Why Three Yards?

Many quilters like to purchase fat quarters (9″ x 22″ precut pieces of fabric), jelly rolls (2-1/2″ strips, usually 40 pieces in a roll), charm squares (5″ squares) or other precut fabrics. Especially at quilt shows, these grab-n-go packages make shopping easy and fun. Some vendors also carry precut 1/2 yards or full yards of fabric.

But how often have you pulled out these treasures when you were ready to start a project, and realized you just don’t have enough of that fabric you fell in love with to complete your chosen pattern? The old rule of thumb I’ve heard is: “If you like it buy one yard, love it buy 3 yards, and can’t live without it buy 6 yards”!

One reason for the 3 yard thinking is that you can cut your borders lengthwise (parallel to the selvedges) and not have to piece them. A 3 yard length gives you 108 uninterrupted inches of border, which is enough for all but the very largest king-sized quilt. Did you also know that the lengthwise grain of fabric is the most stable – has the least amount of stretch – which means the outer edges of your quilt will lie flatter and straighter?

Why else might you want 3 yards of a fabric? You would have enough for:

• sashing between blocks

• background blocks for applique

• alternate plain blocks between pieced or appliqued blocks

• the background for a strip or scrap quilt

• the beginnings of a garment

and many other uses.

I recently offered 3 yard cuts when vending at a quilt show, and they were very popular! Not only did you get a 3 yard piece, you also received 2 FREE coordinating fat quarters. Many people struggle with selecting colors for a quilt so they really appreciated having some coordinating colors chosen for them.

So what do you think? Would you like to see larger cuts like this ready-to-go at your local quilt shop or a quilt show? Let me know if you like this idea. And if you do like it, you can purchase these “Buy 3 (yards) Get 2 (FQs) Free”on my website. Plus, with fabric prices around $10/yd for cottons, and $12/yd for batiks, my price of $30 for the cotton bundles (just $8.57/yd) and $35 for the batik bundles (just $10/yd) saves you money!

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