batik layer cake fabric

The Ultimate Guide to Crafting with Layer Cakes for Quilts

Quilt makers have fallen in love with pre-cut fabric bundles called layer cakes. These bundle packs contain coordinating fabric designs cut into 10” squares, making them ideal for quilt blocks. But with so many layer cake options now available, how do you choose?

At Platinum So N Sews, we specialize in batik fabric bundles that revolutionize construction for time-crunched quilters.

What Are Layer Cakes for Quilts?

In quilting, layer cakes refer to packs of different fabric squares bundled together. Each pack contains 42 squares of fabric, each cut to 10” x 10” (the common block size used in quilts). The squares come from various coordinating fabric designs, usually from the same fabric designer or collection. The 42 count equals the number of squares to make twelve 10” quilt blocks.

The name “layer cake” comes from the look of the stack when the 10” squares are placed on top of one another – it resembles a tiered layer cake dessert! Common pre-cut bundle names like jelly rolls, honey buns, and charm packs evoke a similar baking theme.

Benefits of Using Layer Cakes for Quilters

Quilters love the convenience of layer cakes for quilt construction. Here are some of the advantages they offer:

  • Time Savings – With pre-cut squares, you skip cutting 10” blocks from yardage yourself. This speeds up making quilt block units.
  • Coordination Simplified – Fabric designers coordinate their layer cake bundles to ensure all prints and colors complement one another beautifully without guesswork.
  • Portability – The compact stacks are easy to store and carry to workshops or retreats.
  • Fewer Leftovers—Getting the exact number of fabrics and cuts you need reduces or eliminates excess yardage leftovers after completing projects.
  • Flexibility – While designed for 10” blocks, creatively using halves, quarters, or combinations of layers allows unique block effects.
  • Cost Savings – Buying pre-cut bundles often costs less than yardage, saving money.

Tips for Choosing Layer Cake Fabric 

All layer cakes may sound alike at first glance, but several factors affect their look, quality, and performance. Consider the following when selecting:

  • Fabric Designs – Study the style and scale of the prints coordinated within the bundle. Ensure there is good color flow and visual cohesion.
  • Designer – Layer cakes allow sampling fabrics from top designers without full-yardage commitment. Discover new favorites!
  • Color Palette—Are the tones suited to your quilt palette preferences—brights, pastels, neutrals, earth tones, or batiks?
  • Fabric Content – Cotton, cotton-blend, flannel, knits, voile, double gauze – different contents suit varying quilt styles.
  • Quality – Established fabric brands like Moda Fabrics guarantee excellence over generic/no-name bundles.
  • Scale – Mini-prints, large-scale prints, or a mix of both sets distinctly different quilt moods.

Why Batik Layer Cake fabric?

Batik fabrics have become hugely popular for modern quilting. Originating in Indonesia, traditional batiks involved hand stamping wax-resist dye designs on fabric. Today, most commercial batik-style cloth utilizes precision screen printing to apply the special wash-out resist dye patterning that defines batiks. These fabrics feature attractive cracked patterns not achievable with regular printing.

Quilters love batik fabric yardage for its beauty, versatility, and forgiving nature in projects. Batik layer cakes offer the same advantages in convenient pre-cut bundles perfectly suited for stunning quilts.

Benefits of Batik Layer Cakes

Here are some specific advantages batik layer cakes offer quilters:

  • Vibrance – Batiks come in vibrant shades, from vivid rainbow brights to deep, dramatic hues. The unique dyeing lends exceptional color saturation.
  • Blend ability – With intricate tonal shading in each print, batiks combine with solids and batiks without clashing.
  • Pattern Mixing – The painterly style of batik prints allows seamless intermixing of large, small, and mid-scale designs.
  • Distinctiveness – Wax-resistant dye batik designs differ from common prints, lending novelty and contemporary appeal.
  • Two Sides – Both sides of batik fabric boast attractive faces due to the immersion dyeing process allowing reversible use.
  • Workability – Batiks tend not to fray excessively during cutting and sewing, remaining more stable.

Layer Cake Quilt Patterns

One of the best ways to use layer cakes is through layer cake quilt patterns designed around them. These patterns come sized for the 10” cuts and provide instructions for arranging them into gorgeous blocks. A few delightful examples include:

  • Sew Kind of Wonderful Tangled Up in Blue – Uses batiks in a vibrant, twisted, turned log cabin layout for stunning effects.
  • Elizabeth Hartman’s Hazel Hedgehog – Whimsical Forest critters bloom to life with layer cake fabrics forming applique shapes.
  • Sassafras Lane’s Trail Mix Recipe – Showcases mix-and-match 10” blocks for scrappy, random patchwork vibes.
  • Cozy Quilt Designs Three Layer Cake – Smart triangle and square designs unite batiks into a graphically bold modern quilt.

Many stunning samples appear on sites like Pinterest for inspirational layer cake quilting ideas from skilled quilters.

Tips for Constructing Layer Cake Quilts

When tackling your layer cake project, these tips will prove handy:

  • Carefully organize split batches of fabrics as you work on making identical blocks.
  • Take photos of arranged blocks to help replicate layouts accurately when assembling.
  • Mark squares subtly with fabric pens should pieces get mixed up.
  • Finger press seams before chain sewing for smoother finished blocks.
  • Starch layer cake squares to minimize distortion, stretch, and slippage while sewing.
  • Prewash layer cake fabric if the project will undergo eventual laundering to prevent later shrinkage.
  • Construct a test sample block first to confirm seam allowances and technique.


With their convenience, coordination, and creativity, layer cake fabric bundles have become a staple supply for quilters. Offering an excellent way to sample fabrics risk-free, they simplify quilt construction beautifully. Especially alluring are the vibrant options batik layer cakes provide through their exceptional dye style and innate mixability. As you choose bundles, consider the scale, designer, and versatility you prefer in a project. Then pick a fun layer cake-based quilt pattern, pull out your sewing machine, and enjoy watching your quilt bloom slice by a luscious 10-inch!

This inside peek at magnificent batik layer cakes and quilt patterns will inspire you to give them a whirl on your next creation. The easiest way to score these coveted bundles? Skip scouring shops and let Platinum So N Sews deliver luscious layer cakes right to your door! Say bye-bye to fussy cutwork and embrace the creativity of effortless batik bundles instead! Happy quilting!

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