Everything you want to know about Pre Cut Fabrics!

If you’re a quilter or have shopped for quilting fabrics, you’ve probably come across pre-cut fabrics. They are fabulous curated bundles of fabric that are so incredibly handy when quilting! Learn all about the most common pre-cut fabrics here.

Half yard bundles, Fat Quarters, 10″ squares, 5″ squares, and 2 1/2″ strips are the most commonly used pre-cut shapes. There are other shapes that some manufacturers cut (though they don’t generally cut these specialty shapes for all their lines). These include 1 1/2″ strips, 6″ hexagons, 2 1/2″ squares, and triangles. Not every fabric manufacturer cuts every shape for their fabric lines, so it can be handy to learn how to cut your own “pre-cut” fabrics. I show you how to cut the most common sizes in this video:

If you’d like to get my simple “cheat sheet” on standard pre-cut sizes, you can get the download link by subscribing to my newsletter here:

 
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In most fabric stores, you’ll find fabric sold as “yardage” off the bolt. You select your bolts of fabric, bring them to the counter, and have an employee cut off the amount of fabric you require. Many quilters have a preferred yardage amount for any fabric they are going to add to their fabric stash – usually somewhere between 1/2 yard and 3 yards, depending on the expected use of the fabric.

Fabric off the bolt measures at least 40″ from selvedge to selvedge. Different manufacturers have different WOF (Width of Fabric). A yard is 36″. Therefore, a yard of fabric off the bolt measures 36″ by at least 40″. And a half yard will measure 18 by at least 40″.

A fat quarter is a very common cut of fabric. A quarter yard is 9″ x at least 40″. A 9″ strip is not a very usable piece of fabric, because you can’t cut a 10″ or 12″ square from it, and you can only cut 8 5″ squares, leaving a large amount of scrap behind. That is why most quilters prefer a fat quarter. A fat quarter is a half yard of fabric that has been cut in half perpendicular to the width of fabric – generally on the fold in the middle. This results in a piece of fabric that is 18″ x 20″, and a much more usable cut of fabric. You can cut a 12″ square, two 10″ squares, or twelve 5″ squares from a fat quarter. It is called a “fat” quarter because it is wider than a quarter yard that is cut right off the bolt – therefore it is “fatter.” Some people mistakenly call a fat quarter a “flat quarter.” This is a fairly common mispronunciation. Likely because “fat” and “flat” sound so similar, but also because fat quarters are often folded into sixteenths, making a flat, square-ish piece of fabric.

Fat Quarters are often sold in curated bundles. Usually these bundles are all fabrics from the same manufacturer and the same line of fabric. But, some quilt shops curate their own custom Fat Quarter bundles. And many quilt shops sell individual fat quarters – a very cost-effective way for a quilter to add favorite fabrics to their collection.

10″ squares and 5″ squares are common pre-cuts. They generally are cut and packaged by the manufacturer, and include fabrics from a single line. 42 is a common number of fabrics in a 10″ or 5″ stack, but this is not an industry standard. Packs often have repeats of different fabrics, depending on the total number of fabrics in the line.

2 1/2″ strips are a very popular pre-cut. They are used in many pre-cut friendly quilts, and a single set of 2 1/2″ strips can be used to make a quick lap-sized quilt. These strips are 2 1/2″ wide, and the length is the entire length of the fabric. 2 1/2″ strips can also make great sashing, or binding for finished quilts.

Scrappy Placemat using Strips and Scrap Tape

Turn your scraps into a useful placemat with this quilt-as-you-go scrappy placemat! You can whip up this placemat in about an hour using the quilt-as-you-go method, and your scraps. And, you can use your scraps of batting as well! Placemats are so handy to have, and scrappy, quilted placemats like these are super fun. Make a whole stack to have handy, and just throw them in the washing machine when they get dirty. You’ll love seeing all your favorite quilting scraps in these scrappy placemats.

