Does that quilting pattern you’d like to make call for the readily available fabric pre-cuts rather than specific yardages?
Here's a simple guide to the different kinds of pre-cuts available.
Charm Packs are collections of squares which measure 5” by 5”. Because the amount of squares included in a Charm Pack differs by manufacturer and sometimes by fabric collection, be sure to check the number of squares in Charm Packs you purchase. Also, note that sometimes fabrics are repeated in the grouping, so your Charm Pack may or may not contain all unique prints.
Purchasing a Charm Pack is a terrific ways to get a sampling of all the different fabrics in a new collection for a reasonable price. You can always get more of your favorite prints after you’ve had a chance to look at each piece.
Moda also produces mini Charm Packs known as Moda "Candy." These are packages of 2 1/2” squares of every fabric in a collection. These mini charm packs are another way to preview an entire collection without spending a lot of money.
See our post 8 Charm Pack Projects to Bust Your Stash for fun ideas on what to do with your charm packs.
Jelly Rolls are strips cut 2 1/2” wide by the width of the fabric. This pre-cut is also known as “Rollie Pollies” and “Design Rolls.”
The number of pre-cut Jelly Roll strips varies depending on collection and fabric manufacturer.
Because the strips are width of fabric, these pre-cuts offer a lot of versatility. Not only are they wonderful for patterns which call specifically for Jelly Roll pre-cuts, but they are also good to use for bindings.
See also our roundup of Jelly Roll quilts.
The Layer Cake is another very useful pre-cut fabric. A Layer Cake is a collection of 10” x 10” squares. This pre-cut is also manufactured by several different fabric manufacturers. Layer Cakes are versatile because you can cut wider pieces from the squares. Also, a scrap quilt can go together quickly using such large squares.
Layer Cakes can be cut into fourths to make the equivalent of four charm packs, or they can be cut up in a lot of different combinations to create quilts.
Fabric collections are also available in bundles of “fat 8ths” or “fat quarters.”
The fat eighth bundles are collections of 9” x 22” fabric pieces while the fat quarter bundles contain 18” x 22” pieces of fabric.
These fabric bundles are the most versatile pre-cuts since they offer both width and a longer length for quilters to work with. Even though they priced higher than other pre-cuts, these bundles are usually the best value.
Fabrics from fat eighth and fat quarter bundles should be pressed before using them for quilt projects.
Also check out our roundup of FREE fat-quater quilt patterns.
Care must be taken when sewing with Charm Squares, Jelly Rolls and Layer Cakes, since these pre-cuts often have pinked edges.
Some quilters prefer to trim the pinked edges before beginning to sew with these pre-cuts in order to ensure a uniform size of pieces and thus help to increase sewing accuracy.
Ready to learn how you can start using all of these wonderful pre-cut collections? Sign up for the Craftsy class Pre-Cut Piecing Made Simple with Camille Roskelley today!