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Inspiration at the Diner

red neon sign at night - diner 200
Inspiration from the local diner.

Recently while eating at a diner, my attention was diverted by the napkin holder on the table. Folded paper napkins were jammed upright into the metal holder. Something clicked! I envisioned that napkin holder as a model for a pre-cut selection. Call it a “Diner Six-Pack.”

Orange napkins 200
A everyday item can take on a entirely new meaning.

At my next teaching venue I tested the theory and made up 72 Diner Six-Pack fabric selections. Each bundle contained six Fat Quarters sorted only by color. In three days of teaching I sold over 80% of my bundles. Only part of their attraction was the price ($15 for the bundle) but the folding of the fabrics where buyers could easily see all the offerings was another plus. When manufacturer-packaged pre-cuts are stacked for cutting, the top fabric is seen in full but the assortment must be rifled through to really see every pattern offered. How many times have your pre-cuts started to look ragged since curious customers cannot resist trifling with them?

How to make Your Own Diner Six-Pack Pre-Cuts

Choose six fabrics and cut into fat quarters. Make sure to include at least one solid (or a print that reads as a solid) in your Six-Pack color range. Fold as follows:

*Lay the fat quarter right side down with the cut 18” side toward you and the selvedge away from you.

*Fold the cut side in 1/3 of the way and follow by folding the selvedge edge over a third, covering the cut edge. Makes a long neat rectangle approximately 7” wide by 18” long.

*Turn the folded fabric clockwise on the table and fold again. Starting next to you, again fold a third in and followed by the third from the farthest side.

*The fabric is now a rectangle about 6” by 7”. Fold once in half like a little book, making sure all cut edges are neatly tucked in. Stack the ‘books’ of the different fabrics and arrange in a pleasing order.

*Cut a piece of card stock (recycled file folder works) in a rectangle 3” wide by 7 ½” long. Use a ruler to crease the card at 3” from each end. The 1 ½” (between the creases) in the middle of the card becomes the bottom that supports the fabrics upright, much like the bottom of the napkin holder. Stack the six FQ’s neatly within the card holder. You will need to also secure the bundle by cutting a 20” length of contrasting color ribbon or yarn, wrapping it around the bundle, and tying a bow.

We’d love to see your examples of folding fat quarters, whether this style or another. Post your pictures on our Facebook page.

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Fabric bundles ready for sale!

–Pepper Cory

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