Scrappy Quilt as you go Placemat - Two placemats made of strips and scraps are on top of one another with a plate, knife, and fork on top. The Always Expect Moore Logo is in the bottom corner of the image.

You can make this table runner using just strips, but if you want to use your smaller scraps, you can convert them to strips using Scrap Tape. Scrap Tape is a new product that makes it so easy to turn small scraps into usable 2 1/2″ strips! The Scrap Tape is a water soluble interfacing that you can stitch your scraps to. It is sturdy enough to help control the bias in wonky scraps, and light enough to stitch through. When you’re done, you just wash it out with water! You can see how scrap tape works in this video here:

If you’d like to play with Scrap Tape, I sell it in my shop! You can get Scrap Tape here.

Once you’ve made your scrap tape and cut your strips, you can make your placemat. I have a free pattern download showing you how to make your scrappy placemat. Sign up for my newsletter below, and I’ll send the pattern link directly to your inbox:

 
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If you’d like to see what this Quilt-as-you-go technique looks like as you’re doing it, I made a quilt-as-you-go table runner. You can see how it goes together in this video:

I made this project as part of the Scrap Busting Blog Hop being hosted by my fabulous quilting friend Mel! Thanks mel for inviting me to join you on this scrappy journey! You can learn more about the scrap busting blog hop over at The Quilting Room with Mel, and check out her scrappy post from this week here.

And you can go check out last week’s scrappy projects, as well! I love this scrappy foundation paper pieced gnome that Marney made. I also love these scrappy numbers that Katie stitched up.

Chicken Quilt Block – Free Quilt Block

If you’re making a barn quilt, farm quilt, or animal quilt, you’ll absolutely want to include a chicken quilt block in your quilt. And, nowadays, you’d want to include a chicken quilt block in a quilt with all your favorite pets! I have several friends and family members who keep chickens as pets – and as egg-laying garden friends! You can change the colors of the quilt to match your favorite types of chickens. And by using different prints in these different colors, you can make a very interesting chicken quilt.

To make your chicken quilt more interesting, you can use different background fabrics. Or you can use the same background fabric throughout the chicken quilt to give it a more cohesive look.

Free Chicken Quilt Block Pattern - Always Expect Moore

This chicken quilt block finishes at 12″ x 12″ square. After stitching the block together, you can square it up to 12 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ before stitching it into the quilt. There is negative space around all four sides of the chicken in this block, which can help when squaring up.

This block is for intermediate or confident beginner quilters. It does have some pieces that are as small as 1″ square, so you’ll want to be comfortable with small piecing to stitch this block. Be precise when cutting your fabric, starch it well, and use an accurate 1/4″ seam allowance to have an accurate finished quilt block.

Free Chicken Quilt Block Pattern

This Chicken Quilt Block Patten is a free pattern available to anyone signed up for my newsletter list. If you’re not already on the list, you can use the form below to sign up. You’ll be added to the list and immediately get the download link for the Free Chicken Quilt Block Pattern. Head to your inbox to find the email (check our spam folder just in case) and you’ll have the link to the free chicken quilt block pattern that you can download today, and start sewing!

If the form below doesn’t work right away, be patient. If you haven’t seen an email within 6 hours (and you’ve checked your SPAM folder), you can email carolina@carolinamoore.com and I’ll manually send you the free chicken quilt block pattern.

 
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More Pet and Animal Quilt Block Patterns

If you’re interested in more pet and animal quilt block patterns, there are other designers offering fun 12″ block patterns. You can click the links below. Some of these patterns are only free for a limited time, so be sure to go download the block patterns soon!

