Nancy’s Quilting Classroom: Quilting with Pre-Cuts

Quilting with pre-cuts is one of my favorite ways to make quilts. Here’s why: pre-cut fabrics come in a variety of shapes and sizes, making the prep work quick and easy and fabric selection a no-brainer. The most common pre-cut bundles contain 2½”-wide strips, 10″ squares, and 5″ squares. When I first saw a pre-cut bundle, I thought, “What a great idea!” Not only does a bundle contain one scrumptious piece of each fabric in the collection, but they also make the cutting part of the quilting process a breeze!

Tone on Tone Pre-cut Strips

If you find choosing fabrics for a quilt a bit overwhelming, or if you’re like me and want to save some time, pre-cuts are the perfect choice.

Quilts using Pre-cutsHere are a couple things to keep in mind when using pre-cuts:

  • Do not wash pre-cuts! If you’re concerned about the dyes running, use a dye-catcher sheet when you wash your quilt.
  • Don’t worry too much about the pinked edges. Align the tips of the pinked edge with the edge of your presser foot, or the ¼” line on your sewing machine, and sew a ¼” seam allowance.

I selected two pre-cut bundles of 2½”-wide strips to make Chain Link for Quilting Quickly Fall 2014. One bundle contained bright batiks and the other bundle was made up of gray and black batiks. And, who doesn’t love batik quilt patterns? Combining two bundles allowed me to make a lap-sized quilt and the gray/black batiks are neutral, allowing the other colors to shine. I used my leftover black strips to make a scrappy binding.

Chain Link Quilt
Quilts using Pre-Cuts
Chain Link by Nancy Mahoney

Here’s a handy chart showing how many pieces you can cut from each 2½”-wide strip.

2.5 strips chart

Another quick way to make a quilt is to start with pre-cut 10″ squares. Joy McKeon made Friends & Heroes from Quilting Quickly January/February 2016 using a bundle of pre-cut 10″ squares and one white print. This wonderful Quilt of Valor is easy to make using pre-cut squares and an 8-at-a-time Triangle-Square units method. You can see the Fons & Porter staff illustrate this method in the free quilting tutorial, Sew Easy: 8-at-a-Time Triangle-Squares.

Friends & Heroes Quilt
Quilting with Pre-cuts
Friends & Heroes by Joy McKeon

Precut 10″ squares can be cut into a variety of smaller shapes. Below is a chart with just a few of the possibilities.

10 squares chart

Focus on Fun from Quilting Quickly Summer 2014 is a fun and easy quilt pattern made from precut 5″ squares and one white print. The blocks in this lap-size quilt are irregular, but the rows are straight. This quilt is a breeze to make using pre-cut squares.

Focus on Fun Quilt
Quilting with Pre-cuts
Focus on Fun by Nancy Mahoney

Precut 5″ squares can be stitched together in pairs, cut apart, and trimmed to make two 4½” triangle-squares. Or, they can be cut into smaller pieces as shown in the chart below.

5 squares chart

Want to learn more about quilting with pre-cuts? Get videos, quilt patterns, techniques, and easy-to-follow instructions for using pre-cut strips and squares in your patchwork from expert quilters Jean Nolte, Fons & Porter Product Director, and Cheryl Cantoya, Moda representative. Quilting With Pre-Cuts provides you with tips, techniques, and 50 quilt patterns!

Working with pre-cuts opens up a whole new world of quilting. What’s not to love about these little bundles of joy?!

Nancy Mahoney, Fons & Porter Guest Blogger


Happy Quilting!



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Nancy Mahoney

About Nancy Mahoney

Author, teacher, fabric designer, and award-winning quiltmaker, Nancy Mahoney has enjoyed making quilts for over 30 years, during which time an impressive range of her beautiful quilts have been featured in many books and in over 180 national and international quilt magazines. Nancy enjoys combining traditional blocks and updated techniques to create dazzling quilts. She doesn’t consider herself a specialist in one particular area, although Nancy’s favorite techniques include precision machine piecing, quilt design, and machine appliqué. When she’s not designing and making quilts, Nancy enjoys traveling to guilds and events around the country, sharing her quilts, teaching her piecing and machine appliqué techniques, and visiting gardens. Visit Nancy on her website,, for more quilting information and fun!