Seeing our selection of Japanese fabric, a customer, who turned out to be an avid quilter, exclaimed, "Oh, fat quarters!"
...which raised about 3 question marks on the top of my head. Fat quarters???
I asked and she kindly explained. "In the quilting world, these are called fat quarters," she declared, pointing at the fabric "end-cuts". For lack of a better term, we had coined the word "end-cut", which had simply been a direct translation of the Japanese hagire (端切れ), to refer to these strips of fabric. (We had previously introduced them in this blog post.)
A standard roll of fabric is 44" wide. Fabric is normally purchased by the yard (36"). So a yard gives you a piece of cloth that's 44" x 36" big. If you want a regular quarter, then you'll get a cut that's 44" wide and only 9" long. Now, a "fat quarter" is when you cut the width in half and a yard-length in half as well...which gives you 22" x 18"...which is still a quarter of the basic yard, only "fatter". Apparently, quilters prefer fat quarters because they are able to cut bigger chunks of fabric for their purposes.
Now, our Japanese fat quarters are a little chubbier, measuring around 22" x 20" ...which makes sense because 20" is about 50cm. And because Japan uses the metric system, these cuts are probably quarter meter (as opposed to yard)!
Later on.... Feeling like a child with a new toy, I put this fresh knowledge to the test. Another customer came to buy a Japanese quilting book. Said it was a present for his mother who loves quilting. So I mentioned casually, "Oh, we have fat quarters too." He knew exactly what I was talking about and said he would bring his mom to the shop next time! Joy! I almost felt like an "Insider"...but reality is I am still just a "name-dropper"! (^_^)
Many patterns available at the shop.
(All photos and illustrations by the ikebana shop. All rights reserved.)