Chicken Quilt Block by Carolina Moore
First Snow by Inquiring Quilter
Clown Fish by Powered By Quilting
Bunny Buddies at Patti’s Patchwork
Cute Turtle by Appliques Quilts and More
Doghouse Quilt Block by Kaye Collins
Scottie Dog
Dog Bone by QuiltFabrication
Bird Feeder by Duck Creek Mountain Quilting
Birdie Block by Blue Bear Quilts
Fishies at Perkins Dry Goods
Parlor Panther Queen at Orange Blossom Quilt Design Studio
Perky Pig by Masterpiece Quilting

Contrast Quilt Pattern

The Creative Grids Simple 7/8″ ruler is the easiest way ever to cut your squares for Half-Square Triangles. No more trying to see the tiny line – Creative Grids has made the 7/8″ lines the star of this ruler! Watch to see how to cut 7/8″ squares to make perfect half-square triangles every time. You won’t believe how these easy 7/8″ squares are! This is the quilting ruler that you never knew existed, but always needed!

This quilt is made using half-square triangles. These are a super simple and basic unit in quilting. The trickiest part of good half-square triangles is making sure you get accurate cuts. I recently discovered the 7/8″ Ruler from Creative Grids that makes it simple to get accurate 7/8″ cuts for half-square triangles! The genius behind this ruler is so simple – instead of making the 1″ marks the star of the show, it focuses on the 7/8″ marks! If you make just a few half-square triangle quilts, you’ll be so excited to have this ruler – it will save you from mis-cuts and make your squares so much more accurate!

I show you how to use the Creative Grids Simple 7/8″ Ruler in this video:

Get the Creative Grids Simple 7/8 Ruler in my shop here.

Use my affiliate link to get the Creative Grids Simple 7/8″ Ruler at the Fat Quarter Shop.

And, if you want to use your Creative Grids 7/8″ ruler right away, you’ll want the Contrast Quilt pattern!

Get a free download of the Contrast Quilt Pattern for a limited time when you sign up for my email list:

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Hot Dog Quilt Block

This Hot Dog quilt block was simple to draw, but so much more complicated to figure out piecing instructions for. When I make these monthly quilt blocks, I try to create blocks that are somewhere between beginner and intermediate. Some are a little more beginner, most are a little more intermediate. I like giving you the opportunity to try something new on a small project like a single block. We’ve tackled curved piecing, tiny piecing, foundation paper piecing, and more with these blocks.

When I first drew this Hot Dog Quilt Block I thought it was fairly straightforward. Just triangles and rectangles. Should be easy enough, right? But getting those mustard stripes to line up “just so” on this block turned out to be a bigger challenge than I thought it would be! I could have made this a foundation paper pieced block. But I think that having to print the block out makes it less accessible – not everyone has access to a printer or foundation paper. Simple cutting and squaring up is usually easier. I’ve done my best to write clear instructions that will help you make this block, step-by-step.

I think a confident beginner can probably make this Hot Dog Quilt block, but don’t worry too much if your mustard is a little haphazard. Real hot dogs don’t have perfect mustard, either!

To get this quilt block, sign up for my newsletter below. And, I’ve also added my hamburger quilt block to the folder as well. So, you get two fun blocks – both a hamburger and a hot dog!

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And, if you like playing with your (quilt) food… be sure to check out these other great food-themed quilt blocks:

Hot Dog Quilt Block by Carolina Moore
Corn off the Cob Quilt Block at Scrapdash
Pumpkin Pie by Appliques Quilts and More
Ice Cream Cones by QuiltFabrication
Citrus Wedges by Patti’s Patchwork
Peppers at Blue Bear Quilts
Pineapple at Duck Creek Mountain Quilting
Strawberry by Mom and Me Quilting Co.
Home for the Holidays by Inquiring Quilter
Red Delicious at Perkins Dry Goods
Pumpkin Quilt Block
Little Lemons by Love Sew Modern
Sew the Carrots Go Round Block at Patchwork Breeze
Cake Quilt Block at Masterpiece Quilting
Avocado at EvaPaige Quilt Designs

Harlequin Quilt

If you’re looking for a simple quilt pattern to use with novelty prints or large focal prints, then the Harlequin Quilt is perfect! It makes a nice long lap quilt, can be made in a day, and has large piecing that allows focal prints and novelty prints to really shine.

