Fabric can come in many shapes and sizes. You can buy yardage off the bolt, which is very common, and if you’ve ever bought fabric from a big box store, this is probably what you bought. There are also a few other ways to buy fabric, which is what we’re going to talk about today! All of these are called pre-cuts, meaning they are previously cut by the manufacturer or quilt shop before you purchase them.
First up is a jelly roll. This is a bundle of 2.5″ strips, usually 40 of them, from a single line of fabric, rolled up to look like a, well, jelly roll. These are convenient for any patterns that require a lot of strips of fabric, since the strips come already cut up for you. The famous jelly roll race quilt is one of my favorites to make from a jelly roll.
Next up is a layer cake. These can come rolled up like shown above, or flat with a piece of cardboard underneath to keep its shape. Layer cakes are stacks of 10″ square prints, usually 40 of them, all from a single line of fabric. Layer cake quilt patterns usually show off large prints well and may further cut down the 10″ squares that you purchased. A nine-patch quilt is a really fun one to make from a layer cake.
Charm packs are similar to layer cakes but are smaller. Charm packs come in 5″ square sets, again usually 40 from a single line of fabric. These are great when you need a lot of squares, especially for patterns that make a lot of half square triangles (HSTs).
Last but not least is the fat quarter. These are 18″ x 22″ pieces of fabric (half of a half yard) and, when you buy a bundle, is a fun way to get all of the prints from a line of fabric. You can sometimes buy these as singles in your local quilt shop, but they are most often sold in bundles. Sometimes custom bundles are made that aren’t from a single line of fabric, which can be a fun way to mix and match! I have a lot of fat quarters in my stash, and I find it really fun to put together my own bundles from my stash for a new quilt.
These are all really great ways to get a variety of prints from a single line without having to buy large yardage. What is your favorite pre-cut? Do you have a pattern that you love that uses pre-cuts?