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What's Pre-cut fabric? What are the sizes? Moda and more!

WHAT'S PRECUT FABRIC?

Are you a beginner quilter? Are you a seasoned quilter who's unfamiliar with pre-cuts, looking for some more ideas?

Here is where you can find more information on Moda Fabrics & other manufacturer’s precut types, as well as get precut fabric project ideas, so you know which is best for you! 

What is pre-cut fabric?

If you’re just diving into the wonderful world of quilting, or you’re getting back into it after a long break, you might have noticed that pre-cut fabric has made quite a big splash on the scene in the past few years.

Fabric manufacturers such as Moda FabricsRobert Kaufman, Riley Blake and RJR Fabrics (the company behind the fabulous Cotton + Steel collections!) started selling pre-cuts as a way to promote their new fabric lines.

Pre-cuts usually have fabric from the same collection, so it’s easy to match up colours and patterns.  That can save you a lot of time, and make your quilting projects easier and faster!

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

  1. Variety! Pre-cuts will typically contain one print of every fabric in a collection, and sometimes duplicates!  If you are buying by the bolt, you may miss out on some of the collections due to their popularity.  With a pre-cut you’ll always be sure to get one of each!
  2. They match! Don’t have time to match dots to strips?  Hues and tones?  All the colours and patterns in a pre-cut work together as they come from the same collection.
  3. Save time! Less time cutting means more time to quilt or spend on your crafty project. More time is always good.
  4. Save fabric! Pre-cut friendly patterns reduce fabric waste, leaving you with less of a fabric scrap pile to wonder what to do with.
  5. Save money! Less fabric waste means more money saved. Instead of buying too much yardage, get exactly what you need in a pre-cut bundle!
  6. They are pretty! Don’t those jelly rolls look so lovely up on your shelf? All wrapped up and colourful, ready to inspire your next quilt?  Most of the time I don’t even want to open them!​

WHAT PRECUT FABRIC SIZE ARE THERE?

Moda is a pioneer when it comes to pre-cuts, as they came up with a lot of the (delicious!) names for many of them, including jelly rolls and layer cakes. You may be asking yourself “Why all the scrumptious sounding names? I thought I was making a quilt and not baking a tasty treat?!” 

Moda’s bakery branding of the names starts to make sense when they call their wonderful collection of patterns “recipes”. These recipes can be found on the Moda Bake Shop site. The patterns at Moda Bake Shop are designed specifically for the different pre-cut types, so it’s less confusing trying to figure out which ones suit your needs.

The image on the right is directly from Moda, and it's a great cheat sheet to quickly see man of the popular Moda precut names and types as well as their sizes.

 

 

“That’s great, but now that I know what jelly rolls, charm packs and layer cakes are, what the heck are stackers and roll ups?!”

Well, each manufacturer has some of their own terminology as well. For instance, Riley Blake has “stackers” which are charm packs, and Robert Kaufman has “roll ups” which are jelly rolls.

Check out the fabric pre-cuts below to get more information on how they can be used, and complete with pictures and patterns to get a feel for how they will work with your quilt.

 

FAT QUARTER BUNDLES

Pre-cut Fabric Size:

  • 18" x 22" (Standard Fat Quarters)
  • 19.7" x 22" (Canadian Fat Quarters)

Fat Quarter Bundles are best used for:

  1. Cutting into layer cakes (10″ squares)
  2. Cutting into charm squares (5″ squares)
  3. Cutting into jelly roll strips (2.5″)
  4. Cutting into mini charm squares (2.5″)

 

Fat quarter bundles are 18” x 22” pieces of fabric. Traditional quarter yards of fabric are cut from selvedge which gives you approximately 9” by 44 piece of fabric. This limits you as to how many cuts of fabric you get out of the 9” strip. Whereas a fat quarter folds the yard in half, then half again and cuts into “square” quarters giving you more fabric and a better format to cut smaller squares, rectangles and/or triangles. Fat quarter bundles generally consist of 1 of every each print in the collection. And as collections vary, so do the number of fat quarters in any given bundle. A fat quarter can be cut into 2 – 10” squares (layer cakes) with extra fabric for 4 – 5” charm squares 12 – 5” charm squares and a 22” Jolly strip. 56 – 2.5” mini charm squares. 7 – 2.5” x 22” Jelly Roll strips or 8 – 2.5” x 18” Jelly Roll strips. The possibilities for projects are endless!

