Charm Packs, Jelly Rolls, Layer Cakes, oh my!

I got a comment the other day on the Wonderland post asking about charm packs for this yummy collection–they’ve re-released the 13 most popular prints, and a customer is searching for more charms.

The sad news is, there aren’t any. That’s the way charms work: they’re cut when the entire collection is cut, and only last as long as it takes for them to sell–they’re only produced the one time.

But let’s rewind a bit and cover a bigger question: what on earth ARE charm packs? Or any of these other pre-cut fabrics, for that matter? Moda fabrics has pioneered selling quilting cottons in this format, and technically they hold the TM to these specialized names; plenty of folks love getting fabric like this, though, so the pre-cuts have become more widespread and popular.

A charm pack is a collection of 5″ x 5″ squares, each one a different print. Most charm packs include 42 squares total.

Love U by Deb Strain

A jelly roll is a bundle of 2.5″ x 45″ strips cut crosswise–selvage to selvage–of each fabric in a collection, again usually one strip of each print, 40 strips total.

Boutique by Chez Moi

A layer cake is a larger version of a charm pack, measuring 10″ x 10″ and also containing 42 squares. A layer cake, if cut in quarters, equals four charm packs.

Blush by Basic Grey

A turnover is a triangular cut. Each turnover contains 80 triangles that measure 6″ on the side–stitch two together, and you get a 5″ square that can be mixed in with charm packs.

Frolic by Sandy Gervais

Honey buns are like mini-jelly rolls: they contain 40 strips but measure a skinner 1.5″ x 45″. There are 40 strips in each.

Swanky by Chez Moi

The good news, if you’re in the hunt for another Wonderland charm: while you can’t get more of those, Momo has a new collection coming out in March that is–if I may say–even better: Freebird. Just you wait.

Japanese designer Momo has a new collection out in March: Freebird. It rocks.

Using these was nearly strictly the realm of quilters for the first years after they came out–having your fabrics all pre-cut to size and perfectly straight and on-grain saves a lot of worry and hassle when constructing a quilt, and since for many quilters it’s the cutting and prep-work that bogs them down, can lead to more completed quilts in the long run. Piles of folks have been inspired, though, to create new NON-quilt patterns using these cuts (including me), simply because the mountain was there, so to speak. Moda, as the originator of the products, has devoted an entire blog to developing patterns and ideas for using their newest pre-cut collections.

The charm pack series has been on loooong hiatus, but I’m gearing back up to bring you six more patterns and ideas for download and duplication using these cuts. While I polish those up, tell me: what do YOU use pre-cut fabrics for?

(Oh, and if you haven’t completed last week’s survey yet, please do! I’m compiling data as we speak, and have already discovered some things about y’all that I wouldn’t have expected… Next week will be all about getting those goals in order and getting going checking some things off the list–I’d love to hear from you!)

You Might Also Like

  • radhi
    February 3, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    with my charm packs, i center-fold, and cut on the diagnoal, and they make perfectly sweet bunting triangles!

  • how to organize your fabric stash by size of fabric cut | Whipstitch
    May 3, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    […] all that tiny, true scraps of really fabulous fabric I wasn’t willing to toss out, and some precuts I hadn’t gotten around to using yet.  I’ve skimmed so many articles about sorting […]