Guide To Quilt Fabric Precuts


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Posted by Shari on September 10th, 2019

Guide To Quilt Fabric Precuts; updated 2019

Guide to Quilt Fabric Pre-Cuts

What Are Quilt Fabric Precuts?

Fabric precuts are exactly that;  PRE  CUT  pieces of fabric!  The most common quilt fabric precuts are:
  • 1 1/2 inch strips
  • 2 1/2 inch strips
  • 2 1/2 inch squares
  • 5 inch squares
  • 10 inch squares
  • Fat Eighths (9 inches by 22 inches)
  • Fat Quarters (18 inches by 22 inches)
  • Hexagons
  • Triangles
  • Circles

What Is The Advantage of Quilt Fabric Precuts:

There are big advantages to sewing with precuts:

1.  Perfectly Matched Fabric - You get the full collection! 
Precuts usually have at least one of each fabric in the collection.  This is especially fun if the fabric collection is large; example Moda loves to do 32-40 piece fabric pieces in their designer collections.  It may be difficult to purchase yardage for all these prints.  With a fabric collection precut, it is all packaged and coordinated for you!

If the fabric collection is small, the precut may have duplicates or triplicates to correlate with the pack quantity count. 

Most smaller precuts; strips and squares, will not include a border or panel print.  Some fat quarter bundles may include a panel.  Each manufacturer is unique in what they include.  Read the product descriptions carefully.

2.  Save Time - No cutting required!
Precuts let you get to sewing faster because you don't have to spend that time cutting.

3.  Save Money!
Instead of buying too much fabric yardage, you get exactly what you need for your project.

4.  They are so PRETTY!
Color coordinated and bundled up; they make a wonderful gift.

Be diligent by knowing your fabric manufacturers.  This will help you avoid frustration of precuts not professionally manufactured and perhaps not to exact measurement.

Quilt Fabric Manufacturers

Which Quilt Fabric Manufacturers Have Precuts?

Have you ever wondered why some manufacturers have precuts, but others don't?

Here are some things to consider:
Not all fabric manufacturers are set up to manufacturer precuts.  Special machinery is required to mass produce quilt fabric precuts.  Labor is another factor; precuts require additional labor for preparation, manufacturing, and packaging.


The number of pieces in a fabric collection.  For example, some fabric manufacturers have very small fabric collections with only 8-12 fabrics.  In a minimum 40 pack strip roll, that is a lot of duplicate prints.

The fabric print image size; some images are just too big.  By the time they offer 5 inch square pack out of a big beautiful flower motif, you would loose the look of the print you loved.

Common fabric vendors that manufacturer precuts:

Here at Bear Creek Quilting Company, we manually create some of our own quilt fabric precuts.  For popular new fabric collections we may create fat quarter, half yard, and one yard bundles for the ease of one-button ordering and financial savings to our customers.

Our other pre-cut is our End-of-Bolt Variety Strip PackThese remnant packs are a Bear Creek Quilting Company exclusive!  We create 4 inch and 6 inch by width-of-fabric (43"/44") long strip packs from our fabric remnant pieces.  Each pack is unique and different; great for string quilts, scrappy quilts, applique, stash building, and more!

How Are Quilt Fabric Precuts Made?

How Are Quilts Fabric Precuts Made?

Free Spirit Fabrics is a fabric manufacturer based in North Carolina that manufacturer their precuts in the USA.  They recently filmed short videos on their Facebook page showing their quilt fabric pre-cut manufacturing process.

Fat Quarters video is available HERE.

Strip Roll video is available HERE.

5 Inch Squares video is available HERE.

10 Inch Squares video is available HERE.

Wasn’t that so cool to watch?  (If you are not on Social Media, you should be able to search the internet for similar related videos.)

Pinked Edges

Some precuts have "pinked edges".  These are usually found on squares and strip rolls.  Pinked edges are used to prevent fabric from unraveling and fraying.

To sew with the pinked edges, measure across your specific manufacturer quilt fabric precut to determine if you should sew from the "peak of the edge" or "from the valley of the edge".  Stay consistent with your sewing for best results.

Some quilters prefer to trim the edges before beginning their projects.  This is completely personal preference!  Be careful if you decide to trim the edges because it may result in decreasing the standard measurement of your precut.

Fabric Precuts

What Are The Names For Quilting Fabric Precuts?

Now that we know the basics of what they are, who has them, and how they are made, let talk about specifics for each quilt fabric pre-cut.  Fabric manufacturers often offer multiple types of precuts for each of their fabric collections.  Below is a list of the type of precuts that are most common in today’s market place.

Color Story Fabric Bundle

Color Story Fabric Bundles:
A color story is piece of each fabric in the full collection, usually in a one yard bundle or a half yard bundle.  We have color stories on our website in half yard bundles and one yard bundles.

