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Precut quilting fabric is a favorite among quilters. Not only are these packs of precut fabric great for beginners, but they are also huge time savers and are the most cost-effective way to get every fabric in a new fabric line.
Precut quilting fabric is available in many different sizes and from almost every fabric manufacturer, so there’s likely something available to suit your tastes and needs.
If you’re new to precut fabric, this post will teach you everything you need to know about precuts!
What is Precut Fabric?
Precut fabric is quilting fabric that is cut by the manufacturer and is sold in packs or bundles. Precut fabrics are sold in coordinating colorways and commonly feature every fabric in a fabric collection.
You can expect to find duplicate prints in your precut pack because most precuts come in packs of 40 or 42 and there are usually less than 40 prints in a fabric line.
Precut fabric has a jagged cut edge, otherwise known as a pinked edge. The pinked edge prevents the fabric from unraveling while it is packaged, shipped, and sewn.
Helpful Tip: Before you sew with precut fabric, measure your fabric. Some manufacturers include the peak of the pinked edge in the measurement and some measure from the valley of the pinked edge. Keep this in mind when you are sewing your pieces together.
Should Precut Fabric be Washed?
Precut quilting fabric should not be washed. The major issue with washing precut fabrics is that the small pieces can get lost in your machine or unravel during the washing process.
Between the unraveling and natural shrinkage that happens after washing fabric, your precut fabric may no longer be the size that it should be. If you wash your precuts, you may not have enough fabric for your quilt pattern.
Some quilters prefer to prewash their fabric so they don’t have to worry about the fabric bleeding. If you purchase high-quality quilting cotton, fabric bleeding should not be an issue.
If you’re still a bit cautious about not prewashing your fabric, check out my blog post The Stress-Free Guide to Machine Washing your Quilts for some tips on washing your finished quilt!
What is a Charm Pack?
A charm pack is a pack of 5” x 5” squares. Charm packs typically include 42 5” squares. The individual 5” squares within the pack are called charm squares. Charm packs are made up of coordinating fabrics and often feature every fabric in a fabric collection.
Charm packs are extremely popular precuts because 5-inch squares are a common measurement in quilting. With a simple google or Pinterest search, you’ll come across thousands of quilt patterns designed specifically for charm packs.
Helpful Tip: If you’re looking for a quick charm pack baby quilt, check out my free pattern Charming Sawtooth! This pattern uses one charm pack and one yard of background fabric.
Charm Pack is a term coined by Moda Fabrics, but there are several different names that these 5” square packs go by.
Other Names for Charm Packs:
- 5” Stackers
- Charm Squares
- 5 Karat Crystals
- 5″ Sqaures
How Many Yards are in a Charm Pack?
You will need ⅞ yard of fabric to cut out 42 5” squares. You can cut 40 5” squares out of ¾ yard of fabric.
How Big of a Quilt will a Charm Pack Make?
If you use only one charm pack with no additional cutting or fabric, you’ll get a finished quilt size of 27” x 31.5”.
If you want to know how many 5” squares you need to make a quilt of any size, check out this blog post.
What is a Mini Charm Pack?
A mini-charm pack is a pack of 2.5” x 2.5” squares. Similar to a charm pack, mini charm packs come in packs of 42 squares. These packs often feature every fabric in a fabric collection, so it’s a great way to get a small sample of each fabric.
Their small size is cute, but you may wonder when these tiny squares would be useful in quilt making. While there are plenty of full-size quilt patterns that use 2.5” squares, you may find that purchasing yardage is more cost-effective than purchasing a bunch of mini charm packs.
Their small size makes them perfect for smaller sewing projects. Think of projects like Christmas stockings, placemats, and bags.
How Big of a Quilt will a Mini Charm Pack Make?
If you use one mini charm pack with no additional cutting or background fabric, you’ll get a finished quilt size of 12” x 14”. When calculating how many mini charm packs you need for a quilt, remember to keep in mind that the finished mini charm square size will be 2” after you account for a quarter-inch seam allowance on each side.
