Now, let’s get started.
Somewhere along the line a company decided to design prepackaged methods to sell fabric. No doubt their intention was to make the fabric easier to purchase, which in turn would result in higher sales. Among the available units are rolls of 2 1/2″ strips (aka jelly rolls), 5 1/2″ squares (charm packs), 10″ squares (layer cakes) to name a few. The terms jelly roll, charm pack and layer cake are used by a specific vendor. Not all jelly rolls, charm packs or layer cakes contain the same quantity nor are they the same size. Other vendors use their own terms.
Of course the invention of the pre-packaged fabric units meant pattern creators could take advantage of these new sales methods by designing their patterns around the consumption of these units. 2 1/2″ strips, while not the only size used, are a very common measurement utilized when assembling quilts.
In a previous post I mentioned that I had cut one 2 1/2″ strip from each of my fat quarters. I cut these strips because it gave me a quickly accessed resource for making my art quilts. Rather than pulling out the whole piece of cloth, which wouldn’t usually be needed in its entirety, the 2 1/2″ strip gave me a smaller, much more manageable size. Of course I could have just as easily cut 1″, 2″, or even 3″ strips. There’s no limit to the sizes available. All that matters is that it suits your needs.
Managing my stacks of 2 1/2″ strips was made easy by storing them in my Art Bins which are designed specifically for that purpose. I have four bins that I purchased through an online vendor. Rather than purchase a bin for each color I divided the strips into groupings such as red, yellow and orange. Now when I’m looking for strips to audition for my projects I grab the bin containing the colors I want and search through for just the right piece.
I highly recommend the Art Bin Strip Case. It’s an awesome way to not only store your strip stash but also to transport them when traveling to retreats, a class, sew days or even on vacation. Here’s how one of my bins looks.