Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fat Sixteenths

I'm a skeptic. I'll admit it. I didn't think a fat sixteenth of fabric was very usable. Now, sixteen yards would be usable, but a fat sixteenth?

I've been seeing the Jolly Patches at The Fat Quarter Shop (link in my sidebar) for a long time now, but I don't think I've ever ordered one. Charm squares I understand. Fat quarters I understand. But fat sixteenths?

Well, I've got to say that now I'm a believer! Yesterday I started cutting the Peach Cobbler kit I mentioned back a few blogs. In the kit was this Jolly Patches roll.

A fat sixteenth is a totally usable piece of fabric. It's 9 x 11. I can't tell you how many fat quarters I have floating around here that I only used half. And all those fat quarters that have missing hunks in them because I just needed one flower or six leaves for applique.

I don't know of a single quilt shop that will cut a fat sixteenth, or even an eighth yard, at least none around here. And most online shops have a minimum half-yard cut on fabrics. I've got a Jane Stickle quilt in the works (a really old UFO), and also am working on the applique blocks of another quilt. My friend is making the pieced blocks, and we're going to put them together into a quilt for her first granddaughter. In both of those quilts a fat quarter is way too much fabric, w-a-y too much! Fat sixteenths would have been perfect!

I needed 35 fat sixteenths for the Peach Cobbler pattern. There were 40 in the Jolly Patches roll. So I pulled five out that I know will be used in an applique project. Yep, I'm happy!

Something else ... those who know me well know that I hate cutting. Well, maybe that's a dramatic statement. I've been quilting for six years. The first four of them I had a shoulder that didn't work at all. So cutting was painful for me, so much so that I sort of learned to use the rotary cutter in my left hand. Although my shoulder is fine since the replacement, I haven't gotten over the cutting phobia. Yesterday I was faced with cutting six pieces from each of the 35 fat sixteenths. Yikes!

Having just worked on a Thimbleberries quilt, I remembered Lynette's suggestion about pressing two pieces of fabric together and cutting them at the same time. The pressing will make the fabrics stay together without slipping and sliding while you're cutting. So I did that yesterday and it works. This morning I wanted to finish cutting this pattern. I decided to try pressing three fat sixteenths together, and that worked great! I don't think I would try more than three, though. So I was on a cutting roll, and finished that job in short order!

I see a lot more fat sixteenths in my future! Gosh, if that light bulb had gone off in my feeble brain a long time ago, I might actually be able to fit all my stash in my stash room! Fat sixteenths - bring them on!!

As for the comments about the milking stool, I'm looking for a really small, condo friendly, house broken cow! ROFLOL. Oh, and excuse the darkish picture. It was late last night when I took it.


~ Fat sixteenths!!
~ Another project on its way to being completed
~ Looking forward to my new applique project starting tomorrow
~ Barbecued dinner last night
~ Emails!

Edit: I deleted a comment I made about a fat sixteenth being half of a fat quarter - because Jane corrected me when I got out to her house last night. A fat sixteenth is 9x11. A fat eighth is 9x22. So a fat sixteenth is half of a fat eighth. Confused? I was! This is, after all, higher math!! Thanks Jane!!


Beth said...

I'm with you, I hate the cutting part the most. I think if I didn't have to do the cutting part, I'd get a lot more quilts done. I got the Peach Cobbler kit in the mail the other day, the colors are gorgeous!

No quilting going on over here today, I've had the flu since Thursday. Good thing I didn't go to the applique group at Ginger's I would have infected everyone there probably!


Sweet P said...

Fat sixteenths are great when you only want a small piece or lots of smaller pieces. One of my on-line groups recently swapped 8 inch squares and they are also a good size for small projects.

Amanda said...

I don't like cutting out, either. I haven't seen the Peach Cobbler kit. I'll have the check that out!

cher said...

love how you have spent your weekend Vicky! I am sure it took your mind off your poor finger! looking forward to seeing this new top.

Kim said...

I have a roll of those from the FQ shop! Chelsea Boutique, I think. In fact, I have that roll, a jelly roll, a couple charm packs and who knows what else! Yes, I like them too--I wish they had those in every line. Maybe you can talk to Kim about that since you've now made everyone want fat 16ths! LOL! I'll let you know if I can find you a mini cow, by the way! ROFLOL!

Red Geranium Cottage said...

I would have cut you as many 1/8th yard cuts as you wanted at my shop. Yes I sure would have. Now I don't know about the fat sixteenth though. Probably cause I would have no clue how to cut it. LOL!!!
I'm searching the penny saver as I type for a small petite cow for you.

Patti said...

I've always loved fat eighths and fat sixteenths. I just wish they were lots more available. Even fat quarter shop has the jolly patches in just a few of the lines. I get charm squares to have a little bit of each piece in a line - if jolly patches were available instead I'd pay more for them.

Carol said...

Like Sharon, I would have cut you 1/8th yards all day long when I had the shop. I was always amazed at how many people said they could get 1/8 yards cut for them. When that's all you need that's all you need...and you can get lots of variety. I love them too...and these fat 1/16th's look awesome.

The Calico Cat said...

If a fat 16th is 9x11, how big is a fat 8th? 9x22? You've go my brain thinking way too early in the morning.

atet said...

Hehehe -- another fabric obsession? :0) I know what you mean though!

Yvonne said...

It all looks wonderful no matter what size it
Are you making a dear jane quilt too?

Maybe Ree over at Pioneer Woman could help you out with that cow. :)

Karen said...

Very interesting post!

Mary said...

I haven't bought any of these yet but it is really a useful size as you pointed out.

Hope your finger is better. Keith cut the tip of his pretty bad while I was gone so he's been whining about it a bit. Why is it that those finger cuts are so sore??

Nan said...

I'm so glad you like those fat 16th's! I have a couple of rolls of those, and haven't decided what to do with them, but I HAD to have them, if you know what I mean! (I think you have a pretty good idea, right?) Love the fabric - so pretty!
Thanks for the cutting suggestion, too - I shall do my cutting that way from now on!

Patti said...

I just bet you are surprised to receive a comment on such an old post. Well, that just goes to show you how behind I am with my blog reading! I'm determined to catch up, but sometimes I just find the sheer number of posts to read so daunting that I give up trying and just head for the sewing room.

Years and years ago I got some bundles of fat eights from Quilts and Other Comforts - the mail order arm of Quilters Newslertter Magazine. I loved that size beause I could have twice as many choices of fabric as I could with fat quarters. Fat sixteenths is even better! In the mail just yesterday I got a bundle of fat sixteenths of the newest Jo Morton fabrics from Liberty Quilt Shop. For those of us who love applique and/or very scrappy quilts they are perfect. I ordered several of those bundles from Fat Quarter Shop to pair with jelly rolls I also had. I figured the pieced blocks could be made of the jelly roll strips and the applique parts of the quilt could be made from the Jolly Patches. Now I just need to find the right patterns!

I'm looking forward to reading ahead in your blog to see what you are doing with these.

Maria said...

I'm so glad that I found this post as I was getting a bit worried that fat sixteenths would be virtually useless! I had recently joined the Westwood Acres Luberty Club but at those prices I decided to sign up for the fat sixteenths...then worried whether I had done the right thing. I feel more confident when I read your post :-) I will have enough to cut a charm square and then use the rest for hexies.