Quick Quilts

By Angela Mitchell

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Sometimes you need a quick quilt! Perhaps a new baby has been born, you are behind on your holiday sewing, or maybe some instant gratification sewing is just what you crave. There are many products, patterns, and techniques that can help you create a gorgeous handmade quilt in no time at all. Let's check out a few of them today!

moda fat quarter

Photo via Fussycut

Precut Fabrics

Cutting fabric can take a lot of time! If time is something that you are short on, or if you'd rather spend that time sewing instead of cutting, precuts might be perfect for you. Precuts are bundles of fabric that have been cut into a specific size by the manufacturer. These bundles are made of a single line of fabric and contain every print from that line. Precuts are a cost-effective way to purchase all of the prints in those fabric lines that you love! Solid fabrics can also be purchased in precut bundles.

Precuts come in all sorts of sizes! Moda Fabrics (United Notions) is the frontrunner for these convenient stacks of fabric. Here are a few of the most common precuts along with their dimensions:

  • Fat quarters - 18" x 22"
  • Fat eighths - 9" x 22"
  • Jelly rolls - 2 1/2" x width of fabric
  • Honeybuns - 1 1/2" x width of fabric
  • Charm packs - 5" square (may vary by manufacturer)
  • Layer cakes - 10" square
rulers and templates

Photo via Fussycut

Rulers and Templates

Specialty rulers and templates can help the cutting process go along quickly. These rulers are made of heavy acrylic or plastic and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Triangles, Dresden plates, drunkard's path, and hexagons are common rulers that make cutting fabric a whole lot easier!

Die Cutting Machines

Many people are familiar with die cutting machines for paper, but over the last few years fabric cutting machines have grown increasingly popular. These machines precisely cut all different shapes quickly and with less effort than a regular rotary cutter. When used carefully, little fabric waste occurs. Many different types of fabrics can be cut, ranging from quilting cottons to heavier fabrics like denim. When using lighter weight fabrics, multiple layers can be cut at once! This machine, though it is a bit larger and takes up more room than most quilting supplies, is a big time saver. If you are interested in one of these cutting machines, be sure to check out the Sizzix Big Shot and the Accuquilt.

No Binding Quilts

The binding of a quilt is fabric that is sewn to the edge of a finished quilt. It covers up and protects the edges. The binding can be made out of separate strips of fabric that have been sewn together or from excess material in the quilt top or backing. Sewing the binding is the final step in the quilting process. This is a time consuming task! It is possible to skip this step on smaller quilts and projects, thus cutting out a lot of time. Check out this tutorial from Rita at Red Pepper Quilts to learn more.

strip quilt

Photo via Film in the Fridge

Rag Quilts

A rag quilt is different from an ordinary quilt. While most quilts have all of the raw edges tucked away unseen inside of the quilt sandwich, rag quilts leave those raw edges exposed. This creates a raggedy edge, giving the quilt its name. The patchwork squares are layered with batting or flannel in between and quilted before they are sewn together into a quilt. Rag quilts are great beginner quilts! They are easy to care for, too- the more you wash them, the softer the raggedy edges get. If you'd like to give a rag quilt a try, there are lots of great patterns here on Craftsy!

Strip Quilts

A strip quilt is made from strips of fabric that are pieced together either horizontally or vertically. These strips are cut from selvedge edge to selvedge edge, creating strips that are the width of fabric (approximately 42"). The strips are then sewn together to make a quick quilt top! Jelly rolls can also be used to make this type of quilt. Here is a free tutorial on strip quilts.

cheater cloth

Photo via Kate Conklin Designs

Cheater Cloth

A cheater cloth is a printed fabric that appears to be pieced even though it is really one single piece of fabric. These types of fabric come in many different sizes, allowing you to make anything from a baby to a large sized quilt. Cheater cloths have been around for hundreds of years and come in all different patterns... double wedding rings, Dresden plates, patchwork squares, and more! Cheater cloths can definitely make a quick quilt. Simply create a quilt sandwich out of the cheater cloth, batting, and backing. Quilt and bind as desired. That is it! Simple and effective.

Whole Cloth Quilts

A whole cloth quilt is another type of quilt that can be created quickly. Like the cheater cloth quilts, it consists of a quilt top that is made of a single piece of fabric. Unlike cheater cloths, which mimic the look of piecework, the fabric used for these tops tend to be solid or lightly patterned. This allows to focal point of the quilt to be the quilting. Whole cloth quilts can be quilted as simply or intricately as you'd like!

These are just a few tools, techniques, and patterns that can be used to make a quick quilt. If you'd like to learn more on quilting quickly, don't miss these Craftsy classes: Quilting Quickly I and Quilting Quickly II! These two classes will teach you the ins and outs of quilting while you learn how to pick up the pace.

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