Fat Quarter Bundle

Assorted Fabric Bundles:
On our website, we have a fabric precut called Assorted Bundles.  Each bundle will specify if it is collection specific, how many cuts are included, and how large the cuts are.  In these assorted bundles, not every piece of a collection will be included.  It will be a random assortment of prints with no duplicates within the bundle.

Fabric Precut

Fat Quarter:
A Fat Quarter is an 18 inch by 22 inch piece of fabric. 

This is a quarter yard (1/4 or .25) of fabric, cut into a rectangle to make it wide and more user friendly. 

A Fat Quarter Bundle may have one piece of fabric in the full collection or it may be assorted.

Four - fat quarters are equivalent to 1 yard of fabric.

Fat Eighth:

A Fat Eighth is a 9 inch by 22 inch piece of fabric.

This is an eighth yard (1/8 or .125) of fabric, cut into a rectangle to make it wide and more user friendly. 

A Fat Eighth Bundle may have one piece of each fabric in the collection or it may be assorted.

Eight - fat eighths are equivalent to 1 yard of fabric.

Fat Sixteenth:

A Fat Sixteenth is a 4.5 inch by 22 inch piece of fabric.

This is an eighth yard (1/16 or .0625) of fabric, cut into a rectangle to make it wide and more user friendly. 

A Fat Sixteenth Bundle may have one piece of each fabric in the collection or it may be assorted.

Sixteen - fat sixteenths are equivalent to 1 yard of fabric.

Jelly Roll/Strip Roll

Fabric Strip Roll:

Strip Rolls come in a multiple of width sizes; 1 1/2 inches, 2 1/2 inches, 4 inches, 6 inches, etc.  Each strip of fabric is typically 43/44 inches long.

Jelly Roll/Strip Roll

2 1/2 Inch Strip Rolls (Regular) are most widely known as Jelly Rolls.  Did you know the "Jelly Roll" name is trademarked by Moda Fabrics and can't be used by other fabric manufacturers?

Other fabric manufacturers have gotten creative with their own precut names:

  • Bali Pops by Hoffman Fabrics
  • Karats or Jewels by Wilmington Prints
  • Strip Rolls by Maywood Studio,
  • Rolie Polies by Riley Blake Designs
  • Design Rolls by Free Spirit Fabrics
  • Pixie Strips by RJR Fabrics
  • Roll-Ups by Robert Kaufman
  • Double Scoops by Andover Fabrics
  • Pinwheels by Benartex


These are 2 1/2 inches by 43/44 inches.

Fabrics strips may be specific to a fabric collection or assorted.

The common quilt fabric industry standard is 40 fabric strips per pack; equivalent to approximately 2 3/4 yards of fabric.

Honey Bun / Strip Roll

1 1/2 Inch Strip Rolls (Skinny) are widely known as Honey Buns, again a name trademarked by Moda Fabrics, or Skinny Strips by Hoffman Fabrics.

These are 1 1/2 inches by 43/44 inches.  

Fabrics strips may be specific to a fabric collection or assorted.

There are usually 40 fabrics per pack; equivalent to approximately 1 2/3 yards of fabric.

5 Inch Strip Rolls (Large) are known as Moda Dessert Rolls.

These are 5 inches by 43/44 inches.

Fabrics strips may be specific to a fabric collection or assorted. 

There are usually 20 fabrics per pack; equivalent to approximately 2 3/4 yards of fabric.

10 Inch Squares / Layer Cake

Fabric Squares:

10 Inch Squares:

Common fabric industry names for this popular fabric precut are:

  • Layer Cake by Moda
  • Bali Crackers by Hoffman Fabrics
  • Stack Pack by Island Batik
  • Patty Cake by RJR Fabrics
  • Sundae by Andover
  • Karats or Jewels by Wilmington Prints
  • 10" Stackers by Riley Blake Designs


This precut is a 10 inch by 10 inch square piece of fabric.

Fabrics squares may be specific to a fabric collection or assorted.

There are usually between 40 and 42 fabrics per pack; equivalent to 2 3/4 yards of fabric.


Charm Pack / 5 Inch Squares

5 Inch Squares:

Common fabric industry names for this fabric precut are:

  • Charm Pack by Moda
  • Charmers by Benartex
  • Bali Snaps by Hoffman Fabrics
  • Single Scoop by Andover Fabrics
  • Karats by Wilmington Prints
  • 5" Stackers by Riley Blake Designs


This precut is a 5 inch by 5 inch square piece of fabric.

Fabrics squares may be specific to a fabric collection or assorted.

There are usually between 40 and 42 fabrics per pack; equivalent to 3/4 yard of fabric.

Mini Charms / 2 1/2 Inch Squares

2 1/2 Inch Squares:

Common names for this fabric precut are:

  • Mini Charm by Moda
  • Charmers by Benartex


This precut is a 2 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch square piece of fabric.

Fabrics squares may be specific to a fabric collection or assorted.

There are usually between 40-42 fabrics per pack; equivalent to 1/2 yard of fabric.

