Those Daunting Pre-Cuts

by Featured

Do you have stacks or rolls of pre-cuts that are nearly impossible to open? Are you guilty of purchasing these beautiful bundles and then letting them languish on your shelves? Are you “afraid” to open these fabulously packaged fabrics? It can be daunting!

Pre-cut quilting fabrics are an ingenious invention! Fabric companies know that we love to buy them, but then don’t use them because they are “too pretty” to open and disturb. Even worse, they are like potato chips…you can’t have just one! Once we fall to the temptation, we start a collection. You know what I mean? A collection is something that we buy for no other reason than we love it. Collections aren’t meant to be used, but rather to be displayed, looked at, maybe shown off once in awhile, and just enjoyed.

So, what are we to do? Well, I have a few recommendations that might work for you:

  1. Find a pattern for each set of pre-cuts, and, using the pattern as your guide, get your background, borders, etc. and place all items together in a project box so that you have an actual plan for the fabric.
  2. Don’t be shocked here: UN-bundle your bundle! Removing the plastic, taking off that pretty ribbon holding it together, etc. can be difficult, but once it is open, you can really see what you have. Open the pieces up. Pet them. Tell them they are pretty. Again, decide if these are meant for a specific project, (and if so refer to 1.) or if you need to just add them to your stash to be used when the need arises.
  3. Buy a jelly roll organizer (or in my case, 6) and open up those jelly rolls! Look through them, decide if you want to use the strips together (again, refer to 1.), or divide them by type, color, etc. and place in the storage container to be used. Trust me…you will be much less likely to use them when they are all rolled up nice and neat. The Art Bins that I love can be found at Amazon. Please buy from your local shops, if at all possible, but no one in my area carries these.

Here’s a link to one of my absolute favorite 2 1/2″ strip patterns by Bonnie K. Hunter: Be sure to poke around on Bonnie’s blog for all kinds of free patterns.

While many of us are at home trying to figure out what this “new normal” is going to look like, we have some unexpected time on our hands. Now is a great time to take stock of what we have, and figure out how to best use it.

One very common issue is what to do with these yummy packages of delight. Consider this: one jelly roll is around $40, a fat quarter bundle can range from $60-$120, a layer cake is around $40. These are very expensive “decorations” for our sewing rooms and studios. It’s even worse if they are hidden away in a container with their many friends awaiting the day that they get to become something even more fabulous! Let them see the light of day and be enjoyed:)

Although it can be intimidating, open up those pre-cuts and start using them! It’s like ripping off a bandaid: frightening to think about, but once it’s over, you are so glad that you did it:)

Sandi Griepenstroh

Sandi Griepenstroh


I started quilting in the early 90's as a young mom while I was still teaching high school social sciences and English. Now it is my full time job, and I love sharing the joy that quilting has brought into my life through lecturing, trunk shows, teaching everything from piecing to machine quilting, and longarm quilting the pieced quilt tops that others have made. I am a maker through and through, and I can't wait to meet my fellow makers and talk quilting!

You Might Also Like

Silver Linings

Disclaimer: This post is not about quilting 🙂 Raise your hand if you are tired of hearing about Covid-19. Raise your hand if you can't help reading more, listening to more, and stressing more about it than you want...

Just Create

Image courtesy of It's 2020. It's been 10 years since I started my business Lone Tree Designs. 10 years. Did you all know that being a professional quilter, lecturer, and teacher is my...


Your Cart