Tuesday, 31 December 2013

A lesson in fabric pre-cuts.

Yesterday I did a blog about Fat Quarters which are very popular amongst quilters and other sewists.   However they are just the tip of the iceberg as there are many speciality pre-cuts out there.  Most top manufacturers offer specialty cut items in conjunction with their collections.  These pre-cuts shorten your cutting time and give you an affordable way to purchase an entire collection of fabric without breaking the bank.

Pre-cut items are fabrics cut into specific sizes and typically packaged by collection. There are many different sizes but they are based on the most common cuts used by quilters. The most well-known and perhaps the most useful pre-cuts are charm squares, layer cakes and jelly rolls so we shall look at them first.  

Please note that some fabric manufacturers use different names for the same pre-cuts. The popular names tend to be the ones used by Moda fabrics.

Charms or Charm Squares.   These are 5 inch squares usually in a pack of 40 coordinating fabrics.  Total average yardage approx. 1 1/8 yards.  NB. Riley Blake calls their 5 inch squares “Stackers”.


Layer Cakes.  These are 10 inch squares, usually in a pack of 40 coordinating fabrics.  Total average yardage approx. 2 ¾ yards.


Jelly Rolls. * These are 2 1/2" pre-cut strips, cut the width of the fabric (WOF), from selvage to selvage. So generally 21/2 x 44 inches. Jelly Rolls are sold in sets of 40 strips from a coordinating fabric line; total yardage yield is approximately 2 3/4+ yards.


The above are the most popular pre-cuts but there are many more and as I said you may find that different manufactures use different names.

Here are some more.

Dessert Rolls or Fat Rolls. These are 5" wide pre-cut strips x width of fabric from selvage to selvage.  These rolls are fabric strips from a coordinating line of fabric, typically 40 strips of 20 different fabrics; total yardage yield is approximately 5 1/2+ yards.

Honey Buns or Sweet Rolls. These are 1 1/2" pre-cut strips cut the width of the fabric from selvage to selvage.  These are 40 strips from a coordinating fabric line; total yardage yield is approximately 1 3/4 yards.

Candy Squares or Mini Charms. These are 2.5" x 2.5" squares they usually come in packs of 40.

Turnovers.  These are 6" pre-cut triangles of 40 fabrics from a coordinating line; total yardage yield is approximately 1 yard.

Spoonfuls. These are by Moda and are 8-1/2" squares.

Bali Bitty Bundles. These are by Hoffman - eight fat-eights (9" x 22")

Honeycomb Hexagons.  These are new by Moda fabrics. They are collections of 40, 6" hexagons. Each Honeycomb hexagon measures 6" from point to opposite point, with a horizontal measurement of 5 1/4". Moda Fabrics are the industry leader when it comes to inventing new pre-cuts.

*Other names for Jelly Rolls include: Bali Pops by Hoffman Fabrics, Rolie Polies by Riley Blake, Roll Ups by Robert Kaufman Fabrics and Stone Strips by Northcott Fabrics.

As you can see there are a whole host of wonderful pre-cuts out there just waiting for your next project. There are also many, many books and tutorials on how to use them all but that is another blog!

Before you dive in and get started, I have a last note about pre-cuts……. DON’T PRE-WASH!

The following information comes from The Fat Quarter Shop:-

“If you prefer to prewash your fabrics before cutting and sewing, learn to resist the temptation to wash or even rinse your pre-cut fabric strips. Washing could cause the fabric to fray, ravel, or shrink, resulting in pieces that are no longer an accurate size”.

For my Merikan friends The Fat Quarter Shop is a great source of all pre-cuts.  UK friends can find good suppliers in my Fantastic Suppliers list over on the left-hand side of the blog.


Please feel free to leave links to your projects in the comments. 

Jilly @ Fabrilushus