5 fast, fat-quarter friendly quilt patterns

5 fast, fat-quarter-friendly quilt patterns

Fat quarter friendly quilt patternsFat quarters are so fun and tempting to collect. When they’re tied into perfectly folded, coordinated bundles with matching ribbon, they’re nearly impossible to resist—even when you have no idea what kind of project they might become. The bundles fit very neatly into your shopping bag, but they begin to pile up in the sewing room at home. So rather than letting your fat quarter collections gather dust on the shelves, why not put them to good use? These easy fat-quarter quilt patterns will open your eyes to the endless fun you can have, no matter your quilting style.

Here at Martingale, we certainly count ourselves among the fat-quarter fanatics of the world, so we paid homage to these handy little fabric rectangles in Quilting with Fat Quarters. The book includes 17 fat-quarter friendly quilt patterns from our staff, including the following options that use only fat quarters for the quilt top—no extra yardage needed! (You’ll only need extra yardage for the border, backing, and binding.)

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For “Ray of Light,” Regina Girard used a radiant combination of light- and dark-value batik fat quarters and a quick and clever method for making shaded four-patch units that doesn’t require cutting a single triangle.

Ray of Light quilt
“Ray of Light” from Quilting with Fat Quarters

Many quilters like to buy fat quarters on their quilting travels. Tracy Overturf’s pattern “Sherbet Punch” uses quite a variety of fat quarters, so it would be a fun way to showcase those souvenirs and create a wonderful record of your adventures.

Sherbet Punch quilt
“Sherbet Punch” from Quilting with Fat Quarters

“Heat Wave” by Abbi Barden uses fat quarters in shades that are close together on the color wheel. Combine them to create a stunning gradient effect made from super simple blocks.

Heat Wave quilt
“Heat Wave” from Quilting with Fat Quarters

For “Blue Skies Ahead,” Adrienne Smitke used fat quarters in calming aqua prints. The squares form a pretty backdrop for puffy cloud appliqués and a pair of red birds that add an unexpected color pop.

Blue Skies Ahead quilt
“Blue Skies Ahead” from Quilting with Fat Quarters

“Not Manly Enough” is so named because Robin Strobel made this quilt for a friend who deemed the prints and colors not masculine enough for his taste. The good news is that you can use whatever you palette you like, manly or not! The blocks are quick and easy to piece, so this quilt comes together in no time.

Not Manly Enough quilt
“Not Manly Enough” from Quilting with Fat Quarters

The fat-quarter fun doesn’t end there, of course. Check out several other great titles for more easy patterns that will inspire you to release your fat quarters from their ribbons and set them free from your stash!

Fat-Quarter Quilting: 21 Terrific 16″ x 20″ Projects by Lori Smith

Quilts from Fat-Quarter Quilting
“Baskets, 1930s Style” and “Garden Path”

Fast Fat-Quarter Quilts

Quilts from Fast Fat-Quarter Quilts
“Bright Bullion” by Le Ann Weaver and “Lost and Found” by Mary Green

Fat-Quarter Quickies by Kathy Brown

Quilts from Fat-Quarter Quickies
“Carribbean Cooler” and “Cutoffs”

How many fat quarters are lingering in your stash? Fewer than ten? More than 20? Too many to count? Tell us in the comments!

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45 Comments (leave a comment)

  • About 20, but they do not coordinate with each other

    Betsy on April 6, 2015
  • Far too many to count!

    —Susan on April 6, 2015
  • Way too many to count for this fab-a-holic!!!

    —Ann B on April 6, 2015
  • Between 15 and 20 just waiting for the right project ! I can use them and buy more!

    —Nancy on April 6, 2015
  • I have about 15 bundles waiting for a project, and about 100 waiting to be cut into usable charms, layers, and bars. I had to quit buying anymore until I use what I have…

    —sharon on April 6, 2015
  • It is definitely WAY TOO MANY to even begin counting!!! I think they’re like rabbits, just keep multiplying stuck away in the dark reaches of my sewing room.

    —Cindy on April 6, 2015
  • Waaay too many! I recently reorganized my sewing stash by color and split apart a lot of the fat quarter bundles, but left a sufficient number together because, well, just because!

    —Karen Smith on April 6, 2015
  • I have more than I can use in one lifetime!!

    —Maureen on April 6, 2015
  • I might be close to the "too many to count" category … despite a number of scrap quilts made, sharing with friends and with newbie quilters for starter stashes !!

    —KrisTX on April 6, 2015
  • I have way too many fat quarters to count, mostly because they are not stored as fat quarter groups or set. I treat them as I do other cuts or yardage: wash, press, sort by color then style (prints, marbles, batiks, reads-like-solids, etc.), and store in marked bins until I’m ready to select fabric for a project. Then the first fun begins!

    —Jane on April 6, 2015
  • Too many to count. I love it but so many of them don’t go with anything else.
    I stopped buying large yardage on a whim. Fats give me a chance to try different fabrics together. I make a lot of miniature quilts so fat quarters are
    nice for that purpose.

    —Patricia D. Roberts on April 6, 2015
  • I have too many to count. I like buying fat quarter bundles, but then I have trouble using them.

    —Kathy Hancock on April 6, 2015
  • Way too many to count! I love the projects in this book — I should go get some sewed up into beautiful quilts!

    —Sara on April 6, 2015
  • Many, many, many, more than 100; I won a basket of FQ’s; and FQ’s were muy first love for quliting fabric so I’m well stocked for a while! And I’ll still buy more–I just love ’em, and it’s definitely time for some projects from your books. FQ cheers!

    —Carol on April 6, 2015
  • OK, there are 242 fat quarters in my storage bags, plus 6 collections. My goal for the last 6months of 2015 is to use some of them, having focused on scrap quilts for the past 18 months.

