Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pastry Talk

Precuts is a hot word for the quilting world. I remember when I first started quilting I would feel overwhelmed just picking out a background fabric and couldn’t dare to think about choosing 40 coordinating fabrics to put into a good scrappy quilt (remember I like them scrappy!) I would browse through modern quilting books for ideas and fall in love with the matchings and mis-matchings of colors, patterns, and textures that looked “Oh so yummy!!,” yet I wouldn’t even know where to start.  To say the least, picking out fabrics can be intimidating for the new quilter. That’s where precuts come in!!
What are precuts? Well precuts are exactly as the name entails, pre cut strips, squares, triangles, etc of fabric. The best part is that great designers who really have an eye for putting various colors and patterns together have already done this hard work for us and let me tell you they do a great job!  Depending on the manufacturer of the fabric you may run into slightly different names for these packs of fabric, but once you start working with them, you will be able to navigate through precuts like a pro! Precuts offer a wonderful alternative for those new to quilting for many reasons;

·         They are already cut improving cutting accuracy for your quilt so you just have to concentrate on the stitching accuracy,

·         They offer many different coordinating prints in each pack so you can get a great look even if you don’t have an overflowing scrap drawer (closet),

·         And lastly, they are just so much fun! I encourage you to check out some pre-cuts by Moda, Riley Blake, and many other designers and I can guarantee you will fall in love with some of the fabric pairings! Beautiful!!

Many of the names you will hear are names of pastries! Like we really need to be thinking of yummy yummy bakery findings while we are trying to quilt….I have listed a few of the popular names of precuts below to get you started:

Charm packs: Charm packs are stacks of about 20-40 different pieces of fabric precut into 5” squares. Occasionally you may find a charm pack cut into 6” squares so just keep an eye out on the label. Make sure you also read how many squares come in a packet you choose so you will ensure you have enough for your quilt.

Layer Cakes: Layer cakes are very similar to charm packs but are double in size, 10” squares. Most layer cakes contain around 30-40 pieces.

Jelly Rolls: Jelly rolls are 2.5” strips of fabric. They are the WOF (width of fabric) in length so usually about 44-45.” A jelly roll usually contains around 20-40 strips of fabric.

Honeybuns: Honeybuns are very similar to jelly rolls but are smaller. These strips are 1.5” x WOF. They usually have around 40 strips of fabric.

Fat Quarter bundles: These are my favorite!! I love to find a good deal on a fat quarter bundle! These are packs of coordinating fat quarters (1/4 of a yard of fabric cut lengthwise rather than widthwise.) Packs can really vary by how many fat quarters are in a bundle so make sure you take into account how many quarters you need. Many times you can use a bundle to make multiple quilts.

Turnovers: Turnover are stacks of 80 6" triangles. Lots of fun!!

 I hope this helps you wade through the waters of pastry chatter next time you are in the market for some quilting precuts! I used the pictures from which has a wonderful selection of precuts available to choose from with good prices. There are many other great options as well, just google “quilting precuts” and set aside a few hours! Once you build up your stash drawer (closet) you may find yourself buying these less and less, but they are an excellent option for a beginning quilter and the designers do such a nice job on pairing fabrics!! Good luck buying just one!!




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