Fabric Buying Guide

If you are a little unsure about how we sell our fabric then please rest assured as we will take a moment to get you comfortable. Think of it as a ‘Virtual Slipper Fitting’.

 

Measurements

What is a Fat Quarter (FQ)?

It is a term used in patchwork and sewing and is a way of cutting a metre of fabric into four square shaped pieces. You cut half a metre of fabric and then cut this piece in half again.  This gives you a piece of fabric approximately 20 inches by 22 inches (50cm by 55cm). It is far more versatile for lots of projects.  There are lots of patterns that are specifically designed for using fat quarters and they make an ideal way to build up a collection of styles, colours and themes for projects you come across in the future without spending a fortune on material. Most fabrics are 44” or 110cm wide but some are different so the width of the fabric will be shown in the description as well as the approximate FQ size just to make things clear.

What if I buy three Fat Quarters? (Or any odd amount)

If you buy 3 fat quarters, you will get a piece measuring approx. 30” by the width of the fabric.  The reason for this is that we always send our fabric in continuous lengths.  If you require the 3rd quarter as a fat quarter cut separately, please let us know and we will send it that way.

The following table is based on fabric that are 44 inch or 110cm wide but please remember that a few of our fabrics are wide than this.


Quantity

Width

Length

1FQ

22 inch (55cm)

20 inch (50cm)

2FQ

44 inch (110cm)

20 inch (50cm)

3FQ

44 inch (110cm)

30 inch (75cm)

4FQ

44 inch (110cm)

39 inch (100cm)

5FQ

44 inch (110cm)

49 inch (125cm)

6FQ

44 inch (110cm)

59 inch (150cm)

 

Buying in metres.

You can also buy all our fabrics by the metre if you prefer to do it this way. All you need to do it select the ‘metre option’ and then you can enter the exact amount you need in metres and we would send this as a continuous length. The minimum quantity is 0.5m but you can use any decimal after that. For example if you wanted 1.65m of fabric then just pop this is the box and ‘add it cart’.

If you want to buy half a metre (0.5) then you might come across a little problem on the site that when you add 0.5 to the cart it adds 1m on the checkout page. This should be something you can update in the cart to change to 0.5.


 

Type of fabric & uses

The majority of our fabric is medium weight quilting material, which is most commonly used for patchwork, dressmaking and an increasing amount of people are making toys with our fabrics. We do have a few other types of fabric including cotton/linen mix fabric, flannel (or brushed cotton), corduroy and a few others. So this short description doesn’t apply to everything we sell.

Our cottons are quite lightweight and shouldn’t be confused with home furnishing weight fabrics; they are a cotton sheeting that doesn’t tend to stretch very much at all. We sometimes say that the fabric could be compared to the sheeting used in a men’s formal/work shirt only perhaps a little softer.

 

Can I use it for curtains/blinds?

Our quilting weight fabrics are fairly thin and I would not recommend using the fabric on its own for curtains but you should be able use another material to back the curtains to a little extra weight and insulation. If you are using for a bedroom then you could even go as far as lining the reverse with a blackout material to really block out sunlight.

One thing that might limit your project is the width of the fabric, most of our fabrics are 110cm (44 inch) wide so if your window is wider than this you might have to think about how you might join two lengths of the material.

You can find a wealth of information online if you search for things like 'using quilting weight cotton for curtains'.

 

Can I use it for a duvet cover?

This is a possible but again as with curtains, you might find you are limited by the width of the fabric. Most of our fabrics are 110cm wide and a standard single duvet cover is 135cm wide (without seems). One way round this is that you could think about using a matching plain as a panel stripe down the size, but you do need to have a little think to start.

 

How about… Cushion covers?

We have a lot of customers who use our fabrics to make cushions and we ourselves have our own cushions in our home made with our fabrics. The cushion cover will be a touch thinner that one that is made from home furnishing weight fabric, but with the amount of choice of designs available in quilting fabric, we think the trade off is worth while!

 

Using for upholstery?

We don’t have a lot of personal experience with this so I would recommend looking further into this online. The fabric is probably too thin for larger projects such as armchairs and sofas but I have seen a lot of people who have used our fabrics for recovering a set of dining chairs or a quirky kitchen stool.

 

To Wash or not to Prewash

It is the age old question in quilting but it really comes down to personal preference. We would say you should prewash the fabric, particularly if you are using different fabrics and materials on your project as different things can shrink more than others. You might find that a cotton/linen fabric will shrink more than cotton or perhaps the bias edging doesn’t shrink…

We would avoid washing small cuts such as mini packs, jelly stripes or charm packs as these may fray a lot compared with the size of the piece.

Having said all this, it is up to you. We say its probably a good idea but then we don’t prewash our fabrics when making a patchwork quilt.