work, and I can't. And then I get crabby, and there's just no need for such madness!

Haul from Modern Domestic

So I'm calling it quits. No more fat quarters for me.

Denyse Schmidt - Florence fq pack

Instead of falling for cute displays of you in quilt shops (I'm talking to you Modern Domestic!) and grabbing piles of fat quarters, I'm going to stroll right on by you. I'll pick up a bolt instead, and get a nice big half-yard cut, because a half-yard is just so much more usable in my stash than a measly, tiny fat quarter.

Preppy Sophisticate bundle from Sew Lux Fabrics

So, when I pass you by, don't look at me, Fat Quarter. Because you'll just be disappointed. There's no longer a place for you in my stash.

xoxo,
E

P.S. -  I'm talking to you too, Fat Eighths and Charm Packs and Jelly Rolls. Persona non grata!

P.P.S. - It's entirely possible probable that I will break this rule. For Oakshotts, at the very least...and maybe uber-expensive Japanese fabrics...

35 comments:

  1. LOL I'm so relieved because I feel the same. I never understood the fat quarter craze, and hardly buy any. I think I have less than 10 FQ-s in my stash. I agree with you on the half yard cuts minimum, that's a much workable size. Go you, Elizabeth! :)))

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  2. I'm the exact same way! I never buy fat quarters. I typically buy half yard or full yard cuts when I like a fabric. I also rarely like the ENTIRE line enough to want all the fabrics from it and am content to purchase just the ones I want most.

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  3. Ha! I love it! I have come to the same place for myself in the last year. I'd rather buy 1/4 yard cuts than FQ's because then you can get a WOF strip out of it, but those 1/2 yd pieces are my favourite!

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  4. I made the rule, then felt extremely naughty when I broke it! The bundles are just so darn alluring!

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  6. I have been buying and using fq for quite some time, but lately I've been coming to the same realization...so will be following your lead more and more. Meanwhie, I'm also discovering that when I see great sales, rather than buy bits of this and that, to go for 4-5 yards if I find something I like for a backing. THAT's where my stash is really under stocked!

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  7. As I am recently coming back to quilting I have considered how much to buy as I drool over those gorgeous fabrics. Thanks for the tip (my wallet does not thank you so much ;-)

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  8. Yes, yes and yes! I keep buying fat quarter bundles even though there are some prints I don't like. I'd be MUCH happier just buying 1/2 yard pieces from (my idea of) the best prints in each line.

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  9. I made this transition quite a while, making my minimum purchase of a fabric at least a half yard...

    I've been so much happier!

    I rarely run out of a print midway through a project. I can use that half yard to make binding.

    I also don't find myself in possession of prints that I didn't like, just because they happened to come in a bundle. I almost never purchase the focus prints from a fabric line - I'm more likely to buy the blenders. Since I actually use those blenders instead of petting the pretties, half yard cuts are great!

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  10. Couldn't agree with you more! Although, I do have quite a few FQ's in my stash I try to stay away from them. Cheers to you, Elizabeth!!

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  11. I have fav patterns just for FQs, Charms, Jelly Rolls, Layer Cakes, etc. And I ALWAYS look to see the details of a pattern before I buy it so I know if I can use that dreamy FQ bundle or not...

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  12. I agree too! I had it happen once too many and then the epiphany, who needs fqs when there's 1/2 yards and more out there just begging to be taken home.
    That's not to say I'd turn down a win of fqs :D

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  13. There was once a quilt store (alas, owner has retired)that packaged up the best color-gradation fat quarter bundles. OH did I fall for those! They were such good combinations. A world of difference between that and all-of-a-new-line.

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  14. Lol, you nut! I have recently realised that the reason that I'm not using the pre-cuts that I bought when I started is because I hate them, so I'm trying to find quick, simple ways to get rid of the few I have, quickly! FQs I use in PP picture type blocks and other bits and pieces, so I'm not quite sure I'm ready to divorce them yet ;)

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  15. I dislike precuts, rarely buy FQ except for the expensive stuff, and normally buy 1/2 yards. I guess we are on the same page!