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The Harlequin Quilt uses the Folded Corner Clipper to make the stitch-and-flip corners a breeze! No need to draw lines on the back of every square, the Folded Corner Clipper by Creative Grids lets you trim up each corner to 1/4″, which essentially marks and trims the corner all at once! You can get the Folded Corner Clipper here in my shop. Or you can purchase the Folded Corner Clipper at the Fat Quarter Shop.

You can see how easy it is to use the Folded Corner Clipper to make Snowball blocks, Flying Geese, and Half-Square Triangles in this video:

Get the Harlequin Quilt pattern free for a limited time by joining the email list:

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Spider Web Table Topper

If you’re looking for a fun and unique Halloween decor piece, look no further than this Spider Web Table Topper. While the lace-like technique used to put these pieces together is perfect for some spooky fun, it will work perfectly in seasonal decor of all kinds – just change out the thread color for a completely different look!

You can watch this short video below to see how it works. I’ve also included written instructions below to outline the steps.

Start by cutting 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ squares from Halloween fabrics. I used Spooky and Sweeter by Art Gallery Fabrics, and cut a total of 48 squares. You can cut more squares for a bigger table topper, and you can cut your squares bigger if you like. This project is completely customizable.

Pair up the squares, right-sides-together. Stitch around all 4 sides, leaving a 2″ gap on one side.

Clip the corners. Turn right side out. Use a turning tool to poke out the corners so that they are crisp.

Press flat. Top stitch all the way around the edge of the square, locking your stitches when you meet up with the beginning point.

Install the 5mm Bridging Plate onto your Baby Lock machine. It is as easy as removing the Bobbin Plate and replacing it with the Bridging Plate.

Thread your machine like you normally would. Select a decorative stitch (I chose 3-11) and set the width to 7mm so that it is wider than the 5mm Bridging Plate.

Switch to your N foot. Place one square on either side of the Bridging Plate, and carefully feed under the needle. Keep an eye on the spacing under the needle to make sure that it is catching both sides with each stitch.

Continue, making 8 rows of 3.

Stitch the rows together in the same manner to make the completed table topper. When you get to the gap, lift up your presser foot, advance the project forward under the presser foot, and then continue.

That’s it! The table topper looks upscale but it is easy enough for a beginner to make. The secret (as always) is having the right tools!

I stitched up this whole project on my Baby Lock Aria. If you’d like to learn more about the Baby Lock Aria or find a local dealer that carries the Baby Lock Aria, check out the Baby Lock website. You can also ask your dealer about getting bridging plates for your machine.

Headphones Quilt Block

I’m so excited to share this fun Headphones quilt block as part of the Sew Much Fun Quilt tour! There are lots of quilting-themed quilt blocks that have been shared as part of this tour. Sewing Machines, thread, and notions are all essential tools for quilters. But when I thought about making a quilt block that represented what I had in my sewing room, I wanted something a little different. I asked my friends what non-traditional (but essential) tools they have in their sewing room, and as we were brainstorming, Kendall mentioned Headphones. Which is where the idea for this head phones quilt block came from.

I agree! Headphones are a big part of sewing for me, too. I’m often watching a show or movie while stitching away. I love putting on headphones, tuning out the rest of the world, and spending the day cutting, sewing, and pressing. A headphones quilt block absolutely belongs in a sewing-themed quilt!

This block is part of the Sew Much Fun Quilt Tour. Each week a designer will be sharing a quilting-themed block. You can get all the details here.

Sign up here to get your free Headphones Quilt Block pattern:

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If you’d like to make a sewing-themed quilt, you can collect the weekly 6″ sewing themed quilt blocks by following along. A sewing-themed quilt made from sewing-themed quilt blocks is the perfect gift for a quilter or to make for yourself! And by just making one block each week, you’ll build up a stash of blocks that you can use to make a sewing themed quilt or other sewing-themed quilty projects.

