What are Layer Cakes, Jelly Rolls and Charm Packs

If you are new to quilting, the whole area can be a minefield. What is a Jelly Roll? What is Layer Cake? What is a Charm Pack? And how on earth do you use them for quilting?!

Pam and Nicky Lintott are a Mother and Daughter quilting duo who have written countless books on quilting with the use of jelly rolls, layer cakes and charm packs. So who better to ask about these fabric packs. The terms Jelly Roll and Layer Cake are trademarked by Moda.

This following has been excerpted from More Layer Cake, Jelly Roll and Charm Quilts.

What are Jelly RollsWhat is a Jelly Roll?

A jelly roll is a roll of forty fabrics cut in 2 1/2in wide strips across the width of the fabric. Moda introduced jelly rolls to showcase new fabric ranges. How inspirational to have one 2 1/2in wide strip of each new fabric wrapped up so deliciously! If you want to make a jelly roll quilt and don’t have a jelly roll to use, then cut a 21/2in wide strip from forty fabrics from your stash and you can follow all the instructions in just the same way.

Layer CakeWhat is a Layer Cake?

A layer cake is a stack of forty-two fabrics 10in square and is another brilliant way of presenting fabrics from Moda. The layer cakes used to contain only forty squares but Moda, being so customer friendly, increased it to forty-two when told that it would be more useful to have an extra two squares.

A layer cake contains approximately the same amount of fabric as a jelly roll but having the fabric in a square rather than a strip opens up some exciting design opportunities which couldn’t be achieved with strips alone. If you want to make a layer cake quilt and don’t have a layer cake to use, then cut a 10in square from forty-two fabrics in your stash and you can follow all the instructions in just the same way.

Charm packWhat is a Charm Pack?

Historically, charm quilts are quilts in which each fabric was used only once, however small a piece it was. Only small pieces of each fabric were therefore needed so charm packs provided that need and are very useful when ‘large amounts of small amounts’ are required. Charm packs come in different sizes but Pam and Nicky have used the 5in charm squares that Moda produce and which are proving the most popular size.

Most charm packs contain between forty and fifty squares of fabric. We have assumed you get forty squares in a pack so, if you have more, then consider it a bonus! This also means that some of the patterns for charm packs in this book are interchangeable with layer cakes. If a pattern calls for four charm packs, you know that you can cut one layer cake into four charm packs and you will have the required amount of 5in squares

What does a quilt look like made with each of these packs? On top is a Jelly Roll quilt, from Pam and Nicky’s New book Jelly Roll Quilts in a Weekend. The bottom left is a Layer cake quilt and the bottom right is a charm pack quilt. These two quilts are from More Layer Cake, Jelly Roll and Charm Quilts.

Jelly Roll Quilt

Layer Cake QuiltCharm Pack Quilt

Here are some of Pam and Nicky’s books

Pam and Nicky’s new book Jelly Roll Quilts in a Weekend is available for pre-order now.

Jelly Roll Quilts in a Weekend will appeal to new quilters who are anxious about selecting fabrics that will work together and don’t like the idea of lots of cutting. They will love the idea of making their own jelly roll quilt top (and possibly their first quilt) in a weekend.

This collection features 15 stunning quilt designs that use a mixture of traditional quilt blocks and designs combined with very current fabric lines to create beautiful quilts with a fresh, modern aesthetic. Pam has used fabric from some of the most popular designers around today including Tilda, Karen Lewis and Kaffe Fassett to create this irresistible collection of quilt patterns.

This title will appeal to experienced quilters looking for fresh, new jelly roll quilt patterns, as well as absolute beginners looking to make their first ever quilt.

Antique to Heirloom Jelly Roll Dessert Roll Quilts More Layer Cake, Jelly Roll and Charm Quilts Quick Quilts with Rulers Quilting


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About Nadine

Nadine dabbles in a wide range crafts. If it's pretty and she wants to make it, she'll learn the technique to do so. She is also never without a cup of tea in her hands.