Several years ago at Quilt Market I noticed that fabric manufacturers were bundling their fabric collections. Oodles of coordinating fabrics neatly tied together in an oh-so-lovely set. They were so beautiful, and I was totally drawn to these colorful stacks of fabric. And a new term emerged: Pre-Cuts. So what are pre-cuts? If you are relatively new to the world of quilting, then you are in for a treat. Fabric manufacturers are putting together pre-cut collections showcasing all of the fabrics from a collection. In doing this, fabric manufacturers have simplified the entire fabric purchasing process and made it easier for all of us to do what we really love, which is sewing. Many of the bundle names are specific to Moda fabrics with names such as Jelly Rolls, Layer Cakes, Charm Packs, and Jolly Bars. These terms have now become commonplace in the quilting world which is why I will be using them.
Benefits of Pre-Cuts
- One of the biggest benefits of pre-cuts is how little space they require. Jelly Rolls, Charm Packs, Jolly Bars,and Layer Cakes can all fit neatly into a drawer.
- There is very little fabric wasted when using pre-cuts. Many patterns are now designed to use most of a pre-cut set, leaving you very few scraps to store.
- When you buy a pre-cut bundle you’re able to sample from the entire collection. That’s not always the case when you purchase yardage at a quilt shop or online. Many times sellers do not purchase every fabric in a particular line.
- The fabrics all match. Everything is color coordinated and blends beautifully with the entire collection.
- You save a ton of time by not cutting fabric – leaving you more time to sew.
Different Pre-Cut Sizes & How to Use Them
I think the biggest question I hear is, “How do I use pre-cuts?” To help you out with this, I’ve broken down several of the most popular pre-cut sets and listed a few ideas for how to use them.
1. Fat Quarter Bundle
- A fat quarter bundle is the most common of all pre-cuts.
- Each piece of fabric is 18″ x 22″.
- It’s size is ideal for cutting out a variety of quilt pieces due to its square shape.
- Each fat quarter can be cut down into lots of different piecing shapes: 10″x 10″ squares, 5″x5″ squares, 2.5″ strips, and 2.5″ squares. These shapes can then be turned into simple shapes such as half square triangles to give variety to a quilt.
- A fat quarter bundle can be made into a variety of projects.
- Many fat quarter bundles will have at least one piece of fabric from the entire collection.
2. Fat Eighth Bundle
- A fat eighth bundle is very similar to a fat quarter bundle only half as wide.
- Similar to a fat quarter, fat eights are 9″ x 22″.
- Ideal for cutting smaller shapes such as 5″ squares and 2.5″ squares.
- Not as versatile as the Fat Quarter Bundles, but still allows for cutting a ton of different quilt shapes such as half square triangles and smaller strips.
- Great size for making small items like zipper bags. (affiliate)
- Many fat eighth bundles will have at least one piece of fabric from the entire collection.
3. Jelly Rolls
- Most Jelly Rolls contain 42 strips of 2.5″ x 42″ (WOF) fabric. Sometimes called Rolie Polies or Roll Ups.
- Ideal for borders, binding, and sashing.
- Tons of simple projects can be made from one jelly roll: Table Runners, Baby Quilts, Placemats, Bags,and Rug Mugs.
- Ideal for new quilters because it doesn’t require additional cutting supplies.
- Economical because there is very little waste.
- This Craftsy class has some great ideas. (affiliate)
4. Layer Cakes or 10″x10″ Squares
- A Layer Cake is a collection of 10″x 10″ squares that usually contain one of each print in a collection. Sometimes called Patty Cakes or 10″ Stackers.
- They are great for putting together a a large quilt quickly. Just arrange the squares and sew together and you’re ready to quilt.
- Layer Cakes are an ideal size for small pillows.
- They are a good size for making bags.
- Perfect for a making smaller quilts.
- Can be cut into smaller 5″ and 2.5″ squares.
5. Charm Packs
- A Charm Pack is a collection of 5″ x 5″ squares that usually contains one of each print in a collection. Sometimes called Bali Packs and 5″ Stackers.
- This is a perfect size for making a 9-Patch quilt.
- Charm Packs are perfect for beginner projects.
- You can open and begin sewing right away.
- They are ideal for simple projects like a baby quilts, sachets, and bags.
- Perfect for making hexagons for EPP (English Paper Piecing).
6. Mini Charm Packs
- A Mini Charm Pack is a collection of 2.5″ x 2.5″ squares that usually contains one of each print in a collection.
- They are great for small projects like the Simple Quilted Zipper Bag.
- Inexpensive way to reference an entire fabric collection.
- Perfect for simple, small projects.
- You can open and begin sewing right away.
- Easily to store and doesn’t take up much space.
There are a few other pre-cut collections that you can choose from, but these six are the most common ones available. Almost every fabric collection will now come with one or all of these pre-cut sets.
A special thanks to Fat Quarter shop for allowing me to use their images and also graciously giving away three pre-cut sets!