FAT EIGHTH BUNDLES

Pre-cut Fabric Size:

  • 9" x 22" Fat Eighths

Fat Eighth bundles can be used for:

  1. A good variety of smaller cut shapes. Versatile.

A fat eighth bundle is a 9” x 22” piece of fabric. It is the same as a fat quarter bundle, but cut in half width wise. With a fat eighth bundle you won’t be able to get the layer cake cuts but you’ll still get a wide variety of the smaller cut shapes. As with the fat quarter, the fat eighth bundle size varies based on the collection.

CHARM PACKS

Pre-cut Fabric Size:

  • 5" x 5" Squares

Charm packs can be used for:

  1. Baby quilts
  2. Baby bags
  3. Bags and Totes
  4. Sachets Pouches
  5. English Paper Piecing (Cut into 4, perfect for 1″ hexagons!)

A charm pack is a 5” x 5” square piece of fabric. Depending on the company, each charm pack contains at least 1 of each print. Generally there are 42 charms in each pack, which means there can be 2 or sometimes 3 of the same color print! Charm packs are fantastic because you can open them up and start sewing right away! Baby quilts and bags are great beginner projects to get your toe in the door to quilting. Cut a charm pack up to make pin wheels, 9-patches and add sashing open a whole new world of ideas to your next quilt! Charm Packs are also known as:  5″ Stackers, Maple Squares, Charm Square, Charm Roll (20pcs), Bali Snaps 

LAYER CAKES

Pre-cut Fabric Size:

  • 10" x 10" Squares

Layer Cakes can be good for:

  1. Cut them into charms, mini charms & jelly roll strips
  2. Patchwork sofa blanket
  3. Pillows

Layer cakes are 10” x 10” pieces of square fabric. They are jumbo sized charm packs! Layer cakes are great alone or versatile in that they can be cut to be charms, mini charms or jelly roll strips. Match a print layer cake and a solid charm to make those colors pop! Layer Cakes are as flexible to use as a fat quarter in my opinion. Again, sew them together out of the wrapper to make an easy stylish patchwork sofa blanket or pillows. Layer Cakes are also knows as: 10″ Stackers, Maple Cakes, 10 Squares, Bali Crackers, Patty Cakes 

JELLY ROLLS

Pre-cut Fabric Size:

  • 2.5" x 42" (Width of fabric strips)

What types of things are jelly rolls good for?

  1. Borders, Sashing and Binding
  2. Binding
  3. Fussy-cut large prints
  4. Frame appliques
  5. Quilted place mats
  6. Table runners
  7. Pillow cases
  8. Jelly roll race quilts

Jelly rolls are 2.5” x the width of fabric strips. There are typically 42 strips in each pack. Jelly rolls are very flexible in the quilting world. On their own, you can make the awesome-ly easy jelly roll race quilt. Who doesn’t want a beautiful quilt top pieced in one evening! Jelly rolls can be great for borders, sashing and binding! You can sub-cut them to frame appliques or fussy-cut large prints. Quilted place mats, table runners and pillow cases are just a fraction of the possibilities these pre-cuts can inspire you to create. Jelly Rolls are also known as: Rolie Polies, Maple Rolls, Roll Ups, Pixie-Strips, Bali Snaps.

HONEYCOMBS

Pre-cut Fabric Size:

  • Varies

What can I make with honeycombs?

  1. Hexagon quilts
  2. ​Half hexagon braid quilts

Honeycombs are fairly new in the pre-cut world. They’ve only been around since 2012! There are few different sizes by manufacturers and a variety of names such as Hexie, Hexagon and Honeycomb. They may seem daunting at first to sew but after a few times you’ll be happy to have added these pre-cuts to your repertoire.

HONEY BUNS

Pre-cut Fabric Size:

  • 1.5" x 42" (Width of fabric strips)

What can I do with honey buns?

  1. Adding small details to larger projects
  2. Sashing

Honey Buns are 1.5” x 44” strips of fabric. 40 strips/pk. Like the mini charm pack is to the charm pack, a honey bun is the little brother/sister of the jelly roll. Although less common than the other pre-cuts (with it’s friend the turnover), you can use these packs to provide the small details to larger projects. Sashing is a fantastic way to use these. Honey Buns are also known as: Skinny Strips They are great for.

TURNOVER

Pre-cut Fabric Size:

  • 1.5" x 42" (Width of fabric strips)

Turnovers can be used for:

  1. Instant pinwheels and half square triangles

Just like any of the other precuts, turnovers are great for the quilter who wants to get their hands on the fabric and avoid all the cutting! While they are not one of the more popular precuts, they definitely have their place and use for certain patterns! Turnovers are also known as: HST (By Robert Kaufman, HST = Half Square Triangle)