Hexagons

Hexagons:

Common names for this fabric precut are:

  • Hexagons by Free Spirit Fabrics
  • Honeycomb by Moda


Hexagons are 6 inch by 6 inch precut hexagon shape.

There are between 40-42 fabrics per pack.

Turnovers

Turnovers:

Exclusive to Moda.

This unique precut is a 6 inch half-square triangle.

Usually 80 pieces of fabric per package.

Frivol

Frivols:

Frivols were an exclusive release by Moda, several years back.  They are not in current production.

This precut was a 7 inch by 7 inch square piece of fabric.

The pack contained 42 pieces of fabric per package and came exclusively in a Moda Designer Collectors Tin Box; complete with a surprise notion, and a free quilt block pattern.

Fabric Precuts

Above is a chart from Moda to remind you what each precut looks like and what they contain.  You can download it HERE.

Do I Prewash Quilt Fabric Precuts?

A few notes on laundering - Moda makes the most precut bundles on the market, and they state that their precuts never need to be prewashed.  They feel prewashing means pressing, and that takes a lot of the ease-of-use out of working with precuts.  In addition, you could be left with a big tangle of thread ends.

To prewash any fabrics comes down to personal preference!  The fabric manufacturing process is much different than it was in years past.  Improvements have been made for minimal shrinkage, and dye quality for no bleeding.  Keep in mind, prewashing may result in your precut shrinking and thus not usable if you are following a specific pattern.

If you do decide to prewash precuts, they should be placed in a mesh bag or pillowcase to reduce tangling.  And there is likely to be some fraying.  To keep this at a minimum, some people recommend snipping a little off each corner at a 45 degree angle prior to washing.

What Can I Make With Quilt Fabric Precuts?

You now know who has precuts, how they were made, and what they are called.  The next major question is what do I make?  There are so many options when it comes to precuts!  We have lots of patterns to choose from, books, and templates to use!

Patterns:
Quilt patterns are available on our website, on Pinterest, and on fabric manufacturer websites.  We have over 1000+ Free Quilt Patterns on our website, and in-stock patterns available for purchase.

Here are a few links to find patterns that are precut friendly:


Some of these patterns may need tools such as a Creative Grids ruler.  In the description for each pattern, we specify what is included with each pattern, what type of precut to use, and what tools are required to complete each pattern.

You can view all our available to purchase patterns HERE.

And you can find over 1000+ Free Downloadable Quilt Patterns available HERE.  Remember, any fabric can be used in a free pattern.  The creative possibilities are endless!

Start with Strips

Books:
Books are the perfect way to have tons of patterns with the same theme.  We partner with Martingale Publishing for most of our books and have a new titles available for purchase monthly.  Books are a great value for collecting patterns!

Start with Strips by Susan Ache

Perfect 10 Quilts by It's Sew Emma

Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa Watson

Coming Soon:  Available in September 2019, Third Times A Charm by Mary Jacobson and Barbara Groves

Coming Soon:  Available in November 2019, Fresh Fat Quarter Quilts by Andy Knowlton

Cake Mix Recipe Papers

Precut Templates:
This is piecing made easy!  Foundation Paper helps you put together lovely blocks in minutes!  Miss Rosie’s Quilt Company has made 12 Cake Mix Recipe Cards, these are perfect for 10 inch squares of fabric.  The four Cupcake Mix Recipe Cards work with 5 inch squares of fabric.

Coming Soon:  Available in October 2019, Moda All Stars: Mix It Up by Lissa Alexander for Martingale

Free Fabric Precut Cutting Guides:

Since Moda specializes in so many different fabric precuts, they offer information on helpful ways to cut and assemble precuts.  Click on each below for a free download:


And don't forget about their dedicated blog for Free Fabric Precut patterns and tutorials, Moda Bake Shop.

How Many Quilt Fabric Precuts Do I Need?

We have a "Guide to Quilting Precuts" on our website, in a chart format, if you want something to read at a glance.  It can be found HERE.

The calculations of how many precuts you need for a certain quilt can be a little daunting. 

Let us take a layer cake for a queen size as an example.  A layer cake is 10 inches by 10 inches.  If you count for the 1/4 inch seam allowance on all sides the end result is 9 1/2 inch by 9 1/2 inches.  If the quilt needed is 84 inch by 94 inches you can do a rough calculation that you need 9 rows by 10 squares.  90 squares in total are needed for a queen sized quilt which is a little more than 2 layer cakes.

Calculations are as follows:

Precut – 1/2 inch on each side for the base.

Quilt Length divided by Precut base = Rows

Quilt Width divided by Precut base= Number in Each Row

Rows x Number in Each Row = Precuts needed.

Precuts needed divided by Quantity in precut = Packages Needed

We hope you found this updated Guide to Quilting Fabric Precuts helpful.

Bear Creek Quilting Company

and the BCQC Team

Category: Guides