A Quilter's Alphabet

A Quilter’s Alphabet: F for Fat Eights, Fat Quarters, Flying Geese… and More!

Hi friends!

Today on the blog Tammy and I are moving along with our quilter’s alphabet series- this has been a lot of fun for us! I hope you are enjoying the series as well.

It is time for the Letter F– and I am going to go over fat quarters, fat eighths, finger pressing, flying geese and freezer paper! Wow!

Fat Quarters

To understand a Fat Quarter, you must first understand about basic measurements when buying fabric. A yard of fabric is a length of 36″. The width of the fabric (WOF) varies, but for most quilting cottons is is usually between 40″ and 44″ wide.

Based on that, a half yard is 18″ x WOF and a quarter yard is 9″ x WOF. Hmmm…. using a piece 9″ x 40″ can be limiting. What if that piece of fabric was longer and only half as wide? A FAT quarter yard is 18″ x 20″ (or half of the width of the fabric).

Not only does it give you different cutting options, many quilt shops put Fat Quarters in cute bundles, tied up with ribbon… those stacks of fats are hard to resist!

quilt made with leftover flying geese units
Small quilt made using leftover geese from larger quilt- pattern is Up and Down 

Fat Eighths

Use the same understanding of yardage and you know that an eighth of a yard is 4 ½” x WOF. A FAT eighth yard is 9″ x 20″ (or half the width of the fabric).

Finger Pressing

When you are sewing units together, sometimes is can be hard to constantly get up to iron. (Though we could get into he fact that having to get up frequently is actually good for us, but that is another story!).

Finger pressing is when fold a piece back and then you slide your finger along a seam to give it a press so you can keep sewing. It is a useful technique and one that is good to employ if you are not planning to press frequently. A pressed seam sews better and the units are more likely to be the right size.

Let’s move onto more F words in our quilter’s alphabet series! Uh oh. This sounds ominous! Don’t worry- we are keeping it clean!

Flying Geese

The Flying geese unit is one that is sometimes used alone as a block and other times is part of a block!

A Quilter's Alphabet, featured by top US quilting blog and shop Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs explains F for Fat Eights, Fat Quarters, Flying Geese... and More!
Block 6 of Luminous

The block consists of 2 different triangles; the center triangle is the goose and the side triangles are smaller.

A Quilter's Alphabet, featured by top US quilting blog and shop Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs explains F for Flying Geese... and More!

To cut these triangles, you would cut the “goose” triangle from a square cut corner to corner on the diagonal twice. These triangles are called quarter square triangles. Cutting this way ensures the straight of grain stays along the edges of the block.

A Quilter's Alphabet, featured by top US quilting blog and shop Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs explains F for Flying Geese... and More!

I will talking about fabric grain in our next quilter’s alphabet post in 2 weeks!

The side triangles are cut from a square cut along the diagonal once for 2 half square triangles.

A Quilter’s Alphabet, featured by top US quilting blog and shop Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs explains F for Flying Geese… and More!

Not to be confused with half square triangle units or blocks! See this post for more information!

To learn more about sewing Flying Geese units without cutting triangles, click here!

A Quilter's Alphabet, featured by top US quilting blog and shop Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs explains F for Fat Eights, Fat Quarters, Flying Geese... and More!
Small quilt made using leftover geese from larger quilt- pattern is Up and Down 

Freezer Paper

Freezer paper is something that quilters can find at the local grocery store. One way to use freezer paper in quilting is to make templates for needle turn appliqué.

A Quilter's Alphabet, featured by top US quilting blog and shop Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs explains F for Freezer paper... and More!

Freezer paper has a plastic coating one side. That side will stick to fabric temporaliy when ironed. The other side, the paper side, can be used to draw appliqué shapes or quilting lines!

Head on over to Tammy’s post to check out the quilting terms using the letter F she is defining for you today!

If you like this quilter’s alphabet post, Pin it!

A Quilter's Alphabet, featured by top US quilting blog and shop Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs explains F for Fat Eights, Fat Quarters, Flying Geese... and More!

If you have missed any posts in this series, click here to get started!

happy quilting!

Kate

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