What does Layer Cake mean in Quilting?

A layer cake is not only a delicious and mouth-watering dessert but it is also used in quilting. Sounds weird? Huh. Layer Cakes are a savory stack of 10×10 pre-cut fabric squares to transform your creativity into an appealing quilt. Usually, these bundles come in a variety of coordinating colors and patterns, perfect for crafting everything from patchwork masterpieces to charming quilts and more. However, if you want you can make a quilt with the same color or pattern and mix and match them too, according to the quilt design. So, don't limit your quilting imagination, let the Layer Cake be the foundation of your next quilting project, and add a touch of sweetness literally to your quilting journey!

In quilting, a “layer cake” refers to a pre-cut bundle of fabric squares that are 10″ x 10″ in size. These squares are often cut from a collection of coordinating fabrics and are used in quilt projects to create a patchwork design. The term “layer cake” comes from the fact that the squares are often stacked like layers in a cake.

In this article, I will discuss, what does Layer Cake mean in quilting and how you can make a quilt using Layer Cakes. In addition, I will also explain the average size of quilt you can make using Layer Cakes and share some tips to ensure that your Layer Cake quilt turns out perfect. So, without further ado, let’s get started.

What Does Layer Cake Mean In Quilting?

A Layer Cake can be defined as a precut bundle of fabric squares that are typically 10″ x 10″ in size. These squares are cut from a collection of coordinating fabrics, which are designed to be used together in a quilt project. They are often sold by quilting fabric manufacturers and are popular among quilters because they save the time and effort of cutting out individual squares from a larger piece of fabric.

Layer cakes are great for quilt projects that require a variety of coordinating fabrics in specific sizes, such as patchwork quilts. Patchwork quilts are made up of many small squares of fabric that are sewn together to form a larger piece. By using layer cakes, quilters can easily select a variety of coordinating fabrics without having to purchase large quantities of individual fabrics.

In short, Layer Cake is a convenient and time-saving way for quilters to access coordinating fabrics, without purchasing large quantities of individual fabrics, thus giving the quilter the ability to focus more on the design and the sewing aspect of the quilt, instead of fabric selection and cutting.

How To Make A Quilt Using Layer Cake?

Quilting a layer cake can be a fun and creative way to use these pre-cut fabric squares. Here are some steps you can follow to quilt a layer cake:

Choose A Quilt Pattern

First, decide on the quilt pattern you want to use. There are many patterns available specifically for use with layer cakes, or you can use a pattern that calls for squares of a specific size, such as 10″ x 10″.

Select Your Squares

Next, go through your layer cake and select the squares that you want to use in your quilt. You can choose squares that coordinate with each other, or you can select squares randomly to create a scrappy quilt.

Arrange The Squares

Once you've selected your squares, arrange them in the pattern you've chosen. You can play around with different arrangements until you find one that you like.

Sew The Squares Together

Once you've arranged your squares, sew them together. You'll typically sew them together in rows and then sew the rows together to create the quilt top. You can use a quarter-inch seam allowance or a different size, it depends on the pattern you are making.

Add Batting And Backing

Once you have completed the quilt top, you'll need to add batting and backing fabric to the quilt. The batting will go in between the quilt top and the backing fabric, and all three layers will be quilted together.


After that, you can quilt the three layers together. This can be done by hand or by machine. Hand quilting involves running a needle and thread through all three layers, while machine quilting uses a sewing machine to stitch through the layers.


Lastly, you'll need to add a binding to the edges of the quilt. This is a strip of fabric that is sewn to the edge of the quilt to cover the raw edges and give the quilt a finished look.

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What Size Quilt Will A Layer Cake Make?

The size of a quilt that can be made with a layer cake will depend on the pattern you choose and the number of squares you use.

A Layer Cake typically contains 42 squares that are 10″ x 10″ in size. If you use all 42 squares and sew them together in a standard patchwork quilt pattern, a quilt top measuring approximately 56″ x 70″ will be the size of the quilt on average, if using a standard 1/4 inch seam allowance.

If you choose to make a quilt that uses a different pattern or a different number of squares, the size of the quilt will be adjusted accordingly. For example, if you choose to make a quilt that uses only half of the squares in a Layer Cake, your quilt will be half the size of the one made with all 42 squares.

It's also important to keep in mind that when you add batting and a backing fabric, the finished quilt will be slightly larger than the quilt top. The exact size of your finished quilt will depend on the size of the batting and backing fabric you use. You can always use a smaller size of batting or backing to keep the final size of the quilt in check.

In short, the size of a quilt that can be made with a Layer Cake will depend on the pattern chosen, the number of squares used, and the size of the batting and backing fabric used. It is also important to note that it does not have to be a single quilt and you have a wide range of possibilities to create different sizes and designs with a single Layer Cake.

Popular And Easy Layer Cake Quilting Project

As I mentioned above, quilting a layer cake is a fun and easy way to create a beautiful quilt. The possibilities with layer cakes are endless, you can have fun by experimenting with different patterns, colors, and fabrics to come up with your own unique quilt design. Layer cakes can be used in many ways to create different types of quilts. Some popular methods include:


Cutting the squares from the layer cake into strips and then sewing the strips together to create a new fabric.

Charm Quilt

Choosing different squares from the layer cake and arranging them in a specific pattern to create a charm quilt.

One Block Quilt

Choosing a single block of squares, sewing them together, and repeating the block to create a whole quilt.

Tips For Making Quilts With Layer Cake

Here are some tips that can help you create a perfect quilt with a layer cake:

Plan Ahead

Before you start working on your quilt, take some time to plan out your design. Choose a quilt pattern that you like and select the squares from your layer cake that will work best with that pattern. Take into consideration the size, the colors, and the prints of the fabrics, and think about how they will complement or contrast with each other.

