Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fat Quarters

     I recently completed a swap on Craftster (http://www.craftster.org/) called "Craft with a Fat Quarter".  Actually, it should have been called "Craft with Two Fat Quarters", because that's what we actually got to use...anyway, the idea was to see how much you could make for your partner out of two pieces of fabric, each one cut 18" x 22" (these are "fat" quarter-yards of fabric.  If you go into a store and buy a quarter-yard off the bolt, it will be cut in a long, skinny piece measuring 9" x 44".  That size is not as useful as the "fat" cut, and fabric stores routinely pre-cut fat quarters to make them convenient to buy.  Perhaps too convenient...anyone who loves fabric knows how hard it is to resist pretty fabric already cut and costing only a couple of dollars...).
     I chose two city-themed fabrics for my partner, who works in New York City--one shows yellow cabs jam-packed together, and the other is a map of the New York subway.  I ordered them from The City Quilter (http://www.thecityquilter.com/ ); the subway fabric is their exclusive print.  Here's what I made:

Above:  complete package, including two unused fat quarters of fabric.
Below:  the fabric basket, approximately 5" x 7"

Above:  one of my "signature" zippered pouches, with my partner's initials.
Below:  a pin cushion, made using a Japanese ote dama (juggling) ball pattern; and two coasters, each with a different scripture verse (the one on the left is flipped to show the back.)

     My biggest discovery in this swap was that there is more fabric in a fat quarter than I thought!  I really didn't expect to get 5 nice, full-sized items from those two pieces of fabric--and most of the other people in the swap expressed the same sentiment.  You can see what other people made with their fat quarters here:
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=377276.0 .

I find the craft swaps on Craftster to be both a fun challenge and a learning experience--this swap was no exception!

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