    —amy f on April 6, 2015
  • I am too embarrassed to tell you how many fat quarters i have in my stash…..i think it runs into hundreds…

    —arlene osborn on April 6, 2015
  • Only a few fat quarters here, since I usually buy them with specfic projects in mind. I do make an exception for the solid rainbow pack, since that works as "pop" for any color scheme.

    —Lynne on April 6, 2015
  • i do not count them

    Caroline Rohrer on April 6, 2015
  • Way too many to count!!!

    —Allison on April 6, 2015
  • I never understood the point of "fat quarters" until I began looking for specific colors or patterns for one particular quilt. Afterwards, I was hooked!! Now I make an effort to pick up a couple in several colors whenever I’m shopping for fabric…cause you never know when THAT will be the one you need. I would say that a third of my stash is fat quarters now. I totally get it.

    —debra lee on April 6, 2015
  • They are everywhere! I wouldn’t begin to undertake an inventory of my FQ stash. I’m sure I’d lose count before I got to the end.

    —Sandy W on April 6, 2015
  • Are we talking bundles or fat quarters? Way to many to count, LOL.

    —Dana Gaffney on April 6, 2015
  • Yes, I’m a cake decorator who is closing it’s doors and starting something new. I designed many wedding cakes and have red, white and blue ribbons from competitions.

    My stash has only 6 fat quarter bundles. I have plans for only one of the bundles so far. Still looking for a special design that will spark another great project.


    Linda C on April 6, 2015
  • Too many to count. I love fat quarters and tend to buy those more than any other precut.

    —Judy on April 6, 2015
  • I have shopped stores and booths to fondle those wonderful, colorful fat quarter bundles! I get them home and put them in a special place until I have time to work on the project for which they were chosen. And, then . . . I can’t bear to cut them up! And, so it goes until I visit another store or quilt show.

    —Pam G. on April 6, 2015
  • Really don’t know how many fat quarters I have… Too scared to count! I love them because they can be used in so many different patterns. Add so much to your stash so you have extra to choose from when making scrap quilts!

    —Donna Simpson on April 6, 2015
  • I have several drawers full!

    —Sandy Lai on April 6, 2015
  • WAY too many to count…several drawers with them standing on end, 2 dressers more full, and then boxes to boot. Have to be prepared in order to make Quilts of Valor for our Veterans.

    Barbara Winkler on April 6, 2015
  • I have way to many fat quarters to count. Any of these books could be put to good use in my sewing room – I am probably a fabric hoarder!

    —Kathy Biciocchi on April 6, 2015
  • Too many to count…. I think I need to make some small or scrappy quilts to use them up. : )

    —Sharilyn on April 6, 2015
  • Too many to count. I have the rolling plastic drawer units and 20 drawers that each have 2 rows of fat quarters – sorted by color and style (my friends laugh at me) I do use them all the time but I think during the night they multiply. I make a lot of small projects as gifts and am always looking for new things to make. I love applique and they are so handy and close. It would be too scary to actually count them – some drawers are so packed.

    —connie b on April 7, 2015
  • Way, way too many to count! And still collecting!

    —karen on April 7, 2015
  • I have four bundles and a few singles. I usually purchase them for specific projects.

    —Kay on April 8, 2015
  • love the blue skies ahead. I have fewer than 10 in my stash

    —apple blossom on April 9, 2015
  • More than I can count!!

    Sandy R. on April 10, 2015
  • FQ are an addiction. So many to choose from … all those beautiful patterns and colours. Then there are the cute little stacks, all co-ordinated, nestled together saying ‘take me home’. And my husband thought my shoe fetish was over the top. Now that I have moved onto fabric, he seems more tolerant. Or maybe he has just given in. LOL

    —Debi Sexsmith on April 10, 2015
  • I guess I am a "fat quarter diva" because I always pick up bundles when I go to quilt shops. I like it because they are so coordinated and I don’t have to search for fabrics to match. I don’t have a clue of how many I have. Suppose I should take an inventory!!!!!!

    —Mary Burn on April 10, 2015
  • I am on the low end of this confession chart. I came late to the game and haven’t caught up yet.

    Donna on April 10, 2015
  • Probably about 10…..I’ve been using them!

    —Renee Welton on April 10, 2015
  • To many to count. LOL

    —Renea on April 10, 2015
  • FQ lots, bundles none. I buy by the yard or grab bags.

    —Linda Christianson on April 10, 2015
  • I love fat quarters! They add so much variety to my stash! Many a quilt needs just a pop of bright color or maybe a dash of texture to make it sing. I could never count them as they are mixed into my stash either by color or by project. I have hundreds of frogs, cats, and chickens waiting their turn to be made up into quilts; not to mention all the stars, bugs, and flowers on standby in specific colorways. If I need a brown or purple to coordinate with a special focus fabric, I can shop my stash and not have to make a trip to the fabric store. But when I do go to the store more fats will follow me home to add their sparkle to the next project!

    —Linda Towers on April 11, 2015
  • I have too many to count. I love fat quarters and they have even become my favorite souvenir when traveling. My kids always laugh at the name "Fat quarters" so I enjoy saying them almost as much as buying them.

    —Kathy Renz on April 11, 2015
  • Fat Quarters are like "Chocolate"
    Can’t resist them. Then "What do You do with them?"
    So have way too many…Oh, Well….

    —Shirley on April 12, 2015
  • I have two plastic containers of them, one is sorted by coordinates or seasonal and the other by color families. I love having them on hand for quick projects. I can ALMOST always find something to work with without a special fabric shopping trip.

    —Sue H on April 13, 2015

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