People who love fabric, especially quilters, love packages of precut fabric. Not only are they fun to look at, to hold and to own, they make great gifts and beautiful quilts. Using these precut fabrics means we can get right to the piecing without spending time cutting the fabric. Another thing we love about precuts is the large variety of fabrics in one package. Precut fabric is available in many sizes and shapes. They have different names depending on the manufacturer.
We have all heard of Jelly Rolls® and Layer Cakes®. Although we tend to call all 2-1/2″ strips Jelly Rolls® this is a registered trademark of Moda Fabrics. In my house, every facial tissue is called a Kleenex® regardless of brand. Whatever we call them, precut fabrics are the best invention ever dreamed up!
Trademarks include: Pops® from Hoffman California Fabrics and Jelly Rolls® from Moda Fabrics. These are packages of about 40 strips cut 2-1/2″ x WOF. Each strip has a selvage on the short ends. Some packages contain more or less than 40 strips. There is about 2-3/4 yards in a package of 40 strips. I don't recommend washing these strips before using them.
We piece these strips together into strip sets such as the one shown here for bargello quilts.
To cut your own strips, cut a 2-1/2″ strip across the width of fabric. When I have only a few inches of fabric left over I like to cut strips and make scrap quilts. For a way to use leftover strips check out the articles, Using Scraps From Precut Strips and Two Ways to Fly: Flying Geese.
Hundreds of books and patterns are available using precut strips. One of my favorite free patterns for strips is Puzzle Box from Christa Quilts.
Charms are smaller squares of fabric. The most common sizes are sets of 5″ squares and sets of 2-1/2″ squares. Usually there are about 42 squares in each package.
No guessing what these are. Most often you'll hear these called Layer Cake® cuts. This is a trademark of Moda Fabrics. You can do so many things with a 10″ square. There is generally about 40 squares to a package. This gives you about 2-3/4 yards of fabric.
A fat quarter measures about 18″ x 21″. If you cut 1/4 yard from a bolt of fabric it would measure 9″ x 44″. With a fat quarter we can get larger cuts. This is the first precut I remember coming onto the quilting scene. You can purchase fat quarters one at a time or in sets of whatever quantity you can imagine.
Other Precut Fabric
Some manufacturers or quilt shops will prepare other cuts. Here are some that I know of:
- Fat Eighth – 9″ x 21″
- Mini Strips – 1-1/2″ x 44″
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