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  16. I totally agree with you. The only way I will buy fat quarters, charm squares or any of the pre-cuts if is a pattern calls for them.
    When I first started quilting, I bought a bunch of fat quarters, and I'm still trying to use them up.
    If I want a small amount of fabric, I'd prefer a 1/4 yard cut, full width of the fabric. It's a much more useful cut of fabric in my eyes.

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  17. This is hysterical but so true. I rarely like all the prints in a bundle and those I don't just sit there and go to waste. Thank you for taking this bold step and encouraging the rest of us to wean ourselves off of those nasty FQ bundles!!!!!

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  18. I agree, but...I love so many different fabrics and a fat quarter or fat eigth allows me to share the love in more of my quilts. Of course, it depends on what you are making. Charms and layer cakes and my beloved minis - so long! That's a goal I can keep.

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  19. Well I think this is a natural reaction bought on by the new 'no-fat' you!!!
    Me, on the other hand, embracing any pre-cut/Fat anything anyone wants to send my way ;) x

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  20. Do you have a list of the fabrics in the first picture? I am in love with the colours - Claire ge.it @ hotmail.com

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  21. Hehehe, I agree, but I'd be terrible at avoiding all precuts. I just can't choose which prints I love best to order a half metre of, especially if I'm ordering online and haven't seen the prints in real life.

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  22. Rosemary B here::
    They are cute though.... just like candy :-)

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  23. I can happily live with the fat quarter, but I prefer half-yard cuts. And I frequently buy entire lines in half-yard cuts (just ask Hawthorne Threads, they know about me). What annoys me to no end are the jelly rolls and layer cakes. Have you all ever calculated the per-yard cost of those? Outrageous. Don't get me wrong, I buy them because my local shop is small and that's the only way I can get certain fabrics from them. But I find myself shopping more and more off the internet so that I can get larger cuts.

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  24. Funny, you said it I didnt. Sometimes I buy a FQ, just to see the colors, then order half yds, and I did that from the Beginning, Because its like you said, no enough. Plus I love scraps..

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  25. Based on price alone, I prefer yardage! That, and I'm fairly competent with a rotary cutter. {grin} However, I do understand the popularity of those little bits of fabric and have more than my fair share. I think it's the challenge of coming up with a pattern that uses "just one ____" for me!

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  26. I'm with you! I find FQs pretty paltry for most projects I do.

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  27. You're right! They are so tempting because they make such a cute bundle. But most projects call for so much more fabric than they allow and then sometimes, by the time you decide to break into that bundle, you can't get a matching piece of yardage anymore!

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  28. When I first started seriously quilting (about five or six years ago), I started with fat quarters and patterns made specifically for fq's. I remember my Mom (a lifetime sewist) being confused as to why I would want so little fabric! I have now moved on to buying half yards or even yards of my favorite prints from a line. It makes me more picky for sure! And even if I use a fat quarter friendly pattern, I still have a chunk of fabric left!

    I am really learning about buying more because I am making more and more bags and purses. I can't get away with just a half yard of a gorgeous fabric. I need a yard or even three depending on the pattern! So I buy fq's with a project in mind and that's that.

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  29. For the most part I do agree. I have a few FQ bundles but they have a specific project in mind. I never buy just loose and lonely FQs. I finally do get charm packs and buy lots of those. :)

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  30. Hi, Elizabeth, I was notified a couple of weeks ago that I had won the 100 quilt blocks book but I still have not received it. Can you check on this please.

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  31. Very cute letter to poor fat-quarter, but I have come to the same conclusion! There's just not enough for quilts. I'm in that predicament right now. I've got a quilt well underway, not enough fabric to finish it, and I feel it will look like I ran out if it is not included in the outer areas.

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  32. I don't know that I will be able to swear off fat qtrs completely but I certainly like 1/2 yard cuts. Although now that I'm kind of on a fabric diet, sometimes a fat quarter stack is kind of like getting a few pieces of candy.

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Thank you for leaving a comment for me! I appreciate each and every one of them and try to respond when time allows. Your comments totally brighten my day :)

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Welcome! I'm Elizabeth, mom to a very busy nine year old boy and a one year old baby girl and I sew for my sanity. Let's get to quilting, shall we?
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