Frequently Asked Questions
The Little House of Patchwork - Frequently Asked Questions
Are you new to patchwork and quilting? Perhaps you have returned to this fantastic hobby and need a quick reminder? Here you'll find all the answers to those burning questions that will have you quilting away in no time!
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What's a Fat Quarter?
We sell our fabrics in Fat Quarters, half metres and metre pieces. Patchwork fabrics are usually 44" wide (111cm). A fat quarter is cut from a metre of fabric. The fabric is cut in half across the length and then again across the width to produce a Fat Quarter measuring 20"x22" (50x56cm approx)
Why is fabric sold in Fat Quarters?
A Fat Quarter is a popular measurement as it lends itself to many different types of patchwork project. Patchwork quilts often include a selection of different fabrics grouped together by colour or theme. Being able to purchase fabrics in smaller amounts enables quilters to collect together a range of fabrics in a cost effective way. Sometime people buy a selection of fat quarters for a particular project or people build a 'stash' of fabrics they like to use on future projects.
The Cut 9 Patch - Strawberries and Cream quilt on our classes page is made from 7 fat quarters plus fabrics for borders and binding
What's a Long Quarter?
A long quarter is a made by cutting 25cm off the bolt of fabric. This will result in a piece of fabric 25cm wide by approx 110-114cm, depending on the width of the bolt. This cut is useful for creating borders or binding for quilts. However this measurement usually has to be requested as patchworkers generally prefer to buy fat quarters as they are more versatile.
What is a Charm Pack?
A Charm Pack, sometimes called a Nickel pack, is a selection of 5" coordinating fabric squares. The number of squares in a pack can vary but 20 is about average and this often includes 2 squares of 10 individual fabrics. Charm packs are a great way to get started and can be used in all sorts of projects. The Reversible bag on our classes page is made from charm packs but can also be made from fat quarters if preferred.
What equipment do I need to get started?
Traditionally patchwork and quilting was done by hand and many people still produce fantastic quilts by hand today. This of course is a very lengthly process and although some find this pleasurable for those of us who have limited time a sewing machine is essential for quick results. A simple machine with a straight stitch is all you need to get started. A rotarty cutter, self-healing cutting mat and a quilters ruler a essential pieces of a equipment that once purchased will last you through many years of happy quilting. I use a 6x24 ruler which is very versatile and can be used for all kinds of projects. Cutting mats come in a variety of sizes we stock a medium sized mat that is large enough for cutting strips for borders and binding as well as smaller pieces. Rulers, cutters and cutting mats are available in our Shop. If you would like to have a go before investing in your own equipment rulers, mats and rotary cutters are all available for use at any of our classes, so why not try before you buy!
What is wadding/batting?
Wadding (Batting to our American friends) is the soft layer of material placed between your lovingly pieced quilt top and your backing fabric. These three layers are then stitched together (quilted) to hold them in place. There are many different types of wadding available but I find a good 80/20 cotton/polyester mix works well. Shrinkage is minimal, quilts made with this kind of wadding wash well, dry quickly and are warm and cosy without being too heavy.