Consistent Seam Allowance

To ensure that your quilt turns out even and square, it's important to use a consistent seam allowance. A quarter-inch seam allowance is a common choice, but you can use any size you like as long as you're consistent with it. If you're using a different size, make sure to adjust the measurements in the pattern accordingly.

Press Seams Open

It's important to press your seams open after sewing them, this will help reduce the bulk and make it easier to sew the rows together.

Be Mindful Of Directional Prints

When working with directional prints, make sure the direction of the print is consistent in all your squares, for example, all flowers should be facing the same direction in your quilt.

Take Breaks

Quilting can be a fun but time-consuming activity, because you're doing it for yourself and you are creating something beautiful that can be cherished for years to come. So it's important to take breaks to avoid getting burned out. 

Be Patient And Enjoy The Process

Quilting, like any other craft, takes practice and patience. Don’t get discouraged if you make mistakes, think of them as learning opportunities and enjoy the process of creating something beautiful.

Quality over Quantity

Quality of fabric is essential, as it will affect the overall look and feel of your quilt. Use high-quality fabrics, and make sure you have a good selection of coordinating prints, solids, and textures.

Good Quality Batting

Quality batting is important, you may choose between synthetic or natural batting, this will determine the weight and the warmth of the quilt, different batting will have different draping properties, thus you should choose what works best for you and your quilt project.

By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to creating a perfect quilt with a layer cake. Please remember that quilting is all about creativity and experimentation, so don't be afraid to try new things and have fun with your project.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a Layer Cake in quilting?

A Layer Cake is a pre-cut bundle of fabric squares that are typically 10″ x 10″ in size. These squares are cut from a collection of coordinating fabrics and are designed to be used together in a quilt project.

How many squares are in a Layer Cake?

Typically, a Layer Cake contains 42 squares that are 10″ x 10″ in size. However, the number of squares can vary depending on the manufacturer.

What can I make with a Layer Cake?

Layer Cakes can be used to create a variety of quilt projects, such as patchwork quilts, charm quilts, and one-block quilts. They can also be used to create other quilted items such as table runners, wall hangings, and bags.

How do I choose the squares from a Layer Cake for my quilt?

When choosing squares from a Layer Cake for your quilt, you can either choose squares that coordinate with each other, or you can select squares randomly to create a scrappy quilt. You can also consider the size, colors, and prints of the fabrics to make sure they will complement or contrast each other in your quilt.

Can I use Layer Cake squares for other crafts?

Yes, Layer Cake squares can be used for other crafts, such as making small bags, pillows, wall hangings, and more.

How do I store my Layer Cake?

It's best to store your Layer Cake in a cool, dry place, and in an acid-free container. This will prevent the fabric from yellowing or fading over time.

Is it possible to find Layer Cakes with different sizes of squares?

Yes, while most Layer Cakes have 10″x10″ squares, it is possible to find different sizes of squares or different numbers of squares in the packages, it will depend on the manufacturer and the collection of the fabrics.

How can I be sure that the Layer Cake I purchase will coordinate well together?

Well, you can check out the color scheme beforehand through images. Most manufacturers provide a picture or a color scheme on their website or packaging, that will help you see how the different fabrics coordinate together. Additionally, you may read reviews of the Layer Cake and see what other quilters think of the coordination.

Can I mix and match Layer Cakes from different collections?

Yes, you can mix and match Layer Cakes from different collections to create a unique and interesting quilt. However, it's important to keep in mind that the fabrics from different collections may not coordinate as well together, so you'll want to be mindful of the colors and prints when selecting squares.

Do I have to use all the squares in a Layer Cake for my quilt?

Not at all, you can use as many or as few squares as you like for your quilt. You can even use just a few squares to create a small quilt or a wall hanging. In addition, you can add an extra quirk to your quilt by mixing in some solid-colored fabric squares, using different block patterns or quilting designs, or incorporating some embellishments such as embroidery or applique.

Can I prewash my Layer Cake fabric before using them?

Well, it is not necessary. However, it is a personal preference, some quilters prefer to prewash their fabrics to preshrink them and prevent shrinking after the quilt is finished, while others prefer to use them as they are since the shrinking can cause the quilt to become distorted. If you choose to prewash, make sure to iron the squares carefully and make sure that the fabric is completely dry before using them.

Can I use Layer Cake for a beginner's quilt?

Yes, Layer Cakes can be a great choice for beginner quilters as they offer a wide variety of coordinating fabrics in a convenient pre-cut size. They can save you time and effort on fabric selection and cutting, allowing you to focus more on the quilting process.

Is there a difference between Layer Cake and Charm Pack?

A Layer Cake and a Charm Pack are similar in that they both contain pre-cut squares of coordinating fabrics, but the sizes of the squares are different. A Layer Cake contains 10″ x 10″ squares while Charm Pack contains 5″ x 5″ squares.

Wrap Up

To sum it up, a Layer Cake is a collection of cut-out squares from the same fabric collection in different colors and patterns. Layer Cake squares can be used for a variety of crafting projects, from quilts to home décor items. They can make quilting easier for beginners, as they offer a selection of coordinating fabrics that comes with convenient pre-cut sizes. The Layer Cake you purchase will depend on your own personal preference, whether you want to create scrappy squares, or if you want to coordinate each square specifically. Some Layer Cakes are created with particular block patterns in mind, while others are not.

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Teresa Moreno

Teresa is a mom of two and has been a quilter for the last 12 years. She spends her free time reading about quilting to learn new techniques and information. And, she loves to share his quilting knowledge with other fellow quilters.

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