Fat quarter = 18"L x 22"W piece of fabric
Charm square = 5" x 5" piece of fabric
Sofia wanted to begin cutting the fabric for our quilt, but she did not want to "cut down" the fat quarters to make it easier to cut the 6.5" x 9.5" rectangle pieces. I assumed that the fat quarters were blocked properly (since the charm squares that I have used are blocked properly). I figured out that if I cut 3" off of the width, and, 5" off of the length, I could give Sofia a 13"L x 19"W piece of fabric and then she could cut that into four equal rectangles. I cut the first piece and gave it to Sofia. I told her to fold the piece in half and crease it, and then use the crease as a guide for the cutting line. She followed my instructions exactly and cut the rectangles. Then she measured them (because she is a perfectionist) and they were oddly sized. She was very disappointed. I measured them also and couldn't understand how she could have cut one piece at 6.5" inches and the companion piece measured 6.25". That equals 12.75" in width. What happened to the other .25"? I just shook my head and told her to put the oddly sized block aside and we would cut another. I continued "cutting down" the fat quarters until the light bulb in my head went on and I realized it wasn't Sofia's "fault" for cutting improperly -- it was my fault for assuming the fat quarters were blocked properly! Long sigh... At least it was only four fat quarters from my "precious" first fat quarter bundle. But how could I salvage this fabric? Time to put down the rotary cutter and go upstairs and measure the size of the current comforter on my bed. The finished size is 82"L x 85"W. Soooo...if I cut the rectangles 6"L x 9"W then the finished size would be 5.5"L x 8.5"W. These measurements actually work better for the quilt I am making! Hooray!
And yes, I will be cutting down those other fat quarters a bit differently!