Here are the other blocks that have already been shared:

Dragonfly’s Quilting Design Studio – Sew Much Fun and bonus logo block
Faith and Fabric – Spool of Thread
Slice of Pi Quilts –Thimble
Orange Blossom Quilt Design Studio LLC – Sewing Machine
Limeleaves Designs – Thimble in Christmas style
Appliqués Quilts and More – Pin cushion with strawberry
Duck Creek Mountain Quilting – iron
Patchwork Breeze – pencil
Katie Mae Quilts – Seam ripper

Here are the links to the next several weeks…

Scrapdash – Spool and Bobbin Block
Penny Spool Quilts – bobbins (FPP)
Craftapalooza Designs – Hand with heart

Mini Quilt Advent 2021

We’ve launched the Mini Quilt Advent for 2021 and I’m so excited! As a quilter, this is the Advent Calendar I always wanted. Everything in this Advent Calendar is unique, and designed to inspire you to create!

We’ve only made a limited number of these Mini Quilt Advents, so head over to Katrinkles to pre-order your Mini Quilt Advent now. Once you’re done there, head over to my shop to pre-order your fabric bundle, either the Mini Quilt Advent Two Fabric Bundle or the Mini Quilt Advent Fat Eighth Fussy Cutting bundle.

This Advent Calendar comes in a beautiful felt box with an engraved wooden button on the front. The button has a quilt block on it (of course). In the felt box, there are 12 numbered envelopes – one for each of the 12 days of this Advent. Each day you open a numbered envelope, and inside you’ll find a custom acrylic template and an exclusive mini pattern. The pattern shows you how to use this template to make a 3″ finished quilt block that you can use as an ornament, coaster, garland, or combine with the other blocks to make a mini quilt or table runner. All 12 mini quilts can be completed with just 2 half-yard cuts of fabric. OR you can fussy-cut a variety of fabrics to make your mini quilt blocks.

As part of this Advent Calendar, I’ll be sharing a video each day starting December 1st showing you how to stitch up the mini quilt for the day. The templates build on one another so that each day you may just use the template for that day, or you may combine it with templates from previous days to make your mini quilt block. And these templates are designed to mix-and-match, so the designs on the patterns are just a jumping off point!

These bite-sized mini quilts are simple enough to make that you’ll be to find time to sew them, even in the busy holiday season! The Advent Calendars and fabric bundles will ship in early November, and the daily videos will begin December 1st.

The Mini Quilt Advent will sell out. If it sells out before you order yours, make sure you add yourself to the waitlist.

Don’t wait! Head over to Katrinkles to pre-order your Mini Quilt Advent now. She also has custom Advent Calendars for Knitters and Crocheters. If you’ve been extra good this year, you might deserve more than one Advent calendar. Or, you might have a yarn-loving friend in need of an Advent Calendar.

Once you’ve secured your Advent Calendar order, head over to my shop to pre-order your fabric bundle as well. I can’t wait to get your Advent Calendar to you!

Ball & Chain Quilt

This month’s new quilt is the Ball and Chain Quilt. It uses the Scrap Crazy 6 Template from Creative Grids. The Scrap Crazy 6 template is designed for using scraps, but you can also use yardage like I did here to make a more curated looking quilt. And, these Scrap Crazy 6 Quilt Templates allow you to easily cut out pieces – you don’t need to double-check that you have the right markings on the ruler when you’re using these templates. Just cut out your pieces and you’re ready to quilt!

The Ball & Chain quilt is made using a simple method for making quilts. First you make all of the rows, and then you put the rows together to make a quilt. Many of these rows are made out of quilt blocks, but there are sashing-like strips between the rows. These give the eye a place to rest because the rest of the quilt has so much going on. Which is hard to believe because this quilt is really only made using 2 blocks!

Learn how to use the Scrap Crazy 6 Template by watching the video I created. You’ll see that these templates are perfect for scrappy quilts, but also so much more!

Get the Scrap Crazy 6 Templates using my affiliate link at Fat Quarter Shop, or if you’d prefer to buy through Amazon you can use my Amazon affiliate link to get the Scrap Crazy 6 Template set.

If you’d like to download the Ball and Chain quilt pattern, you can purchase it below: