What are Precuts?
Precuts are pieces of fabric that have all been cut to the same, uniform size and then packaged up and sold together as a unit. Precut fabrics can be solids, prints or a combination of both. And they are typically made with various fabrics from a single fabric collection (like this CF Collection Roll Up by Carolyn Friedlander or this Paintbox Precut Fat Quarter Bundle by Elizabeth Hartman ). When it comes to precuts, there are a few different standard sizes. Here’s a quick look at the most common precut sizes from smallest to largest.
- Mini Charm: 2.5” x 2.5” squares
- Charm Pack: 5” x 5” squares
- Jelly Roll or Roll Up: 2.5” x WOF strips (note: width of fabric (WOF) can vary from 40-44”)
- Layer Cake: 10” x 10” squares
What is a Bundle?
Precut fabric can also come in larger-sized pieces of fabric, also known as bundles. Bundles can include multiple cuts from a single fabric collection (like these designer fabric bundles) or they can be hand selected by a fabric shop (like these Cottoneer bundles). Here’s a quick look at the most common sizes of fabric bundles from smallest to largest:
- Fat Eighth: 9” x 21” (rather than a 1/8 yard off the bolt, which would measure 4.5” x WOF)
- Fat Quarter: 18” x 22” (rather than a traditional ¼ yard off the bolt which would measure 9” x WOF)
- Half Yard: 18” x WOF
How to Use Precuts and Bundles
Quilters love precuts and bundles for a variety of reasons.
- They Save Time: When it comes to cutting fabric, precuts can save a lot of time. For example, imagine you have a quilt pattern that requires a bunch of 2.5” squares. It’s much more efficient to grab a mini charm pack (precut 2.5” squares) or even to cut your squares from the 2.5” precut strips of a roll up rather than cut each of those small squares from a large yard of fabric.
- They Offer Variety on a Budget: Precuts allow you to buy a variety of different fabrics, without breaking the bank on yardage. Say you’re making a patchwork quilt and you want to use 25 different fabrics in your design. The smallest cut of fabric you can typically purchase from a fabric shop is ¼ yard (sometimes 1/8 yard). By the time you select 25 different fabrics at ¼ yard a piece, you’ll end up with more fabric than you need for your project. Not to mention all the extra cash spent along the way. A precut roll up (like this colorful Kona Cotton Elizabeth Harman Designer Palette) might be a better solution for your project. It gives you the variety and quantity of fabric you need, at an affordable price.
- They’re Convenient: Many quilt patterns are precut-friendly, meaning the pattern will tell you exactly how many of a certain sized precut you need to make the pattern. The most common type of precut referenced in quilt patterns are fat quarters. Grab a fat quarter bundle (like one of these bundles from our shop) and you’ll be ready to get started on your next project!
- They Make Fabric Coordination Easy: If you stress about which colors and prints will look good together in your finished quilt, precuts and bundles are your best friend. They bring together the perfect mix of bold designs, low-volume prints, and solids that all pair well together so that your finished project will look color-coordinated and cohesive.
- They’re Perfect for Binding: Jelly roll strips are the perfect width for a quilt binding – no cutting needed! Sew together enough strips to measure slightly larger than the perimeter of your quilt, iron in half lengthwise, and you’re good to go!
What Can I Make with Precuts and Bundles?
Just about anything! Precuts like roll ups are great for patchwork, strip piecing, quilt bindings and even scrappy quilt blocks!
And many quilt patterns are fat quarter (FQ) and fat eight (F8) friendly. Here are a few examples to check out in our shop: