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In Quilting

The Ultimate Guide to Buy Quilt Fabric Online

If you’re wondering where to buy fabric online, you’ve come to the right place! Buying fabric can be so overwhelming, and even more confusing if you’re shopping for fabric online. When you’re not able to touch fabrics in person, it’s hard to know what’s good for quilting or not! Well, have no fear, I’ve been quilting for years and I’m here to help you find high quality quilting cotton from the comfort of your own home! Are you ready to shop for some quilting fabrics online?

Let’s first start off by covering what types of fabric are best for quilting. Technically you can make a quilt out of nearly any fabric, but most common and easiest to work with is 100% Cotton fabric, typically referred to as Quilting Cotton. Quilting Cotton is sold in increments that are roughly 42″ wide x however much fabric you buy. Here in the U.S. we buy it in yard (36″) increments, but in other countries you might purchase it in Metre increments, which is a couple inches longer.

Precut Fabrics for Quilting

One super fun way to buy fabric for quilting is in a precut variety pack! Precut fabrics are often sold in a collection where all the fabrics are designed to coordinate and look good together. It definitely makes fabric shopping easier, especially if you want to ensure all the fabrics will match well when sewn together into a quilt!

There are many common sizes for Precut quilting cottons, and I’ll share a bit about each one:

  • 10″ Squares – also known as a “Layer Cake”
  • 5″ Squares – also known as a “Charm Pack”
  • 2.5″ Squares – also known as a “Mini Charm Pack”
  • 2.5″ x WOF Strips – also known as a “Jelly Roll”
  • Fat Eighth Bundle – a bundle of fabrics that are each 9″ x 21″
  • Fat Quarter Bundle – a bundle of fabrics that are each 18″ x 21″
  • Half Yard Bundle – a bundle of fabrics that are each 18″ x 42″

One shop that is really great for buying pre-cut fabrics is Pineapple Fabrics. They put together tons of awesome quilt kit bundles using their unique precut packages.

What other increments are used to sell fabric?

Here in the US, fabric for quilting is typically sold by the yard (36″) and other portions of a yard. Quilting cotton is typically woven to be 42″ wide, give or take. That means when you buy one full yard, you can expect it to be 42″ x 36″. But, you can often buy fabric in smaller increments too. Let me break it down for you. You can buy quilting fabric in many different cuts, just depending on the shop you’ve got in mind. Here are some common fabric lengths. (Note – some shops do not cut to the 1/8ths.)

1/8 yard (4.5")
1/4 yard (9")
1/3 yard (12")
3/8 yard (13.5")
1/2 yard (18")
5/8 yard (22.5")
2/3 yard (24") 
3/4 yard (27")
7/8 yard (31.5")
1 full yard (36")

If you’re following a quilt pattern that calls for a specific exact amount of fabric, I find it helpful to get in the habit of adding on a few extra inches just in case I miscut or make a mistake. Whatever doesn’t get used on that quilt can be added to your stash for a scrappy quilt later on!

What is a Fat Quarter?

Fat Quarters are the most popular type of Precut and for good reason! It’s the same amount of fabric as a 1/4 yard, but instead of being 9″ wide by 42″, they take a half yard (18″) and cut it hamburger style to make 2 Fat Quarters. A fat quarter is 18″ wide (half a yard) by about 21″ (half of the WOF). They can be sold individually or in bundles and work for a lot of different quilt patterns:

Wide Back Fabrics

While I mentioned earlier that most quilting cotton is 42″ wide, that’s not always the case! It’s also possible to get fabric that is 108″ or even 120″ wide to use as the backing on a quilt. I personally love wide-back fabrics because it eliminates the need for piecing a backing.

Best Online Small Quilt Shops

Now that we’ve covered a little bit about quilting cotton, I’d love to share with you some small shops that I personally love. All of these shops are small businesses and they’re really great for ordering quilt kits or custom fabric bundles. Find them on instagram for tons of added quilty inspiration!

I love supporting small quilt shops like these because they’re all owned by fabric-loving women like me. When you purchase from any of these shops, you are directly impacting individual entrepreneur’s lives and helping them spread the love of quilting too!

These are just a few really great online quilt shops:

sail quilt pattern cover quilt fabric bundle from rosie girl quilting
Sail Quilt Fabric Bundle from Rosie Girl Quilting

Shopping for Solid Fabrics for Quilting

Next up, I’ll share with you a little but about solid fabrics. I personally really enjoy working with solid fabrics and have a couple favorite companies that I like to use. Solids are timeless and also a bit more cost effective than prints. Also, if you run out you can normally find the same fabric a year or two later which is not so likely if you’re using prints (which come out seasonally and aren’t often re-printed).

These are a few of my favorite solid brands by Manufacturer. These are all amazing quality solid fabrics perfect for using on your next quilt

  • Riley Blake Confetti Cotton
  • PBS Fabrics
  • Art Gallery Fabric
  • Connecting Threads
  • Michael Miller fabrics

Well known & Popular Quilt Shops for Buying Fabric Online

Of course I couldn’t post an article about online fabric shopping without including these industry staples!

Crowd Favorite Quilt Shops

I put out a call on my instagram for people to share their own favorote quilt shops and here are some awesome answers! I personally haven’t shopped at these, but I love the quilting community so willing to share their favorite shops!

Do you have a favorite online quilt shop? Share yours in the comments!

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