What is a Jelly Roll?
A Jelly Roll in quilting is a pack of 2.5” x 42” strips. Jelly Rolls typically come in packs of 40 strips. Jelly Rolls feature fabric collections or coordinating fabrics, so each of the pieces will go together nicely, making shopping for fabric a breeze.
Jelly Rolls are one of the more versatile precuts in my opinion because 2.5” rectangles and squares are super common in quilting. You can also use Jelly Roll strips for easy sashing or borders.
Moda Fabrics coined the name Jelly Roll, but there are several other names that these precut packs go by.
Other names for Jelly Rolls:
- Bali Pops
- Strip Sets
- Rolie Polies
- Design Rolls
- 2.5” Strips
How Many Yards are in a Jelly Roll?
One yard of fabric will give you 14 Jelly Roll strips. One Jelly Roll (40 2.5” strips) is equal to 2 ¾ yards of fabric.
How Big of a Quilt will a Jelly Roll Make?
If you lined up 40 jelly roll strips and sewed them together lengthwise, you’d get a quilt that measures 42” x 80”. That is a bit of an odd measurement for a quilt! Instead, you can sew the strips together into one long row, and then trim them to your desired quilt width. If you use this method, you can make a quilt that roughly measures 55” x 60”. This quilt assembly method is known as a Jelly Roll Race quilt. Here’s a link to a Jelly Roll Race tutorial.
What is a Honey Bun?
A Honey Bun in quilting is a pack of 1.5” x 42” strips. Honey Buns come in packs of 40 strips. Honey Buns are very similar to Jelly Rolls. The only difference is that Honey Buns are made up of thinner strips. After sewn into your quilt, these skinny stips result in a finished 1” strip of fabric. This is the perfect size for sashing between quilt blocks. Honey Buns are manufactured by Moda Fabrics.
How Many Yards are in a Honey Bun?
You can cut 24 Honey Bun strips out of one yard of fabric. One Honey Bun (40 1.5” strips) is equal to 1 ⅔ yards of fabric.
What Size Quilt Can I Make with a Honey Bun?
If you lined up 40 Honey Bun strips and sewed them together lengthwise, you’d get a quilt that measures 40” x 42”. This is a great size for a baby quilt or wall hanging!
What is a Layer Cake?
A Layer Cake in quilting is a pack of 10” squares. Layer Cakes include 42 10” squares. These packs of squares are similar to charm squares, but give you 4 times the amount of fabric! Layer Cakes are a great precut to invest in if you love a fabric collection but can’t invest in the full fat quarter bundle. Layer Cakes are one of the best precut values because you get a large cut of each fabric in a fabric line without breaking the bank.
Other Names for Layer Cakes:
- 10” Stackers
- 10” Squares
How Many Yards are in a Layer Cake?
One yard of fabric will yield 12 10” squares. One layer cake (42 10” squares) is equal to 3 ⅛ yards of fabric.
What Size Quilt Can I Make with a Layer Cake?
If you use only one layer cake with no additional cutting or fabric, you will get a finished quilt size of 57” x 66.5”. Line up the fabric in a 6 by 7 grid to get these measurements.
What is a Fat Eighth?
A fat eighth is a 9” x 21” cut of fabric. A typical eighth of fabric would measure 4.5” x 42”. Fat eighths are cut in a way where you can get larger cuts out of an eighth of fabric. Fat eighth bundles are a great way to beef up your fabric stash and there are many quilt patterns that use fat eighths. These precuts are nice for quilt patterns that use a lot of different types of fabric, or for scrappy style quilts.
How Many Fat Eighths are in a Yard?
There are 8 fat eighths in one yard of fabric.
What is a Fat Quarter?
A fat quarter is a cut of fabric that measures 18” x 21”. It is called a quarter because it measures out to one quarter, or one fourth, of one yard of fabric. A typical quarter of a yard would measure 9” x 42”. Instead, fat quarters, much like fat eighths, are cut in a way that helps the maker get larger cuts out of the fabric.
