Have you ever needed to cut fabric, looked at a yard and wondered where to begin cutting?  Or just how much you can get out of a yard?  Or asked yourself  “a fat what now?”

I’ve created some sample cuttings to help get you started.

How to cut a Yard of Fabric


The standard size cut of a yard of quilting weight cotton can vary slightly in width.  Most often they are cut from the bolt at 42-44 inches in width.  A yard of fabric will always be 36 inches in length.

one yard cut fabric

One yard cuts are great for large projects that require a lot of yardage but most often you will need to cut into that yard for smaller sewing projects.

From one yard of fabric, you obviously get 2 half yards.  A half yard is still a good sized piece and great for things like bags, pillows, and lots more.

half yard fabric

From here, there are some choices to make.  If you need a quarter yard of fabric, you need to be sure if the pattern or tutorial means a linear quart yard or a fat quarter yard.  What’s the difference?

A linear quarter yard cuts across horizontally, leaving you with short length but very wide width, like a strip.

linear quarter yard fabric

A fat quarter, however, cuts the half yard vertically and you end up with an almost square piece.  Fat quarters are often more versatile and more often quilter’s love tons of fat quarters in their collections.  They are great for piecework.

fat quarter fabric

Sometimes you will hear the term fat eighth and wonder what on earth that looks like.  Here’s a yard cut into fat eighths.

and yes, I caught waaay to late that I misspelled eighth on this!

fat eight fabric

Since fat quarters are so common because they allow you to have a decent sized and versatile cut (and because sellers often create bundles of coordinating fat quarter prints), here are some suggestions of how you can cut fat quarters even further.

48 squares fat quarter fabric

cut fat quarter

Knowing some of these measurements can help you get the most from your fabric piece and create less waste!  Hope this helps, especially beginners!

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