We wanted to call your attention to some BIG fabrics here at Fat Quarter Shop (and we mean BIG) – we are talking about 108” wide fabrics today! These are the humongously fat bolts you see at your quilt shops, that are double folded and rolled. Some of you may be familiar with this width of fabric, but for those who aren’t, today’s post is for you? Now the big question is: what are 108″ wide fabrics? We’ve got you covered. The 108’s have a total width of 108″(compared to the 44″/45″ widths normal fabric bolts have). The fabric is folded four times over!
And, although thought to be exclusive to traditional fabrics, the 108” love is spreading all over different fabric styles! Designers like Kaffe Fassett, Carolyn Friendlander, and Tula Pink have come out with 108″s that are perfect for the modern quilter to put a twist on their quilts. And companies like Moda Fabrics and Riley Blake Designs are also expanding their wide offerings to include modern flavors, like Zen Chic, Grunge, and Lori Holt wide backings. Check out one of the awesome projects that Sarah from Sew Sweetness made from the Tula Pink Free Fall 108″ wide fabric:
On top of that, extra wide fabric definitely means extra wide fun! Here are some uses for the 108″ wides:
Backing for Quilts
This is the most common use for the 108″ wide fabrics. Using a wider fabric for the backings means no more piecing backings! This is perfect for beginner quilters who are intimidated by having to piece backings for bigger quilts. And not having to piece backings saves you time, you get a cleaner finish, and is overall much easier. Definitely a win for everyone!
The sizes that 108″ wide pieces work for as backing go anywhere from lap size quilts to bed size quilts. As long as your quilt is 100″ in length, using a 108″ piece for backing should work for you! (Of course, when in doubt, talk to your longarm quilter!)
It can also be way more cost effective than piecing backings when your quilt is large enough. For instance, a 60” x 70” quilt needs about 4 yards to piece a backing from 44” wide fabric. At $10.75 per yard, that come to $43. Now use 2 yards of a 108” backing (which you don’t have to piece together, hurrah), and at $16.98 a yard, that is $10 less than the pieced option. And you will even have leftover to add to your stash. Win win!
The Front of a Quilt
Yes you heard right. You can use a 108″ wide fabric for the front of a quilt. This is called making a whole cloth quilt and works for quilters who want to experiment with a new style of quilting. You can have your hand at trying a new style of hand quilting or even long arm quilting and not have the pressure of trying something new on a quilt you spent hours piecing. And you still get a completed quilt at the end!
The 108’s are perfect for making custom curtains for gorgeously tall windows in your house or even your shower! Just measure your window width and height, add 15” to 30” to the width for the amount of drapiness you like, and add 5” to 10” to the height to create pockets for your curtain or shower rods. Add a few extra inches to the height if you want the floor-sweeping effect. Cut your 108” piece to size, sew down some simple rod pockets, and in no time you have custom curtains to decorate any room in your house!
What to do with the Extras
Now that we have a couple of ways to use these enormous quilt pieces, the question arises as to what to do with the extras. Keep the scraps from the 108″ pieces and use them to make regular sizes quilt pieces. Or you can cut strips to make binding that matches the back of your quilt.
These are just a few ideas to get you started with 108″s, and now it’s time to have your hand at them! Find the wide range of 108″ wide quilt backing fabrics we have available at Fat Quarter Shop and get ready to have an amazing finished product. Be sure to share your projects on Instagram and tag us on @fatquartershop so we can see and share your projects! Also, comment down below with any questions or other ideas you have for using wide fabrics!