Fat quarter bundles were popularized by Fat Quarter Shop. Many fabric collections will offer fat quarter bundles of every print and sometimes include coordinating solids or background prints.
Customized fat quarter bundles can be found on Etsy. These bundles often include a variety of fabric from several different fabric lines. Curated fat quarter bundles are perfect if you’re looking for a special blend of fabrics that are completely unique.
Are you looking for a beginner-friendly precut pattern? Check out my free Charming Sawtooth quilt pattern!
Should you Prewash Fat Quarters?
You should not prewash fat quarters. Although fat quarters are one of the largest precuts, you may run into issues if you choose to prewash or starch them.
Prewashing a fat quarter will not only shrink the fabric, but it will cause the raw edges to unravel. The loss of fabric may make it so the fat quarter no longer meets the fabric requirements of your quilt pattern.
Keep this in mind before you choose to prewash or starch your fat quarter cuts.
How Many Fat Quarters are in a Yard?
There are four fat quarters in one yard of fabric.
How Many Fat Quarters are in a Fat Quarter Bundle?
A fat quarter bundle that is based on a fabric line will usually include around 20 – 35 different fat quarters. A fat quarter bundle may be smaller if it is not based on a fabric line. Curated fat quarter bundles that are cut and assembled by a fabric shop typically include anywhere from 7 to 20 fat quarters.
What Size Quilt Can I Make with a Fat Quarter Bundle?
The size of quilt that you can make with a fat quarter bundle really depends on how many fat quarters are in your bundle. I’ll go over two examples using common fat quarter bundle sizes.
What Size Quilt Can I Make with 12 Fat Quarters?
If you use only 12 fat quarters with no additional cutting or fabric, you will get a finished quilt size of 61.5” x 70”. Line up the fabric in a 3 x 4 grid to get these measurements.
What Size Quilt Can I Make with 16 Fat Quarters?
If you use only 16 fat quarters with no additional cutting or fabric, you will get a finished quilt size of 70” x 82”. Line up the fabric in a 4 x 4 grid to get these measurements.
What are the Pros to Using Precut Fabric?
Save Time: Precut fabrics will save you time because they will lessen the amount of time you spend cutting. If you use only precuts in your quilt, you can start piecing immediately! This is the perfect way to make a quick quilt.
Save Money: Precut fabrics are the most affordable way to get every print from a fabric collection. Many fabric shops don’t sell fabric in less than quarter or half yards, so your fabric bill can quickly add up if all you need is small cuts for a pattern.
Beginner Friendly: I always recommend that beginner quilters start with a charm pack pattern. Removing the cutting step of quilt making will ease frustration and overwhelm, and it makes choosing fabric super simple.
What are the Cons to Using Precut Fabric?
Expensive: Precuts may save you money in some scenarios, but they may also be the more expensive option in others. If you’re purchasing precuts in solid colors or only using them for your background or sashing, it may be more cost-effective to purchase the fabric in yardage.
Not for Every Pattern: Not every quilt pattern is made with precuts in mind. Yardage may be your only option. Double-check the quilt pattern fabric requirements before you purchase your precuts.
No Prewashing: If you prefer to prewash or starch your fabric, you may prefer to work from yardage. Prewashing and starching your precut fabric can distort them and shrink them to an unusable size.
Overall, precut fabric is great to have on hand for fast projects. The convenience can’t be beat! If you’re looking for a place to purchase precuts, I love shopping for them at Fat Quarter Shop. They have an amazing selection of precut fabric and are specifically known for their fat quarter bundles.
Now grab some precut fabric and get started on your next project. Happy sewing!
Other Posts You May Like:
The Stress-Free Guide to Mashing Washing Quilts
How Many Five Inch Squares Do I Need to Make a Quilt?
Charming Sawtooth: A Free One Charm Pack Quilt Pattern
10 Ways to Quilt a Baby Quilt with a Walking Foot